Overall the study shows that the US market is expecting to see increases in the demand for meetings over the next twelve months in conjunction with restricted growth in supply. The simplistic conclusion from this is that planners could see an increase in the rates that they are likely to pay for meeting space. However, further investigation into the figures suggests that things aren’t looking so bad for professional planners, indeed they may not be affected much at all. Those who leave booking hotel rooms/accommodation until the last minute are likely to be the ones left out of pocket.
Looking forward to 2015, the most optimistic sector is the independents, with 29.5% predicting that the number of meetings and events they will hold will increase in the next twelve months. By contrast, 33.3% of Government planners were predicting that their output would decrease, potentially a reflection of the continual tightening of budgets in the public sector, although this is less than recorded in the same survey a year ago. Across all sectors the majority view was that the status quo in terms of their event production quantities would be maintained in the coming year.
Although this survey is a good indication of sentiment in the US marketplace, it does not tell the whole story, particularly with respect to the assertions made in the report about supply and demand. While measuring hotel room occupancy forecasts against planner activity plans seems to suggest that there will be tightening in margins, it does not take into account the fact that many more, and varied, venues are becoming available to meeting planners adding another layer of competition which will affect price negotiations.
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