The just-released 2014 edition of “Trends® in the Conference Center Industry” reveals that members of the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) have seen some improvement in operating profits and continued recover in their rates.
IACC CEO Mark Cooper explained that the data shows that IACC member properties continue to control costs and manage another year of improving occupancies. “Conference centres, when benchmarked against hotels, are showing restraint in hiking prices, which shows a long-term approach and commitment to their customers,” he said.
Cooper also noted that member predictions of a “bumpy ride” for 2014 operating budgets might prove accurate given the last months of mixed economic forecasts in North America.
Other key findings in the report include:
- Training and continuing education sessions comprised the greatest percentage (57.8) of meetings held
- Centres saw an Average Daily Rate (ADR) increase of 2.9% in 2013 with executive and resort centres seeing the highest ADR
- Executive and resort centres continued to achieve greater levels of total Revenue Per Occupied Room (RevPOR) versus comparable hotel property type room
- Corporate centres experienced the greatest increase in RevPOR from 2012 to 2013
- Resort centres achieved the highest occupancy rates in 2013, while college and university centres enjoyed the greatest gain in occupancy during 2013.
- In 2013, executive and resort centres achieved lower levels of occupancy than their comparable hotel property type, but had greater year-over-year growth in occupancy from 2012 to 2013.
“With the reality of very little supply growth and demand growth in the five to seven percent range, the foreseeable future bodes well for the health of the conference centre industry,” said Dave Arnold, co-president and CEO-East, PKF Consulting USA, LLC, which compiled the report on behalf of IACC.
However, he added that “certain challenges remain at the forefront including a continuing erosion of the CMP to various ‘modified’ meeting packages, a continuing push by asset managers/owners to diversify the market base with non-conference business and dealing with online travel agency bookings which heretofore have had only a limited impact on group bookings. On the good news front, the market is showing an increased desire for independent, non-chain properties which, of course, has always been a strength of the conference centre industry.”
IACC’s Trends® in the Conference Center Industry is available to purchase on the IACC website store.