September FOCUS: Hotel Group Meetings

September, 2023

Hotel Group Meetings: One Event, Two Experiences

The pandemic gave rise to the advent of fully virtual events but now, as in-person meetings are resuming, hotel group managers are adapting to a new hybrid model. In this model, in-person live events must also have a digital component. It is a means to expand a meeting's reach by allowing a virtual audience to participate. In a real sense, meeting planners must now organize their events for two audiences - one in-person and one virtual. The in-person event strives to create a unique experience that is focused on safety and networking, while the virtual experience drives engagement before, during, and after the event. It is a “one event, two experiences” design that highlights the location's value but multiplies its reach through virtual technology. For hotels, providing a seamless event for clients has its challenges - proper staff training, investment in the necessary equipment, and more complex coordination and planning with meeting organizers. The September Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to adapt to the new realities of group meeting business in their operations.

This month's feature articles...

Louise Bang

After an attempt of virtual events and hybrid meetings, the enthusiastic return of in-person conferences, conventions, and incentives has felt like a homecoming for many in hospitality. While virtual engagement has benefits, there is nothing that can truly replace the power of in-person events for collaboration, relationship building, and fostering a sense of community. Events are returning and better than before. READ MORE

Taryn Fontenette

In our post-pandemic hospitality landscape, conference and meeting hosts have high expectations. How can hotels provide experiences that keep guests talking long after they've returned to their everyday lives? In this article, Taryn Fontenette, director of catering and conference services at The Hotel at the University of Maryland, shares several strategies to elevate your next event through personalization and creativity. READ MORE

Anne Digregory

Groups today are looking to go beyond the boardroom by visiting hotels and resorts that offer unique experiences for corporate travelers, whether it's for team building activities, incentive travel, or group retreats. Properties now must look at providing experiential offerings that speak to the destination and provide a sense of place, boast authentic dining and culinary offerings, or provide unique wellbeing experiences that go beyond your typical hotel spa menu. READ MORE

Bob Vaez

In-person meetings are back. After years of virtual events, meeting organizers and attendees are used to the perks of meeting online. So that means there's a new normal hotel group managers need to adopt: hybrid meetings. Explore the pros and cons of hybrid events, their challenges, and how the right event tech can mitigate them. READ MORE

Rohith Kori

Close to two-thirds of corporate events in North America will be held in person this year. If your property wants to increase its events revenue and book repeat business, priority No. 1 is to empower event planners and property staff with comprehensive solutions that help them create truly memorable events and exceptional experiences for their clients and their attendees. Your property must possess three key attributes to ensure a rewarding partnership with planners that contributes to a successful event and satisfied attendees. READ MORE

Mark Johnson

As hotels seek to regain customers and return the number of conferences they host to pre-pandemic numbers, the need for "doing things differently" is clear. The old model needs an update; forward-thinking hotel group managers must seize the opportunity: Develop a system by which customers can add a virtual component to their in-person conferences and events. Enter the Hybrid Conference. READ MORE

Vivek Neb

In-person events may be returning, but the appetite for hybrid opportunities continues to grow. From expanding reach to enhancing sustainability, the hybrid model could transform how events operate. But the combined in-person and virtual elements of an event must be seamless. To get there, hotels will need to make crucial investments in technology and the attendee experience. READ MORE

Mauricio  Ramírez

Within the ever-evolving hotel industry, group meetings now serve as transformative experiences, promoting collaboration and innovation. Meticulous attention to detail has become a vital factor in shaping these impactful occasions. How do hotels stay competitive while enhancing guest experiences with diverse event spaces? Discover the key strategies in this article and unlock the secrets of crafting unforgettable hospitality experiences. READ MORE

Vaughn Davis

The hospitality industry experienced a significant transformation post-pandemic, leading hotel groups to adopt a new hybrid model. Dream Hollywood has embraced this shift, leveraging technology to enhance guest experiences, introducing innovative meeting spaces, virtual events, VR technology for remote engagement, and more, as well as properly preparing staff with cross-training to adapt to changing demands. Dream Hollywood's forward-thinking approach, embracing flexibility and creativity, redefined the concept of hospitality and opened doors to new opportunities. READ MORE

Jeeyeon Jeannie Hahm

While there is just one event, the experience for hybrid-based meetings is for both in-person and virtual attendees. It is therefore imperative to balance the two experiences. A hybrid event should not feel like it is two separate events. It should be one event with two experiences. The content should be relevant to both groups but delivered differently to both. READ MORE

David Allison

This article focuses on boosting hotel sales in the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions) industry by understanding three of the core human values of meeting planners: Personal Growth, Financial Security, and Personal Responsibility. It suggests strategies tailored to these values to help readers develop their own values-driven ideas. Extensive data analysis has shown that understanding these values can lead to up to eight times more marketing impact than relying on demographic data. READ MORE

Heather Larson

COVID-19 halted in-person meetings and we haven't been the same since. Amidst and following this shift, Meet Chicago Northwest (MCNW) was able to innovate and expand, while also creating a toolkit for future obstacles that may arise. Destination marketing executive, Heather Larson, President and CEO, believes that the future of meetings and events will rely heavily on key technology. READ MORE

Jack Benton

Meetings, events and conferences are quickly returning to an in-person model, while the expectation remains that a virtual component will complement or supplement what's offered in-person. The rapid transition has posed numerous challenges for meeting planners and venues. Meeting those head-on and implementing key learnings are how the hybrid model will continue to thrive across the industry. READ MORE

Michele Worth

Hotel managers have had to swiftly adapt to a new hybrid model for meetings with the increased need and demand for hybrid meeting options in the past few years. With increased remote work, managers recognized the importance of offering flexible options and began adapting models and brainstorming new ideas to accommodate participants both in person and remotely. READ MORE

Roy Charette

Building loyalty and underscoring employee value through CSR team-building events can be an important tool for the long-term success of a company. It can also help employees feel included and valued. By making clear CSR commitments that resonate with employees, brands will create a positive reputation, which will also help attract and keep top talent. READ MORE

Cynthia Jones

In the new age of permanently hybrid workplaces, online hotel group meetings and conferences seem more cost-effective at face value. However, the post-pandemic itch for in-person meetings is still alive among many employees and organizations. With luxurious amenities, exemplary team support, and access to the best in presentation technology, the perks of in-person hotel group meetings are worth exploring. READ MORE

Kalene Griffith

Meeting-goers today want Instagram-worthy encounters and moments, and when destinations are able to deliver this, it creates a meaningful experience with an impact that goes beyond the traditional convention model. Conference planners are challenged to make events more captivating, vibrant and engaging than ever before. Meeting venues must rise to meet this demand by embracing an innovative and unconventional approach. READ MORE

Corbin Ball

Discover the future of events with hotels embracing hybrid technology! In this insightful article, explore how hotels are adapting to the rapidly evolving business landscape by offering seamless and engaging experiences for hybrid events. Discover the technological advancements, customized event spaces, enhanced connectivity, and comprehensive support that hotels are providing. READ MORE

Robert O'Halloran

Like all businesses in pandemic recovery, new realities for doing business have emerged. Reaching your guests and or clients is different from pre-COVID-19. Guests want value for their money and hotels seeking to attract groups and meetings need to provide multiple channels to accomplish this goal. This article will examine how hotels are and can reach virtual and in-person audiences. READ MORE

Conor Kenny

When it comes to meetings and events visionaries, beware of vested interests overstating the role of technology. Of course, it is important, of course it has a role. But humanity will always outweigh technology. Whatever innovation arrives, nothing but nothing will ever beat the primal need to meet. This article explains why, and the clear balance you need to strike READ MORE

Michael​ Luther

Vice President of Sales for the Westgate Resorts collection, Michael Luther, speaks to the world-class facilities, experiences, and amenities combined with an ideal location right off the Las Vegas Strip that make Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino the top choice for any event or meeting and provides guests with a true taste of all that Nevada has to offer. READ MORE

Jason Jani

The event industry over the last several years has seen highs and lows, and continues to evolve in the best way. The future of in-person events looks bright, and learnings from a remote world have jumped in to shape a menu of services that cater to a much wider audience. Today, customization is key to success. READ MORE

Bruce Wright

The golf industry continues to evolve in its embrace of both casual and avid golfers, and the intersection of golf, entertainment, and experiential travel is growing more profound. An exciting new era for golf travel has arrived, with hospitality environments that showcase multigenerational appeal, diverse programming, and an approachable design aesthetic with a timeless quality. READ MORE

Coming up in March 1970...