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Meeting & Incentive Travel - Best to Plan 1-2 years in advance

Dianne Heffernan CCE Global Meetings & Incentives August 20, 2021


There is no doubt that the pandemic hurt the hospitality industry and particularly meetings and incentive travel. We were finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel when the delta variant caused a spike in cases and a new wave of fear spread like wildfire across the industry. Right now, corporations and associations are rethinking their fourth quarter 2021 events.


Business Travel News (BTN) says that “strong demand for meeting space could trigger 2022 compression”. What is “compression”? It occurs when all the meetings and incentive trips from 2020 and 2021 want to rebook for 2022. Everyone is competing for the same space.

While meeting professionals are seeing less inquiries for the remaining months of 2021, we are starting to see an uptick in interest in 2022 but with some trepidation. Organizations are asking us, “What if things get worse again and there is another lock down?” or “What if there is another variant”? Many are taking a wait and see approach.

The downside to “wait and see” is that the longer you wait, the more compressed meeting space becomes. Organizations that are moving forward now and planning in advance will have the choice of best locations, best properties and best prices.

If you decide to wait:

  • Be very flexible with your dates and location. Many hotels have seen a surge in leisure travel

  • Expect that your budget will need to be increased due to high demand, not only for hotel rooms but airfares, ground transportation and almost all elements of your event.

Instead, we recommend you rethink your usual booking cycle, and aim to book your meeting for 1 -2 years out. The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Looking ahead will offer you the greatest choice of options as there will be more availability.


Once you find that perfect destination, there will be more hotel rooms available, and you will have more of a choice of prime meeting/event space.


The key to booking in advance is in the negotiation of your contract terms. Some hotels are being more flexible with their cancellation and attrition terms and while the threat of a new surge in the virus may not allow you to cancel the meeting, there are other options to ensure that your organization is covered.

The bottom line is to make sure you understand your hotel and event venue contract.

  • We have the experience to help you find the perfect location, saving you time and money.

  • We can ensure that you are getting the best value for your meeting dollars

  • We will guide you through the complex contracting.

  • We can work with your team to help you manage your event

If you organization has not used a professional meeting planner in the past, now is the perfect time to start. Contact us today for the confidence of having flawless event in your future.


Dianne Heffernan, CTC, CMP

Chief Events Officer

CCE Global Meetings & Incentives

Office: 888-866-2865 | Mobile: 631-702-0260



About CCE Global Meetings & Incentives

CCE Global Meetings & Incentives helps organizations reward their top performers, inspire their sales force, and excite their customers. We create experiences anywhere people gather for a meeting, event or incentive trip. When every detail matters, we are there!

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