Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

July 27 2015

3 Pricing Predictions That Will Impact Meetings In 2016

By David McMillin

As meeting professionals enjoy the summer sun, the findings from a new report from the Global Business Travel Association Foundation and Carlson Wagonlit Travel may bring some clouds over the celebration. The 2016 Global Travel Price Outlook reveals areas where meeting professionals can expect to see significant price increases. Here’s a look at the highlights.

1) Don’t Expect Hotel Rates To Drop Soon.

It’s no secret that it’s been a seller’s market in the hotel industry over the past few years, and that trend will continue in 2016. As increased demand outpaces limited supply growth, the GBTA report estimates that hotel rates will increase by 4.3 percent. In markets like San Francisco and Chicago, those rates are surging at an accelerated pace according to recent data from Bloomberg. However, there is some pricing relief in certain markets. In New York City, rates have declined by 13 percent.

SEE ALSO: 4 Tips For Effective Hotel Contract Negotiations

2) F&B Will Fuel Big Price Surges.

The GBTA report shows that menus at meetings will play a key role in price increases in 2016. North American meeting professionals can anticipate a 4.5 percent cost per attendee per day increase, and the report cites F&B pressures as a primary cost contributor. As organizations look ahead to catering budgets, the tips from “How To Rein In Your F&B Costs” can help identify savings opportunities.

3) Airfare Will Remain Flat.

It’s not all doom and gloom for the budgeting process, though. The cost of getting a meetings team to and from destinations will look similar to 2015. In the United States, airline prices are expected to increase by a nominal 0.5 percent. In Canada, the news is even better: airline prices are expected to drop by 5 percent. That’s great news for meeting professionals and suppliers. PCMA’s Convening Leaders will be in Vancouver in January.

Helping Ease Cost Burdens For Your Attendees

Meeting professionals aren’t the only ones who will need to take a closer look at budgets in 2016. Attendees will feel the sting of hotel blocks with higher rates as they work to justify the investment to register and travel for conventions.

At the DMAI Annual Convention in Austin, Mickey Schaefer, President of Mickey Schaefer & Associates LLC, shared some insights on how to help attendees defray costs. Schaefer highlighted that providing shuttle transportation to and from the airport in the host city may be a big benefit. As prospective attendees add up the expected costs of participation, removing two expensive cab rides from the equation can be very helpful.

Check out another helpful tip from Schaefer in “The Simple Way To Make Your Registration Fee More Appealing.”


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