Many meetings since March have been canceled, postponed or moved to virtual platforms because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but about $2 billion worth of meeting requests for proposals during the second quarter of 2020 were sourced through meetings management company Cvent’s network, Cvent senior director of analytics Jeffrey Emenecker said during the recent Cvent Connect virtual conference.
May marked the bottom for meetings RFP volume, with it flattening out over the past six weeks or so, he said. The company also started to see a shift in June to smaller meetings for summer 2020 arrival dates. Conversions dropped “quite a bit” in late March and early April when uncertainty around Covid peaked. They began to trend back up to the point where, in the weeks leading up to the late August conference, they were close to normal, if not even, with historic data.
“A lot of meetings have been pushed to next year,” Cvent’s chief marketing officer Patrick Smith told BTN. “RFP trends show sourcing going on for 2021. There’s not a lot of certainty in where we will be in January, but there’s definitely sourcing, especially the back half [of 2021] and into 2022.” He also added that since March, 70,000 virtual events have used Cvent.
The average number of hotels included in RFPs is down about 25 percent from the first quarter, just before the pandemic hit, Emenecker added, but there’s also been a drop in the number of hotels responding to those RFPs. “That means for the average RFP, the number of hotels competing is 25 percent lower than normal, so your chances of winning leads are higher than normal,” he said.
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