What Venues Need to Succeed: 5 Research-Backed Insights
After another strong year in 2018 for meetings and events, many predictions show the upward trends continuing this year:
- The Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) 2019 Meetings & Trends Report predicts a robust 5 to 10 percent growth in demand
- The CWT/Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) 2019 Global Travel Forecast suggests the growth of 2.8% in GDP in 2019
To get to the heart of how venues can continue to capitalize on these positive trends, we dug into several recently released research reports.
Here are five research-backed insights highlighting what meeting venues need to succeed today:
Insight #1: Well-connected venues reign supreme
In the 2018 IACC Meeting Room of the Future™ report, seventy-seven percent of venue operators said high-quality internet infrastructure will become even more important in the next three to five years.
Of course, WiFi is critically important for planners and attendees too. According to research from Event Manager Blog, seventy-nine percent of event planners say WiFi availability and performance is still a big issue for the events industry.
With the importance of WiFi as highlighted in these reports, one way for venues to win the WiFi battle venues is ensuring reliable connectivity and fast speeds, with many venues even going so far as to offer internet access free of charge to clients or include it as part of the overall meeting package.
Insight #2: Increased demand for unique and flexible spaces
According to the American Express 2018 Global Meetings and Event Forecast, the demand for non-traditional meetings facilities is expected to increase by 3.8%.
Part of this increase in demand is likely driven by a shift in planners’ roles. IACC’s research found more planners are now responsible for “experience creation” – which will become even more important over the next five years.
To support this shift, the IACC report suggests venues offer “a variety of on and off-site amenities that foster ‘experience creation’,” which could include provided elements such as:
- Creative meeting rooms
- Themed food & beverage
- Outdoor meeting rooms/spaces
- Ice-breaking and networking activities
Insight #3: Flexible venue spaces are on the rise
The IACC also reports the need for flexible, creative space is continuing to intensify, with 60 percent of meeting operators feeling the flexibility of meeting spaces will become more important over time.
One big meeting design trend over the past three years has been to incorporate more flexible, “non-traditional” meeting room sets and layouts.
Venues can step up to the flexible space challenge by activating under-utilized spaces, such as transforming foyers or atriums into networking lounges or creating informal huddle spaces for attendees to brainstorm.
Insight #4: Quick responses are expected
With our always-on, connected life, planners don’t have time to wait for the slow or long response time from venues. Event Manager Blog research found 52 percent of event planners are frustrated by slow responses from venues.
One way venues can speed up response times is providing 3D floorplans with virtual walkthrough capabilities, especially if they’re used to show venue spaces in multiple configurations.
Not only do these collaborative tools speed up and replace the time needed to email different document versions back and forth, but it also often eliminates the need for an in-person site visit entirely – ultimately helping venues close a deal with planners virtually!
Insight #5: Use a digital and social marketing toolkit
According to the Event Manager Blog, 69 percent of planners select venues based on word of mouth recommendations. Digital and social marketing tools aren’t that far behind. The same research from Event Manager Blog found 58 percent of planners use search engines and 34 percent use online listings and marketplaces.
As such, venues who utilize a digital and social marketing toolkit can stand out from the competition with a positive first impression and impactful presence – no matter where planners turn to research venues.
Contact us for a demo to learn more about all the ways AllSeated can support your venue with robust event planning and floorplan tools!