The Collective #MICEBEAT
How is technology changing the Meetings and Events Industry and Are Those Changes Here to Stay?
As the MICE industry bounces back to life one of the most heard phrases is how nothing replaces face-to-face meetings. This is of course fundamentally true but data also shows that technology is one of the top drivers for making events happen. Times have forced our people-driven industry to embrace technology but it continues to be a pain point especially when it comes to strategizing and planning for a sustainable future.
Together with our partner techtalk.travel we have held a series of informal, data-driven live think tanks to discuss technology and the future of the meetings industry with an impressive number of leading industry professionals, including Kristi White, Chief Product Officer at Knowland, Luke Stevenson, Regional Sales Manager, Encore Global, Tracy Scott, CEO Hotels Division at Connect Worldwide and Lidia Skarapani, Principal Group Events, Isabel Steinhauer, Director of Food & Beverage at Hotel Okura Amsterdam, Angelo Vassallo, Director of Food & Beverage at Fairmont Barcelona Rey Juan Carlos I and Michael Madison, Founder & CEO at Menumodo.
In these highly interactive t-Collective #MICEBEAT sessions, guests have exchanged ideas and their own on-the-ground experiences. These paint a clearer picture of what has changed for the long haul and what hoteliers need, beyond increased bandwidth, to drive business and remain competitive.
Clearly, one size doesn't fit all when it comes to technology but there are some clear trends forming with practically uncontested benefits. Here are three you cannot afford to ignore right now:
Shorter lead times due to uncertain business environments require faster responses and (even) more agility from hotel Sales teams. Sudden fluxes of last-minute business opportunities need to be analyzed, prioritized, and then handled - fast; and manual sales processes need to speed up and simplify, in order to close sales quickly. However, after almost 18 months of stop and start for hotels, technology can support them, by enabling them to quickly and effectively reach out to old clients and, crucially, source new business. Needless to say, most hotels are having to achieve this, with fewer people on their sales teams.
Virtual show-arounds and site inspections are here to stay even as travel takes off. Being prepared to project well throughout guest and delegate experience from check-in to check out, including flow and exterior spaces can significantly increase reach into new and previously out of reach clients and agencies
Hybrid meetings have almost become the norm and will be around for the foreseeable future. Be ready to include a digital component from the initial planning phase. It may represent an increased workload but it also provides an opportunity for venues to work closely with planners and technology providers and develop lasting relationships.
Our next the Collective #MICEBEAT October 5 Great Hotels of the World and techtalk.travel will be bringing back Kristi White, Chief Product Officer, Knowland to discuss with Dan Humby, VP Sales Europe, Groups 360 what the current data coming in from the US tells us about the future of MICE and more ways in which technology can support hotels in winning and managing group business, faster and more efficiently.
If you want to stay ahead of industry thought leadership, insight on how to keep your venues generating or have questions and thoughts you’d like to share, stay tuned and find out how you can take part in our next t-Collective #MICEBEAT live-streamed on LinkedIn and Youtube. For past editions and main takeaways, drop by our blog for a deep dive.