Five Meeting Room Trends for 2013

Marketing meeting rooms? Then you should check out these latest meeting trends and make sure you're ticking all the right boxes.

If your business center is marketing meeting rooms, listen up. Trends in the meetings industry could inform how you communicate your value-adds to the marketplace.

Benchmark Resorts & Hotels has identified the top 10 meeting trends for 2013. Officing Today is outlining each trend in brief, and offering our expert insight on what this could mean for your meeting rooms business.

Trend #1: Steady As She Goes. Meeting demand is improving at an encouraging pace to start the New Year. Many organizations have a positive outlook for 2013, but still remain cautious with long-term meeting commitments.

This is good news for business centers that promote on-demand meeting rooms. Rather than having to make a long-term commitment, event organizers have the flexibility to wait until they absolutely know how much space they will need.

Trend #2: Rates Are On The Rise. With increased demand, group rates are advancing commensurately, depending on the location and the market. Meeting planning professionals are still in the driver’s seat and they know it. Pricing is least sensitive within new industries and new media companies that are on a strong growth path.

Business centers typically offer more affordable rates and flexible terms than traditional meeting venues. Be sure to continue marketing those differences in your efforts to win meeting planners to your business center.

Trend #3: CMP=Completely “Customized” Package. Expectations are heightened for the creative and unique delivery of the industry’s Complete Meeting Package. It’s not that meeting planning professionals don’t like packaging or see its value. They just want that CMP acronym to now mean “customized meeting package” – customized to their unique meeting needs and budget. Gone are the days when a CMP was one size fits all.

When marketing your meeting rooms, use keywords like “customized” and then be ready to back it up with extra special personal service. In other words, put your customization where your mouth is. That requires you to consider first ways in which you can customize your meeting room packages. Get creative.

Trend #4: The Pace Is Promising. Across the country, booking pace is getting more encouraging for 2013 and for 2014. Depending on the market, there is positive direction with future bookings and healthy signs of activity and interest in getting deferred meetings on the books. Things are looking positive and headed in the right direction – onward and upward!

All this means it’s time for your business center to get more aggressive with marketing. With more demand, there’s more opportunity for your business center to get a slice of the pie. Find your niche and work it well.

Trend #5: Wireless EVERYTHING! Whether it’s a nod to green meetings or just convenience, note pads and pens are taking a back seat to iPads and electronic tablets as the preferred means of taking notes and documenting learning in the meeting room. Conference facilities are responding with charging stations throughout to juice up conferees’ devices during breaks. Meetings are increasingly active with texting and tweeting exchanges with meeting-related content. Smart, interactive meetings are here to stay!

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Here’s what this means for your business center: Get high-speed Wi-Fi. Get charging stations. Invest in some iPads visitors can use. Get on social media and show you’re savvy.

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