International Trends in Corporate Event Planning
International meetings make up about half of the total investment for corporate event planning among multinational organizations. So, it’s important to look at the trends shaping international destinations in the coming year.
Shifting Away from Traditional Global Destinations to New and Unusual Encounters
In 2017, we’re seeing organizations lean towards new and unique destinations and away from traditional tier 1-type locations. The reasoning behind this shift is to give attendees new experiences in an environment that is much different than what they are used to or normally see. This new perspective can help break down barriers and encourage fresh new thinking. It can also help make the whole experience more memorable. That’s exactly what a financial services firm found when attendees did a night at a desert location under the stars with no electricity.
This shift is also giving organizations the opportunity to take their staff to locales they might not normally visit, or couldn’t afford to visit, on their own. When this is done as part of an incentive trip, it can enhance the overall value of the award.
Asia Pacific remains a focus for many companies. Expect bigger groups and higher cost per attendee in 2017.
Asian growth opportunities continue to drive corporate event planning to seek venues there for ever larger training meetings, conferences and incentives. According to CWT’s 2017 Forecast, look for group size in Asia to grow by about 5% in 2017 and cost per participant per day to climb by 3%. Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai continue to be popular meeting destinations. These are certainly not low-cost destinations, but their security, political stability and international connectivity keep corporate planners coming back.
If you’re looking for deals in Asia consider Bangkok, Beijing, and Hanoi. Kuala Lumpur hotel rates can also be very attractive now due to a weak Indonesian currency. Even Sydney is coming in lower now due to a weak Aussie dollar.
Mid-scale Property Openings Explode
One of the surprises in the 2017 American Express Meetings and Global Events Forecast was the incredible number of mid-scale properties opening around the world in the coming year. New mid-scale properties are coming online three times faster than new luxury hotels. In Europe, the timing couldn’t be better as companies across the continent have been introducing stricter company guidelines, reduced budgets and savings targets. These new mid-scale properties could offer corporate meeting planners new, convenient and lower cost meeting options.
2017 is likely to be another seller’s market, at least according to corporate event planners surveyed by Successful Meetings. But there may be some light at the end of the tunnel for corporate event planning in the future. The trend seems to be moving toward an equilibrium or even a buyer’s market in the future as new properties come online and competition grows for what have been flat budgets over the past few years.