MPI’s latest report highlights a ‘significant power shift’, that has resulted in a strong seller’s market, with the power in the hands of suppliers whose venues fill up swiftly. This could create concerns for the industry and make things tough for planners.
"The stabilised market ultimately places the power of supplier competition on value and quality, rather than price," explained Bill Voegeli, MPI Georgia Chapter and president of Association Insights, the firm that conducted the research for the report.
"Most venues and destinations have the luxury of raising prices with demand, but fair competition still dictates the need for suppliers to be the superior choice of all comparably priced alternatives."
The report stated that in some cases, buyers seeking better value are turning to second-tier markets, which are increasing their prices more slowly than first-tier markets.
Stuart Ruff, director of meetings and events at the Risk and Insurance Management Society, said: "I’ve been told to my face: ‘Why would we give you more rooms when we know we can fill them at a higher rate with this other group?’"
However, it also argued that suppliers are facing pressures from the current seller’s market too, as meeting planners expect more from meetings because they have larger budgets, even if those budgets have not kept pace with costs.
Other key findings in the report were that growth in attendance at both live and virtual meetings and events is expected to remain steady at a rate of 2.7%, with business also expected to remain stable with healthy growth at a rate of 3.8%.
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