Continued from pg. 66
70 MPI MEETINGS OUTLOOK: 2016 Summer Edition
Nonetheless, there’s no denying that current market conditions are leading to frustrating situations for planners.
“Meeting space is scarce, both short-term and long-term,”
says one U.S.-based planner respondent, who requested ano-
nymity. “Planners have to work particularly hard to show ven-
ues the value of their meeting versus others to be considered
Another anonymous U.S.-based planner mentioned the
challenges of having to explain to organizers that rates and
concessions available three to ;ive years ago have changed.
The planner reported actively working with clients “to pro-
vide to the hotel a better piece of business” by adjusting the
total meeting rooms needed and making other changes. “Ho-
tels are simply not responding or turning down RFPs because
the room space ratio is not good,” the planner commented. “In
the past they would book anything.”
Barry Jones (MPI Brazil Chapter), who does strategic
meetings management for the nonpro;it organization Fam-
ilyLife in Little Rock, Ark., has found that in the current cli-
mate, venues are asking more of organizers.
“Meeting room rental is now expected, even in markets with no
prior history of demanding rental,” Jones stated. Those cities have
included Charlotte, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; St. Augustine, Fla.; and
Though the current seller’s marketplace is forcing up prices and
reducing concessions, Leslie Selby, CMP, CMM (MPI Toronto Chapter), director of meetings and events at Aimia Proprietary Loyalty
Canada, says clients are running their programs with the same budgets as in previous years.
“This is forcing us to negotiate certain points harder, try to suggest different options that are lower-cost and help our clients determine how their budget can support a reduced program,” he says.
With venues charging higher prices, meeting organizers are
having to adjust their expectations, too, the survey found.
“Rates are up, because demand is up and supply is down,” Murphy says. “We are asking clients up front if they have alternative
dates, as well as taking a look at where the base of their attendees is
coming from—and asking if they have an alternative city in mind if
we are not able to place their program in the preferred location.”
MaryEllen Parmer, CMP (MPI Middle Pennsylvania Chap-
GLIMPSE AT CURRENT
of respondents said political elections have a
significant influence on meetings and events. 27%
FULL-TIME PART-TIME CONTRACT