Hoteliers have plenty to look forward to in 2024. Between accessibility and sustainability, hotels are adapting to a changing landscape in meetings and events—and the larger societal landscape. And hotels are adapting to changing workforce conditions as well. With staffing levels that have never recovered to their 2019 numbers, the focus has shifted to maximizing effectiveness with the staff hotels have—and that means automation, automation, automation.
Cvent’s new eBook compiles internal data from the Cvent Supplier Network, where thousands of RFPs are sent to venues every day with insights from event planners and other industry news to create ten trends that will shape meetings and events in 2024.
As the past few years have shown, U.S. society is putting more of an emphasis on making spaces friendly for people of all kinds, including promoting diverse workplaces and accommodating places to gather. Meetings and events are no different. With the industry’s core mission to bring people together for a unique experience, this heightened focus is a big driver in scoring more events.
Venues that can show event planners right from the start in your venue sourcing listing that they can accommodate all sorts of events will win more business. Even better, be proactive and let planners know in your proposals exactly what you can offer, whether it be ethnically diverse menu options or extra rooms for people to take a break when they’re overstimulated.
It’s not a bad idea to look at your space and evaluate if you need to make any larger changes. While you’re at it, consider how your hotel implements sustainable practices. Like diversity and accessibility, the societal push to shrink our carbon footprints has intensified in the past few years. Event planners are often looking for venues that already have sustainable practices in place. Hotels can include those green practices right on their venue listings, bringing more events in by marketing their unique capabilities.
Automation is the buzzword for 2024. While hotels are adapting to larger trends, they’re also trying to adapt to internal pressures. Lower staffing levels than pre-pandemic look like they’re here to stay, but that doesn’t mean hotels need to roll over and admit defeat. Automation can help reduce the strain on hotel staff by replacing repetitive or manual tasks staff members used to need to do, like updating rooming lists by hand or making event diagram changes and downloading the new version. With automation, those tasks can be done right in the technology, leaving staff free to handle guest concerns or event setup.
It’s not just automation that will rule 2024—the age of AI has arrived. It’s not just ChatGPT and DALL-E, it’s in your Alexa, Adobe Photoshop, and now your event planning technology, too. AI will help hoteliers compose better proposals, quickly input information into event diagrams, draft guest badges, create signage, and more. All of these not only help boost event success but also reduce the time hotel staff needs to dedicate to these tasks. When it’s all about maximizing time and effort, AI packs a lot of bang for your buck.
As AI and automation become more ubiquitous, not just in hospitality but across many industries, those businesses that use it to their advantage will be more successful than those that don’t try to harness its power. 2024 is the year when AI is no longer optional for hoteliers. The train is leaving the station, and those who miss it will be at a disadvantage in their market.
While things are indeed looking good for hoteliers, there are some concerns for hoteliers in the new year. Cost containment remains the biggest concern in meetings and events, as it is across many industries. Hotels and venues are facing rising supply costs, from food, building materials, utilities, and more. Event planner budgets aren’t flexing up to match inflation as frequently as they should. Planners and hoteliers are going to need to work together to handle the cost crunch without sacrificing the event attendee experience.
The outlook of events is positive for hoteliers in 2024, but there’s more to know about building relationships with event planners, creating new visual and digital content, “bleisure” travel, digital and online sales, and more on the horizon in the new year. Check out the full eBook for more on 2024’s trends. The sustainability and automation eBooks are great resources for more information on how to go green and go digital.