The German Convention Bureau (GCB) has issued its predictions for the meetings industry in 2015. They are:
1. Value is Viceroy. Planners and organizers will not only look to negotiate savings, particularly in food and beverage, but will also want to create even more ROI while doing so.
2. The Incredible, Disappearing Lead Time. Carlson Wagonlit (CWT) thinks lead times can get shorter. According to its 2015 Meetings and Events Forecast, Germany alone saw reduced lead times of 50 percent in 2014. Booking windows in India and Singapore can be as short as seven to 10 days for group air bookings.
3. Meeting Space Gets Its “Props.” The design, architecture, flow, format and technology features of meeting spaces and how they influence delegate experiences will gain more mindshare in 2015.
4. Euro Meetings & Hotel Prospects are Trending Up. Europe will continue to be the top destination for both U.S. corporate and association meetings in 2015 with 67 percent and 56 percent of planners respectively choosing to cross “The Pond” when getting together off American soil, according to the M&C Global Planner 2014. Hotels are also expected to continue their stronger period of demand and moderate expansion.
5. All Together Now. All over the meetings industry, destination marketing organizations will continue to strike up strategic alliances to collaborate, share best practices and drive innovation in the meetings and business travel industry. Two examples: 1. The Future of Convention Cities Initiative (FCCI) with Abu Dhabi, Durban, London, San Francisco, Seoul and Sydney. 2. Seventeen European destinations (including Visit Denmark, the GCB, NBTC Holland Marketing, the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau, and more) will also begin working more closely together in the new year as part of the European Convention Bureaux Alliance announced at IMEX American 2014.
6. Knowledge Transfer is a Main Attraction. Not only will content quality and “socialized” content continue to be in vogue next year and beyond, but also the opportunity to learn and exchange deep and global industry knowledge through meetings will be key. In 2015, meeting planners will continue to focus on linking their meetings and events to destinations and venues that live and breathe their industries, expertise areas and business strategies.