Cvent: Outlook Shows Continued Group Booking Slowdown

TYSONS, VA—In the latest Cvent Group Business Outlook, a 24-month, forward-looking report highlighting United States group booking activity through the Cvent Supplier Network, data shows U.S. hotels will continue to face a challenging group business market.

“While group booking pace has picked up slightly compared to last quarter’s report, the overall 24-month view is still fairly weak,” said Jeffrey Emenecker, senior director of analytics, Cvent. “As we look at the next two years, our sourcing data shows a relatively flat awarded group rooms pace and a slight downturn in awarded RFP activity within the U.S. market. Supply continues to increase, but booking pace is not keeping up, which means a drop in group occupancy across the board. Our hope is that hoteliers can use this outlook to develop and adjust their group strategies to drive more business.”

Key highlights from the Q2 2019 Group Business Outlook:

  • The 24-month view offers some improvement compared to last quarter’s report, but the group business demand trend is still relatively flat. As supply continues to increase around the world, hoteliers will need to work harder to attract and win group business.
  • Overall awarded RFP activity in Q2 is below average and down from Q1. In last quarter’s report, Cvent attributed the Q1 slowdown in part to the commission policy changes that went into effect this year and pulled greater award activity forward into Q4 2018. This quarter’s results could be influenced by the after-effects of this Q4 2018 push but could signal more general softness in the market.
  • In last quarter’s report, the average group room block size was up significantly (4%), which was somewhat counter to the general downturn that the Group Business Outlook showed. That increase looks to be just a blip as room block size decreased slightly in this quarter’s report—which is more in line with expectations.