Traditionally a meeting is defined as a gathering of two or more people convened for the purpose of achieving a common goal through verbal interaction, such as sharing information or reaching an agreement.
All meetings are events that serve a business or educational purpose.
In the Hospitality Industry meetings is part of the MICE (meetings, incentive, convention, and exhibition) terminology. MICE represent a sector of tourism which includes business events and activities.
Travelers attending MICE activities have a purpose beyond leisure tourism and are in fact business travelers. These business travelers are connected to different sectors of the tourism and hospitality industry through their MICE activities. Think of business travelers who travel to a city to attend an exhibition. They will need food, drinks, shopping, entertainment, transport, accommodation and more.
Embrace the future of Hotel Meetings
We know millennials brought on new shifts that forced many Hotels to embrace new technology, new media, and Social Media.
For many Hotels, meetings are the backbone of their service. When we look at the future of Hotel Meetings it faces similar challenges as the Hospitality Industry itself.
Millennials are more diversified, unpredictable and they want to be in control of the experience. They are not loyal to brands in the same fashion as Hotels experience with baby-boomers and older generations. Their focus is on their community and the overall experience for the community and how this will help them set out their own unique experience.
It is important to understand that Millennials is diversified, and personalized experiences still matter.
Many Hotels embrace events that attract large crowds. Typically Hotels is sold out then at rates from 50-100% above normal.
One tidbit to take note of here is that from events like South by Southwest® (SXSW®) generated the idea to innovate alternatives Airbnb and HomeAway. The customer became frustrated over price jacking and sold out Hotels.
New patterns for travelers
The Hospitality Industry has for many years lived in a very predictable reality that provided certainty in the flow of customers. And this has caused the industry be a little stuck inside the box. Today we as Hoteliers is forced to think outside the box.
We have to look at new alternatives that engage new and renewing customers.
The key today is that brands in general experience more disruption than what we ever. Disruption has become the new normal. Disruption takes a left turn by literally uprooting and changing how we think, behave, do business, learn and go about our day-to-day.
I just recently listened to some series of videos with some of the top leaders in the Hospitality Industry. And one of them was with Chip Conley previously CEO with Joie de Vivre, now Global Head of Hospitality and Strategy at Airbnb.
Conley provided some really interesting aspects. He indicated that in 20 years people will buy fewer homes and rather travel more as results of better internet access, wifi, and mobile workstations. And the new norm will become that travelers will require accommodations from one week up to three months.
The hospitality industry has lived by mantra’s like “Location – Location – Location”. And one of the major challenges is that if Hotels continue thinking within the box customers will no longer look at the Hotel as the primary location, but rather look at alternative locations. Customers will look for innovative arrangements that meet their needs.
These points tell us that we have to look allows the Hospitality to integrate multiple alternatives to engage travelers in new ways.
The traditional role of the Hotels still is to provide facilities, space and function rooms for MICE activities; accommodations, housing for business travelers who attend the MICE event; and food and beverage services at the event, as well as meals for travelers who stay in the hotel. Typical hotels have accommodation rooms, restaurants, ballrooms, meeting rooms, swimming pools, a business center and more.
Data show us today and health and wellness are important for the millennial traveler. Hotels have to adjust the meeting accommodations to meet this demand.
Social Media has provided new and alternative ways for Hotels to enhance the productivity and level of engagement in meetings.
One very sustainable solutions that now is arising for many Hotels is to start to look outside the box and integrate the local community to enhance the customer experience. Hotels can’t depend on others do the job for them and just sit on the sideline and watch. We as hoteliers have to play an active role in this shift. Else as indicated customers will start to prefer other alternatives.
Disruptions and new shifts are no way a doom and gloom scenario for the Hospitality. Rather it is golden opportunity to focus on innovation and start thinking outside the box.
In my opinion, the future for the Hospitality Industry and the MICE segment looks very bright. Disruptions, new shifts, and innovations bring the best out of us.
How can your Hotel team make the next Hotel Meeting stand out in new innovative ways?
Remember that disruptors share a common purpose: create businesses, products, and services that are better, less expensive and more creative, useful and impactful, and scalable.
Learn how to nurture your influencers and the Community.
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