Smart Money — Meeting Market Outlook for 2019

Wouldn’t it would be nice to know exactly what to expect in the year ahead? Unfortunately, we can’t say with 100 percent certainty what’s going to happen, but experts can make forecasts. Based on recent industry studies and surveys, here are ten predictions of what the meeting market could look like in 2019.

1. Both the number of meetings and the number of attendees will increase this year. A survey from Dentsu Aegis Network found that six in ten marketers expect budgets to rise as well.

2. An increase in the number of hotels and venues recently opened outside major metropolitan areas will offer planners greater choices at reduced costs. Savings could be as much as 40 percent.

3. Increased demand for venues means planning ahead is more crucial than ever. To maximize savings and guarantee you get the spot you want, research indicates that booking 75+ days ahead for large group events is optimal.

4. With an increasing emphasis on attendee experience, non-traditional venues will become more popular. These can include spaces such as museums, historical buildings, botanical gardens, zoos, amusement parks, and sports venues.

5. Think local when it comes to F&B. The trend for 2019 is to plan menus that reflect the destination and local culture. Beverages should be sourced from local vineyards and microbreweries.

6. Technological advances continue to create new ways to assist planners, engage attendees, and save time and money. Online booking and meeting planning tools assist planners in overcoming planning challenges.

7. Online booking tools will continue to increase in popularity. These allow attendees to book a preferred flight and hotel for a group event more easily.

8. Increased safety concerns will lead many organizations to pro-actively plan event security, rather than simply rely on the venue staff to handle it. This includes on-site security, medical and emergency procedures, and cyber-security.

9. AMEX Global Business Travel predict the following US cities will be the most popular destinations for meetings and events in 2019: Orlando, FL; Las Vegas, NV; Chicago, IL; San Diego, CA; Atlanta, GA; Dallas, TX; Nashville, TN;  New York, NY; Washington, DC; and San Francisco, CA.  

10. CWT (Carlson Wagonlit Travel) forecasts the following international cities as top destinations for events in 2019: London, UK; Moscow, Russia; Barcelona, Spain; Berlin, Germany; Hamburg, Germany; Vienna, Austria; Stockholm, Sweden; Cologne, Germany; Paris, France; and Frankfurt, Germany.

Kris McNeely, Content Editor | meetingpages |

As a freelance editor and writer for more than twenty years, Kris McNeely has had the opportunity to write and edit everything from non-fiction books to blog posts, web content to white papers, ads to articles. She was named an Erma Bombeck Humor Writer of the Month, has been featured in multiple anthologies, and was selected by Amtrak Railway Service as one of five travel writers from among a pool of 1500 applicants nationwide. In her free time, she likes to jog, garden, travel, and spend time with her two kids and three grandchildren.