The harsh reality of an elongated recovery for the live events industry has settled in, as we wrote about back in March when we crafted the Event Recovery Food Chain. At the time, we stated, “Hotels and the entire events supply chain need to understand that we won’t fully recover until we help conference and show organizers regain their top-line attendance and revenue.”
In fact, full recovery for U.S. hotel demand and room revenue is unlikely to happen until 2023 and 2024, respectively, according to the slightly downgraded STR and Tourism Economics forecast released at the 2020 Hotel Data Conference on August 13. Meeting and group travel, which is the last travel segment expected to return, plays a large part in hotel and destination travel recovery.
The Trickle-down Effect
It’s unclear whether or not these occupancy and ADR recovery predictions include declines in group guestroom demand due to:
- reduced attendance (especially globally)
- lower-cost hybrid alternatives
- smaller exhibit footprints
- conference organizers going out of business
The pricing and margins that facilities and suppliers enjoyed in 2019 will not fly in a world where conference organizers are only realizing 70% of their revenue goals. Hotels, DMOs and suppliers will need to partner with conference organizers like never before to share risk and reduce potential liabilities.
Do you have high confidence that conference and show organizers will all survive this crisis? What advice can you share for organizers or their suppliers?