Demand for meetings & events will grow between 5-10% in 2019, and the average size of meetings will rise in nearly every region, according to a survey by CWT Meetings & Events.
CWT is a division of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, and its report is titled the 2019 Meetings & Events Future Trends report.
Kurt Ekert, president and CEO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, said: “The global meetings and events industry can look forward to a buoyant 2019. On top of growing demand worldwide, we also expect global hotel rates to rise 3.7%, and flight prices 2.6%.”
The report offers cost projections and a run-down on regional differences, as well as ranking the top M&E destinations in each region.
It suggests that planning ahead is key, and that the best time for booking meetings and events activity for small groups is 30+ days out, while for large groups the sweet spot is 75+ days.
It also says that Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) will gain traction in regions outside North America, where it is more mature. The data shows that SMM can cut the time spent on sourcing by 22%, and deliver an average 19% additional savings on room nights.
Cindy Fisher, senior vice president and global head of CWT M&E, said: “SMM tips the scales back in favour of clients by shifting sales towards preferred suppliers and analysing demand to work out the optimum times to secure the best venues, hotels and flights – and lock in the best prices.”
The report also suggests that augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, social media, ad-hoc apps and microsites are some of the technologies that will proliferate across the meetings and events industry.
New technology creates smarter ways of monitoring ROI and ROE: for example, using data to fine-tune the value around meetings programs, and booking group transport with apps and online booking tools.