Training Meeting Trends 2018
Challenge- Shortened Planning Cycle
As per the 2018 American Express Global Meetings and Events Forecast, meeting and event 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.
- Inhouse Space Falls Through: Often, other departments or events are given higher priority for inhouse space resulting in cancellation on short notice. This causes a scramble to find suitable space.
- Venue Selection: Training projects involve assessment of curriculum, trainers, and location of students. All aspects need to be analyzed before venue requirements are identified.
- 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. Hotels and related facilities may charge significant deposits and have 60-90 day cancellation clauses.
- Amazon Mentality: If Amazon can deliver millions of items in two 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.”
Volume of training sessions growing
As per the AMEX 2018 Forecast, training represents 20% of all meetings and events in North America. The study projects growth in the 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. More recently, many configurations include 2 instructors and 30-40 students. One of the instructors is often a Subject Matter Expert (SME) who brings expertise to the event, 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. ContactPointe customers have found that involving us sooner in the process has significantly cut down on time and money spent.”
Inventory is limited. “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 is constantly sourcing new training venue options, lessening the issue of unavailable space. We are also finding that Internet bandwidth has improved in most training facilities, adding flexibility and available options for us to best serve our clients.
“We carefully vet every facility and know the importance of meeting technologies and onsite tech support”, GM Mark Dobson.
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:
“Many training events need to be as 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.
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.
- 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. Perhaps less healthy options are being left on the table as well.
- 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 classroom venues for clients, totaling 1900 training days in 2017 and a forecasted 3600 training days in 2018. We are seeing a larger growth than estimated in the AMEX study. You can count on us to find venue solutions and manage the details of your events.