|Results of Exclusive GEP Survey of Worldwide DMC Partners
Gives Snapshot of Expectations for the Year Ahead
D.C. (November 19, 2007) . . . A weakening greenback is the central concern
for DMCs worldwide going into 2008, as currency fluctuations cast doubt
on booking patterns - and though revenues overall are likely to increase,
big events are likely to dip, as emergent China and Mexico compete with
London, Caribbean and Las Vegas as the “first choice” for meetings and
events in the new year.
2008 revenues will be stronger than 2007, though impact of currency shifts
will be significant
U.S. partners and international partners agree that there will be fewer
-“Hot” Destinations:” China and Mexico on the Rise . . .”Old Stand-Bys,”
London, Caribbean and Las Vegas will continue to be hot sites for meetings
and special events
This according to Global Events Partners (GEP), a partnership of destination
management companies worldwide, which today released the results of a proprietary
survey of its partner destination management companies (DMCs), representing
more than 70 countries worldwide, which asked partners to indicate where
they think the business is going in 2008.
For the third year running, the results provide a compelling snapshot
of what next year may look like for the industry around the world, in terms
of anticipated revenues; challenges to DMC professionals; and “hot” destinations
likely to generate the most business from meeting planners and others engaged
in planning corporate events in 2008.
A summary of survey results, and the methodology employed in the survey,
2008 DMC Survey Results
More than two-thirds of GEP’s partners responded to the survey, representing
close to 40 countries worldwide, including Europe, Asia, Africa, North
and South America, and all major markets within the United States.
Among those responding to the survey:
|• More than 80% of all respondents expected revenues for corporate
events to “increase or remain the same” in 2008, versus 2007.
All but three DMCs in the U.S. expected revenues to increase
year over year, with a slightly smaller percentage of DMCs outside the
U.S expressing similarly optimistic views. DMCs in half a dozen international
destinations expected either a decline in revenues, or at best, revenues
to remain about the same as in 2007.
|• While most respondents expect increases in revenue, close to half
expect that “big events”- defined as programs for more than 200 attendees
- will fall, as planners continue to look for maximum service
and diverse experiences, with the shortest lead times possible.
|• The weakening of the U.S. dollar and strengthening of the Euro
emerged as central themes, in terms of where programs are booked, the level
of potential spending on events, and how DMCs adapt their business plans
to serve clients.
Several international DMC partners anticipated seeing less
event traffic from U.S. companies owing to the rapid fall in the value
of the dollar. U.S. Partners also cited fluctuations in currency as a major
factor in determining how they plan for 2008 – including hiring, negotiating
fees and flow of business. All partners agreed that currency fluctuations
would continue to play a major role in their business plans for 2008.
Apart from currency, the anticipated challenges for 2008 that were mentioned
most frequently include:
In a notable departure from the 2006 and 2007 surveys, a handful of DMCs
mentioned customers “going direct” to vendors as a major challenge to their
businesses – suggesting that pressures on DMCs to deliver uniquely bundled
and properly valued program options, will continue to increase.
Short lead times and shifting program requirements requiring more work,
faster - without a concomitant increase in fees.
Program budget constraints and stringent procurement requirements, together,
The difficulty of finding, training and retaining qualified staff to maintain
high quality service.
• There were some surprises among the destinations that GEP partners
believe will be the “hottest” for corporate meetings and events in
2008 – among them:
China and Mexico emerged as the top destinations on the list for the
first time ever, with close to a third of respondents, from all parts
of the world, listing them as most desired destinations. The Beijing Olympics,
in particular, were seen as a boost for China.
Dubai and London continued as favorites, with several partners mentioning
them as the hot destinations for 2008.
“Old reliables” such as Las Vegas, the Caribbean and Southern California
stayed high on the list, and seem likely continuing as favorites among
Addtionally cited among “hot” destinations: In the U.S., Hawaii,
Chicago, and New York drew multiple responses – internationally, Italy,
France Austria and Latin America received at least three mentions.
Commenting on the survey results, Chris White, GEP’s Chairman and CEO,
said: “For a third year running, we are pleased to share these results
with the DMC and meeting planning industries. As we close 2007, a year
that saw strong results for the destination management industry worldwide,
2008 looks like it will be even better – though it is clear that external
factors such as currencies, and internal factors such as profit margin
compression, remain challenges.”
White concluded, “The spirit that continues to animate our industry
– worldwide, from Miami to Malaysia to Madrid – is one of optimism and
expected growth, despite challenges that will require even harder work,
tighter and stronger business models, and a greater focus on customized
client service than ever before. We thank our partners for their participation
in this study, and applaud their vision, optimism and energy as we move
toward another exciting year.”
Methodology: About the Survey
To obtain survey results, questionnaires were distributed via email
to owners and principals of the more than seventy (70) Global Events Partners
Each partner was asked to respond to five questions:
Each partner was assured of the confidentiality of his/her responses, but
was advised that each response would be used to formulate conclusions in
Do you expect revenues for your DMC business to increase or decrease in
calendar year 2008 versus 2007?
Do you expect to see “big events”- those involving more than 200 people
– increase or decrease year over year?
Do you expect to seem more or less revenue from corporate meeting planners?
What do you expect to be the “hot” meeting and event destinations in 2008?
What do you see as the major business issues facing DMCs in 2008?
For more information on the methodology of the survey, or to interview
any of the GEP participants for further details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Global Events Partners (GEP)
Launched in 1999, Global Events Partners’ portfolio includes more than
70 leading destination management companies (DMCs) around the world.
A DMC is a professional services company possessing extensive local knowledge
and resources, specializing in the design and execution of group tours,
transportation, events, activities and program logistics. GEP partners
provide consistently high quality DMC services in the most desirable locations
worldwide. For more information on Global Events Partners, visit www.globaleventspartners.com.