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Going Up: Planners to Grapple with Rising Costs in 2019

Business looks strong but cost-cutting will be a given, study says.

Although the outlook for events and meetings appears to be robust for 2019, with more events and for larger groups, a combination of rising costs and reduced commissions will whipsaw the industry, Skift says, forcing planners to cut costs:

As meeting and event planners prepare for 2019, it’s clear that financial pressure is poised to define the path of the sector going forward. American Express Meetings & Events polled 700 event professionals on the shifting dynamics across the industry going into next year, looking at the factors that affect where planners hold meetings and the ramifications of global trends on how they operate …

Costs are going to have to be cut, and North American planners said reducing the length of events is likely the first step. Offsite evening events and optional activities are also elements that will be reduced due to budgeting restrictions.

“Overall, costs are increasing as demand continues to outpace supply,” wrote Yma Sherry, vice president of North America for American Express Meetings & Events, in the report. “Meeting planners are trying to find ways, as always, to do more with less. They are focusing on their attendees. Are the right people attending? Should they reduce the number of attendees? In certain cases, they’re using virtual technology for the general sessions, broadcasting the meeting to the people who were unable to attend the meeting live.”

Still, though, virtual and hybrid meetings comprise an extremely small percentage of the total events held worldwide. Given these factors, how are planners choosing where to hold their events? The …. Skift

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