Here’s what’s hot this year in the meetings industry, per a new report from Benchmark Hospitality International, a hospitality management and marketing services provider. Trends are based on data collected from Benchmark’s portfolio of 30 resorts, hotels and conference centers.
1. Business is on the move again. Business travel (group and individual) is up over last year, as is booking at most Benchmark properties.
2. Planners want choice. While planners still see the value in all-inclusive packages, they want more flexibility to meet their needs and budget.
3. Hotels want guests. While seeking to maintain rate integrity this year, hotels still are willing to negotiate added-value options (e.g., complimentary Internet access, attrition flexibility, forgiving resort fees) to seal the deal.
4. The pace is positive. More companies are projecting increased business needs right into 2012; meetings are increasing in quantity, though not size.
5. Social media is on the rise. More groups are videotaping sessions and posting on LinkedIn and YouTube.
6. Cost still rules over green. If forced to choose, planners will pick a less costly property over a more eco-friendly one.
7. Team-building is back. Planners want unique programs delivered within tight budgets.
8. Fun is back. Recreation and entertainment are returning to the agenda, within limits.
9. Standard industry segments are coming back. Segments such as insurance, consulting, high-tech, financial and health care are beginning to hire again, leading to more training-related meetings, more support for conference centers.
10. Everyone’s getting smarter. Thanks to the Internet, iPads, smartphones and a plethora of apps, more information is being exchanged between planners, attendees and properties.
Source: Benchmark Hospitality International
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