by Matt Alderton | November 11, 2014
Thanks to rising costs, limited guest room availability, and shorter lead times, 2015 will be a "challenging" year for meeting planners, predicts Meeting Professionals International (MPI), which yesterday published the fall edition of its quarterly "Meetings Outlook" report.

"The newest installment of the quarterly special report shows increasing costs for services across the meeting and event spectrum in concert with only slight budgetary growth is setting up a more challenging year ahead," MPI stated in a media advisory.

According to the report, which is based on a global survey of MPI members, costs will increase greater than budgets in 2015, with air travel costs increasing by 5 percent, food and beverage costs increasing by 4 percent, guest rooms costs increasing by 3.9 percent, A/V costs increasing by 3.1 percent, and meeting room costs increasing by 2.5 percent. Overall budgets, by contrast, will grow just 1.7 percent.

Another key trend is the proliferation of meetings with clear business benefits. Of all meeting/event types, for instance, training, educational events, and sales meetings will grow the most in 2015, MPI predicts, citing increases in hiring and employee development.

"In a post-recession environment where many organizations are still emphasizing significant ROI in meetings, the trend toward holding meetings with a demonstrable business payoff is continuing," MPI concluded in its report.

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