Meeting Costs Set to Climb in America but Fall in EMEA and AsiaPac
Daily attendee meeting costs are set to climb in 2020 in North and Latin America but fall in EMEA and Asia/Pacific, according to the Future Trends in Meetings and Events forecast that CWT Meetings & Events published today. In North America, the average daily cost per attendee for 2019 events booked by the end of June was $234. The average cost for meetings booked by that date for 2020 was $253. The figure includes accommodation, food and beverage, A/V, meeting space, transportation, entertainment and other miscellaneous costs.
In spite of this increase, CWT said North American buyers have leverage to negotiate better rates in 2020 thanks to slower demand growth, significant new supply of meeting space and nervousness about the economic and political outlook, especially if trade disputes escalate.
In Latin America, daily attendee costs have risen from $232 for 2019 events booked by June to $260 for 2020 events booked by the same month, but they’ve fallen from $255 to $229 in EMEA and $276 to $233 in Asia/Pacific. CWT predicts global revenue for the entire meetings industry will climb 8 percent next year, though by only 4 to 6 percent in EMEA, CWT M&E VP for EMEA Ian Cummings told BTN.
Cummings attributed the falling costs in EMEA to strong economic headwinds, especially in Germany and the U.K., plus volatility caused by Brexit. Similar to North America, which BTN covered previously, uncertainty means that “over the last six months, people have been leaving it longer to make decisions again after we had made some headway with lengthening lead times,” said Cummings. “Cancellations are also creeping up again.”
One reason EMEA costs likely will fall next year, Cummings added, is a major shift in bookings to secondary cities. “You can get a 50 percent lower price in Liverpool or Manchester than in London,” he said. Secondary cities across EMEA are picking up additional business, including Nice, France; Porto, Portugal; and Seville, Spain. However, London remains the most booked city in the region for 2020, thanks in part to the weakness of the pound since the Brexit referendum in 2016. Frankfurt is up from 10th to second, while Paris has jumped from ninth to third, returning to favor after the terror attacks of 2015.