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Mice Net : December 2008
news “ 6 mice.net Conference business has been slower than expected, largely due to the market, but for ourselves it is still positioning Phillip island as a great conference destination. we have had several cancellations that are both inside 90 days and outside, mostly due to their funding being pulled and either not conferencing until 2010 or doing it in-house. - ivan skidmore, General Manager, silverwater Resort end of year, Christmas and entertaining events. They have either decreased the number of patrons attending, reduced the cost of production/ theming or both. - darwyN Jolly, australiaN Jockey club ltd I have had several projects, particularly those involving international locations and/or delegates, especially those that are not held annually at a specific time, put on hold. I have been told that they are not to be cancelled indefinitely but postponed until my clients can determine what the economy is going to do so that we can truly determine the feasibility of them. This seems to have particular relevance to their marketing spend as some of it should have begun already in preparation for coming events. - soNya rosbotham, Forumm eveNts What we have noticed most as a company is the change in market expectations. There is now the requirement to create better leverage and create more measureable outcomes. This was evident prior to the downturn but has become a higher priority with the recent economic squeeze. Clients need to be ensured that their limited budgets are spent wisely and are directly measureable with their objectives. The positive news we have experienced is that clients we have dealt with are feeling it is important to ‘get their products into people’s hands’. - aNt hample, thiNk creative eveNts South East Queensland has been reasonably flat – everything is very short lead time on the corporate front but other sectors are helping to keep things flowing. We lost several corporate events after the Courier Mail ran a few weeks of stories on QLD Rail and other companies spending large sums entertaining clients (the old ‘they can spend money on food and drink but can’t get customer service right or trains on time’). Staff Christmas parties are way down this year. - russell beNNett, stagiNg dimeNsioNs & lightiNg dimeNsioNs November/December are traditionally the busiest “proposal writing” seasons for PCO’s (perhaps everyone expects us to work whilst they are on holidays). It is too early to tell but I suspect that some not-for-profit associations may either skip the annual conference in 2009, or scale it back or defer it until conditions are better. I am not optimistic. Attendance figures at major conferences we are organising in November are all showing signs of reduced delegate numbers – around 20-30 per cent on 2007 figures (everything being equal). We have had two events cancel. - ray shaw, eveNt plaNNers australia Things have changed dramatically - especially this week – (early November) when companies [have] had time to revisit their expense budgets. It is affecting both our Australian hotel clients as well as all our DMCs worldwide. Some destinations within Asia will benefit, and of course New Zealand. We have done a survey to some of our corporate clients and we are getting extremely mixed feedback even from within one industry. We also contacted a lot of the PCOs/ incentive travel companies and they are finding that most of their clients are asking for proposals but not necessarily converting them into confirmed business. We still have lots of offshore pending groups for February 2009 and some enquiries are still coming for the first quarter of 2009. Interestingly though, our 2009 DMS workshops are attracting the same number of DMCs from long-haul destinations. DMS will have the largest 2009 AIME stand with 10 DMCs exhibiting. - leila Fiedler, destiNatioN marketiNg services I had a large residential franchise to Hawaii early next year. [The] client now cancelled with this destination. [They were] going to move to 2010 but still very jittery re our sliding A$ so pulled this back to OZ and [I am] frantically finding something large onshore for them. Global companies [are] pulling back in numbers in attendance. [I am] having to rethink proposals now to cost in this factor, so our costs will go up. [We] had two small incentives, both finance companies, [who have] pulled out. [We have] found some larger properties, in particular Starwood Hotels, very supportive and understanding of the current economic climate and offering support/goodwill for future business that will come back. Some others are not at all supportive and sticking to contractual agreements totally with obviously little long-term gain that will result from us back to them. Very short-sighted. - laura richards, the coNFereNce busiNess pty ltd aNd the iNceNtive busiNess pty ltd our clients are still doing things, however budgets are nearly sitting at an average of 60 per cent of what they have been. the hardest thing for us is they are used to a level of service and quality – and it is still expected for 40 per cent less payment. Much of our custom-made exhibition stand income has been reduced dramatically. i think we are travelling pretty well now, however we fear for the next six months. - Marianne Edmonds, loud events ”