Jeff Joins the Cloud5 Clique Webcast on July 1, 2021
On July 1, Knowland’s CEO Jeff Bzdawka joined host Armand Rabinowitz, VP of Product Development at Cloud5 Communications, and fellow panelist Page Petry, a strategic advisor with UgoVirtual to discuss the future of meetings as part of the popular Cloud5 Clique webinar series.
Below are three unexpected things we learned during the course of this engaging webcast.
- Hybrid is here to stay – at least for now:
The group re-iterated the fact that there is a strong drive to meet in person, and while we would like to be in person, the reality is that hybrid meetings will continue, likely into 2023. Jeff noted that although this is the case, these types of meetings will continue to evolve. Everyone agreed that while this was temporary, the growth of the hybrid model has, and will continue to, enhance the meeting experience because it allows more attendees to be involved even if they can’t fly to the destination. Page noted that, even if we can’t be there in person, we want to be a part of the meetings, whether they are physical or virtual.
- Friction free events are the end goal:
The group discussed the parallel of the dawn of television and how it impacted live sports. It is an example of a hybrid event. With that, however, is the technology. Jeff noted that while technology isn’t new it’s how people are using it to bring together a friction-free event. They agreed that while hoteliers need to support meeting planners with all the best intentions, but when tech doesn’t work or breaks it is up to the vendors in the space to provide friction-free and reliable technology, including acceptable wi-fi. Jeff stressed that they need to take care of the big events, but also make sure the infrastructure is built to handle all the connections from anywhere on the property. He noted that at the end of the day, it is the hotelier’s job to make the meeting planners look good.
- How about some myth busting:
Another interesting topic was the discussion about which myths about hybrid need to be busted. Page stressed that some in the industry still believe that meetings are on hold. The reality is that live events are happening, and there are ways to gain additional revenue. That sense that it must be a virtual or a live meeting and that one will overtake the other is a myth we need to dispel because that isn’t the reality today. The world we work and meet in is changing and we’ve adapted in different ways. The sense that hybrid will go away any time soon is a myth. Jeff concurred and noted that if you can support smaller meetings, you will gain revenue opportunities. If your property was too small to support a large event in the past, today that meeting is likely smaller and could have a virtual component that makes your hotel a strong contender to support the lower in person aspect of the hybrid event. He also noted that many still believe that hybrid is cheaper. He said, “It isn’t cheaper, it is different. Technology is evolving and investment is required.” He also noted that while tech is the enabler, you need to invest in the people as well, not only those that can take care of the tech, but also the sales teams that bring in meetings, regardless of type, as well as the staff needed to take care of the guests. Without these investments hotels will continue to struggle to support meeting planners and increase revenue.
The bottom-line is meetings are about the experience — for your planner customer and the attendee guest. Make sure you make the right investments in people and technology to leave a positive impression that will ultimately lead to greater revenue.
If you’re a hotelier who’s ready to find and book more meetings, schedule a meeting with one of our data insight pros. We’ll ensure you have the right information to capture the best opportunities for your property.