Top Meetings Trends to Follow in 2018

A recent BTN article stated, “People who have been in the meetings industry for 20 years say there’s been more change in the last three years than in the 17 years before that.”

At Groupize, we are an innovative company powered by industry veterans that will never be accused of thinking inside the box.   We pride ourselves in listening to our customers and the market trends to inspire innovations and build the next generation solutions.  Our goal is not to disrupt for the sake of disrupting, but to be relevant and to remove friction and costs in the marketplace for all constituents, corporations, TMC’s and hotels.

2017 was a pivotal year for Groupize and the industry.   We spoke to hundreds of corporate clients and agencies about the space.   Those conversations were with Travel Managers, Meeting Planners, Procurement Teams, Hoteliers and C-Level Executives.

These are the top trends identified for Simple Meetings and that we will be following in 2018.

Simple Meetings Trends:

  1. Consolidation of transient and meeting programs will continue for corporations to better optimize their programs, resources and best practices.
  2. Corporations will focus on quantifying their Simple Meetings spend and mix with an emphasis on decentralizing some of their meetings.
  3. A shift of spend to more mid-tier limited service hotels and the need to be supported by a different type of hotel sales manager.
  4. Corporations will take a holistic approach and focus on overall spend on meetings technology, meetings spend, meeting ROI and planning resources.
  5. Corporations will continue to downsize the number of attendees for meetings and to start booking meetings with less lead times.
  6. The industry will realize that size doesn’t matter. The industry will stop referring to 60%-80% of meetings as small meetings for fewer than 50 people and will refer to the category, as Simple Meetings based on a complexity index, not size.
  7. All major TMC’s and agencies will bring to market and support small and simple meetings solutions. No one size fits all tools.
  8. Major hotel chains will keep investing in their meeting technologies and content. True live access to rates and inventory for instant booking of meetings (not extranet) will start becoming reality in the next 2-3 years.
  9. The industry will keep obsessing about commissions, especially as rumors about hotel chains testing different commission models for meetings will keep surfacing. This will push agencies and corporations to question how to fund their programs long term.  Hotels need to calculate acquisition costs, market share shift capabilities and the ROI of their distribution channels.

Technology and Changes in Expectations from Users:

  1. Millennial in the workplace will not fill out a 10-minute form to book a meeting. They want a transactional model of communication, not extranets, not lengthy forms.
  2. The death of the meeting request form (MRF) for 60%-80% of meetings. Corporations are willing to decentralize some meetings and allow for self-enabled processes, and the role of the planners will be more strategic rather than transactional.
  3. Last minute booking window trends will impact the sourcing of meetings and room blocks.
  4. Sizes and commitments to traditional room blocks will be smaller and the market will evolve to dynamic pricing for room blocks to minimize attritions risks and offer more choices and last minute inventory.
  5. App fatigue. People are less likely to download meeting apps. Chat, text, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will start changing the game.
  6. Data security and GDPR will be the norm. Technology companies will spend a much higher percentage of R&D to security.
  7. AR, VR and beacons are not there yet for booth engagement!

Miscellaneous:

  1. More consolidations in the space and Cvent (Vista Equity) will acquire more business and meetings companies.
  2. End to end platforms and data consolidation will be the norm.
  3. Groupize will keep innovating and launch new modules in the end-to-end platform!

 

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