Just as any other sector, the hospitality industry has been impacted with a long period of recession, political and economic instability, but also with technological changes and drive towards sustainability. The changes that emerged have also affected meetings, events and conferences. Despite the possibility of holding meetings remotely via an online service, the demand for live events will be on the rise, and it will include both budget destinations and luxury hotels. Let us see the top 5 rising hospitality trends that will change the way we hold business events.
Top 5 Rising Hospitality Trends
Using Technology to Improve Guest Experience
The advancement of technology will improve the overall efficiency of service – from check-in to check-out, but it will also cut the costs. The guest experiences will be enhanced with updates such as keyless checking in, and messenger-based bookings. Many luxury hotels will introduce sensory data – using wearable tech to track guest experience and reactions to noise level, air quality and temperature, enabling real-time assistance and enjoyment, as well as increased productivity at the meetings and ensuring a successful business travel. Robot butlers are the next big thing, that is already taking place in various hotels around the globe, and virtual reality is expected to impact the corporate meetings.
Adoption of Green Practices
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important for hotels, but also for companies that are holding corporate events at those hotels. Some tangible changes will be reflected in solar-powered pool heaters, LED lights, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and green housekeeping. We will also see many hotels basing their offer on locally produced goods and food. As for the specific meetings-related changes, the top 5 rising hospitality trends will include energy-efficient digital signage, bulk condiments and use of white boards.
In the last couple of years we saw a decline in customized meeting packages, but due to the growth in demand more and more hotels are embracing the product for the value. Corporate events at hotels like Le Montage in Sydney are offering full service, from rooms with state of the art visual equipment and conference rooms to an organized harbor cruise. Larger events at most of the hotels include tailored menu, too.
Catering to individual meeting attendee’s needs can only enhance the efficiency of the business meeting, as well as the general satisfaction with the service. Aloft Hotels, for instance, started a project of voice-activated rooms used to control the in-room guest experience. The guests are able to control the temperature, adjust lighting, turn on the music (make a personalized playlist) and explore local attractions – all of that with the sound of their voice. Other examples include using artificial intelligence to provide personalized entertainment and dining experiences.
Focus on Health and Wellness Offers
Health and wellness travels have gained momentum over the last couple of years, and finally businesses too are focusing more on that aspect. Business travelers are becoming more concerned about staying healthy and fit while on the road, but that trend is also determined by the fact that this is the age when the Millennials rule the business world, and they are generally more concerned with wellness. Baby boomers are no strangers to wellness travels, but they rather decide for relaxing and rejuvenating options, while Millennials are searching for out-of-the-box travels like adventures out in nature and fitness. Fitness facilities and classes are very important when choosing a venue.
With the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) sector continuing to grow, hotels will have to compete for attention and follow the top 5 rising hospitality trends. They will do that by offering these five innovations, but also by giving the guests access to some unique perks, such as free daily wine tasting, set lists of downloadable music, in-room exercise equipment, vitamin-infused shower water, etc. All of these perks will surely make business travels more productive and successful.