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Viewpoint: Take the drama out of event planning

17 November 2017 by
Viewpoint: Take the drama out of event planning

What would you say to software that automatically selects an event venue at the most suitable and available hotel?

Our world has been disrupted by fast, simple and automated processes, thanks to technological innovations. The banking industry has transformed itself within a few years, and we've gone from sending cheques in the post to
transferring money via our smartphones. The dating industry has seen a shift from plucking up the courage to ask for someone's phone number to a simple swipe left or right on our phones.

This automation has created a sense of digital urgency among consumers. The need for technology solutions to meet the expectations of an on-demand world has grown at an unprecedented rate. Our daily lives suffer from information overload, so simplicity and automation are critical.

In the UK, the Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Events (MICE) market is worth an estimated £20b annually. With the majority of meeting requests being for small meetings (75% of meeting are with fewer than 30 participants) it's a segment crying out for automation and for an online bookings process. Standardising small meeting requests digitally frees up time for sales managers to focus on more complex requests for proposal (RFP) for larger meetings, often with a higher margin, that cannot be automated.

With this in mind, we have developed a software that calculates prices based on various revenue management dimensions such as lead time, group size, season, room type and F&B requirements, all in real-time.

The focus is to work with hotel partners to offer this as a white label technology, creating an online booking engine on their own websites. Meetings and event planners can book space for small meetings and group lodging instantly, customise their event online and receive real-time information. They can also edit their request online afterwards without needing to contact the hotel.

Overall we believe this drastically reduces handling time per transaction and could increase conversion because of a faster response rate. It should also result in a growth of repeat business as customers are happier with the overall booking process.

Your customers have changing demands and don't expect anything other than fast, simple and automated solutions. Enabling them to book instantly in a frictionless way means hoteliers can now satisfy these demands.

Felix Undeutsch is development lead, MICE & Groups, the Expedia group

Secure revenue streams

Felix Undeutsch will be among the speakers at this month's Hotel Forum. Taking place at the Park Plaza Westminster on 29 November, the conference will focus on how hoteliers can manage crisis situations to remain robust and profitable.

With a theme of resilience running throughout the day, the conference will address the challenge of Brexit and an increasingly unpredictable economy, as well as featuring inspirational operators willing to share their tips for surviving and thriving.

  • - www.hotel-forum.co.uk
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