Several reports are out with forecasts for the 2012 meetings industry. Here are a few interesting items to consider as you review marketing plans and budgets:
- Hotels – PFK Hospitality Research indicates demand for hotel meeting space and guest rooms will continue to increase. They anticipate an increase in daily rates of 4.7%. American Express calls for a rate gain of 2.5 to 6.5 percent – rate increases will differ according to market and type of property.
- Booking and lead times – Through 2011 the short term booking opportunities continued to be available; this will change dramatically in 2012. Waiting until the last minute will no longer be an option in preferred business travel markets. Top cities and properties will be fully booked on typical peak nights. In order to secure preferred locations, it will be critical to extend planning and booking windows.
- Air Travel – Demand for flights has continued to grow as airlines reap the benefits of increased fares and ancillary fees. Industry analysts report airlines may scale back growth plans resulting in fuller planes and higher fares. Domestic fares may increase as much as 5 percent according to one industry expert with the majority of increases coming in business and first class fares.
- Trade Shows – The Center for Exhibition Industry Research reports slight growth for 2011 and projects the industry will see growth in the range of 3 percent for 2012. Increases will be seen in square footage, number of attendees and number of exhibitors. The face-to-face experience continues to be important to all professionals.
Meeting Woo is ready to assist you in planning and executing programs to meet corporate goals. Call today, let’s explore how we can work together to make the most of your events.
Happy New Year!