Cue the Crystal Ball: The GCB Makes Predictions for Meetings in the Coming Year
#1 Value is Viceroy - Saving money is always in fashion, but it will take on even more importance in the year ahead with planners and organizers not only looking to negotiate savings (particularly in F&B) but also wanting to create even more ROI while doing so. Planners choosing Germany in 2015 can again expect excellent value for money. German meeting planners realized 23 percent savings in 2014, leveraging end-to-end meetings management*, and this is expected to hold. Tapping into local resources and industry experts within destinations will also continue to be a great ROI and savings approach in 2015.
#2 The Incredible, Disappearing Lead Time - Can lead times get any shorter then they were in 2014? CWT certainly thinks they can. According to its 2015 Meetings and Events Forecast, Germany alone saw reduced lead times of a whopping 50 percent in 2014*, and there’s more tightening on the way. Booking windows in India and Singapore, for example, can be as short as 7-10 days for group air bookings.
#3 Meeting Space Gets Its “Props” - The design, architecture, flow, format and technology features of meeting spaces and how they influence delegate experiences will gain more mindshare in 2015. The GCB will take up the topic through a joint research project with the European Association of Event Centers (EVVC) and the Fraunhofer Research Institute. Together the three organizations will analyze and evaluate existing meeting space practices and developments to suggest future ideas.
#4 Euro Meetings & Hotel Prospects are Trending Up - Europe will continue to be the top destination for both U.S. corporate and association meetings in 2015 with 67 percent and 56 percent of planners respectively choosing to cross “The Pond” when getting together off American soil, according to the M&C Global Planner 2014**. Hotels are also expected to continue their stronger period of demand and moderate expansion. Continuing to deliver value amidst growth, Germany’s hotel rates are only anticipated to rise by 1 percent in 2015, less than half of the anticipated 2.6 percent global rise*. In addition, revenue per available room (RevPAR) in Munich and Frankfurt – and other Euro cities such as Paris, Prague & Zurich – is expected to experience moderate growth in 2015+.
#5 All Together Now - All over the meetings industry, destination marketing organizations will continue to strike up strategic alliances to collaborate, share best practices and drive innovation in the meetings and business travel industry. One example is the Future of Convention Cities Initiative (FCCI) with Abu Dhabi, Durban, London, San Francisco, Seoul and Sydney. Seventeen European destinations (including Visit Denmark, the GCB, NBTC Holland Marketing, the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau and many more) will also begin working more closely together in the New Year as part of the European Convention Bureaux Alliance announced at IMEX America 2014.
#6 Knowledge Transfer is a Main Attraction – Not only will content quality and “socialized” content continue to be in vogue next year and beyond, but also the opportunity to learn and exchange deep and global industry knowledge through meetings will be key. In 2015, meeting planners will continue to focus on linking their meetings and events to destinations and venues that live and breathe their industries, expertise areas and business strategies. Meeting with leading global brands, visiting renowned universities, hearing from premier thought leaders, and visiting unique industry-specific venues are all possible in Germany whether delegates are into cars (Stuttgart), aerospace (Cologne), urban design (Hamburg), financial markets (Frankfurt), organic food (Nuremberg) or technology (Munich).
*CWT Meetings & Events study “2015 Meetings & Events Forecast”: http://www.carlsonwagonlit.com/export/sites/cwt/en/global/insights/global-forecast-2015/pdf/2015-meetings-and-events-forecast.pdf
**M&C Global Planner 2014: http://www.meetings-conventions.com/News/Features/Global-Planner-2014/
***CWT-GBTA Foundation 2015 Global Travel Price Outlook: http://www.carlsonwagonlit.com/export/sites/cwt/en/global/insights/global-forecast-2015/pdf/2015-CWT-GBTA-travel-forecast.pdf
+PWC “Room to Grow” Report March 2014: www.pwc.com/en_GX/gx/hospitality-leisure/pdf/pwc-european-cities-hotel-forecast-2014-and-2015.pdf
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