According to this article on BTN online, higher hotel rates and airfares are causing cutbacks in secondary meeting expenses, including AV, food and beverage, and attendee gifts. From the article:
- As hotel and air costs continue to rise, Eugene Emond, event management executive for Princeton, N.J.-based drug research and development firm Covance Clinical and Periapproval Services, said that his meetings have become less elaborate. Although the firm has not changed properties, it has made drastic cuts in such areas as attendee gifts and catering.
"We're still looking at high-end hotels, but the gifts now are down to $25 or there are no gifts at all," Emond said. In previous years, attendee gifts were valued at $150 or more. "They're also doing very simple dinners offsite or just keeping it in-house. No big theme dinners anymore."
Meetings also have been shortened to adjust for higher costs, Emond said. Some overnight events have become day meetings. As hotels adjust their revenue mix away from groups, availability has tightened, he said.
I'm guessing we'll be seeing more of this as the hotel buyers' market continues to strengthen. And I don't see airfare coming down any time soon, either.