The hospitality industry is slowly exiting the worst effects of the pandemic, but uncertainty and roadblocks remain prevalent in certain subsectors. The conventions, meetings and events business ground to a halt during the worst months of 2020 and into 2021, and the impact of the world’s shutdown during that time remains. The lingering effects include decreased demand relative to pre-pandemic levels, complicated and rapidly evolving local regulatory requirements, staffing levels and skills, meeting planner uncertainty, and the unpredictable and time-sensitive supply chain.
Many hotels are evaluating new meeting and event technologies to attract meeting planners and differentiate their brand and/or property from others. Some companies are making big bets on virtual and/or augmented reality experiences, the metaverse and other technology suites, but the hospitality industry is several years away from full-scale adoption (at best). Despite the slow adoption of these technologies (or failure to deliver an experience more compelling than a typical web-conference), the hotel’s ability to help meeting planners orchestrate an online/offline event, navigate local health regulations, and develop partner-driven revenue share programmes to provide value-added services, will have a significant impact.
Service providers, third-party event management companies and OEMs have a significant opportunity to capture market share if they work together and/or directly approach hotels to showcase what is possible with current technology, both in and out of hotel properties. When navigated successfully, this will help many companies earn a long-standing and profitable relationship. The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) provides a platform to build these relationships through our committees and workgroups, including the Hybrid Meetings & Events Technology team. For more information, contact [email protected].