It’s getting to the point where technology is a part of just about everything. In fact, it’s practically a required part of facilitating and managing events — whether through improved communication with attendees, by streamlining operations, or through a digitally connected and immersive experience.
For hoteliers and venue managers, change driven by tech innovation is a constant and will stay that way. Savvy managers should stay informed of the current trends, understand how it applies to their MICE business, and move forward in a strategic way. Here are just two examples that span the experience — and the operation — of events:
Intelligent Technology Is Part of the Experience
In just a few years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has gone from powering a Hilton concierge robot called ‘Connie’ to Virtual Personal Assistant devices in many homes, powered by Alexa or Google and ready to change how we communicate with technology, one voice command at a time.
What this means for hoteliers is simple – planners and attendees will soon expect a voice activation form part of the event experience. According to Amazon, Echo devices are already in many hotel rooms around the world, ‘deepening guest engagement through seamless voice-first experiences that offer new ways for guests to access services and amenities during their stay’.
Take note, however: Personalised voice search relies on quality content written in a long-tail, or contextual, way, and not based solely on keywords. That requires the creation of schemas around popular questions, which takes some time and resource. When done properly, however, you could have an ample repository of location-specific and helpful answers for customers.
Takeaway: Technology has the potential to transform hotel operations and guest experience. Using voice-activated tools, however, takes data integrity, transparency, and ownership. Make sure you own your customer data and can utilise it to better serve your planners and attendees.
Commission Cuts May Create a Direct Booking Pressure Cooker
Commission cuts for third-party planners may increase the need for hotel managers to direct-book more MICE business. Doing so creates an emerging technology need to keep the cost of acquisition low, and the process efficient.
As the dynamic of changing commission structures unfolds and the industry adjusts to a new reality, it’s yet another case where technology designed to create operational efficiencies can help hotels adjust and take advantage.
Takeaway: With commission fees continuing to change in 2019, hotel and venue managers should think about lowering costs in order to handle the expense and operational complexities of more direct booking.
Technology is invariably driven by the search for answers to a business problem or customer experience. In that way, hoteliers and venue managers should keep an eye on the horizon, as the meetings and events business continues to look for ways to increase profitability and improve efficiency — while delivering the type of experience that planners and their attendees expect. Whether that includes a more widespread adoption of voice technology or a solution to a shift in the industry’s common practice, technology will always be at the forefront.
Learn more about technology and other emerging trends in the MICE ecosystem: Download Cvent’s Eight Great Best Practice Tips and Trends eBook.