No Matter The Forecast, Boost Your Buying Power With SMMP

I read with much interest yesterday's release of something called the Hotel Negotiability Index by Egencia for 2010. Egencia, the travel management arm of Expedia, says its Index is an indicator of the overall supply landscape and other factors in top cities globally. The data indicates that, at least across North America, it'll continue to be a buyer's market up until at least the last two quarters of next year.

 [more]Yet the survey rates different areas of the country on negotiability strength. For example, even though Egencia says hotels in the majority of U.S. cities will be ripe for bargaining, it's different for Boston, "which has been less affected by the recession ... the anticipated influx of business travel and limited new capacity could make negotiations for that region more challenging." Likewise, Washington D.C. "will be a challenging destination for negotiations" -- due to the government's growing role in managing the nation's economic recovery.

Interesting stuff. But I can't overstress the buying power that can alter your company's negotiating standing when you're able to collect and present comprehensive evidence of meeting spend at hotels...that is, spend across your corporation -- organizationwide. That's a byproduct of putting strategic meetings management in place and centralizing such areas as planning and reporting and sourcing.

In fact, in Egencia's study, a section on travel management trends notes that: Strategic meetings management has been gaining traction in 2009, and "there is healthy opportunity for further consolidation between meetings and business travel programs into 2010. As companies resume investment in meetings and incentives, there is a greater focus on budget management and delivering significant ROI on meetings spend."

You can get a look at more details from Egencia's Index here.

Kevin Iwamoto is vice president of enterprise strategy at StarCite. This post is syndicated from his blog, Strategic Meetings Management