Planner Venue Sourcing Trends 2020
By Kelli Kopec
Friday, 20th November 2020

As North America and the rest of the world loosen restrictions on gatherings, travel, and meetings, we know there is value in reporting on meeting & event data so we can all understand how event planners are adapting, evolving, and planning for the future of in-person events.

We’ve even created a survey with real-time results to help event planners and hospitality professionals see how their peers feel about the future of our industry.

The first place to start planning is by finding the right venue for your event. Venue sourcing is more important than ever for in-person and hybrid events because of the additional requirements that a space needs to ensure attendee safety. You want to make sure you’re finding the right space that can keep your attendees safe. You can use Cvent’s Source Safely Resource Hub to get the health and safety data from venues and destinations worldwide.

Because of Cvent’s unique industry position, we’re able to report on planner RFP data and show you what trends we’re seeing through our venue sourcing solution, Cvent Supplier Network. This trend data will help you plan for your future in-person event programs.

Key August Findings

RFP Volume
Overall, in Q2 2020 there was approximately $2 Billion in RFP value sourced through the Cvent Supplier Network. We’re seeing June and July more positive than May but generally remaining flat. Even though there are less RFPs being sent year-over-year, conversion is currently about the same rate it was in 2019. Growth in the Americas region lags compared to the rest of the globe. Asia is up 197% month-over-month in 2020.

Event Timing
Short-term demand is making up more of the mix than normal. There is a much higher percentage of RFPs being sourced in June and July to take place in June through September. We see 40% of all RFPs being awarded in early August for summer 2020 meetings. For fall, we’re seeing RFP volume dwindle and is a much smaller part of the mix than is typical when comparing year-over-year. When looking to 2021 and beyond, event planners are confidently sending RFPs, and we are seeing a larger percentage of the mix looking to next year when comparing year-over-year.

Size & Type of Events
We’re seeing a massive shift towards smaller events being sourced and awarded. Small event RFPs represented 40% of all RFPs since July. In this case, 90% of these small event RFPs are less than 50 rooms on peak. Most of these smaller meetings are happening in the summer and are skewed towards meeting space-only meetings.

And which industries are sourcing and awarding events the most, you ask? We’re seeing Government and Military organisations make up more of the mix than normal, but Corporate sector is still the largest segment.

Hotel Rates
For planners who are sourcing or planning on sourcing soon, you’re probably wondering if you can get better-than-normal rates from your venue suppliers. Overall, proposed rates are down. Both proposed and awarded rates are 11% below average when looking year-over-year. There are noticeable differences when looking at arrival dates however, rates are down across the board by:

  • 30% for Summer 2020
  • 23% for September-December 2020
  • 10% for Q1 2021
  • 3% for all of 2021
  • 4% for 2021

July Takeaways
While we didn’t see a spike in RFPs in July, the volume remained steady from June. We saw new emerging trends, like planners requesting and awarding business in summer for small meetings taking place during the summer months. Small meetings are making up the majority of the RFP mix for summer, with 90% less than 50 rooms.

Planners seem most confident with 2021 and beyond, with more RFPs than typical being sent with a 9-12+ booking window. Planners can capitalise on lower than normal rates by sending and awarding RFPs, especially for events happening in 2020.

Kelli Kopec joined Cvent in 2019 as a Product Marketer dedicated to marketing solutions that connect Event Professionals and Travel Managers to hotels and venues. Before that, Kelli spent 8+ years working for a hotel management company, managing both group and leisure business for several international hotel brands. She has vast experience in B2C and B2B marketing, launching new brands and products, and planning large scale in-person events...and certainly understands the value technology can bring!


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