Business Travel Tech Talk London, 16 October,
Business Travel Awards Europe, 30 October, JW
3rd Annual Business Travel Intelligence Summit
Event management companies can use their expertise and experience to fight off the threat of TMCs moving into the meetings sector.
Bosses at leading event agency Grass Roots said that while TMCs could make sense for organising small meetings, they did not have the skills for effectively managing larger events.
Sales director David Taylor said: “It makes sense for TMCs to move deeper into the meetings and events market, as they see it as an extension of travel.
“But they cannot relate to the clients’ goals when it comes to why they are holding the event – TMCs are not in that place. They don’t have the independent knowledge and skill set that an event management company can offer.
“We can see how it makes sense for a TMC to run meetings for up to nine people but not when it comes to a whole meetings programme and driving efficiencies through that.”
Grass Roots managing director Des McLaughlin (pictured) admitted that “TMCs are steaming into the market” and were “not going to go away” in the next few years.
“It’s places like south-east Asia where TMCs can really compete due to their global networks and also the fact that the meetings market is much more transactional over there,” he said.
“But we feel that in the more mature markets, such as the UK, the TMCs are quite a long way off – they have to change their culture because it so much more complex than just booking an airline ticket.”
Grass Roots has also published its latest report on daily delegate rates (DDR) in both the UK and Europe.
The report paints a mixed picture in the UK with London’s hotels showing the highest rise in delegate rates (up by 1.56 per cent) in June, compared to the same month in 2012. Four-star hotels have led the way with a 3.41 per cent year-on-year rise in DDR.
There were also smaller increases in the south-east, south-west, Midlands and north-west, while there were rate drops of less than 1 per cent in the north-east, Scotland and Wales.
In Europe, rates remain higher in the northern European countries with cities such as Berlin seeing significantly higher rates, particularly for five-star properties (up by 23 per cent year-on-year).
Paris continues to be the most expensive city outside Switzerland with average DDR reaching €147.50, up by 7.66 per cent on 2012. But Athens is still struggling with rates down by 15 per cent in the four-star market and 11 per cent for five-star properties.