After two years, numerous lockdowns, and countless pandemic protocols, in-person meetings and events finally seem as though they're back to business – albeit with a new set of realities. Yes, meeting planners are still facing some COVID-19 challenges, but they're also dealing with event trends such as rising costs, limited availability at hotels and venues, and smaller hospitality staffs – many filled with new or inexperienced professionals. Keep reading for three of the top tips from the June report.
Discover 3 event trends all hoteliers should know
Event trend No. 1: Rising costs are a concern.
Of all the event trends happening right now, this should come as no surprise. Almost 80% of planners say rising costs are having a material impact on their events, and that cost containment is their top priority. But what is surprising is how they’re dealing with the crunch: Just 28% report that it has caused them to delay, reschedule, or cancel an event. More interesting is that planners continue to safeguard the attendee experience. A strong majority (62%) are finding cost savings in areas that will not diminish attendee experience, and just 25% are thinking about increasing per-participant pricing. Hoteliers should also note that almost 90% of planners were not planning to reduce attendance as a way to minimize the cost of the event.
Hotels and venues should consider offering additional incentives to planners that elevate the experience. Are there special deals for shoulder dates, or restaurant discounts? Look for ways to sweeten the experience of the event without adding to the cost in order to keep attendees on the property for more days. Hospitality sales, marketing, and operations teams can also help by being more efficient and transparent. Here are a few ways Cvent can help you make the most of this event trend:
Event trend No. 2: Hotel/venue relationships with planners need more attention.
After all, planners have a long list of events and lots of work to do. They need adequate support from the hotel or venue they select, yet over 30% said that they’ve had to delay, reschedule, or cancel an event because their selected hotel or venue wasn’t adequately staffed. That’s a trend that increased from 18% in the March Northstar/Cvent Meetings Industry PULSE Report. Almost 40% say that their hospitality contact is gone.
Hotels and venues can reduce busy work and focus on building relationships with planners. Be mindful that planners also may be new and won’t know the basics about your property; keep it in mind when responding to the RFP request. For example, many hotels win events by doing small but thoughtful things, like sharing event space diagrams in the RFP response. Most of all, follow up and ask questions. Don’t reject an otherwise attractive RFP because the dates are booked; reach out and ask if alternatives are a possibility. If not, that’s okay. Work on building the relationship with the planner. Here are a few ways Cvent can help you make the most of this event trend:
Event trend No. 3: Great and affordable attendee experiences are paramount.
Return on time/experience/investment for attendees has a weighted average of 4.1/5 in the PULSE Report, making it one of the most important factors for planners right now. The good news for hotels and venues is that putting together a great experience doesn’t have to be expensive. Event planners may be looking for something simple, quick, and creative. They might know exactly what they want to do but have a tight budget for site visits – and not a lot of time to pull the event together. The key is to efficiently meet their needs and anticipate opportunities to make their event even better.
Start putting these event trends to use today!
The way forward from two long years spent away from other people is, not surprisingly, all about relationships. That’s the takeaway from the most recent Northstar/Cvent Meetings Industry PULSE Report. Planners are interested in rebuilding what was lost by furlough and starting new relationships through exciting events; all with a careful eye on COVID-19 and the bottom line.