In a recent article in Smart Meetings, journalist Susan Jacobs explains that as 2015 comes to a close and meeting planners start looking ahead, experts in the field have started making predictions about what the MICE industry can expect in 2016. According to David Moran, Executive Vice President of Carlson Wagonlit Travel Meetings & Events (CWT), “We anticipate tighter hotel cancellation policies, growing food and beverage costs and companies trying to harness their combined spend as they look for ways to cut costs and improve program efficiency and control.” Below are five of their key predictions in the industry for 2016:
- Steady growth: The meeting and events industry is expected to steadily grow in 2016.
- Stable airfares mean more meeting attendees: Airline prices in the U.S. are expected to stay more or less the same, while Canadian airfares are projected to drop by 5%. This translates to more attendees and exhibitors being able to travel throughout North America without the rising costs of flights.
- Plan in advance: Planning ahead will be critical, as hotels in high-demand markets may not hold space when responding to availability requests.
- Food & Beverage: F&B will continue to drive per-attendees costs in 2016.
- Negotiation is key: Careful negotiations will become vital to meeting planners, since attrition and cancellations are expected to become stricter.