Cost is top of mind for UK event planners as large rate increases have already taken place across the board and may continue to do so in 2023, according to a new report by BCD M&E.
What’s Trending 2023, sponsored by Hilton, shines a light on the event industry’s biggest challenges and opportunities, with key insights from BCD M&E’s leaders around the world.
Helen McCabe, UK MD, said that savings targets are getting harder to achieve in an ongoing sellers’ market and the continued race for space.
“To combat rising prices, planners are shortening the duration of some events. The rising complexity of travel is taking its toll as well. Flight costs are significantly impacting event budgets if they are centrally paid, and they’re changing rapidly: It’s not unusual to see a 40 percent or more increase in price on original quoted to actual in less than a day,” she explained.
“Some organisations are even restricting face-to-face meetings for employee or internal events, prioritising external events as well as budget for these. We’re examining the value of overseas incentive programmes versus experiences that can be carried out locally for the same result to save money, and that will have an added benefit of lower carbon emissions with reduced travel.”
McCabe added that payment issues have also become a concern, as securing credit facilities and appropriate payment terms with suppliers continues to be a challenge.
“Many are requesting full payments up front or in advance of an event taking place. As a whole, we’re seeing organizations approach 2023 forecasting with precaution. It’s good news for hotels, however, at least for now. Revenues have been exceeding all expectations, though it’s uncertain for how long the extraordinary boom in RevPar will last.”
She also noted that attracting, recruiting and retaining talent remains a challenge industry wide, but believes there is opportunity to draw people from other industries and re-engage existing employees who believe in meetings and events.
In addition to insights from other key markets, the report outlines three emerging global industry trends and gives a regional take on each. The key trends are: Balancing soaring costs with strategic creativity; Strategic Meetings management is changing; and Human-to-human connection: not if we should meet, but how.
The report also highlights the growing importance of sustainability, which is on the rise again, but notes that in the current climate focused on cost containment, it’s not quite ready to be a decision-maker — yet.
And if you’re looking for inspiration for the hottest event destinations for 2023, BCD M&E highlights five popular cities across the world: Edinburgh, Scotland; Nashville, Tennessee; Reykjavik, Iceland; Singapore; and Lima in Peru.