Hotel’s Key to Success: Create Experiences, Deliver Satisfaction
Specialists confirm that the hotel industry is going through a period of unprecedented, irreversible change and, following their predictions, it will look distinctly different in 2020 than it does today. Hotels are feeling the impact of a much deeper trend.
According to Hotels 2020: Welcoming tomorrow’s guests – Grant Thornton Insights: The industry is increasingly consumer-led and guests are calling the shots. As in other sectors, digital technologies are shifting the balance of power towards the consumer.
Nowadays people seek experiences rather than tangible goods. Experiencing is considered as more dominant value and creates an unparalleled opportunity for the services sector, including meeting and event or hotel industry.
A perfect venue for an event? Hotel
The size of the global hotel industry isn’t as easy to quantify as you might imagine but it definitely makes a significant part of the global economy. Nonetheless, there are some universal trends regardless of the region. It’s no surprise that this part of the services sector is tightly connected with the event industry – according to PwC, 85% of meetings take place in hotels. Today almost every hotel provides space for meetings, events or conferences.
The groups of event attendees are a significant driver for the hotel industry and are becoming increasingly important – according to Amex 2018 Global Meeting Forecast. Thus both of the industries look for similar solutions and improvements, and if connected, there can arise a very advantageous synergy, which might revolutionize both sectors.
Hotels and venues experienced the highest demand lately. According to EventMB State of the Event Industry Research 2018:
- 73% of event planners are working with hotels
- 57% are working with conferences centers
- 53% are working with unusual venues.
Hotels are therefore the most commonly chosen venues for events, what leads them to put a strong emphasis on innovative amenities, high-quality service, and flexible meeting environments. New advances in technology continue to change the relationship between hotels and guests as well as intuitive and ingenious mobile devices are changing guests’ online preferences and habits, redefining how they research, plan, and book a stay.
Technology is key
Technology is expected to continue to transform meetings and events. Now it plays the essential part in everyday life. Can you imagine going through the day without smartphone containing all your data, communication channels, constant connection and access to your mailbox?
Technology has far-reaching implications for meeting owners and attendees alike. Modern attendees expect that online experience will be available to enhance their face-to-face experience and are eager to deploy technologies that facilitate personal event attendance goals, such as networking and interacting more deeply with content – Amex report points out. People expect technology to make their lives easier, everyday tasks simpler and entertainment more accessible. Along with the entire events industry, venues continue to explore the potential of the biggest event technology trends. Let’s briefly look at some of them.
VR – at its basic level, it’s a good way of showing products that are hard to bring to an event. But virtual reality is becoming more sophisticated, incorporating interaction with other users. It could become a tool for virtual meetings, with each attendee linked, sharing each other’s content.
AI – the more that can be learned about a guest, the better. Artificial Intelligence is enabling the hotel industry to do innovative things. In addition to creating fully-personalized guest experience, AI also stimulates improvement and innovation as well by collecting, selecting info and establishing patterns into actionable insights. AI can provide great networking feature by matching potential clients or business partners present at the same event.
Chatbot – this easy and quick way of interaction asks you a series of questions, collects the info to choose and adjust most proper space for your meeting. Some of them are really detailed and innovative. Forgot the hour of breakfast or the floor of the meeting room? Make up for that in a flash – ask bot about that and get the answer in a second. It provides you floor plans or reminders.
Meeting apps – are evolving to include interaction, ranging from sharing thoughts and images, to gamification and live polling. They handle the details and all essential info. You can also use an event app to track guests’ opinions in real-time, to see how they change from the beginning to the end. In addition meeting apps let the attendees keep up to date with every part of the event, avoiding the FOMO.
According to Amex report, 47% respondents indicate that apps are very important for sending messages to attendees and sharing agenda details, and 38% identified meeting analytics to measure success as a key feature of mobile apps.
Smart Room – guests, which are used to technologically advanced solutions in their homes and workplaces are expecting same or similar from hotels. Smart Room concept seems to be the most optimal way to fulfill these expectations. By collecting data from guests’ devices the room adjusts every detail to their preferences providing fully personalized stay.
Attendees expect more
Day-long lectures, strictly connected with the industry may turn out really demanding and requiring full attention. There is a threat that in the middle of the day attendees’ focus and level of engagement decrease or they simply get tired. There is a solution for this case. During the breakout let your attendees relax and provide interesting activities they really like. It not only helps them get back in shape but also delivers a great experience. Hilton uses these practices and it does it in a good way. They provide quite wide range of break activities – from creating the bouquets of flowers for local charities, doing yoga with an instructor, to playful activity with puppies and ice cream, that reduce stress – Because surveys show that when you give your attendees more of what they want they’ll give you more in return. More focus. More participation. More engagement – states Amex 2018 Global Meeting Forecast.
According to Amex 2018 Global Meeting Forecast, there is a growth in costs of travel and meeting organizing predicted in 2018/2019. Although many meeting owners across the globe increase budgets intended for the event, more and more meeting planners pay attention to budget concerns. But it doesn’t mean that the event value has to drop. It still should be attractive for attendees and provide the best possible experience. The solution may be to choose more local venues (which can turn out equally appealing), but then to take care of additional advantages, for example, technological or entertaining, that will meet attendees’ expectations.
Attendees are increasingly looking for events that deliver a unique experience. Meanwhile, the event organization is a pretty dynamic industry, constantly evolving and seeking for more and more attendee-oriented solutions, demanding the same from the venues. Here come the hotels with amenities that meet all these needs, providing memorable and personalized stay. But the pace of change is extremely rapid and it’s not going to slow down in the future, so both of the industries should not only maintain their endeavors but even spice them up.