Skift Take

Event planners can expect increasingly aggressive pitches from hotels as group bookings decline and the threat of coronavirus continues to loom. The new year is already taking some unique turns.

The Group Business Outlook recently released by Cvent depicts an expected drop across the board for 2019’s fourth quarter. This comes even before the impact of the coronavirus is truly felt, causing concern for what’s to come in the months ahead.

Demand for group bookings was already anticipated to be low as a result of softening business investment in the U.S., and now West Coast venues in particular may need to brace for an even greater drop in the first half of 2020.

Lower projections are resulting in hoteliers becoming more aggressive in locking contracts. Event planners should expect to receive increased pressure from their venue contacts as hotels look to fill their short-term booking windows.

Throw in growing anxiety about the coronavirus effect into this mix, and event executives might already be trading in New Year’s resolutions for new training in crisis management.

If you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out via email at [email protected].

— Lauren Ward, Events Editor

The Future of Meetings and Events

Cvent Group Bookings Down Even Before Potential Coronavirus Impact: A predicted dip in group bookings is making hotels more aggressive on bookings, with future uncertainty compounded by coronavirus and the 2020 election.

What Will Be the Blowback From China to Countries That Banned Its Travelers During Virus Outbreak? Group’s James Liang warned that countries that impose blanket bans on Chinese travelers will see a China tit-for-tat later. It may not happen, but here are some of the ways it could.

Travel Megatrends 2020: Gen Z Asserts Itself as Travel’s Next Big Opportunity: The millennial generation has been at the forefront of the collective mind of the travel industry for years. But starting in 2020, Generation Z will begin entering adulthood. The travel industry would be wise to shift some focus here if it wants to stay ahead of the game.

Around the Industry

Singapore Slashes Visitor Arrival Estimates by a Third for 2020 as Coronavirus Tests Its Mettle: The growing number of coronavirus cases in Singapore has heightened worries about human-to-human transmission among travelers, but the government’s swift and clear response so far shows its ability to manage a crisis.

Self-Driving Cars Rise Alongside Flight Shaming: As self-driving cars move closer to becoming a reality at scale, the impact on corporate travel will be immense.

Tokyo Officials Backtrack on Olympic Cancellation Fears: The reality is it could be months until the coronavirus outbreak in Asia is fully contained. With the Tokyo Olympics set for July, officials are now faced with an incredibly difficult choice.

The Best of EventMB

The Best of EventMB is our newest section, giving you a look into key content from EventMB, whether it be reports, articles, or resources for planners. EventMB joined the Skift family in September and is the largest online media resource for trends, technology, innovation, and education in the events industry.

Can Event Planners Really Fight Against Human Trafficking? The U.S. State Department estimates that a staggering 24.9 million people are currently trafficked across the globe, both for labor and sex. To understand the role event professionals have in fighting human trafficking, it’s important to recognize how events exacerbate demand.

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Events Editor Lauren Ward [[email protected]] curates the Skift Meetings Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.


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Tags: coronavirus, group booking, Meetings Innovation Report