The Group Travel Market is Trending & Here's Why

March 10, 2019 Erica Maurer

Corporate Event Planners in NYC have come to realize that venues and hotels that are looking to capitalize on the thriving group travel market have found unique ways to spotlight the one-of-a-kind character features of their properties. Even more so, they have emphasized the appeal of the local area, and what attendees can expect in their overall experience. In order to bring this engaging experience into fruition, it’s important that Corporate Event Planners tap into the wants and needs of attendees and then design packages that work towards meeting those goals. Today, that means more visual experiences that are personal, and secure — particularly when it comes to personal information.

If Corporate Event Planners in NYC take a closer look at these essentials and then implement the best practices for each, the hotel or venue will truly own the group experience. The team at The Event Planner Expo has put together some ideas that will help get you started:

1. Seeing Is Believing

When Corporate Event Planners are marketing a property to book for a business event, they need to make sure to use photos and videos that will tell a visual story across qualified channels like microsites and online sourcing platforms. It’s the number one way to make an influential impact, right where planners source.

Obviously, it’s easier said than done. For inspiration, take a gander at the Marquis Los Cabos in Mexico, which uses Instagram Stories to create a “day in the life.” The brand shares recipes from their cooking classes, tours of suites, and the best spots for capturing views. It’ll even work if the venue is not picturesque, because visual storytelling isn’t only based on the location — it’s also about the event itself. In 2019, Corporate Event Planners will be changing the game into a visually shared “festival,” where meetings leverage from technology like augmented reality and the creative use of space.

Oh, and let’s not forget the significance in reaching out after the event for follow-ups. Visual storytelling is an excellent way to stay connected and build relationships post-event with your event planners. In the end, if it really is about the experience, it’s up to the planners to ensure the experience is visually unforgettable.

The Takeaway: Corporate Planners need to get more sophisticated in their visual narrative and what they present to event attendees. It’s important that you use video and imagery across qualified social media channels to make a real impact. Remember this: Visual storytelling will serve as a powerful post-event cultivation tactic.

2. Get to Know the Neighborhood

Overtourism is has made its presence — and most experts are saying it’s a growing concern in terms of its effect on group business. As stated by the World Tourism Organization, 1.32 billion people traveled worldwide in 2017, which is a 7% increase over the 2016 numbers. In the first half of 2018, travel increased again by 5%, which was a result of the demand for major source markets. Asia and the Pacific were in the lead of the growth spurt with a 7% increase, which was closely followed by Europe and the Middle East at 6%.

That’s a whole lot of travel to very familiar places. A good way to resolve the sameness issue is by finding brand new ways to make the hotel or venue stick out. The remedy for overtourism is to add a few fresh angles that illustrate the same-old, same-old in a whole new way. We’ll call it “getting to know the neighborhood,” and it’s basically about helping event attendees discover a stimulating experience that does not consist of an open-top tour bus or some sort of famous painting.

In 2019, we think local, we go small, and we get personal. If you’re shooting to book a business event in one of the top 10 destinations, you’ll need to learn how to tell a diverse, creative story that echoes with attendees and shows off an entirely new side of the selected city. The power of events is in the memories you create — and no one wants to relive the same old experience year in, and year out.

The Takeaway: Since 2017, there has been a clear inclination toward overtourism. If the hotel or venue you choose is in the top 10 destination list, learn how to spin a new story by getting local and get the emerging priorities in line. Tour buses and meeting presentations aren’t enough anymore. Delight and surprise attendees with an exclusive and unforgettable surprise.

3. Start Hiring Cybersecurity Bodyguards

While Corporate Planners do have to focus on delivering personal experiences, they also must be concerned about privacy and security. Data breaches, unsecured Wi-Fi connections, unreliable POS standards — are now among the “cyber” worries that event organizers add to their to do list.

The biggest issue is that cybersecurity is progressing in difficulty to implement and manage. In today’s data-driven paced world we must focus on possible vulnerability while still keeping the design of an immersive and personal experience in mind. Just do a quick Google search to learn about how hotels have managed in this era of big data breaches.

Ironically, this is also the era of improved protection. Certainly, while meeting the personally identifiable information (PII) standards behind the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a time-consuming and costly process, but it also helps to safeguard that best-practice methods are being used when managing customer PII — this is super important when handling reservations and POS transactions.

The Takeaway: In this era of big data, Corporate Event Planners should be mindful to protect and secure attendees’ data. Developing a culture of cyber responsibility starts with a road map, logical best practices, and solid technology solutions.

Conclusion

Corporate Event Planners need to maximize their visual imprint, capitalize on the influence that communities offer, and strengthen their cybersecurity as the top three ways to deliver an amazing group experience. By using these methods to hone a group experience, you are guaranteeing that the hotel or venue you choose is offering something unique to the guests, something they most likely wouldn’t find anywhere else.

If you’re a Corporate Event Planner who specializes in group travel for business events, we’d love to hear from you! Contact the Event Planner Expo team to see how we can collaborate with you and perhaps have you write a guest blog post for our website!

 

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