As 2015 comes to a close, influencers in the MICE market should be identifying what trends they can capitalize on in 2016 to get ahead.
Elaine Macy, Executive Vice President of Global Group Sales for Preferred Hotels & Resorts, shares her top five predictions and trends to help planners better position themselves for their most successful year yet.
1. More Short-term Bookings
We live and work in an on-demand society, and this is no exception when it comes to event planning, with more expectations than ever for planners to pull together bigger and better programs with less and less lead time. While the solution to working more efficiently can often be found in technology, I encourage planners to go back to the basics if they want to get ahead. For example, dedicating time in the beginning of the year for relationship building with on-property partners will be very beneficial when you need their attention and help pulling last-minute details together for a client months later.
3. Focus on Philanthropy Being philanthropic will never go out of style, and the focus and importance of charitable partners for events in 2016 will be more relevant than ever. When selecting venues for clients, consider their recent philanthropic efforts and business principles. Are they LEED certified? Do they source their food locally? Do they support charity causes that align with your client’s business? Asking these questions will help you connect your event with the perfect venue. Venues that are known for their “green” or humanitarian efforts offer a priceless value-add.
4. Strengthen Relationships with NSOsWe are seeing National Sales Managers becoming more operationally involved at hotels and resorts during the negotiation phase with clients. This is not going away so I recommend that all planners, if they have not already, work on building better relationships with both NSOs and on-property Sales Managers, as they will deal with them both during the final negotiations.
5. Cvent will continue to be a game-changerFrom venue research and RFPs to guest list management and post-event surveys Cvent has had a major impact on the MICE market. The company’s reach and role will only expand in 2016. As more hotels and venues turn to Cvent to make quick connections, planners can rely on resources like Cvent to be more efficient as they manage various accounts and events.