Meetings Spotlight: State of the Meetings Industry Summer 2014

Every quarter, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) publishes a comprehensive report that takes the pulse of the meetings industry and summarizes their findings for all interested parties to see. The summer edition of this report has arrived and represents an extremely valuable resource for meeting planners, like ourselves, and many others who rely on corporate meetings and events to achieve various business goals such as increasing sales and encouraging collaboration among teams.

Finding creative ways to do more with fewer resources and lower budgets remain the primary struggle for meeting planners. One meeting planner claimed that her client was looking to spend 50% less on their meeting, yet expected the same outcomes! Does this sound familiar?

One immediate solution is to utilize the more affordable end of the favored hotel brand for your big meeting.  This provides a sense of security to attendees that have become familiar with the trusted brand from previous events without causing a sense of alarm from perceived budget cuts.  Forgoing event entertainment is another common way to meet stringent budget constraints. Many businesses are attempting to focus more on content and less on frills, optimizing meeting success and decrease expenditures.

Overall Industry Statistics of Note

  • 13% are holding more regional meetings in an effort to reduce travel costs
  • 22% are compressing more meetings into less time
  • 9% are focusing more on meeting design
  • 13% are using more technology
  • 10% are using lower-cost suppliers
  • 11% are seeking innovative suppliers
  • 9% are outsourcing
  • 52% predict that their meeting budget will increase

Meetings overall are predicted to increase but unfortunately, budgets are not growing at a proportionate rate. Virtual meetings are climbing twice as fast (3.9%) as face-to-face meetings (2%), which is creating new challenges.

As costs rise on practically everything needed to plan a successful event – transportation, audio visual equipment, room nights, meeting rooms, food and beverage – meeting planners must harness their creativity more than ever to fall within budget restrictions while delivering a meeting that meets client standards.

Another interesting challenge for meeting and event planners is the existence of a “seller’s market” when it comes to hotel space reservations. A growing lack of venue availability has lead to a small supply of open space. This small supply coupled with a strong demand is leading to dramatic price increases.

Being a meeting planner in 2014 is tough, there is no way to sugar coat it. It is now more important than ever to employ the services of an experienced meeting planner who is not fazed by the challenges present.

Despite the tricky conditions existing in the meetings industry today, JNR is thriving as a boutique agency that delivers some of the most raved about events. Our experts are able to negotiate lower rates and secure venue availability even in peak meeting seasons due to our long-standing relationships with hotels, venues and other trusted partners. We have the know-how to book spaces for meetings or incentive travel programs even when everything appears to be full.

Give us a call at 800.343.4546, visit our website or send us an email at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com today to begin discussing how we can plan your next meeting or event. No matter how big or how small your budget or attendance list is, we can enable you to succeed in achieving your goals. Our 34 years of experience in the industry have helped us develop the relationships and strategy that will ensure the success of your next meeting or event.

Suggested Reading:

“Green Meetings: Why, How and Where to Hold Them”http://blog.jnrcorp.com/green-meetings/

“Cvent’s Top 50 Meeting Destinations in the United States 2014 List”http://www.cvent.com/RFP/DestinationGuide/DGCustomPage.aspx?dgcpstub=06945d34-a4bb-441c-8540-8f55453e46e5&cid=70100000000TRLtAAO

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kristopher Hewkin

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

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