We’ve previously mentioned that we expect 2019 to be a booming year for the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) industry. With 2018 coming to a close, in today’s AP Voice we look at what trends CWT Meetings & Events thinks will impact the MICE industry globally in 2019.
While the holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for independent hotels, they should still try to use the next two months to get ahead and create a plan for how to attract more MICE opportunities.
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Consumer companies, particularly in research and development intensive sectors like technology and pharma, are looking to host smaller, more experiential events across multiple cities a few times a year.Key cities that will see increased demand for events space are New York, Las Vegas, Seattle and Vancouver. New York has added more than 45,000 rooms over the past 10 years with another 18,000 scheduled to be added by 2020. A squeeze on hotel capacity guarantees that San Francisco will remain the most in-demand location for events in the US. Lead times for booking meeting space will increase, with booking more than a year in advance becoming the norm for major events. This means that hotels should plan for the long-term and also be thinking about what events they can also pitch to host in 2020.Demand will continue to exceed supply, especially for the larger meeting spaces and venues. And as there are few large properties (500+ rooms and/or extensive conferences facilities) planned, this trend will continue.
Economic troubles in Brazil will continue to impact the MICE industry but Rio de Janeiro will continue to be a popular destination for events. Brazilian tax laws discourage domestic companies from hosting their events outside the country, which means Brazilian cities remain a popular choice for these companies. Argentina saw more meetings in 2018 than in 2017, but we expect growth to stagnate in 2019.
Europe, Middle East and Africa
Moscow will continue to benefit from hosting the World Cup earlier this year through an increased interest in events. Corporates, concerned about cost and the impact of volatility around Brexit and lingering eurozone economic challenges, will look at hosting events in Portugal, Spain and Eastern Europe. The Middle East was expected to be a region of significant growth for the MICE industry although recent tensions amongst Middle Eastern countries and with western countries could dampen enthusiasm amongst western businesses. South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa will remain the most popular destinations for meetings and events in Africa. While the growth opportunities are huge, there is a great deal of infrastructure needed to convert that potential into opportunity.
Asia’s hotels host 90% of all events in the region. With more than 4,200 hotels and an estimated 900,000 rooms being added in the region, hotels will continue to be the primary hosts for most events.Shanghai, one of the most popular cities for events, will see 125 new hotels which should help it keeps its favoured position as the top city across the region for meetings and events. Commercial vs content: In mature markets like Hong Kong and Tokyo, events are more focused on idea generation, sharing of insights, networking and thought leadership, while in developing markets like Cambodia and Vietnam, exhibitions and trade-shows promoting trade and goods continue to be the norm. Japan hosts the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the 2020 Olympics. Expect to see many global organisations looking to capitalise on both events by hosting their own events for clients.
We’re very excited to see how all of these MICE trends bring new opportunities in 2019 for independent hotels. If you’d like to discuss any of these trends and how they impact your hotel, please do get in touch.