Big Win­ners

Meet­ings are roar­ing back, and 2015 is the year plan­ners and prop­er­ties are rais­ing their game

Business Traveler (USA) - - CONTENTS - By David Arm­strong

When a cor­po­rate client look­ing for some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent for its an­nual awards event hired Penn­syl­va­nia-based Unique Venues, the com­pany scram­bled to find a venue to give the client some­thing to cheer about. They found it. The awards event was booked into a hos­pi­tal­ity suite in Penn State Uni­ver­sity’s 109,000-seat Beaver Sta­dium over­look­ing the jumbo-sized score­board. As the com­pany awards were an­nounced, the names of the win­ners were flashed on the score­board for all to see.

If meet­ings, in­cen­tives, con­fer­ences and events fore­cast­ers are read­ing from the right play­book, 2015 will pro­duce more win­ners in the MICE in­dus­try than in any year since the on­set of the Great Re­ces­sion in 2007 and 2008. As a re­sult of growth – and to prime the pump for still more growth – plan­ners and prop­er­ties are rais­ing their game.

Some meet­ing plan­ners and ex­ec­u­tives at con­ven­tion and vis­i­tor bu­reaus, city ho­tels and lush re­sort prop­er­ties are down­right bullish about the year ahead. Many credit client-friendly in­dus­try trends such as the em­brace of ever-more so­phis­ti­cated con­sumer tech­nol­ogy, do-your-own food and bev­er­age pro­grams and an in­ten­si­fy­ing use of so­cial me­dia to plan and pro­mote events and get real-time feed­back about meet­ings for the cur­rent rise in com­merce.

Scores & Stats

The big­gest driver may be a surg­ing US econ­omy, though weak­ness in Europe and Ja­pan, slow­ing growth rates in China and ris­ing in­dus­try costs add cau­tion­ary notes.

Amer­i­can Ex­press Meet­ings and Events, in its an­nual global fore­cast, notes that in 2015 in North Amer­ica, the to­tal num­ber of meet­ings is ex­pected to grow 0.3 per­cent year-over-year, with the num­ber of at­ten­dees edg­ing up 0.2 per­cent.

Train­ing meet­ings are the largest cat­e­gory by num­ber and also ex­hibit the great­est ex­pected growth – 0.9 per­cent – fol­lowed by se­nior lead­er­ship meet­ings and board meet­ings, at 0.7 per­cent.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.