Business events forecasting is a bit like the weather…it depends who you listen to. But if you don’t like Melbourne’s weather, wait a moment…it will change.

And so it was for 300 attendees at the PCO Conference held in Melbourne last week where experts variously predicted good and not so good market conditions.

Forecasts were: we’re in a lull between economic cycles; the dollar needs to fall to 75 US cents but won’t drop below 90c for another couple of years (BIS Schrapnel); in 2014 group accommodation rates in Asia would rise 3.3 per cent, group air rates up 1.6 per cent, meetings volumes down 1.2 per cent, pax down 2.4 per cent, lead time down 3.1 per cent, and spend down 3.6 per cent (American Express).

Air travel is predicted to be stronger than ever after the 2008 global meltdown, conferences and events will grow 44 per cent by 2020. Air New Zealand has ordered $1.8 billion in aircraft through 2017, with mobile check-in for domestic and international passengers launches today, December 2 (Air New Zealand).

A full report on the PCO Conference will appear in the next edition of micenet AUSTRALIA magazine.