It’s time to reflect on the year gone by and project 2017 event trends for the year to come. We enlisted expert Brian King, who always has an ear to the ground on what’s ahead for meetings as global brand officer at Marriott International. Here, he shares several trends he believes will shape the events industry in 2017. Take note.
Planners are really planning ahead.
Associations are booking multiyear deals at an unusually high pace. King says planners are coming to hotel companies like Marriott with a map of the regions in which they’d like to meet for the next three to five years and locking in properties across the country before room rates increase more as the economy improves. Another key factor: Corporations are booking out much further than they used to, putting pressure on all sectors to select sites quickly. “For planners who hold on and wait, it’s getting hard,” says King.
Attendance is up.
Associations are exceeding room blocks regularly, reports King. The reason is that the economy’s “steady Eddie progress” may not be wowing experts, but it’s not scaring anyone either. “People are feeling pretty good and confident,” says King, which translates into a greater willingness to travel.