Winning Group Business in the Age of Millennial Event Planners

By Kevin Fliess Vice President Supplier Network Product Marketing, Cvent | June 26, 2016

Hotels have spent the last decade trying to come to terms with a changing technology landscape that upended not only their sales and marketing strategies, but their operational processes, too. Now they face an even greater shift - one that will change their sales and marketing culture for years to come - the rise of the Millennial generation, and with that, the emergence of Millennial meeting and event planners.

In parallel with a rapid increase in Millennial leisure travelers, this new generation of young adults increasingly comprises the largest age group attending meetings and events, which are more often than not planned by a Millennial. The good news for hotels: many of the same marketing approaches and innovations for the leisure set carry over to group business, especially for this generation that blurs the lines between work and play more than any in the past.

Embracing technology, while difficult, is still a linear solution. You decide on the need, evaluate the standard options, and pick the best fit for your hotel. Fast Wi-Fi and lots of outlets are no-brainers. However, adapting to a generational shift involving the complexities of people is far more difficult.

This is the first generational shift we’ve witnessed in 25 years. While there were preferential differences between Baby Boomer and Generation X, they didn’t fundamentally change the way hotels functioned to attract them. Millennials are different. Their technology-first inclinations, willingness to share everything online, and always connected lives are beginning to shift hoteliers’ away from their comfort zone.

And this is only the beginning. Pew Research Center recently announced that “Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation.”

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Coming up in March 2018...

Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.