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November 6, 2014

CWT Meetings & Events Says Compliance is Top Concern; Offers Top Tips

Carlson Wagonlit Travel Meetings & Events released its 2015 Meetings & Events Forecast today, suggesting that compliance will remain a key issue for next year.

Compliance seems poised to be the number one concern for companies consolidating their programs and seeking additional transparency across multiple locations. 

Meanwhile, new compliance regulations in the pharmaceutical industry in 2015, including the Sunshine Act in the US, designed to create greater transparency around the financial relationships between drug and device manufacturers and health care providers, will mean significant impact on regulation in the sector.

Looking Ahead

“This is the third edition of our meetings & events forecast, and it’s interesting to see the renewed focus on compliance in our industry," Floyd Widener, senior vice president, CWT Meetings & Events worldwide, said in a statement. "With 2015 on the horizon, the forecast provides valuable insight for our clients to refer to in upcoming budgeting and negotiations, whether they're focused on meetings, events or strategic meetings management.”

"We anticipate the use of technology in events will hit an all-time high in 2015. Solutions that enhance the delegate experience by enabling online registration and booking while capturing budget information are fast becoming an essential tool in meeting planners' arsenal. By providing consolidated, centralized data, end-to-end event management is enabled; a key focus of 2015 in an industry where compliance is king.

"Meeting specific apps are becoming much more common, with use set to increase throughout 2015, while hybrid events that mix in-person and virtual elements are expected to gain traction. 

"Finally, a renewed supplier focus on cancelation and attrition clauses remind us of the importance of effective negotiations." 

Top Tips for 2015

Recommendations in the report include trying hybrid events to save costs and involve remote employees unable to participate in person, basing events in-country or in-region to minimize costs, carbon footprint and delegate travel times, and working with an agency with strong industry relationships to get the best deals and supplier terms.

With price a key factor, planners will need to go beyond hotel rooms and meeting space and negotiate on total spend. Be sure to factor in food and beverage, audio/visual support including internet, business center charges, and miscellaneous charges. 

Similarly, buyers should work with agencies that can leverage their close relationships with local suppliers and help negotiate better terms. Organizations can also attain more favorable cancelation terms by engaging in multi-year Master Service Agreements and leveraging global, regional or local spend.

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