Editorial Board   

Mr. Costin

Matthew Costin

Global Director (Hotels & Hospitality), BDRC Continental

Matthew Costin, is the Global Director (Hotels & Hospitality) of BDRC Continental, a market research consultancy specialising in the hotels and hospitality sector. In more than a decade at BDRC, Mr. Costin has worked with many of the world's leading hospitality companies, such as IHG, Hilton, Starwood and Marriott. He is an expert in the fields of brand equity and customer experience and is also a recognised authority on the meetings and conference sector. Mr. Costin joined BDRC in 2002, having started his insight career two years earlier with Abacus Research, where he worked mainly for clients in the financial services and media verticals. At BDRC, he assumed responsibility for the agency's work in the rapidly growing meetings and conference sector. In addition to overseeing the BDRC Meetings Market Survey programmes, Mr. Costin launched VenueVerdict, a suite of hospitality customer experience management and competitor benchmarking applications that has now been adopted by hotel companies in more than 70 countries worldwide. In 2008, Mr. Costin was promoted to BDRC's senior management team and appointed to head up the company's global Hotels & Hospitality research practise, which operates out of BDRC's head office in London as well as regional offices in Singapore, Beijing and Sydney. Alongside his management responsibilities, he retains a hands-on role with custom hotel research and consultancy assignments, as well as BDRC's global Hotel Guest Survey and Meetings Market Survey program. Mr. Costin has a MA in International Relations from the University of Sussex and holds an MBA from Henley Business School.

Mr. Costin can be contacted at 4402074001004 or matt.costin@bdrc-continental.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.