Meetings and events, 2017 will be a year of growth on an international level: safety and technologies are the priorities

Punctual, the tool that offers corporate meeting planners useful indications to plan succesfully the M&E budget for the coming year has arrived. This is the Forecast 2017, created by CWT Meetings & Events, the division by Carlson Wagonlit Travel specialised in the organisation of events. In general the predictions are positive: on a global level the analysts estimate a slow-down in the growth of the GNP in 2017, therefore this could be a favourable moment for planners to obtain an better quality-price relation and reduce the average cost per participant. Even though in certain geographic areas there could be a decrease in the meeting expenditure of the clients, the prediction of this year indicate on average an increase in the size of the groups (+6% in Europe, +5% in Pacific Asia, +3.5% in North America) and a total growth of the industry. “Looking at 2017, our study predicts a significant growth for meetings and events in different areas of the world – emphasises Cindy Fisher, Vice President and Global Head of CWT Meetings & Events. Managing with major flexibility dates and destinations, corporate planners will be able to take full advantage of the current market to optimise the results of their meetings and events.”

AS far as the evidence in the various geographic areas is concerned, the survey confirms that the North American market will be more favourable for buyers are the hotel offer should exceed the demand for the first time since 2009: the flexibility will consent to take advantage of this change in the market. In Pacific Asia the costs per participants and the sizes of the groups are expected to grow, as well as the number of events (+25%) whereas in Europe severe corporate guidelines, reduced budgets, savings objectives and regulations for some of the sectors could favour a choice of hotels from an average category. The global trends, spread to all the markets, show on the other hand a general increase of Food & Beverage prices, as well as a growth in the interest on Safety & Security that, apart from the traditional tracking of air travellers, it will spread to include all the people involved in a meeting, at any level (from speakers to technical staff, to the single participant), so as to facilitate emergency plans. Obviously, even in the MICE compartment Virtual Interaction will grow exponentially, becoming part of all the M&E functions thanks to the technology that allows participants to be involved remotely and interact in a bi-directional way. 

Following these considerations, the survey provides also some suggestions to the players of the market to improve M&E management in 2017: particularly, to implement programmes of Strategic Meetings Management; to concentrate on the strategy and not the tactic; to consider outsourcing parts of the programme to speed up its development and add external competences, particularly for venue sourcing; optimising technology. 



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