With COVID-19 vaccines now readily available throughout the U.S., and government restrictions lifting, requests for meeting and incentive programs are on the rise. What does that mean for you and your organization?
Since mid-March, Fox has seen a substantial influx of requests for new in-person meeting and incentive programs from our clients. According to Cvent Source,* March RFP volume was up 46%.
Short term events, which are those for groups looking to travel in the next 4-6 weeks, remain strong. Organizations are wanting to quickly take advantage of the reopening to bring groups together in person. From leadership teams who brainstorm their most innovative ideas when they come together at one table to sales teams trying to reignite energy into their client campaigns, clients are finding value and energy in coming together.
That said, Fox is seeing a notable increase in hotel rates, along with less flexible contracting terms than previously experienced. These changes are especially prevalent in key destinations, particularly within the warm-weather U.S. destinations. Recent research by Northstar Meetings Group echoed these sentiments with 36% of planners reporting that hotel rates were higher than expected and 33% reporting that contract terms were not as flexible as they need them to be.
These factors are causing some clients to choose to wait on a decision with the hopes that rates will adjust back into a more expected range or even to capture value rates.
For Fox clients, we are encouraging teams to not to wait too long in securing their desired hotel space. For many groups, this hesitation has resulted in change in availability and needing to resource the program to a different property.
Patience and understanding will be appreciated by all across the most hard-hit industries, including the travel and hospitality industry. As companies continue to adjust services and account for staffing shortages, groups can expect longer than normal sourcing and contracting timelines as well as staffing levels and amenities to be adjusted. While this may feel like a hurdle, these challenges are worth it for the sweet reward of coming together with others once again.
So let it be known: now is the time to put your plans into action. From meeting concept through completion, partnering with Fox can help you through these new turns in the process. Call 888-369-8785 or contact our team online to learn more about negotiating hotel contracts and to secure your meeting or incentive venues today.
*Cvent Source is a a free monthly webinar series that shares insights on the state of the meetings and events industry based on the large amount of sourcing data flowing through the Cvent Supplier Network.
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