In today’s world, and our ever-competitive and demanding economic landscape, what makes the perfect meeting? Are meetings in, or are they out? Do we love them, or do we hate them? What types of gatherings promote on-going collaboration for employees? These are some of the questions amongst planners and venues, both big and small, who hope to capitalize on the potential of group gatherings and live events, while avoiding the strain of daily, monotonous meetings.

A key to creating the perfect meeting is having planners and venue teams that work together instead of independently. This alignment is more important than ever, and here are just a few reasons why:

Meetings on the Rise

Let me tell you this — meetings aren’t going anywhere. According to the American Express Global Meeting Events Forecast 2019, we can expect growth for all types of meetings and events and the CWT Meetings & Events Future Trends report predicts the meetings market will see an increase of five to 10% in 2019. Utilizing corporate event planners and venue space, companies are dedicating a growing budget segment to the planning and execution of in-person events. Quality over quantity appears to be the residing theme moving forward.

Hoteliers and venues – is this music to your ears? It should be. Not only do corporations have the funds to invest in larger-scale meetings, but they realize the value in doing so.

Times Have Changed

What does the modern meeting landscape look like, you might wonder? Steering away from the traditional meeting format (a bleak, sleepy conference room full of executives distracted by a mounting to-do list), corporations are now more focused on company events. Modern events and meetings are steadily being transformed by technology and lifestyle trends, offering a more hands-on, memorable and ultimately ‘share-worthy’ experience for attendees. Bleisure travel is also on the rise, with a growing number of corporate attendees hoping to combine business and pleasure by extending their trip and capitalizing on packages and offers that cater to this newly popular travel segment. The modern meeting space is rife with excitement and revenue potential, for hoteliers and venue spaces alike — that is, if you know how to capitalize on it.

Out with the Old – In with the New

Corporate planners have a lot on their plate; oftentimes juggling their daily workload in tandem with the additional burden of planning an upcoming event on behalf of their company. With this in mind, venues are investing in technology that caters to busy planners to — you guessed it — make their job easier.

Much like we’ve steered away from the traditional meeting format, hotels and venues are also steering away from the legacy processes which once ruled the event planning landscape. Gone are the days of manual paper trails and reporting, a growing pile of unqualified RFPs, missed leads and slow turn-around. In their place, we have next-generation venue management platforms that online booking, reporting, and payments along with global visibility, 3D virtual tours, real-time availability and inventory updates and so much more. This empowers corporate planners to quickly plan and execute meetings and events, regardless of scale, while hotels are better able to effectively yield their space and attract group bookings. And this means bottom line profits for venue operations.

Meetings today might look a little different, moving forward. But have no fear – we’ve got just the tools for planners and hotels to succeed and thrive regardless of the stress and stay ahead of the curve and on top of your game. Ultimately, what makes a perfect meeting will vary across corporations and industries — but planning the perfect meeting requires the same level of synergy between planners and venues across the board. Utilizing modern technology to empower a more responsive and efficient booking and management process for meetings will ensure hoteliers are positioned to capitalize on this growing segment.

About the Author

Lauren Hall is the award-winning Founder and Chief Executive Officer of iVvy. Lauren is a passionate entrepreneur with more than 25 years’ business management experience at Executive and Board level, successfully building multiple companies from startup to strategic and financial exit. With a background in programming, accounting and marketing, Lauren’s expertise spans manufacturing, retail, advertising and technology industries in both South Africa and Australia.

She co-founded iVvy in 2009, overseeing our growth to 1,000 clients in 13 countries and expansion to New Zealand, Asia, Europe and North America.

Ernst & Young recognized Lauren as a future global leader of industry through the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Asia-Pacific program for 2016. Lauren won three International Silver Stevie Awards for Entrepreneur of the Year Globally 2016, Innovator of the Year 2016 and Entrepreneur of the Year Asia Pacific 2016 and recently was named Gold Coast Business Woman of the Year 2016.

About iVvy

iVvy offers meeting planners the ability to search, compare, book and pay for function space, catering and group accommodations online, 24/7. By providing conference centers, hotels, restaurants and cruise lines with an integrated revenue management and distribution platform, iVvy equips Venue Operators with the tools they need to manage inquiries on any device, anywhere. With enhanced reporting and analytics, Venues are provided with greater visibility over their business so they can yield their meetings & event spaces to maximize revenue.

With offices in 5 countries and a global team providing support 24 hours a day, iVvy’s groundbreaking, cloud-based software offers scalable solutions that tackle core issues faced by the travel, MICE and events industry, and continues to service the world’s leading hospitality groups, major corporations, travel companies, government offices, associations, universities and nonprofits.

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