especially destination selection.
“Choosing destinations that offer value in hotel rooms
and airlift is always important, but also destinations that
offer flexibility in meeting space and offer many options for
attendees,” Patino says. “Hotel and airfare costs are rising,
however the overall allotted budget for a program is not.”
She expects that will mean that planners will be looking for
innovative, cost-effective solutions to provide “the wow factor”
Welsh agrees that budget considerations will play a greater role
in the selection of a destination, ensuring that it “aligns with the
business objectives” of the organization. Beyond that, site selection will be as much about ensuring that attendees are getting as
possible out of the events they attend.
“The cost/benefit continues to be weighed — we want people
to walk out and say, ‘That meeting can be justified from an expense standpoint’ because of what they come away with,” says
Welsh. “It’s about ensuring the price/value not only for the association or the event planner, but the value for the price the at-
Diversity on the Agenda
Bauer points to the enthusiastic response IMEX had to a joint research project undertaken with Germany-based MICE magazine
tw tagungswirtschaft as well as enormously positive reactions to
Women in Leadership receptions that took place at IMEX shows
in 2017. In collaboration with tw, IMEX has launched the first
“She Means Business” Conference, taking place on EduMonday
(the day prior to IMEX Frankfurt 2018).
“With a series of inspiring speakers, it’s an event that is set to
celebrate the role of women in the industry, as well as providing
conversation, collaboration, and learning,” says Bauer. “We at
IMEX have experienced the rising importance of diversity in the
industry, particularly around women in the workplace and career
David Jefferys, president and CEO of the Altus Agency;
founder and executive director of the LGBT Meeting
Professionals Association, agrees.
“Diversity and inclusion goals will become the new normal for all
meetings and events,” he says. “Two facts are exciting to us: the re-
cent, immediate reactions of organizations to laws restricting free-
dom of transgender individuals and the growth of our industry.”
On the first fact, he points to U.S. Department of Labor
Statistics reporting 10 percent growth in the employment of
meeting, event, and convention planners expected between 2014
and 2024 — faster than the average for all occupations. On the
second fact, he references the immediate business reactions to
laws restricting the freedom of transgender individuals, such as
the North Carolina “bathroom bill” that has now been rescinded.
“It makes it clear that LGBT inclusivity is not only the right
thing to do, but the right thing for business,” says Jefferys. “These
two facts are exciting and are having an immediate impact on the
industry. We have the opportunity to make an actual difference in
the experience of all meeting and event participants.” ; Questions
or comments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Vincent Alonzo and
Leo Jakobson contributed reporting on this story.
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The hotel market has faced its share of disruptions, from the rise of Airbnb to major mergers. The industry is sure to continue feeling the
impact of these trends in the coming year — but industry watchers differ
in opinion on exactly how.
“I think we are going to see a market shift as hotels aggressively ad-
dress their overall costs of distribution,” says David Peckinpaugh, CMP,
CIS, president, Maritz Global Events and chair-elect of PCMA Education
Foundation board of trustees. “How hotel management companies and
ownership groups manage and mitigate their costs across multiple chan-
nels such as online travel agencies, digital channels, and third parties to
name a few, will be one to watch closely.”
He emphasizes the importance of having planners partner with hoteliers
and work to create a culture of collaboration in order to “minimize this
risk and maximize returns for all parties.”
Peckinpaugh also expects that 2018 — or 2019 at the latest — will
see a shift from a seller’s to a buyer’s market.
“It’s been a seller’s market for seven-plus years,” he says. “We are al-
ready seeing some signs of a shift in select markets.”
Natasha Syed, director of global
conference and incentive sales for
Rocco Forte Hotels as well as vice
president of Young Leaders/Event
Liaison for SITE Texas, is not so
sure, and expects that 2018 will
continue to be a seller’s market,
with high demand and bookings
happening further out.
“We’re having to turn down 2019
inquiries in a few of our cities over
‘hot dates,’” says Syed.
She expects to see Europe and
international destinations growing
more attractive, if the U.S. dollar