The game-changing trends that meeting planners should know about

An agency, event planner and association look ahead to some of next year’s challenges and opportunities.

The business events industry is likely to see similar demand-supply dynamics in 2023, to a certain extent, as it has seen this year.
The business events industry is likely to see similar demand-supply dynamics in 2023, to a certain extent, as it has seen this year. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/Rawpixel.com

Expect travel and M&E prices to continue to rise

Nelson Khoo, head of events - Singapore & Indonesia at CWT Meetings & Events says the industry is likely to see similar demand-supply dynamics in 2023, to a certain extent, as it has seen this year.

“It’s unclear when China will begin to reopen its borders, but that will definitely result in further demand pressures,” he says. “We expect that our clients’ events in APAC will become 20%-30% bigger once attendees from China can begin to travel internationally.” 

We expect that our clients’ events in APAC will become 20%-30% bigger once attendees from China can begin to travel internationally.
Nelson Khoo, head of events - Singapore & Indonesia, CWT Meetings & Events

Khoo says CWT is forecasting that travel and M&E prices will continue to rise in 2023, although at a slower pace than this year as the ‘revenge travel’ trend – people’s desire to travel more after missing out on time and experiences during the pandemic, dies off.

“According to our 2023 Global Travel Forecast, airfares are projected to increase by 8.4% next year and hotel rates by 8.2%, at a global level,” he says. “In APAC we are forecasting a 5.4% increase in airfares and 5.7% increase in hotel rates.”

Venues must focus on value add

Abby Gryckiewicz, venue sourcing manager, group event operations at Euromoney Institutional Investor, says that with prices having increased this year across the board, venues will need to be as transparent as possible and consider providing added value if they cannot lower the venue cost. Gryckiewicz was speaking at a recent Cvent webinar, themed on ‘how to win an event planner round’.

“This value could be an upgraded cocktail package, a percentage off F&B, an extra glass of prosecco for welcome drinks – venues have to be flexible – anything that shows they are willing to go the extra mile,” she says.

We have sent out mandatory questions at the RFP stage asking venues how they save energy, how they distribute food following an event, and while we score on these answers, sustainability is not always what matters most in the venue decision.
Abby Gryckiewicz, venue sourcing manager, group event operations, Euromoney Institutional Investor

Gryckiewicz added that sustainability is another big topic but that hotels are not yet at the point where they need to be. She also acknowledged that while it is important, it is not an overriding factor when compared to cost or location for example.

“We have sent out mandatory questions at the RFP stage asking venues how they save energy, how they distribute food following an event, and while we score on these answers, sustainability is not always what matters most in the venue decision,” she says.

Sustainable business travel

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), during its recent Town Hall event, pointed to how members are increasingly asking the association to ensure advocacy for a sustainable business travel, by cultivating more events with care and thought and nurturing resources.

“[Next year] we’ll establish a climate action plan and pathway for the industry, a roadmap with concrete steps on how to decarbonise business travel,” said Mark Cuschieri, GBTA Board vice president. “We’ll continue to advocate with policymakers for investments in green technologies as well as for a single global standard to calculate emissions for business travel.”

Cuschieri added that while there was no silver bullet to address sustainable business travel, it was important to work together collectively as an industry.

“We want to empower buyers and suppliers to ensure we put sustainability at the heart of their programmes and operations,” he said.



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