Global Meeting Trends: What's Ahead for 2015 #IMEX14

Yma Cherry 2015 Global Meetings & Events Forecast PresentationAt IMEX America 2014, Yma Sherry, Vice-President North America, American Express Meetings & Events unveiled American Express'' 2015 Global Meetings & Events Forecast, co-sponsored by Cvent.

AMEX sent Global Meeting Planner Surveys to meeting and event planners from major global regions, group air experts as well as  suppliers from major hotels chains and major airlines. Cvent distributed surveys to event planners. American Express interviewed industry experts and hotel and airline representatives.

Here are some highlights

Global Meeting and Event Trends

Some of the key global trends forecasted for  2015 include:

  • Number of Meetings: Will remain relatively flat
  • Meeting Location: Local meetings especially in large cities and at unique venues like museums, them parks and ball parks will dominate
  • Meeting Budgets: Budgets are decreasing and increases are being reversed. Doing more with less will continue to be important.
  • Group Rates: Forecasted to increase by 1% - 5% depending on region.
  • Hotel Supplier Rates: 3.4% increase forecasted
  • Group Air Rates: 2% increase predicted as airlines improve their management of capacity. Airlines will be focusing on improving group rates so that they are no longer significantly higher than corporate rates.
  • Lead Times: Forecasted to decrease by about 2% in most regions.
    Quick Tip: Contingency planning and exploring back-up options for 2nd and 3rd location choices is important.
  • Property Type: The demand for mid-tier properties will increase.
  • Formality of Policies: Formal policies will dominate in most regions.

Regional Meeting Trends

Now let's take a look at some of the forecasted regional trends.

North America

  • Average Group Rates: 4.6% increase projected
  • Level of Meeting Activity: Small but positive changes in the number of meetings. Top 10 Cities Chicago, Orlando, Las Vegas, Atlanta, San Diego.
  • Training and Development: After over a decade of retrenchment, training and development will be making a comeback.
  • Hotel Supply: In major cities, demand for hotel space will outstrip supply.
    Quick Tip: Hotels in suburbs and small towns will have better supply.
  • Meeting Location: 78.3% of meetings will take place in large cities
  • Spending: Spending will remain relatively flat.
  • Hotel Openings: 12% increase. Top cities for openings are New York, Chicago, Miami


  • Average Group Rates: Overall 1.1% increase forecasted.
  • Level of Meeting Activity: Will vary by country. Germany: 2.2% increase. Top cities will be London, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Berlin.
  • Meeting Location: 87.4% of meetings will take place in large cities
  • Spending: Budgets will remain flat.
  • Property Type: 4 star hotels will be the most popular. Some properties are adopting a no star approach to avoid exclusion.
    Quick Tip: 5 star hotels may be open to negotiation.
  • Hotel Openings: 4% decrease. Top cities for openings are London, Europe, Istanbul.


  • Average Group Rates: 2.7% increase predicted
  • Level of Meeting Activity: Growth will be rapid in China and slower in Hong Kong and Australia. Top cities will be Singapore, Hong Kong/Macau, Shanghai, Sydney, Bali.
  • Meeting Lengths: Shorter
  • Hotel Supply: China is rapidly increasing supply.
  • Meeting Location: Over 85% in major cities. Trend is towards hosting events locally.
  • Spending: Small declines.
  • Property Type: 4 star hotels and new venues will continue to be popular.
  • Hotel Openings: 3% increase. Top cities for openings are Jakarta, Chengdu and Sanya (China)

Central & South America

  • Average Group Rates: 3.4 % increase anticipated
  • Level of Meeting Activity: Brazil will continue to experience increased interest and demand fueled by World Cup soccer exposure. Top cities are Rio de Janeiro, Riviera Maya/Cancun, Ciudad de Panama, Sao Paulo, Cartagena de Indias/Bogata, Punta Cana
  • Meeting Lengths: Longer (On average, 20% longer than the rest of the world)
  • Training and Development: Increase by 2.4%
  • Hotel Supply: Demand for hotel space will outstrip supply.
  • Meeting Location: 72% of meetings will take place in large cities
  • Spending: 1.2% in spend forecasted - biggest increase in meeting spend of all regions.
  • Hotel Openings: South America 21% increase. Top cities for openings are Cartagena, Lima, Montevideo

Middle East

  • Hotel Openings: 17% increase with more luxury hotels slated to open than in any other region. Top cities for openings are Dubai, Riyadh, and Doha.

The report also discussed trends in social media, technology, virtual, and hybrid meetings.

Download the full 2015 Global Meetings & Events Forecast

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