Events, Banquets, Meetings, Private Dining, Group Dining are back baby! Below are trends we think are going to be big for restaurants, hotels and unique venues.
- Continued Groth for the Event Business
Booking pace is already ahead of last year and up noticeably for the beginning of the year, emphasizing the importance of solid relationships Event Planners
- Booking in the month, for the month.
The booking window for meetings and private dining remains a very short term (30 – 45 days) and is basically in the month for the month. Fortunately, cancellations are much rarer.
- Price sensitivity.
Venues must once again compete for event business with aggressive package pricing with high perceived value.
- Meeting group size is getting larger for restaurants and smaller for hotels
Group size is down for hotels and larger for restaurants. Meetings tend to be regional vs. national, are much more serious (fewer social functions), and are shorter in length.
- Being green is generally assumed, but is required for certain segments.
Federal and state governments and education, business require properties to meet basic green hospitality requirements to even be considered.
- No frills meetings are ROI driven.
With tight and highly scrutinized budgets, meeting spending is seriously conservative, highly image conscious, and focused on the basics with little room for over the top frills.
- Maximum Internet bandwidth is expected, ahead of all other technology demands.
Planners come to negotiations, expecting that all current meeting technology will be installed but demanding maximum connectivity.
- Fierce price negotiations, concessions expected.
Planners’ negotiation skills have been carefully honed over the last 12 months to18 months; they expect significant concessions, but appreciate the value of the complete meeting package.
- Health-conscious food and beverage options
A healthy diet can significantly help keep meeting participants attentive, and healthy buffets and plated meals are seen as perfectly acceptable for all, for the first time.
- Social media gaining ground for specific uses.
Corporate meetings still rely on face-to-face contact, not social websites. LinkedIn and TripAdvisor are growing in importance to planners for information and customer feedback on venues they are considering, and some planners are using Facebook to “friend” sales executives from venues with whom they’ve already developed a relationship.