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Meetings Program Forecast

Meetings Program Forecast

Our meetings program forecast tool helps estimate budgets for meetings trips. This utility allows meetings planners to enter a destination city for a meeting, incentive trip, conference, or similar event along with the departure locations and estimated travelers from each location to help build a real-time sourced estimate.

The following is considered when providing pricing:

Most meeting attendees book travel 3 months prior to departure
Airfares can change frequently from the time an airlines flight schedule is released. Often, the cheapest fare is offered 6 months or more prior to the flight date. Often, fares peak inside of five months before the departure day and depending on the route, the fare will drop slightly just before travel. It's important to keep this in mind when researching flights because using airfare prices quoted 9 months prior to a trip will be vastly different than what your team may pay once travelers are ready to book.

It's best to use the median fare, not the lowest fare for estimates
The median fare from a list of flight search offers is often the best starting point for averaging flight costs for a group of travelers. The mean average often provides a skewed estimate due to the vast difference between the lowest quoted fare and highest quoted fare. The median fare gives greater insight into the airlines that provide the most options to service a flight route, meaning that this airline will likely have the greatest availability for the longest time, which suggests the least price fluctuation.

For travel outside the current flight schedule, don't use this years dates to estimate
If you are looking to book a meeting a year or years into the future, using this years dates serves as a poor starting point because the days of travel, along with the week of travel often serves as a better reference point. A date this year that falls on a Sunday this year would fall on a Monday next year (unless next year is a leap year). This is significant because weekday travel tends to have the greatest inventory of flights, while weekend travel tends to be more expensive. In addition, weeks of travel often show the greatest fluctuation within the month because of holidays and events that center around weeks of the month like Labor Day and Memorial Day which take place during the first Monday of the month, which may or may not be the first week of the month. So when estimating airfare beyond the available flight schedule, we try to match to a comparable time frame, rather than using the precise desired dates of travel.

Peak travel times and popular destinations
Airfare to Florida during the second, third and fourth weeks of March are likely to have much high fluctuation then travel to Florida in January due to spring break, whereas other cities may be a less desirable location for spring break travel.

Our meetings program forecast tool factors these variables and more as we run realtime requests against current flight schedules to provide a better forecast.