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As the end of 2012 is approaching, it’s now time to take stock of the main trends regarding the hospitality in the global meeting industry.
Among the more active industry segments we find telecommunication, education and energy.
Hotels and resorts are starting to be more selective with the bookings and mostly prefer larger meetings. Because of this requests’ resumption, planner can’t now expect to get premium space at bargain prices as it was possible during the last years.
And what about luxury?
While the word “luxury” in no more perceived as an offense, meeting planners are paying a great attentions to the budget. Therefore, we shouldn’t expect to immediately go back to the old standards.
Planners are now looking for creative, different spaces where to meet. Meeting chairs and accessories are no longer requested while informal, nice spaces are asked.
For sure, connection is becoming increasingly important. The spread of tablets and smartphones makes the wifi connection an essential service to be provided.
As prices slowly begin to rise, planners are looking for customized packages and for venues where to optimize time and resources. For instance, for a team building meeting, a well-equipped venue will be surely preferred to another, less comfortable, one.
And, while the international competition continues to grow, big companies are more likely to invest resources in training: to be skilled becomes an essential competitive advantage.
Another trend deals with destinations. As we have seen, the meeting industry is recovering from a crisis period.
Meeting planners are still cautious and therefore affordable destinations are preferred.
Last but not least, many companies are now looking for more sustainable meetings. The new trend of Socially Responsible Meetings represents a challenge for all the hotels and resorts. As Corporate Social Responsibility becomes increasingly important, the venue’s sustainability is likely to become a key factor in driving clients.
According to MPI’s last white paper, on the future of meeting, “The future will require meeting professionals to understand people, their differences and their needs in terms of face-to-face communication—and data will lead the charge. Meeting professionals
can also expect more virtual and hybrid meetings and will need to innovate and focus on value. Travel affordability and sustainability will pose challenges, and while experts agree that people will continue to need to meet in person and online, the value of these meetings will need to outweigh their significant costs.”