Use Data Resources To Help Budget And Negotiate

As I said in my last post, 'tis budgeting and negotiation season, and to help meeting managers, all kinds of forecasts are coming out of the woodwork. And because they use different methods of analysis, the forecast numbers don't always match and agree.
That's why I was so happy to see that many of the projections have found a home, existing side by side in beautiful graphics, on Data Hub's blog at [more]
The site actually has archived graphics, too, containing data from suppliers' monthly and quarterly reports throughout the year. Top of the list is Carlson Wagonlit Travel's forecast for 2012 hotel rates -- organized by first- and second-half of the year. The high-growth spot is Latin America, with a forecast of 9% to nearly 12% for corporate rates from January to June and around 10% to 12% for July to December. Meanwhile, the EMEA region looks anemic: 0.2% to 0.9% growth for the first half and 0.1% to 0.8% for the second.
Next, you'll find a September survey of corporate travel managers by UBS on expected changes in corporate air spend for the remainder of this year -- versus the last few months of 2010. The largest number, 25%, said spend would be up 1% to 5%, while the next biggest proportion, 17%, said expenditures would rise 6% to 10%. Another 15% saw spending spike 11% to 20%. So -- clearly there's optimism among that set of travel managers.  On the flip side, a total of 22% foresaw spending decreases over this time frame.
Handy for budgeting purposes is some current information on international corporate airfares -- the 2011 year-to-date average cost per segment (on select routes). If you're based out of Boston, you may be interested to know that the average cost per segment to London this year is $1,083. And if you're managing meetings travel from San Francisco and traveling to spots in Asia, the average segment cost for Hong Kong is $1,146, while the average to Tokyo Narita is $929. That information comes from Travel GPA and is based on more than 30,000 segments booked primarily via U.S.-based corporate travel agencies.
On TheBeat you'll also find data on year-to-date average cost per night for U.S. stays at 10 different hotel chains -- again, information you can use to benchmark against your own costs.
Budgeting can be challenging. But information like this can help you gain a greater understanding of costs to come. And it can help you see what others are spending. Empower yourself and take budgeting by the reins by studying forecast and actual spending data like the kind that's found on!
Kevin Iwamoto is vice president of enterprise strategy at StarCite. This post is excerpted with permission from his blog, Strategic Meetings Management.