Important Event Trends

Darlene Lyons

Why You Need to Plan Your Business Events NOW

Like many other industries, the world of travel, events and hospitality is changing.  There are some interesting — and urgent — trends that I want to share with you as we enter “the new marketplace” in the world of corporate event planning. As you may have experienced, events have come roaring back.  Sold out hotels, full flights, difficult venue sourcing, staffing troubles, rising costs and more are challenges for even the most senior event planner. 

Let’s look at some stats:

Meeting volume is (way) up

The total volume of planned meetings is on the rise, jumping 17% from May 2022 to June 2022. Planned meetings rates also rose an incredible 334% from June 2021 to June 2022. This means that business event planners are confident their events will be well-attended and most companies plan to return to their pre-COVID event schedules.

Event attendance is up

Per data collected by Knowland, an expert in group sales, the average number of attendees per event doubled between June 2021 and June 2022, and the current numbers are also higher than the numbers reported in 2019. In short, more people than ever are signing on to attend business meetings, conferences and events — meaning that event planners should assume higher attendance than they have in the past.

Venues are booking up

A recent member study from Northstar Meetings Group showed that 50% of professional meeting planners surveyed said that it was becoming hard to find available dates and venues for their clients. This news is especially tough for companies who don’t use dedicated events professionals. I know that many firms ask their in-house marketing team or admin teams to plan their events on top of their typical job responsibilities. For those who only plan 1-2 meetings a year, it will be more difficult to find a venue than it has been in the past — especially if you are planning now for an event you want to host in 2023.   My team is seeing an unprecedented waiting list of 4 and 5 companies for the most desired properties. 

Costs are rising, fast

Last, the costs of almost everything related to events are rising. The same survey from Northstar Meeting Group said that planners are reporting a cost increase of 11-15% on airfare, room rates, ground transport and food and beverage. And, 79% of these surveyed event specialists said that rising costs were directly impacting the events they were planning for their clients — meaning that those same admins or marketing assistants who are asked to plan events in the next two years may find it harder than ever to stay on budget.

Six ways to prepare for 2023 and 2024 events

Here are my best tips for preparing a best-in-class event for your company, even as venues and hotel rooms book up and travel costs rise.

  1. I know that some companies are still hesitant about their event strategies, but if you will be the designated event planner for your company, it’s critical that you get your executive team to decide ASAP on their event strategy for the next three years. By planning now, you can lock in many of the fixed costs and avoid premium or rush fees and avoid the impossible position of planning a meeting without enough time or budget to pull it off.

  2. Once you have event approval, the first thing you should do is secure the date and venue. To be perfectly candid, event planners are now booking into 2025, 2026 and even 2027 and beyond, to ensure they get their preferred dates and venue. By waiting even one month, you will only see a decline in availability and possibly a rise in pricing. Compression is REAL. The increased demand added to the huge volume of contracts shifted to the future because of COVID further reduced availability of the prime venues.  If you are still hoping to plan an event in 2023 or even 2024, I recommend you get started immediately.

  3. As you speak with potential venues, ask them what kind of price increase they are projecting and what other companies have done to keep their meeting or event costs down.

  4. Order your event supplies early.  Avoid both rising costs and supply chain issues.   If you order in advance you not only lock in the best price with the lowest shipping fees, you avoid rush fees. 

  5. Book your talent as soon as your venue is booked.  By booking your speakers and entertainers in advance, you can minimize their travel costs and negotiate fees and other requests.

  6. Finally, I recommend you look at your event strategy and determine what you are able to pull off, and where you might need help. At T3 Events Group, we book tens of thousands of hotel rooms per year, we negotiate the best room rates and venues, hire hundreds of speakers and entertainers, and we staff hundreds of people for day-of event execution. In short, whether you need a partner to plan your entire event or fill in your gaps as part of your team, we are the right resource to call.

About T3 Events Group

T3 Events Groups saves our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars every year through our strategic planning and hotel partnerships. Call now for a free, no-obligation consultation and discover how we can help you.

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