Measurable Data on Meetings and Events Will Be Mandatory

June 10, 2015
By Claire Repass, CMP, Communications Manager at Social Tables

Meetings are growing, and hotels are one of the primary beneficiaries of this growth. In order to better understand the impact of said growth, MMB partnered with hospitality technology company Social Tables on a report that highlights the “9 Ways Meetings Will Impact Hotels.” This free trend report was published with insight from the Convention Industry Council, Marriott Hotels, Accor and American Express Global Business Travel.

Nine trends were tackled in all, but this post examines Trend #2: Measurable Data on Meetings and Events Will Be Mandatory.


 

The financial impact of the meetings and events industry on hotels is enormous: According to a 2013 report by Frost and Sullivan, hotels generated $103 billion in revenue from 5 million events with 512 million attendees. A mere two years later, 2015 is expected to yield even larger financial opportunities for hotels, as budgets for meeting and events will rise.

Why? While the growth of the worldwide economy is certainly a propellant, the enhanced ability to measure the ROI of meetings and events is where the true growth will stem from.

The management and monitoring of every single process occurring in hotels is the new formula for success as it pertains to truly understanding this ROI. “Historically, events and meetings have had the bad reputation of being a black hole for investments,” says Corbin Ball, CSEP, CMP, DES, MS, “but that status is shifting drastically, and quickly.”

Interview with Corbin Ball, CSP, CMP, DES, MS, Episode 2

Today, advances in technology are allowing us to measure everything in a more strategic way, and that data-hungry mentality is forcing the introduction of technologies that track the entire ecosystem of an event – from the moment the attendee walks out their front door to the type of sheets they requested at the hotel to the type of transportation that took them to their program.

Measurement tools include:

  • Pre and Post Surveys – Collect information from meeting attendees, before and after an event occurs. Assess the data to determine whether participants gained knowledge, insights or new relationships as a result of the meeting, and whether the event lived up to their expectations. SurveyMonkey and Qualtrics are two free, user-friendly tools that can be used to create and distribute the survey questions.
  • Verification Rates – Compare the number of meeting registrants to the number of actual attendees. Assume that not everyone who intended to participate in the meeting will be able to. Where appropriate, factor in the number of virtual participants that followed the conversation remotely, on social media or through livestreaming technology.
  • Social Analytics – If a meeting has an assigned hashtag or corresponding promotional push, collect data on social media metrics like impressions, mentions, retweets, shares, likes, comments and replies. Look for increases in web traffic and related news coverage that may be linked to the event.

Real-time insights from software companies such as Sabre or Social Tables that are used by hotels will enable greater efficiency and better customer service. As these measurements become more accurate and accessible in 2015, hotels will be able to leverage them for enhanced profit gain and customer acquisition.

 

Download the entire report now.