No one truly knows what the future of hotel bookings will look like; however, there are many emerging trends that suggest room block management software will become fully integrated with event technology to provide a uniquely personalized attendee experience. Personalization and experiential offerings are most important in the future of event tech.
One area that will see greater evolution is integrations. With room block management being just one component of the meetings market, ensuring that it doesn’t operate in a silo is an important directive now and in the future. Integrating event housing with important aspects like CRM, registration, event tickets, event apps, and alternative accommodation sites will be vital to the future success of meetings.
With increasingly frequent advances in technology, and a continuous desire for real-time information, Meetingmax pictures a scenario like this to occur in the future:
An individual decides to investigate a meeting or conference that was suggested to them via their web browser, targeted ad, or social media, given their browsing behaviors and known interests. As the prospective attendee clicks through to view more information, they can immediately see the event dates cross-checked to their calendar and confirm that they are able to attend. After they register, they are immediately taken to the event housing site, which shows them specific hotel options based on their registration criteria. The event planner will be able to control which rates and properties the attendee is able to access based on their registration type. Furthermore, the housing software presents these options to the guest in order of relevance based on integrated data from other sources. For example, if the guest is a known Hilton Diamond Member then all Hiltons, DoubleTrees, and Hampton Inns are sorted to the top. Before presenting the guest with this final list, a further cross-reference from their TripAdvisor account indicates their preferences are always 4 stars or greater. This gets moved into the algorithm and presents a final list of hotels weighting and combining these dynamics. As the guest completes their reservation, all housing data moves back into the registration ecosystem allowing one central place for them to view details about their hotel, the event, their tickets, and other information about the destination they are traveling to.
* If booking through a Convention & Visitor Bureau you can optimize this further. As the guest selects their hotel, the housing system notices that they have not ever visited this destination before via its integration with the destination’s CRM and suggests they might want an electronic visitor guide. The guest appreciates the offer and also answers some targeted questions to help the CVB determine what type of information might be most relevant.
Once the guest has registered, other online booking behaviors and searching pattern tools have discovered that the guest has recently expressed an interest in learning golf. This data has merged seamlessly between the CRM, the web service provider, and the housing system. Custom and tailored information can now be served to the guest knowing who they are, what they are interested in, and where they are going. The housing software understands when they are coming and is able to integrate this vital information to establishments that might have an interest in having the guest in. If the guest has opted-in to receive emails, they may receive an offer from the destination or event planner to golf at their top golf course. If the planner sees that enough registrants are interested in golf, perhaps they arrange a golf tournament for event attendees.
As the guest enters the destination, beacons or other geo-location tools can identify they have arrived through integration with the mobile app that was downloaded to the user’s phone. The app is integrated with housing to push a notification to the guest’s phone with the fastest route to get to the hotel, taking into consideration current traffic patterns being pushed by satellite. As the guest arrives at their selected hotel, another beacon identifies they have entered the property. The app cross references with housing to determine if this is the guest who created the reservation. Housing now cross references with the hotel’s internal system to verify identity and pushes the guest their electronic room key. The guest confirms the terms of their stay and heads up to their room using the electronic room key on their mobile device.
As the guest enters the room, their preferences have automatically been taken into consideration. The room temperature has been set to the desired level using the preferences contained in the guest’s profile in their hotel user account.
As the guest arrives back at their hotel after a day at the conference, the beacon technology flags them, cross-references with housing, and realizes that they are a current guest of the hotel. It welcomes them back and offers to assist them in booking spa appointments or dining reservations. As it integrates with the event schedule in registration, it notes that the guest is confirmed for an early morning break-out session. The push technology reminds the guest of their session and asks if they would like a wake-up call at 6:00 AM to provide enough time to arrive at the session at 7:00 AM.
Further to this, a similar scenario can occur on the last night of their stay. Noting their arrival back at the hotel at a late hour, it can offer a late check out for a fee. Many monetizing opportunities can exist including late check-outs, empty or last-minute spa appointments, discounts on dining opportunities, and excursions. The technology takes into consideration and cross-references the guest’s event session times, noticing lulls in the guest’s schedule to push these notifications through.
Throughout the event, valuable information was collected from each guest. Once cross-referenced, this information provides the event planner with extremely useful and applicable data to personalize the post and future event experience for all guests. Noting things like hotel preference, room type preference, dining preference, spa and excursion tendencies, patterns of arrival, methods to move through the city, session likes and interests, social media posts and shares while at the event, and general demographical information from registration & housing, the guest can be targeted with information that applies strictly to them and caters directly to their interests. The capability to deliver an extremely personalized experience is endless.