In Trends

With the meetings industry on the rebound, it’s a good time to make your pitch for a bigger meetings budget. Once your budget gets the go-ahead, use Dana’s red-hot meeting trends as a starting point for spending it wisely.

  1. Green Is Not Just a Buzzword. Environmentally conscious meeting management is gaining importance, and clients will want to see your property’s policies in advance and in action. Review your green practices to make sure they are current. Don’t forget to extend policies to dining, as the “locavore” movement, which focuses on locally produced and sourced food, is growing more and more followers.
  1. The Surprising Return of Incentive Travel. It’s gradual…it’s cautious…and it’s certainly not at the same level as the 1990s, but luxury properties and international destinations are seeing an increase in incentive business. 2012 is the year to get back in the incentive meetings game.
  1. Meetings Go Live and Virtual. Clients value face-to-face interaction, but they will still want to take advantage of the efficiencies of virtual meetings. Whether you have the latest meeting technology or are considering adding it now that it’s more affordable, you can broaden your property’s appeal by combining live and virtual elements into a hybrid meeting offering.
  1. Use Mobile Meeting Apps Judiciously. Think you need to jump on the Apps bandwagon? Make sure the app is appropriate for the intended user. Unless the app can be used successfully and meaningfully, it’s not worth the fuss.
  1. Adapt for Generational Learning Styles. Meeting professionals are more aware that Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y learn differently, and guess what—all of these generations will be attending meetings at your property. Are you up to speed on the differences? Can you tell the meeting planner how your property has adapted to address distinct generational learning styles?
  1. Don’t Be Afraid of Delegate Ownership of Content. Everyone’s talking about social media and how to take advantage of the opportunities. But let’s be honest—it’s a bit scary out there. Don’t be afraid to use Facebook and Twitter as another resource for connecting with your clients. Just understand that you will need to give up a little control of your brand to get the most out of social media opportunities. (Also known as “delegate ownership of content.”) Can you monitor and manage the conversation, knowing your property brand may take on a life of its own? If the answer is yes, get in there.
  1. Teamwork Always Wins the Game. What did 26% of meeting professionals say was more important than ever in MPI’s annual research survey? Collaboration and personal relationships with suppliers. Help meeting planners with ideas to achieve their budget and performance goals—and you’ll be part of the solution, not the problem. That’s a win-win.
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