Before You Raise Your Registration Fees…

Author: David McMillin       

Thinking that it’s time to increase your registration fees for your 2018 meeting or conference? You may want to consider what other costs associated with attending your events next year will also go up. A new report from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) revealed that all travelers should prepare for higher prices in 2018. As you determine appropriate pricing for your next big event, consider some of these key factors that may influence the decision to attend.

The Receipt for That Room Will Be More Expensive.

GBTA’s research forecasts that global hotel prices will rise by 3.7 percent next year. If you’re planning a conference in Europe, attendees may be in for some serious sticker shock. Hotel prices in Eastern Europe will rise by 6.6 percent, and properties in Western Europe will see an average increase of 6.3 percent. In the U.S., a surge in supply may help keep room rates in check. “North American hoteliers may be banking on economic growth as demand has leveled off since mid-summer 2016,” the report stated, “but supply is expected to continue growing steadily through 2018.”

All rates won’t be created equal, though. “Suppliers are progressively moving corporate buyers away from fixed, negotiated hotel rates and toward dynamic rate pricing,” the report stated. It’s unclear how that will translate to the traditional pricing arrangements for conference attendees, but changes in the hotel industry do point to the potential for experimentation with alternative models to the typical structure of attendee-rate offerings.

SEE ALSO: New Study Shows Hotels Struggle With Mobile-App Adoption

The Costs of Flying Will Fly Higher.

Attendees may be able to use basic economy fares to keep travel costs relatively low, but all signs point toward more expensive tickets in the future — no matter where they’re sitting in the cabin. Delta and American both reported significant recent fare growth, and the GBTA report points to an increase in crude oil prices as a factor to watch. For international attendees, finding a decently priced ticket may be even more daunting. “Citing the potential for stronger U.S. travel restrictions,” according to the report, “flights to the United States have already been reduced accordingly.”

SEE ALSO: This New Solution for Booking Flights Might Mean Some Extra Cash for You

Steer Attendees Away from Rentals.

While some attendees may want to rent their own cars once they’ve landed in the host destination, the GBTA statistics show that organizers will want to offer more affordable shuttle options. “Limited railways, along with improved per capita and increased corporate travel, are expected to push up rental car rates in North America,” the report states. You can help them avoid frustration over high rental car charges and parking fees by enticing them with discounted public transit passes or sponsored shuttle service.

You may face some challenges in motivating people who have a long (and expensive) route to travel to your event. However, your regional base may provide an extra bump in registration numbers. Click here to see how one trade show used Facebook Live to increase attendance from last-minute audience members who were able to drive in for the experience.

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