by Sarah J.F. Braley | October 13, 2015
The International Association of Conference Centres has released the 2015 edition of "Trends in the Conference Center Industry," compiled by PKF Consulting for the organization of purpose-built, residential and day meetings venues. The study shows that occupancy and rates at IACC-member facilities have improved for the third year in a row, "significantly so for IACC's corporate meeting venue operators," said IACC CEO Mark Cooper.
He added: "Corporate meeting venues lead the recovery with the highest average daily rate and revenue per occupied room. Given the package plan represents 90 percent of this group of IACC-members' business, it can be assumed that corporate customers are investing significantly in training and meetings and in their use of member venues."
Participation from day meeting venues in this survey has increased and is providing valuable data on what is a growing member category for IACC. The average External Day Meeting Rate rose significantly to $105 per attendee, covering meeting-room costs, A/V and F&B.
Last year, IACC members' earlier improved earnings faltered later in the year, but for 2016, all venue types have predicted positive occupancy growth, with corporate venues forecasting the greatest improvements by year-end. Conference Centres with more than 200 guest rooms are projecting 6.5 percent rise in annual occupancy over last year, from 58.7 percent to 62.5 percent.

"It is encouraging to see another year of improved performance and we are seeing clear signs that this important sector of the meetings industry is being invested in by member customers," added Cooper.
The report showed that resort meeting venues achieved the greatest increase in Complete Meeting Package (CMP) rates -- which cover meeting rooms, guest rooms, three meals, continuous refreshment service, conference services and conference technology -- marking a 2.6 percent increase over the previous year. Day meeting venues reported a 12 percent increase in package rates.
IACC's Trends in the Conference Center Industry report is available for $350 for members and $450 for nonmembers here.