Business Travel Tech Talk London, 16 October,
Business Travel Awards Europe, 30 October, JW
3rd Annual Business Travel Intelligence Summit
This week, BTE reports on an encouraging report on the UK meetings industry and further expansion in Central Europe by FCm Travel Solutions.The second HBI (formerly Hotel Brokers International) Meetings Industry Report 2008 paints an optimistic picture of the UK meetings market with many buyers confidently expecting that they will book more events this year.
Nearly half thought they would book more meetings and nearly a third said that their meetings budget for the year ahead had been increased.
With the persistent talks of downturns in the economic and some reports of softening demand, this is good news.
There are new challenges – the UK's new Corporate Manslaughter Act seems to be causing some worries among senior management who could be personally liable if an employee were to be killed while working – and as ever, the need to control costs.
There were encouraging aspects, like the increased sophistication of buyers booking specialist premises which were right for their event or of bookers judging the success of a meeting not so much on its return on investment but its return on objective i.e. did it achieve what it set out to achieve?
But there was one surprising aspect of the report – the slowness of bookers to reserve their rooms online.
Partly it is the fault of the venues as only a startling few, some 10%, seem to be bookable online this. This seems an extremely low figure.
But there are also indications that the buyers themselves were reluctant to book online where possible. With the growing use of SBTS for simple travel trips, this seems unexpected.