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Sluggish Group Bookings in Cvent’s System Could Signal a Softening Market

If you’re contracting fewer room nights, you’re not alone.

Each quarter Cvent looks at the meetings booked through its system in order to track the trends emerging for the upcoming 24 months. In its latest analysis, the watchword is “flat.”

The Group Business Outlook report shows future business to be sluggish, showing slight drops in the number of awarded room nights in five out of six quarters from Q4 2019 to Q1 2021 compared to the corresponding quarter in the previous year.

“As we look at the next two years, our sourcing data shows a relatively flat awarded group rooms pace and a slight downturn in awarded RFP activity within the U.S. market,” said Jeffrey Emenecker, senior director of analytics at Cvent. “Supply continues to increase but booking pace is not keeping up, which means a drop in group occupancy across the board.”

The report also shows that awarded RFP activity in Q2 2019 was below average and down from Q1, a continuation of a trend. Cvent’s analysts hedged their earlier reasoning for the falloff: “In last quarter’s report, we attributed the Q1 slowdown in part to the commission-policy changes that went into effect this year and which pulled greater award activity forward into Q4 2018. This quarter’s results could be influenced by the after-effects of this Q4 2018 push, but could signal more general softness in the market.”

Cvent’s Group Business Outlook also includes the average size, duration, and booking window for events fulfilled through their system in the prior 12 months. In the latest report, none of the categories show a significant change compared to the prior year:
• Average size of group block: 222.8 rooms
• Average peak room nights: 74.8 rooms

• Average Event Duration: 3.3 days
• Average booking window: 187 Days

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