Business travel remains a crisis: Which hotel guests are prepared to accept hybrid forms of event? Hotels must build up digital conference competence
Hamburg, Germany - 3 August 2020 - Business trips remain the exception: infection protection continues to be a major concern in travel risk management, so that meetings on site remain rare. This can be seen from current travel recommendations. The continuing trend towards home offices also indicates that many company employees remain rather reserved when it comes to mobility. Meanwhile, the hotel and conference industry is hoping for hybrid event concepts: reduced on-site meetings with video transmission to business communities. Does that work?
With "MeetSafe", market leader KFP is focusing on the combination of analogue and digital meeting elements. Newcomers like WeFrame impress with smart technology for video conferences - between meeting rooms in partner hotels and the home office of the connected participants. Decisive for the success of these concepts is the willingness of the conference guests to engage in these experiments.
For the conference management in the hotel industry, these guidelines are necessary to succeed in the still very young segment of hybrid conferences:
- Which technology partner can provide innovative, smart video conferencing technology at a) fair prices, b) reliable, c) with real added value?
- Is the in-house banquet management / sales department prepared for specialist questions on digital topics relating to video conferences? What is the personal level of digitalisation of the hotel staff?
- Can meeting preparation and work processes be meticulously planned on-site and digitally?
- Is the Internet bandwidth expandable at short notice?
- How homogeneous is the event planning of the conference customer in terms of stringency, tension curve, digital content and moderation?
- How accurately can the digital readiness of the participants (the conference customer or the business community) be assessed? Which digital tools, e.g. for interaction and gamification, can be used?
For each hybrid conference project, a strengths-weaknesses analysis is recommended: previous knowledge, experience and objectives with regard to digitalisation. This can be evaluated in advance by means of an online survey - ideally easily and conveniently via chatbot.
Digital conference competence is a new challenge in hotel management: building up and expanding detailed expertise in video conferencing, digital presentations and data management (presentations and videos in the cloud) as a service replacement for reduced on-site conference room management (seating) and F&B management on-site. Those who can bring this to market with agile teams in a clever and marketing-strong way will be at the forefront of the new race for digital conference participants.
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