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CWT’s 2017 Meetings & Events Forecast predicts event growth

October 31, 2016

CWT Meetings & Events launched its 2017 Forecast today. CWT uses data and insights about all aspects of the industry to provide meeting planners essential information they need to successfully plan and budget for the coming year.

From a global perspective, analysts predict GDP growth will be slightly lower in 2017, so now is the time for planners to get the very best value for money and reduce the cost per attendee. Although, there may be decreased client meeting spend in some regions, this year’s forecast still predicts the industry will see overall growth.

“Heading into 2017, our forecast predicts significant growth in meetings and events for regions around the world,” said Cindy Fisher, vice president and global head, CWT Meetings & Events. “By being flexible with timing and destinations, planners can take full advantage of the current market to optimize their meetings and events and produce better results.”

Key findings from this year’s forecast suggest:

  • North America will move to a buyer’s market with hotel supply expected to surpass demand for the first time since 2009. Be flexible with destinations and dates to take advantage of this market change.
  • In Brazil, hotel rates are expected to decrease as the recent World Cup and Olympic Games created a solid infrastructure and a supply surplus.
  • For Asia Pacific, costs per attendee and group size are expected to grow with a 25% increase in the number of meetings.
  • In Europe, strict company guidelines, reduced budgets, saving targets and increasing industry regulations for buyers could benefit midscale hotels poised to get more M&E bookings.

M&E trends around the globe:

  • Food and Beverage: Prices are expected to rise globally. Why? Increased production prices, changes in imports and exports, and growth of special dietary requests from attendees.
  • Safety and Security: Expanding deeper into M&E. How? Beyond traditional tracking of air travelers, to include manifests of all meeting attendees, to facilitate emergency planning.
  • Virtual Attendance: Increasing use across M&E functions with technology that enables remote attendees to engage and participate with two-way interaction capabilities.

Tips to improve M&E in 2017:

  • Advance Strategic Meetings Management Program
    • Focus on the strategy, not the tactics and big impact areas.
    • Consider outsourcing components of your program to accelerate development and add outside expertise, especially venue sourcing.
  • Optimize Technology
    • Re-examine your technology use to ensure support and value for your organization and M&E objectives.
  • Implement Small Meetings Strategy
    • Using transient spend with your small meetings program can maximize program benefits and cost.


The information and findings in the 2017 CWT M&E forecast supplement are based on:

  • The market-specific expertise and travel industry knowledge of CWT M&E personnel worldwide and spend data from the CWT global client portfolio
  • The global study, Driving Success in Strategic Meetings Management, conducted by CWT Travel Management Institute (TMI) in partnership with the BTN Group. The study provides unique insights into how to set up and grow a successful SMM program based on practical advice from experts in the field. Visit CWT online for the full publication
  • Macroeconomic and industry information as indicated

CWT Meetings & Events

CWT Meetings & Events (M&E) is an award-winning global corporate events management service. Representing all industry sectors, CWT M&E delivers comprehensive live, virtual and hybrid event solutions for thousands of customers every year. Ranging from end to end productions of some of the world’s largest and complex global conferences, through to intimate national teambuilding experiences.

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About Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Companies and governments rely on us to keep their people connected. We provide their travelers with a consumer-grade travel experience, combining innovative technology with our vast experience. Every day we look after enough travelers to fill almost 200 Boeing 747s and around 100,000 hotel rooms, and handle 95 corporate events. We have more than 18,000 people in nearly 150 countries, and in 2016 posted a total transaction volume of US$ 23 billion.

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