Top meeting trends for 2016

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As the world changes thanks to the nature of the digital and technological industries, it’s safe to assume that the way people do things like go on holiday or even have meetings is going to change.

The way people work is now, more than ever, heavily reliant on connectivity and engaging with people on a level that is totally beyond the way it was in the pre-2000 years.

However, it’s not just technology that is changing the world – although it is at the helm of our world now – but in general what people need and want have changed and are continuously adapting and transforming.

The hospitality industry is the biggest example of how consumer needs and wants have changed over the past few years. It’s no longer enough for a hotel to have standard rooms and a place to eat breakfast, because people expect so much more and the hospitality industry is answering this call for change.

In fact, hotels and other businesses in the hospitality industry are starting to see a huge growth in sales and profits, as a result of meeting the demands of their consumers. This is because new demands are opening up new channels of services and products that hotels can offer guests, particularly those who are travelling for business.

Ted Davis, chief sales and marketing officer for Benchmark Hospitality, said: “We thought last year was terrific, yet 2016 is well positioned for even stronger business growth. There are positive indicators everywhere.”

Most of these growth indicators are focused around meeting trends for this year; as we said, the world is changing and meetings are no longer expected to be exclusively in boardrooms behind shut doors.

Instead, there are lighter and more conversational ways that people prefer to have meetings and do business with other people, and hotels are helping to drive these trends.

M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City hotel is a home for millennials and business travellers of all kinds and we know that catering for this group of people is a constant state of adaptation.

Meeting pop-ups

Ehotelier.com says that one of the most interesting trends for 2016 are “planner requests for pop-up meeting rooms that can be assembled or moved at a moment’s notice”.

This is perhaps unsurprising, given the popularity of pop-up restaurants, bars, cinemas and anything else you can think of that is making London and other cities very popular with both locals and tourists.

Pop-up meeting rooms are largely used for spontaneous conference calls, last-minute gatherings, or used as break-out spaces between conferences and other sessions.

Although the main focus of the meeting might not necessarily be in the pop-up setting, they’re often used as part of the whole experience, making it more enjoyable for those who are involved.

Creative team building

Team building is something that has started to become more popular with various industries and often large escape-from-the-office days out are booked at creative locations.

Some people might even look to book out the kitchen in a hotel or restaurant to get their staff and coworkers to try out a chef’s challenge.

Doing this isn’t as random as it may first appear, as it teaches people how to work together in a completely different atmosphere. In fact, taking your staff to do a day in a hotel kitchen might be the best thing you can do to show that when you don’t work as a team, everything can quite quickly go to pieces.

Capitalising on the fact that businesses are getting creative with the themes they have for their day-out-from-the-office activities is a shrewd move for a hotel, as there are a lot of services you can offer that will be good for both you and your consumer. Catering for these type of events is also a good way to publicise the rest of the hotel and increases your chances of getting repeat business.

Think of dietary issues

As you might have noticed, a lot of people are now having breakfast and lunch meetings, which is great news for your hotel restaurant – and potentially the bar, if they stay after the meeting itself.

However, something that is also true is that many people now have dietary issues, or make lifestyle choices that mean they are on healthy or restrictive diets.

In particular, people are keen to request gluten-free or vegan menus; on occasion guests may even ask you if you have a menu solely with low-calorie options.

For this reason it’s a good idea for you to at least have a couple of these options on your menu, if not a totally separate sheet that caters for people with these issues.

Although this may seem difficult to begin with, it’s actually a really good way of showing people that you’re flexible and by making them feel comfortable, you’re likely to get repeat business both from them and from people they recommend your services to.

By making the effort to do all these things and keep abreast of meeting trends, you’re sure to see an uptick in the amount of bookings in your hotel in 2016.