In the event industry, innovation never sleeps, and frankly, event planners probably don’t get much sleep either. Year by year, events seem to get bigger and better, benefiting from exciting new technology, catering to the needs of attendees in great detail, and bringing guests together in unique spaces for a variety of occasions. Planners and venue owners come together on this momentous trajectory, aligned in their desire to continually break the mold and reinvent what makes a great and memorable event in the perfect venue.
2019 marked a year of transformation for the hospitality industry, and with that in mind, we’ve brought together innovations and trends from the event and event planning industry that are well positioned to shape the next decade. Whether you’re an event planner or a hotelier with incredible reception space, we’re here to help you stay on top of what’s to come.
Start with the booking experience – Site management technology has arrived
“Experience” has been a fundamental topic of discussion in all pockets of the hospitality industry over the past few years. Why? Simply, guests and event planners don’t want to pay for an experience that could be rated as mediocre. Whether it’s marketing to a passing guest, event attendees, or a group of businesses, hoteliers and event planners are on a mission to meet and exceed expectations. Our service and product offering is precisely that: experience.
That being said, it is important to remember that the experience does not begin and end with the stay or the event itself; instead, it starts before an organizer books your venue, well before the first attendee checks in. Historically, the pre-stay segment of the event planning experience was an uphill and uphill battle, notorious for manual processes and ongoing setbacks. It is there, fortunately, that site management technology Between.
When hotels and venues use a site management platformthey are able to effectively market their space on a global scale, while specifically catering to the needs and processes of modern planners. Everything an organizer needs to check and reserve room space is centralized within one easy-to-navigate platform – live availability, 3D virtual tours, instant tenders, FAQs, equipment details, Customizable packages, online payment options – you name it, the management platform has it. By taking advantage of this new technology, finding the perfect space has never been easier. Finally, the experience begins before the planner makes the decision to book, and that’s where the real magic happens. Outside with the old, with the new.
Go big, But go small too
In the modern world of events, it’s not just about large-scale experiences and conferences. In fact, meetings and small group travel represent a significant part of the growing demand. Year after year, we see a huge increase in the demand for meetings and events, with CWT Meetings and Travel predicting 5-10% growth in demand. Not only that, but in 2018 six million international participants generated $ 38 billion in direct meeting expenses, representing 11.5% of the industry total.
the projected The growth of meetings, conventions and event planners is expected to increase by 11% in the United States between 2016 and 2026. Takeaway for hoteliers? Make sure your room space is equipped for events and meetings of different sizes, and work closely with planners to ensure an attentive and personalized experience while bringing their event or meeting to life.
Non-traditional events and hall spaces
If mind-blowing experiences are the name of the game, it’s no surprise that event planners frequently opt for non-traditional settings for their events. Last year the Global meeting forecasts predicted a 4% increase in the use of non-traditional sites. What does this mean for hotel establishments? Well, that’s not necessarily bad news. It’s simply a reminder to embrace the continued demand for memorable and sharing experiences and services, and to find unique ways to differentiate your hotel. Fortunately, room management platforms make it easier for planners to find new spaces and trendy stores that were once hard to find.
Hotels should keep in mind that the nature of events can also be ‘non-traditional’. For example, the Forbes’ Under 30 Summit – a gathering of 7,000 entrepreneurs aged 30 and under – is hosting a real music festival as part of the event. At the same time, we are seeing the rapid rise in popularity of wellness-focused events, live interactive experiences, improved AI and VR components, Instagram-worthy backdrops, sustainability-focused events and more.
So the best question becomes: are you holding onto the past, or are you giving guests and attendees something new and exciting?
Balancing high tech and high tech
Often the primary purpose of an event is to leave a lasting impression on the attendees. There is no better way to achieve this goal than with the help of new age technology. Now, that doesn’t mean we’re throwing tradition to the wind in favor of robots and VR (although they can certainly be involved). Rather, event planners and venue owners are urged to harness event technology in a way that balances face-to-face and virtual elements. It’s not about using technology at every moment or point of touch, but about using new-age features and platforms to create a frictionless event, engage attendees at a deeper level, and create meaningful and memorable experiences.
AT an industry conference Last year, Mark Cooper told the audience, “Innovation is based on managed serendipity – the ability to harness the productive collision of people and ideas with the right tools and tools. good places. As you might expect, this level of customization would be difficult to achieve without the help of technology. When the good site management tools and the practices are harnessed together, planners and site owners can create truly amazing events and seamless experiences for planners and attendees.
2020 is positioning itself as an exciting and revolutionary period for the hospitality industry. For hotels looking to optimize their group business segment and embark on a new decade, I leave you with the following:
- Use technology to automate tasks and proposals to help staff close more deals, enable planners to purchase, book and manage their events online, and most importantly, eliminate the influx of business. ‘unqualified tenders. Using a dedicated site management solution will allow you to speed up your response to your calls for tenders and provide more attentive and responsive service to planners working under tight deadlines.
- Evaluate your existing technology partnerships and choose your new partnerships strategically. Are they selling you a unique product or ongoing support and collaboration?
- Increase conversions and improve your site listing with high quality images, updated prices, real-time uptime, 3D virtual tours, and more.
If one thing is for sure, it’s this: We couldn’t have made it to the end of 2019 without the widespread adoption of these critical trends and technologies.
If your hotel, conference center, or space can capitalize on these trends, you are in the ideal position to streamline processes, maximize revenue, increase engagement, and inspire guest and attendee loyalty throughout the year at come… and beyond.
Lauren Hall is the award-winning Founder and CEO of ivvy. Lauren is a passionate entrepreneur with over 25 years of business management experience at the executive and board level, successfully building multiple businesses from start-up to strategic and financial exit. With a background in programming, accounting and marketing, Lauren’s expertise spans the manufacturing, retail, advertising and tech industries in South Africa and Australia. She co-founded iVvy in 2009, overseeing our growth to 1,000 clients in 13 countries and our expansion into New Zealand, Asia, Europe and North America. iVvy offers meeting planners the ability to search, compare, book and pay online for reception, catering and group accommodation spaces, 24/7. By providing conference centers, hotels, restaurants and cruise lines with an integrated revenue management and distribution platform, iVvy provides site operators with the tools they need to manage inquiries about n any device, anywhere. With improved reporting and analytics, sites gain greater visibility into their business so they can divest their meetings and event spaces to maximize revenue.