Hospitality: Top 10 meeting trends for 2014
Benchmark Hospitality International, the Houston-based operator of 40 hotels, resorts and conference centers across the country, is seeing an uptick in business.
?The good news is?there?s good news!? Alex Caba?as, president & CEO of Benchmark Hospitality International, said in an announcement. ?Booking pace is very strong and the economic hangover is mostly worn off, and companies are spending again on training and development.?
The firm?s?Benchmark Resorts & Hotels?division released the ?Top 10 Meeting Trends for 2014? as observed by its properties:
- Lightning Speed!??Free, fast, and it better be reliable ? highly effective WiFi is the #1 issue for planning professionals and conferees in the meetings business today.? Conferees often come with up to three wireless devices per attendee so greater bandwidth is a necessity to drive multiple devices.? Planners are expecting adequate bandwidth to keep meeting guests not only connected and engaged, but happy as well.
- Content Leads to Discovery.?How do planners and conferees discover and learn about properties in 2014? Primarily through good old fashioned Google searches. Targeted exposure on the Internet has never been more important, or more utilized by planners.? What drives this? Meaningful web content. Be visible and connected, but never forget that well executed, timely, and informative website content is king when trying to communicate a message, delineate one?s brand and engage meeting professionals.
- Demand Trends UP!??Meeting demand and booking pace is consistently on the upswing. As the economy picks up momentum, so goes meeting demand. Short-term bookings are still prevalent, but the booking demand window is increasingly stretching into 2015, 2016 and beyond. Not quite the good old days?but getting closer!?
- Creating The Experience.?Just as with consumer travel today, the demand for out-of-the-ordinary unique experiences is increasingly factoring into meeting destination decisions. Those properties partnering with local assets, such as wineries, historic and natural wonders, intriguing adventure resources, and unique off-site reception and dinner venues have a strategic advantage in the pursuit and the capturing of meeting demand.
- Green is Good, But ???Though it sounds enticing, and feels like the right thing, being green is not seen by most planning professionals today as a critical factor in property selection, and no one is losing business because of the lack of it.? This isn?t to say properties aren?t doing their utmost to be good green citizens; it?s just that other issues are often paramount to the success of a meeting.
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