In its "2016 Meetings and Events Forecast," CWT Meetings & Events offers the following tips for planning meetings and events in 2016:
• Plan ahead: "Be aware that some hotels in high-demand markets no longer hold space when responding to availability requests," CWT advises. "Make internal decision makers aware, and decide if you can be flexible on dates."
• Fuel your budget as well as your attendees: "Food and beverage (F&B) continues to be a significant driver of per-attendee costs," according to CWT. "Adjust F&B patterns to manage budgets while promoting the healthy alternatives that remain very popular with attendees."
• Tick tock: "Lead time for registration and venue contracts continues to shrink," CWT reports. "However, by increasing the lead time for larger events, event and meeting planners can increase their negotiation power."
Despite uncertain economic conditions in some regions, the global meetings industry will continue to grow in the year ahead, predicts the meetings and events division of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, CWT Meetings & Events, which yesterday published its "2016 Meetings and Events Forecast."
"While the news of overall growth is positive, the report also sounds a note of caution," the company indicated in a press release. "As attrition and cancellation terms are becoming stricter, supplier negotiations will be more important than ever to meeting planners."
Meetings in Asia Pacific face the most challenges in 2016, according to CWT's forecast, which notes the region's unpredictable economy.
"Although," CWT noted, "stronger demand from China and India could drive up group size and prices."
In North America, demand for meeting space continues to outpace supply, resulting in a sellers' market, while in Europe buyers still have the upper hand.
"Our forecast is about providing clients with valuable insight for the coming year, so they armed with the most relevant information for their upcoming budgeting and negotiations," said David Moran, executive vice president, CWT. "Whether they are focused on meetings, events, or the widespread global adoption of strategic meetings management, it's a vital tool in preparing for the year ahead."
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