Planning an event?
5 corporate event pitfalls to avoid
FCM Meetings & Events shares insight into how your organisation can overcome the challenges to charge ahead with an amazing event.
We’ve all been saying the same thing for years now: “I can’t wait to see you face-to-face” or, “Just wait until we can meet in person again.” After so long of feeling like this was out of reach, we are happy to state what may now be obvious: business travel and specifically business events are back in full swing!
Everyone is sick of hearing about the “return” or the “rebound” of business events and travel, and quite frankly, we’re miles past that and have swung completely in the other direction. We’re now in a phase of high demand that exceeds even pre-COVID levels. People are ready to take to the skies, brainstorm around conference tables, and raise their glasses in celebration to the fact that we made it through the dark times of the pandemic.
As you ease back, or charge full speed ahead, into scheduling meetings and events, we wanted to share some important, and possibly sobering, details about the current state of booking meetings and events. While these points may feel like roadblocks, they are actually hurdles. You can clear them easily with the right amount of preparation and foresight.
1. Demand is high
In recent months there’s been a surge in group travel and corporate event bookings. People are over virtual meetings and all those events that have been postponed for years are finally getting rescheduled. And they’re being rescheduled ASAP! Putting pressure on demand is the current labour shortage. Many venues and hotels haven’t scaled back up to 100% staffing, so venue capacity isn’t as large as it was pre-COVID.
2. Lead time is short
We’re seeing event attendees wait to book or make final travel decisions until the last possible minute. This “just-in-case” mindset is putting a lot of pressure on event teams to secure venues and vendors in a tight market. Longer turnaround times due to labor shortages are also prevalent, which adds extra stress to planning a last-minute event.
3. Airfares are demand-driven and in some cases more expensive than pre-COVID
Airfares are rising for a few reasons:
- reduced flight capacity,
- industry labour shortages,
- increased absenteeism, or staff call outs, due to illness.
If it’s a high demand route, they are priced well above the levels we were accustomed to pre-COVID.
4. Airlines are not scheduling internationally at pre-COVID levels
Except for a handful of high-demand routes, international airline operations are not yet back to their pre-COVID capacity. In fact, we’re only seeing about a 60% operation level overall. Airlines are also retiring older aircraft and they have yet to replace the gaps in their fleets with new jets.
5. Suppliers are under-resourced and sourcing turnaround times are lengthy
All facets of the travel, event and hospitality industry are struggling with staffing and restocking as it rebuilds business after the Covid hibernation. We are seeing our supplier partners grappling with demand and capacity, which is creating turnaround times as high as 10 days for something as simple as responding to a request, getting a quote, or simply booking.
This may seem a bit doom and gloom, but realistically – it’s all very manageable as long as you plan ahead.
The best way to avoid supply and demand issues is to book as early as possible and make sure your event partner or in-house event manager is on top of any changes. It’s inevitable that some things may need to change along the way. But doing things early gives you breathing room and reduces your (and your travellers’!) stress levels exponentially.
It’s exciting to be getting back together again, but let’s make sure we’re planning smartly and efficiently!
Need help planning your next corporate event during this time? Reach out to FCM Meetings & Events. We can help with booking, venue sourcing, group travel management and of course amazing event planning and execution.