BnC roundtable on:

the state of the us hotel industry

BNC members got together recently for a round table discussion on managing corporate events in the USA.

A significant number of UK eventprofs have come to The BNC shocked at the marked rise in quotes received for events in major cities in the United States for 2023 and 2024, with some reporting that prices are showing inflation figures rising by as much as 250%.

Hosted by The Lanesborough the event saw BNC members sharing experiences and coming up with solutions together.

Below is a summary of that meeting. A full ten-page report complete with a list of useful tips and resources, plus useful links and top recommended suppliers, is available for BNC members from

The current situation: members have reported that US DPR rates are increasing and negotiations are proving to be complicated, with contracts seemingly to be ‘in favour of the supplier and not mutual’.

Several BNC members reported that US hotels seem to be showing a preference for ‘selling bedrooms than meeting rooms.’

They also reported that ‘getting clarity from hotels and venues’ was difficult with incomplete answers being given to requests and floorplans.

UK event managers’ feel restricted when certain AV companies are enforced as part of US hotel contracts with one person commenting that the AV cost for the exact same event the following year increased by $20k.

Added costs also include ‘wifi for meeting rooms’ when it is included complimentary with bedroom hire.

Nathan Paulden, a director of The BNC who hosted the meeting, said: “ BNC members feel like their hands are tied to go to certain venues.

“What’s worrying is there seems to be an apparent return to a former way of doing business, with suppliers showing they are less concerned about loyalty shown over the years – and instead are opting for the biggest piece of business that comes their way.

“From what the buyers discussed at our round table, joint first options are still being practised and it’s a race for the first person to sign the contract – this can influence stakeholders to make a quick decision but doesn’t help if businesses are holding out until the funds are available from ticket sales etc.

“We had a very full and fruitful discussion with so many tips and solutions shared and really this buyer-to-buyer exchange is the way forward to help each other navigate the complexities of events, especially overseas events.

“I don’t see this issue of rising costs in the US and potentially elsewhere slowing down as the general feeling is that hotels and venues are trying to recoup costs from COVID-19.”

Other observations of US hotels show that ‘investment in US hotels is lacking; the décor and technology is outdated and old fashioned’ and response times are slow with UK event managers have to chase sales teams.

But it wasn’t just price comparisons and gripes shared. Members around the table gave each other invaluable advice on how to make a tighter budget work plus gave each other tips on site inspections, managing with ‘basic wifi’ and how to handle visa applications. They even shared knowledge on which days are now best for events in the US and which types of hotels to approach.

Some of the essential budget-carving tips covered corkage, how to adjust catering volumes, and suggestions came in such as booking bedrooms in one hotel and holding a conference in another.

Essential tips on relationship building and tax reclaims were also given.

Event Manager, Hannah, who attended The BNC roundtable said: “ I really enjoyed it and it was great to be a room of like-minded people and feel free to share our frustrations and tips for using US Hotels."

Shirley Brooke, Executive Head of Sales UK, Oetker Collection, said of hosting The BNC Roundtable: 

" Many thanks to Nathan for gathering such wonderful professionals at the Lanesborough. It was a pleasure to meet you and to host you at our Oetker Collection Masterpiece Hotel in London.  

"We hope you had a productive and inspiring meeting in an elegant and comfortable environment."