Library Archives

 
Vani Van Nielen

As we enter Q3, there is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted businesses worldwide. Hospitality has already been singled out as having notably suffered from travel restrictions and lockdowns, but one could argue that meetings and events have it the worst. The very definition, large groups of people gathering in a single location that is often indoors, makes it clear that the meetings and events industry has struggled a lot. Many events from Q1 and Q2 were postponed to Q3 and Q4; however, the previously anticipated start of recovery now seems to be increasingly unlikely as resurgences of cases occur worldwide. READ MORE

Chaunsea Keller

Prior to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the US spend for meetings alone was over $399 billion annually. This amount was for company spend, so doesn't include the Association, SMERF or Sports spend, and it doesn't include rooms-only group blocks. That means that there is well over $450 billion spent on meetings alone in a "normal" year. Even if meetings are reduced by 50% for 2020, there is still the potential staggering number of $225 billion in meetings, groups, and events potential. In this article EproDirect's Executive Vice President, Chaunsea Keller addresses what hotels are offering post-COVID and how planners are responding and what they want. READ MORE

Diane Tighe

Hospitality professionals and event planners can learn a lot from universities. With flexible and convenient spaces, opportunities for recruiting and connections, and engagement and entertainment options, campus settings can teach us plenty about creating elevated, professional events for today's changing workforce. Diane Tighe, area director of catering and conference services at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and JB Duke Hotel on the campus of Duke University, outlines best practices to take away from the university event setting, and it might just earn the top grade in 2020. READ MORE

Jeff Crabiel

Looking for a way to break out of business as usual during meetings and events? The Westin Nashville's General Manager Jeff Crabiel illustrates how breakout sessions don't have to be energy-draining, cliche-ridden exercises. From meditation sessions to immersive activities, creative partnerships can rescue a meeting from the ordinary, transforming the overall experience into something unforgettable. These fresh and unique approaches won't just improve your events – they'll attract more events as well. Crabiel also shows how these partnerships don't necessarily require heavy lifting on the part of the planner. Often, the best partners can be found right in your own backyard. READ MORE

Robert Post

The U.S. hotel industry has experienced 10 years of unprecedented growth. While not as strong as previous years, 2019 was still a healthy year. However, economists and experts agree it may be time to tighten our belts and prepare for a slowdown. Economic indicators that analysts commonly use to make predictions are mixed, making it difficult to predict the exact timing or the severity of a downturn. The Hospitality industry will be impacted as always by a slowing economy. Experienced Hospitality professionals know they can minimize economic disruption to a Hotel in difficult times by developing a foundation of reliable group business… READ MORE

Jeff Hart

Jeff Hart, General Manager of the Los Angeles Airport Marriott explores airport hotels and their unique advantage to meetings and events. Hart discusses tactical tips and strategies that airport properties can take to stand out as a premier event destination. From challenges to opportunities, Hart gives a 360-degree look at the unique ways in which travel hubs can bring a destination to life and tell a story to potential clients that extends beyond near convenience and proximity to the airport. According to Hart and the team at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott, airport hotels are raising the bar, and now is the time for properties to look at the ways (small or large) in which they can level up their spaces, offerings and approach. READ MORE

Robert Post

Knowland CEO Robert Post responds to recent articles/opinions that the $50 million investment by Marriott, IHG, Accor, and Hilton in a new Group Booking Platform has signaled "meaningful change" in the painful process of selling event space and room blocks to meeting planners. The new booking platform uses a self-reporting database of hotel group block inventory and meeting space to offer meeting planners an OTA-like environment to shop and book event venues at the lowest price. READ MORE

Diane Tighe

Wellness is an essential component for planners to incorporate into their 2019 meetings and events, focusing on the complete physical, mental and social well-being of their attendees. The top meeting trend prediction comes as the theme of wellness grows rapidly on a global scale. Diane Tighe of Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and JB Duke Hotel on the campus of Duke University shares recommendations for physical, mental and social wellness for planners to incorporate in 2019. With nearly 20 years of experience, Diane is a Certified Professional Catering Executive (CPCE) and an active member of NACE since 2001. READ MORE

Ron Shah

Airbnb and home sharing has irreversibly impacted consumer leisure travel around the world. Put simply, vacation travelers have changed their preferences. They want to crack open the windows, save some money, and live like a local, and this trend is only accelerating. While hotels have been able to keep high occupancy rates for now, ADRs and profitability have suffered as a result, and there is no offset in sight. READ MORE

David Lund

If your hotel has a reasonable amount of meeting space (+10,000 ft) and your banquet business is a significant contributor in your Food and Beverage Department (+20% of F&B revenue), you are going to want to separate local banquet business from group banquet business on all of your financial statements, forecasts, budgets and daily reporting. At this moment you may be asking, "Why would I want to do that? That sounds like a lot of work." There are some very good reasons to make this practice a standard in your hotel. I see many hotel financial statements and most are missing the boat because they do not separate group and local banquet revenues. Separating this reporting and setting it up properly provides powerful information you can use in your hotel to make better decisions and ultimately be more profitable. READ MORE

Brett Ellison

With the annual chaos and excitement of the NCAA Tournament upon us once again, this is a good time to take a closer look at how hotel professionals manage high-volume external events. From concerts to conferences, and festivals to big games, the unique challenges of high-volume special events can put a strain on even the most well run and accommodating hotel property. READ MORE

Julian Jost

What is it exactly that millennials want? For hotels, this question is more pertinent than ever as Generation Y becomes the largest share of the American workforce. As millennials take more positions as meeting planners, our focus should shift to how to incorporate millennial meeting trends and keep hotel meeting spaces on the cusp of innovation and competition. Mr. Beaubien made a great step towards answering that question in his article on "The Rise of Generation C and Small Meetings," featured on Hotel Executive. In his answer, he focused mainly on technological aspects like online bookability and payment options. From the experience I have with Spacebase, an online booking platform for unique meeting and workshop venues, I can confirm this 100%. Our customer base is mainly young and part of Generation Y. READ MORE

Rob Scypinski

Hilton released a survey that asked meeting attendees in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany about their productivity, exercise and diet habits while at hotel meetings. We found that business indeed takes a dive around 2 p.m., and in addition to the afternoon slump, there's a number of other issues that detract from meeting productivity and attendee satisfaction. More than half of meeting attendees pay attention to what they eat and how they exercise in their daily lives, but most were unsatisfied with the ability to maintain this lifestyle while attending meetings at hotels. These meetings aren't just unproductive, they're draining an organization's bottom line. READ MORE

Sandy Heydt

Like many other industries, 2016 is a big year for reflection on past and current trends among the meetings and conventions sector, ultimately yielding numerous progressive changes among the way meetings are planned, held and eventually evaluated by meeting hosts and attendees. Meeting hosts are expecting higher attendance and engagement rates, a more efficient use of technology and creative ways to position the meeting as an interactive experience verses a traditional presentation-style event that ultimately maintains a cost-effective price point. To satisfy growing client expectations, meeting planners are expecting more from meeting, convention and event venues. READ MORE

David Ashen

Imagine a hotel meeting space that you'd walk into a decade or two ago. Do you see a 3,000-to-5,000-square-foot ballroom designed to seat hundreds of people, along with a patterned carpet and crystal chandeliers? Partitioned walls that subdivide the room to create secondary meeting spaces for smaller events and meetings? Do you conjure up an image of a boardroom for a dozen or two executives, with the requisite large oval table and leather chairs? A vanilla pre-function room for registration before an event and maybe a cocktail after? READ MORE

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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.