Meeting buyers in the U.S. and Canada continue to get the squeeze: “The clamor for meeting space is leading hotels to hold provisional bookings only for very short periods. In fact, many are effectively selling space on a first-come, first-served basis, with potential clients losing out if they are unable to confirm quickly.”
That’s among the insights from BCD Meetings & Events in its just-released “What’s Trending” report, a meetings-specific look at hot topics and market conditions for meeting buyers in four regions around the world—U.S. and Canada, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
The company’s first-ever global industry trends report delivers an assessment of market conditions in each region in an easy-to-digest format that provides a short overview of the current situation, the outlook for 2018, and several recommendations for meeting buyers. For example, among the tips for U.S. and Canada meeting planners facing a tight hotel market are booking multiple meetings with the same hotel or brand, providing detailed information to the hotel so it understands its revenue from your meeting, and considering convention centers as a host venue.
The report highlights three key trends facing meeting professionals, providing advice specific to each global region and offering a “What You Can Do” section.
Data Security: “A well-thought-out process for data collection, storage, and protection is no longer a ‘nice-to-have.’ It’s a necessity,” the report states, stressing that data security processes and operating procedures must be regularly monitored and adapted. The report highlights the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which goes into effect in May 2018 and will “have a trickle-down effect on all regions of the world.”
Crisis Management: While this isn’t a new topic, BCD’s report says that the way it’s being approached “has shifted to address new types of threats, such as cyberterrorism and new ways of communicating, such as via social media or mobile apps.” Among its top tips: buy flexible airfares that can be canceled or changed, avoid larger cities, reduce company signage onsite, focus on communicating the importance of crisis management planning and training.
Engagement and Experience: Event design gets tricky when, as the report states, “It’s no longer enough to provide the basics—people want to be ‘wowed.’” However, BCD includes solid advice for creating events that engage, starting with the questions you need to ask before the event, such as “What are the objectives?” “Who is your audience and how do they learn and communicate?” and “What data can be captured to measure success?”