Despite a healthy economy, meeting planners and hoteliers are struggling with their budgets. Costs continue to rise, while budgets remain the same—or, in some cases, even decrease.
This is just one of the top problems Teneo Hospitality Group found in its recent 2019 survey, comprised of responses from 150 meeting planners and hoteliers. The results continue to follow the trends; keeping up with technology is still crucial for successful events, while creativity cannot be lacking if you hope to have an interesting and engaging meeting.
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Money and Menus on Meeting Planners’ Minds
It’s no surprise that budgets are at the forefront of a planner’s mind. While management may want to throw a lavish bash, planners must do it all in a constrained budget. This can be difficult with costs and expectations constantly rising, while budgets stay roughly the same. The survey also reports that budget increases from various corporate departments can have an effect on the entire process, from training staff to contract negotiations.
With millennials and Gen Z beginning to take over the industry, event professionals are tasked with creating more engaging and entertaining activities. That is a positive trend as the interactive components can help everyone get more out of the experience. The downside: this also increases costs.
Another pain point: food and beverage. With complex diets—gluten-free, Keto and vegan—increasing, pleasing everyone can be a challenge. Increased complexity usually results in increased costs. Sustainability has also become more prevalent and planners are constantly looking for ways to reduce waste. All of this adds up.
Time is Running Out, Tech is Rising
Time pressure is also stress-inducing. Lest you want to avoid the poor planning of Fyre Festival, you must plan in advance. But with so many different aspects of an event to worry about, there is constant worry that something may have slipped through the cracks. Frustration also comes from the tendency for short-term details to overtake long-term, strategic planning.
But technology still remains one of the biggest challenges for event managers. Hoteliers and planners expressed an inability to keep up with technology, with attendees often more prepared and aware of the newest tech. The breakneck speed of adoption also sideswipes attempts to train and plan.
While white boards and LCD media players may still play a role in events, attendees who have grown up with social media and interactive apps will most likely want more. That costs money and brings us back to the budget discussion.