“Conservative” describes 290 international travel managers' expectations for the growth in group size (1 to 4 percent) and spending per attendee (5 percent) in 2012. The length of meetings in 2012 will remain stable, at just under three days. The proportion of meetings being held in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will decline from 40 percent in the last half of 2011 to 30 percent in the first half of 2012, and remains below 2008 levels.
“Innovative” relates to a few areas where CWT sees increasing focus in 2012:
• Strategic Meetings Management—More companies are undergoing enterprise-wide consolidation of sourcing, according to the report. It also finds companies decreasing the number of partners to just a handful from 50 to 70 suppliers and creating meeting policies that include the use of preferred suppliers, standardized , and detailed reporting.
• Hybrid Events—The report concludes that “large-scale virtual arrangements are growing in importance for events that previously required all participants to be physically present.”
The 2012 Travel Management Priorities report was based on an international survey of 290 travel managers. Twenty-two percent of the travel managers surveyed ranked tackling meetings and events as a priority for 2012. Other, higher priorities for the respondents included air capacity, business travel, and hotel occupancy.
However, concluded CWT, “The meetings figure is significant considering that M&E responsibilities are typically dispersed across organizations rather than centralized within travel management departments.”
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