We learned about trends in the hospitality industry in separate sessions presented by Skift and American Express Meetings and Events. Here are the highlights!
Economic Forecast and Disruptions in Intermediation
Group intermediation and acquisition costs are a big concern as digital transformation is creating an opportunity for access to direct buyers. With the rise in meetings costs, midsize cities are seeing growth. Meetings make up one-third of the revenue at full-service hotels, and about three-quarters of that comes from small meetings.
Cities Are Interdisciplinary Knowledge-Sharing Machines
Leading CVBs are positioning their cities around knowledge capital versus infrastructure. Every destination has a convention center, new hotel, restaurant, and more, so cities have to emphasize what sets them apart.
The Future of Meetings and Events Is UX
Experiential events need to be designed from the attendee perspective. It’s about finding new spaces and staying out of stale ballrooms. Artificial intelligence, gaming, and onsite brain dating are gaining traction.
You need to create an environment that will make people more willing to let their guard down and take in the experience. People no longer what to be told what product to buy; they want to experience it. It isn’t about storytelling — it’s about “story doing.”
You have to identify what you want people to walk away with when they visit your property and make sure the message being delivered is acted upon. Focus on the “why” of what you’re doing and what you want to drive.
It’s important to understand the planner personas and needs, because they are continually evolving along with the tech evolution. Personalize your message to address what they want — without being seen as “creepy.”
No one wants to be a newbie, but with the rapid evolution of technology, it’s hard not to be. When you look to implement new tools or fun gadgets, make sure that they have a purpose linked to the behavior you hope to drive and that they align with the demographic you’re catering to.
Companies must focus on contact data security and assure that their information is safe, particularly with GDPR being top of mind globally. You need to invoke trust. Be mindful and a good partner.