January 2017

Our Family of Companies
We hope you are off to a great start in 2017, and wish you all the best for a fantastic year ahead! 
Following a brief break for the holidays, we are excited to be back at work, and have hit the ground running. Last year, HRG grew all of our lines of business - managing high profile events, leading workforce training programs, and implementing innovative marketing solutions for our clients.
This year, as we prepare to celebrate our 20th year in business, I am more excited than ever to be working with a truly outstanding team of professionals and strategic business partners who are committed to helping you achieve your goals. 
In this first HRG e-newsletter of the year, we review meeting and event trends from industry experts to help you prepare and improve your results. 
We hope you enjoy our monthly newsletters, and look forward to hearing from you about topics you are interested in learning more about in future editions. You can also review past newsletters at  HRG In the News and Follow us on our HRG LinkedIn Group  page. 
Wishing you all the best for a fantastic year!


Robert O. Sanders Jr., CMP
Managing Partner
Hospitality Resource Group, Inc.  

Meeting and Event Planning: Year in Review/Year in View
Meetings & Events: 2016 Year in Review

Business meetings and events continue to grow and evolve as valuable platforms to engage our markets.
Despite the expanding role of technology, people continue to meet to enhance and develop deeper relationships with clients and strategic business partners.
There were a number of major developments last year that impacted M&E Planners, including: 
  • Hotel Growth - property inventory expanded last year, as developers responded from the growing demand from tourists and businesses.
  • M&E Technology - The Cvent merger with Lanyon Solutions will create a near-monopoly, as the new entity will own over 80% of the online event management space. 
  • Hotel Mergers - There were several mergers, led by the Westchester-based Starwood's merger with Marriot, along with others. 
  • The Zika Virus - Planners were dissuaded from choosing venues where the disease threatened their communities, most notably the gulf coast. 
  • Politics and the Economy - The surprising outcome of the election will likely result in a shift towards more conservative policies and a focus on growth, and as the new President comes from the hospitality industry, it should be an interesting year in many ways. Stay tuned!
These developments are expected to keep costs in line and position M&E planners to generate a positive ROI from their meetings and events this year.  
Top 10 Meetings & Events Trends for 2017

HRG has scoured the web and checked in with our clients, strategic business partners and hospitality leaders to gauge where the market is heading.
Here's a rundown of key developments for meeting and event planners to consider this year: 
1. Hotel Rates Projected to Hold Steady or Decrease- As developers continue to build out new hotels, rates should hold steady or decrease slightly in certain markets in the coming year. Meeting planners should be in a better position to negotiate favorable terms, according to STR and Tourism Economics most recent forecast released at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference. 

Hotel Outlook 2017
Supply: +1.9%
Demand: +1.9%
Occupancy: 0.0%
ADR: +3.8%
RevPAR: +3.8%
Source: STR/Tourism Economics

In New York City, inventory is projected to grow by more than 12% in 2017, according to CoStar, and other major metro areas are also expanding. As developers continue building new hotel projects to meet the demand, some new venues will add more interesting options.
2. Technology Developments - From enhanced virtual reality to new audience engagement software, technology will play a more prominent role in developing effective meeting strategies in the year to come. 

Corbin Ball and Co. reviewed major event technology developments we can expect to see more of in their  2017 Future Meeting Tech TrendsKey areas to watch include:
Social Media- many of the major media channels will focus on video and live streaming, including Meerkat , Periscope , Facebook Live , Instagram Story , Snapchat Story and a new video platform from LinkedIn.  
Data Analytics- As the clouds expand, big data tools are opening a new world of predictive analytics that can have huge impacts on events, and improved ROI measurement tools, including etouches Integrated Event ROI Tool .
Software Integration- Event planning software platforms from Lanyon and Cvent, along with cloud-based technology companies Eventbrite, Etouches and EventGeek offer vastly improved event logistics, budgeting, marketing, and analytics tools.  
Marketing Automation- New unified marketing programs from  Vista Equity Partners  (owners of Lanyon and Cvent) and their acquisition of marketing automation firm  Marketo  will join to offer integrated live event data with customer profiles, a major step forward for combining data flow to enhance CRM. 
DoubleDutch now offers a mobile event app that integrates with Eloqua, Marketo and Salesforce, and new event analysis apps from  Certain Software  Enterprise Event Automation Software, Etouches ,   Silverpop, and   Feathr  can now analyze more than 20 measurement tools, from tracking registrants time of day to session length, screen size, location, and more.

Workforce Training- A recent MPI study indicated that 33% of M&E planners will engage in collaborative, interactive, online learning this year.
3. Marketing- Smart Hotelier's 2017 Top 10 Digital Marketing Resolutions featured a number of significant trends and developments to watch for this year, as hoteliers will push to increase bookings on their websites, from loyalty member-only rates, special incentives and creative packages.
One of the most compelling trends to watch for event planners is hotel property management's reactions to Airbnb, as they compete by promoting features and amenities including digital marketing campaigns, guest services, 24/7 security; ADA compliance; baggage storage, room service, concierge, luxuries, and dedicated employees and loyalty Programs supported by a robust CRM Program.
4. "Mixed Reality" Events - EventManagerBlog.com's 10 EVENT TRENDS FOR 2017  highlighted offerings from  VirtuallyLive.com and Evenium , to respond to the demand for more truly immersive experiences for attendees outside of a live meeting or event.  Drones   are becoming more mainstream, with live streaming on social channels.
5. Market Demand and M&E Costs to Impact Planning - Hotel capacity increases will result in lower or stabilized costs in certain large markets, as North American hotel prices are expected to rise by 4% in 2017. East Coast cities including New York City and Toronto will face low growth or even a reduction because of an over-supply of hotel rooms.
6. Meetings & Events Budget Growth  
According to the MPI 2016 Winter Forecast and survey of M&E planners:  
  • 55% predict a favorable budget/spend
  • 48% expect the costs of meetings to rise, largely from a growing demand for security.
  • 35% believe room rates will increase by 6% or more

Survey respondents also predict the following increases: 
  • F&B/Catering + 4.6%
  • Audiovisual +3.6%
  • Air Travel +4.2%
  • Room Rates +4.5%
  • Meeting Space +3.3%
7. Travel Costs to Head Lower  
With oil prices recovering, ground travel costs are expected to increase. Airline prices are projected to increase 2.5%, according to the 2017 GBTA Global Travel Price Outlook, while fares may actually fall below 2015 levels in some markets.

U.S. business air travel volume is predicted to reach 502.8 million person-trips in 2016, according to Travel Industry Wire, and will continue to grow. Car rental prices should also decrease, despite management concerns about safety and security in the new "sharing economy" (driven by Uber and Lyft).
8. Venue Options Expand to Meet Market Demand   

As hotel inventory grows, creative options will expand, including team-building at places like   Escape.
9. M&E Event Planners Optimistic on 2017 Growth

Successful Meetings survey of M&E planners projects a positive outlook, as 31% predict an increase in their spending.  

10. M&E Event Planner Issues
In the Successful Meetings survey  of M & E Planners, respondents identified their most important issues and concerns. These include: 
  • Providing quality meetings on limited budgets: 68%
  • Keeping up with the evolution of meetings technology: 60%
  • Proving ROI for meetings: 54%
  • Negotiating with suppliers: 49%
  • Creating compelling meeting content: 48%
  • Managing safety and security risks: 43%
We hope you found this information to be helpful as you move forward with your plans for meetings and events this year. Are you interested in improving your results? If so, give us a call at HRG (914) 761-7111 or email  walter@hrginc.net   for information about our free HRG Event Solutions event audit. 
About Hospitality Resource Group

Hospitality Resource Group, Inc. (HRG) is a group of vertically integrated companies, with over 19 years of experience developing innovative training, marketing and event programs for businesses, education institutions, not for profit organizations and municipalities. HRG clients benefit from our proven ability to develop effective management solutions to expand their markets and engage their companies to build brand equity, increase sales and improve productivity. 

The HRG family of companies includes:

HRG has earned widespread recognition from leading industry organizations, including:



Corporate Office: 237 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, NY - Phone: 914.761.7111 - Fax: 914.761.7854 - info@HRGinc.net
Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved.