Training Meeting Trends 2018

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Challenge- Shortened Planning Cycle

As per American Express 2018 Global Meetings and Events Forecast, meetings and events planners in North America point to a continued shortening of the planning window.

ContactPointe has observed four factors contributing to a shortened planning cycle for training venue arrangements.

  1. Inhouse space falls through. Often, other departments or events get higher priority for inhouse space resulting in cancellation on short notice. Then it’s a scramble to find suitable space.
  2. Venue selection is late component of planning process. Training projects involve assessment of curriculum, trainers, and location of students. All needs to be analyzed before venue requirements are identified.
  3. Financial risk avoidance. Unless there is 100% certainty that a course will run, there is financial risk in committing to a venue with deposit and limited cancellation policies. Hotel and related facilities may charge a significant deposit and have a 60-90 cancellation clause.
  4. Amazon mentality. If Amazon can deliver millions of items in 2 days, shouldn’t finding a training venue be just as easy?

ContactPointe continues to add training venue options, recently increasing to over 750 locations in US and Canada. As per ContactPointe General Manager Mark Dobson, “Our no deposit and 14-day cancellation policy reduce risk and aid in planning.”


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Volume of training sessions growing

As per AMEX 2018 forecast, training represents 20% of all meeting and events in North America. Study projected growth in number of events and number of attendees.

ContactPointe observes that companies are moving to larger events. Two years ago, a typical set up was 1 instructor to 20 students. Now many configurations include 2 instructors and 30-40 students. One of the instructors is often a Subject Matter Expert (SME) who provide expertise to a larger group, providing increased knowledge transference at a reduced cost.

ContactPointe VP of Operations Kirk Chambers commented,” For many clients with nationwide needs, we have supplied venues for 75 to 200 attendees.”


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Seller’s Market

Not enough inventory. “Space is moving faster so we encourage people to book further out so they get the rates and availability they require”.

ContactPointe observes in the training segment that certain markets and certain price points are in high demand. ContactPointe has sourced many training venue options, lessening the issue of space not available. We are finding that Internet bandwidth has improved across many training venue types, giving additional flexibility and choice.

“We carefully vet every facility and know the importance of meeting technologies and onsite tech support”, GM Mark Dobson.


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Top Cities

With 750 locations throughout the US and Canada, we have options in tier 1, 2 and 3 cities.

Our top 2017 US Cities with training venue rentals are:

  • Pittsburgh
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • Dallas
  • Washington DC
  • St. Louis
  • New York
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • Columbus
  • Phoenix
  • Seattle
  • Bellingham
  • Charlotte
  • Philadelphia
  • Boston
  • Denver
  • Portland
  • San Diego
  • Tampa
  • Houston
  • Sacramento
  • San Bernardino
  • Baton Rouge
  • Orlando
  • Oklahoma City
  • Salt Lake City
  • Kansas City
  • Milwaukee
  • Las Vegas
  • Minneapolis
  • Des Moines
  • Anchorage

“Many trainings need to be a close to employees as possible. ContactPointe provides a custom service that will match your list of employee locations to the nearest and best venues for your project. This is one of the hardest things we do, and we’re good at making the matches,” commented VP Kirk Chambers.


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Food & Beverage

Lunch, snacks and refreshments often “make or break” a training event. Offerings help participants stay focused and may be an incentive for attendance. Many training sessions involve a working lunch to maximize the time away from the office and increase productivity.

  1. ContactPointe observes that morning snacks such as muffins, pastries and bagels are often untouched. Participants frequently stay in hotels that provide breakfast, so participants do not arrive hungry. And perhaps less healthy options are being left on the table.
  2. We find that quality lunch offerings are critical to many clients. Our staff works closely to customize catering by attendee demographics, presentation and dietary restrictions. In most ContactPointe markets, lunch is $18/person.

ContactPointe provided venues for over 1900 training days in 2017. Count on us to manage the details.