Seizing the Opportunity for Must-Have Immersive Group Meeting Experiences and Quality Hotel Service

By Laura d'Elsa Regional Director USA / Canada, German Convention Bureau | September 07, 2014

The traditional and conventional group business meeting is becoming a thing of the past. Meeting planners today want to ensure innovative events capture the hearts and minds of their attendees. And attendees want and expect the highest level of service and technology, and more importantly, knowledge sharing and networking that show a real return on investment. Stepping up to the plate to address these needs are savvy hoteliers who offer unique and differentiating experiences to their group hotel guests.

This trend has been a long time coming. As the world has become more accessible – through not only travel, but also technology such as videoconferencing and software communications and collaboration tools – the very way people do business has evolved. No longer do attendees have to wait until their return to the office or until they have time to make a phone call to report back on the success of their meeting or convention. Live tweets from the show floor or texts to colleagues back in the home office make it easy for real-time information sharing and feedback.

According to findings from the Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment's "Meetings and Conventions 2030: A study of megatrends shaping our industry, " more than 41.6 percent of respondents identified technology in work and life to be very influential in the future of the meetings business. New forms of knowledge transfer will influence all phases of event planning, including the facilities and accommodations themselves.

What's more, the demographic profile of meeting attendees has evolved. In the same study, 19.2 percent of respondents saw demographic change as an important consideration in the future of meetings. There are more women attending business meetings today than ever before, and there is an increasingly older and more diverse meeting population in general. Implications of this demographic shift include more accessibility, flexible meeting formats, interests-based programs and services such as child care, more food choices, spa services and the like. Hoteliers are addressing these needs in highly focused ways.

Germany's extensive breadth and depth of lodging establishments offer prime examples of hoteliers who have taken the lead in ensuring their facilities and services meet the needs and wants of today's meeting planners and business travelers. Regardless of meeting experience goals – be they cultural, historical, environmental or experiential – German hoteliers have something for everyone.

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