OCT 2017

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 12 ANNUAL STATE OF THE INDUSTRY REPORT agreed that safety remains the number one concern for meeting planners. "Therefore, it is becoming extremely important to work alongside local hotels, DMCs and government entities to develop a crisis management plan for every event – large or small," according to a post-event report from Global DMC Part- ners. "Many meeting planners are also looking to invest more in additional security through private security agencies to add another layer of protection to their large events." Rising Room Rates Half of the respondents to ConventionSouth's survey said their meeting attendees spent more on guest rooms during 2017 than in previous years. Even with new hotels opening and oth- ers expanding, prices aren't likely to decrease, according to various industry reports. A 2018 Hotel Industry Outlook issued by CBRE Hotels in late August, predicts that the U.S. lodging industry will continue to grow in 2018, with year-over-year increases in occupancy, daily room rate (ADR) and rooms revenue (RevPAR). "Based on our analysis of the economic and operating environments, we believe that U.S. hotels will once again achieve record occupancy levels and continued growth in profits, during the upcoming year," said R. Mark Woodworth, senior managing director of CBRE Hotels Americas. The report further notes that "2018 will mark the ninth consecutive year of rising occu- pancy, something we have not seen since the 1990s." However, the report also points out that occupancy rates are not increasing in all markets and that growing supply may actually cause occupancy to decline in some parts of the country. A mid-September HotelNews report, based on research by STR, a firm specializing in global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights, points out that large, meetings-ori- ented full-service hotels are once again being developed, with several set to open in 2018. Rather than increase competition, however, these hotels are expected to stimulate demand, according to the report. "When business is healthy like it is now, companies have a tendency to have more meet- ings and events and celebrate success and bring 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% Percentage of Meeting Planners Negotiating Contracts Finding a supplier that will work with your budget Providing attendees with a great meeting while sticking to your budget Increasing Attendance Other What's Your Biggest Challenge? What is your biggest challenge as a meeting planner? 24% 27% 35% 5% 9% Fewer than 100 Average Attendance What is the average attendance at your largest meeting? 8% 19% 49% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 24% Percentage of Meeting Planners 101-500 501-1,000 More than 1,000 Increased Slightly Comparison of Average Attendance In 2017, compared to the year before, how would you describe your attendance rates? 46% 19% 8% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 24% Percentage of Meeting Planners Increased Greatly Decreased Slightly Stayed About The Same 3% Decreased Greatly

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