Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Booking Windows: Small and Smaller

Salvador Dali clock
We reported in our July issue that more than half -- 56 percent -- of the meeting planners Convene recently surveyed said that their booking pattern had changed in the last year. Those results dovetailed with a recent Zentila survey which showed that, for corporate planners, the average booking window for off-site meetings is now 36 days.

And when it comes to booking event services, that window is getting even smaller.

According to the Congress Rental Network (CRN), a global network of A/V equipment suppliers, simultaneous interpretation specialists, and even support experts, the average confirmation time for events has dropped to two weeks.

“Perhaps a decade ago you could plan events three or four years down the line," says CRN Chairman Panagiotis Podimatas,  from PC Podimatas in Greece. But no longer, given the fast pace of business and improvements in transportation and communication.

Panagiotis said his company recently supplied interpretation equipment for the annual EU-GCC conference at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi with only two days notice.  "An event of this size is a real challenge, requiring eight large and three standard sized interpretation booths, 400 receivers, and 80 delegate microphones.  Due to prior commitments and resource locations these needed to be flown 2,000 miles from Vienna to Dubai, then transported by land to Abu Dhabi for set-up within 48 hours of confirmation.”

Source: Adam Baggs


Katie Herritage said...

Adam, you are 100% correct. The booking window is becoming smaller and it has detrimental effects on marketing, attendance, and exhibitors. Even with shorter timeframes, planners are expected to produce quality events that reach attendance goals. I have personally felt the pressure mounting as expectations are continuing to rise and our timeframes are becoming shorter. Some could argue that this strengthens agility and builds better panning skills, but in reality, it just adds on the pressure. I absolutely love planning, but as an industry we need to monitor the correlations between expectations, timeframes and realities.

Katie Herritage, CMP, CSEP
Alexandria, VA

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