OCT 2018

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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O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 ²ConventionSouth ² w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 15 Driven by a growing global economy and ULVLQJRLOSULFHVÀLJKWVDUHH[SHFWHGWRLQFUHDVH 2.6 percent on a global basis. However, North America is likely to see prices rise more mod- estly, by 1.8 percent, according projections. "In the United States, airlines are recalibrating WRUHÀHFWEHWWHUDUHDVRIGHPDQGGHSHQGLQJ on how trade relationships change with key U.S. allies and adversaries," the Global Travel Forecast states. At the same time, an overall increase in air travel will fuel demand for hotel rooms, ac- cording to the forecast. Other factors affecting hotel cost increases are technology enhance- ments and efforts to personalize the guest experience. Advocacy Eorts Even if there is an economic slowdown, groups such as MMBC assert that the meetings industry is much better prepared to address the situation than it was in 2008. Back then, according to an MMB statement, the industry was "woefully underprepared" with hotels and convention bureaus lacking any data and col- lective messaging to support the direct impact of meetings on economic spending, jobs, and taxes. Recently, MMBC announced plans to rein- force the value of face-to-face meetings during the 2018 midterm election cycle, highlighting the numerous ways that candidates rely on face-to-face meetings to inform, persuade and recruit supporters, whether by talking to voters one-on-one, participating in town hall dis- cussions, canvassing neighborhoods, hosting fundraising events or debating their political opponents onstage. "As in 2016, we will use the Worth Meeting About campaign to remind government leaders that they too leverage the power of face-to- face interactions to do their jobs effectively," said Paul VanDeventer, MMBC co-chair and president and CEO of Meeting Professionals International. "Our goal is to reach those who LQÀXHQFHRXULQGXVWU\DQGFUHDWHSROLFLHVWKDW allow us to contribute in positive ways to busi- nesses and the economy." According to the Oxford Economics data, the meetings industry supports 5.9 million jobs and contributes hundreds of billions of dollars to the nation's economy. Meetings contributed $446 billion in U.S. GDP in 2016 alone, generating $104 billion in federal, state and local taxes and saving approximately $879 per U.S. household. "As all eyes turn toward the elections, we are calling on industry professionals and sup- porters from the broader business community to lend their voices to the Worth Meeting About campaign by visiting http://meetingsmeanbusi- about," said Julie Coker Graham, MMBC co-chair and president and CEO of Philadelphia CVB. "Together, we will send the message that face-to-face has been at the crux of America's elections since the nation's founding. Although technology has shaped KRZFDQGLGDWHVFDPSDLJQIRUHOHFWHGRI¿FH the value of face-to-face cannot be underesti- mated when it comes to the people and issues that will shape our country's future." Q ANNUAL STATE OF THE INDUSTRY REPORT 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 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? 7% 28% 7% 13% 45% Where Do You Hold Your Events? What types of facilities do you use most frequently for your meetings/events? 83% Hotels 7% Convention Centers 7% Non-Traditional Venues 3% Conference Centers

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