With FICP’s first Pulse Survey of the year, meetings professionals and hospitality partners provided many indicators that there is stability in the industry, with the number and size of meetings and business outlook anticipated to remain the same for the short term, slowing cost increases and less change in requests for sustainability measures.
This Pulse Survey also included a line of questioning about the respondents’ or respondents’ clients meetings, including who they are choosing to partner with and how those partners are sourced.
Download the full Spring 2019 Pulse Survey report or view highlights for each audience below.
Meetings Professional Findings – Spring 2019 Pulse Survey
For the first time since the start of the Pulse Surveys in 2017, the majority of meetings professionals are reporting no anticipated change to meeting number (59%) & size (72%). The area of greatest growth was reported in the number of business meetings, and those at financial services only firms are experiencing the greatest growth in that area.
About the Meetings Being Planned
Nearly all (at least 84%) respondents reported that meetings at their organizations are defined as those with training, incentive, corporate update and/or off-site components. While there was no significant difference in responses based on years of professional experience, those at financial services only firms reported corporate update components and incentive components in lower numbers, than their counterparts. Respondents indicated that they and their teams planned meetings that reflected those components (training, incentive, corporate update adn/or offisite) in similar numbers.
For those who are making changing to meeting/event formats in the next 12-18 months, the top-cited reasons for doing so were limited budgets (67%) and changing attendee interest/preferences (58%). The types of changes they noted as being made were to speaker type(s), event duration/length and activities being planned.
- Most are sourcing direct (79%), with nearly half using Cvent or a similar technology platform.
- While anecdotally it is assumed that meetings professionals use negotiation to demonstrate value, 78% of Pulse Survey respondents indicated they prefer to receive the best rate up front.
- All are using hotels for meetings/events, with other top off-site venues to include restaurants (86%) and convention centers (51%).
- The complexity of A/V needs (68%) and existing A/V vendor relationships (57%) are the top considerations that influence respondents’ decision to bring in an outside audio-visual company for events.
Hospitality Partner Findings – Spring 2019 Pulse Survey
Fewer (46%) hospitality partners anticipated business to increase in the next two quarters of 2019 than in Q4 2018 (53%). Throughout the past five Pulse Surveys, there has been greater variability from quarter to quarter with the hospitality partners on this question than in responses to meeting growth than by the meetings professional respondents.
Trends Impacting Buyers
With regard to trends buyers should be aware of in the next 12-18 months (as compared to Q4 2019), fewer hospitality partners are reporting increases to room rates and F&B costs, availability and booking of international destinations.
About Your Clients' Meetings
While the majority of meetings professionals indicated that budget and changing attendee interests/preferences were driving changing to the formats of their upcoming events, these considerations were noted by significantly fewer hospitality partners. More hospitality partners also noted that they are not seeing changes to their clients’ meetings and event formats.
Significant numbers of hospitality partners reported no change in requests for sustainability measures such as food donations (59%), recycling bins (55%), and green energy sources (43%). However, nearly one-half are currently taking actions such as requiring a 72-hour guarantee and negotiating customized menus to manage food waste reduction and 60% are allowed to donate leftover food to area non-profit organizations.
- Similar numbers of hospitality partners reported receiving the majority of business from direct (40%) and third-party sources (44%), and 39% prefer to offer the best rate after negotiation (vs. up front).
- Slightly more than half (56%) reported they are seeing clients attempt to offset higher F&B costs by specifying lesser guarantees.
- Most frequently-requested concessions include:
- Complimentary WiFi in guest rooms and/or meeting space – 72%
- Complimentary VIP amenities and/or upgrades – 60%
- Cumulative attrition (vs. nightly); 1:40 comp room; waived facility/resort fee; and, no rental based on F&B minimum – 58%
About the Spring 2019 Pulse Survey
In spring, meetings professionals and hospitality partners within the FICP community, were invited to take the spring 2019 survey to share their experiences on trends and conditions impacting their work. As with its previous Pulse surveys, FICP can now provide benchmarking with past-survey data. Download your full copy of the Spring Pulse Survey report for additional insight from your peers, and stay tuned for future Pulse Survey invitations.