This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

February 6, 2012

Meeting Trends for the Near-Term

Recently, Benchmark Hotels & Resorts* announced their top meeting trends for 2013. We believe their list is very accurate and wanted to share selected tends from their forecast with you.

Trend: "Steady As She Goes"
With increasing meeting demand, many organizations have a positive outlook for the near-term, but remain cautious with long-term meeting commitments.

Trend: "Rates Are On The Rise"
Depending on the location and the market, that growing demand is pushing up group rates proportionately. Meeting planning is still a buyers' market however with growing economies, it won't be that long before the tables turn. "Pricing is least sensitive within new industries and new media companies that are on a strong growth path."

Trend: "CMP=Completely 'Customized' Package"
Meeting planners are looking for "the creative and unique". They seek meeting packages customized to their unique needs and budgets. As in many things, one size does not fit all.

Trend: (For most industries) "The Pace Is Promising!"
Across the US, the booking pace is picking up for 2013 and 2014. Depending on the market and the industry, there is a rise on future bookings and healthy signs of activity, including interest in getting deferred meetings on the books. Education (particularly engineering and technology), medical, bio tech, high tech, new media, association, not-for-profits, financial services and the incentive segment are all showing signs of recovery for 2013. Not surprisingly, the exception is government-related business.

Trend: "Wireless EVERYTHING!"
Note pads and pens are becoming less important; the availability of wireless and electricity to recharge tablets is becoming more important. IPads and electronic tablets have become the preferred means of taking notes and documenting learning in the meeting room. Attendees are increasingly texting and tweeting with meeting-related content. Smart, interactive meetings are here to stay!

Trend: "Food & Beverage---Healthy Culinary Continues"
Meeting attendees are demanding healthy, gluten-free, sustainable cuisine, and refreshment break selections. Creative, imaginative, and healthy culinary offerings are increasingly requested.

The bottom line is that meeting professionals are looking for all kinds of value, including plenty to do on property for attendees, up-to-date fitness and recreation, social responsibility, sustainability, and strong Wi-Fi signals everywhere.

*Benchmark Hospitality International is an established US-based hospitality management company, which operates 39 high-end hotels, resorts, and conference centers in the US and elsewhere.


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