- Today’s busy and flexible work environment is driving demand for online meeting bookings, according to data from Meetingsbooker.com
- Short lead times dominate, with 50% of bookings made with less than a week’s notice
- Coworking spaces have been quick to adapt to online payments and hourly bookings
Meetingsbooker.com, an online meeting room booking platform, recently published its “Online Meeting Bookings Report: The Numbers You Need To Know” findings. The report analyzed data compiled over the course of the year to identify key trends in online meeting bookings, underlying the rapid digitalization of an industry that had traditionally relied on offline transactions.
“We felt it was important to share our data with the industry in order to answer the most common questions we are asked on a daily basis. We have spent years building out our technology platform and it’s our view that within 3 years, the vast majority of small meetings will be booked online”, commented Ciaran Delaney, CEO of Meetingsbooker.com.
There is a clear opportunity for flexible workspaces to increase their revenue if they allow for the meeting rooms to be booked online. As we’ve previously seen in Allwork.Space, meeting rooms are an operator’s most profitable asset; however much of the potential of meeting rooms goes unrealized as meeting rooms aren’t offered to the general public and aren’t easy to find and book.
Meetingsbooker.com’s report points both to the digitization and the consumerization of meeting rooms, highlighting that “an online meeting booking is by far the most cost and operationally effective booking for a venue.”
This phenomena is a consequence of today’s fast-paced technological world. According to the report, “short lead time meetings dominate” in terms of how far in advance meeting rooms are booked. The average lead time is 14 days, with 50% of online meeting rooms booked with less than a week in advance. “This reflects the busy and flexible modern work environment.”
Though the report found that over 50% of online meeting bookings take place in a hotel, it also found that “coworking spaces occupy a strong proportion of the ‘others’ category. Coworking spaces are a relatively new addition to the meetings segment, and these venues have been very quick to adapt to online booking payments, whilst also offering hourly booking options.”
This last element, offering hourly booking options, is what has helped flexible workspaces attract clients as, according to the report “most hotels don’t offer this option, therefore hourly bookings tend to go to non-hotel venues.” While this is good news for operators, there is still ample room for growth and for operators to attract a larger segment of the market.
One way to attract more clients and be more competitive in the market is to embrace yield management.
“Hotels change their bedroom rates daily in line with demand to ensure they maximize occupancy. We are seeing a similar demand from venues in the area of meetings. This allows venues to effectively manage meeting space, delivering discounted rates based on lead-time, occupancy levels or days of the week.”
Key trends operators should be aware of:
- Most meeting rooms are booked for a full day, representing 49% of all online meeting room bookings.
- People prefer morning meetings rather than the afternoon. Morning meetings represent 17% of bookings, while those in the afternoon represent 14%.
- Most meetings take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and Monday is the least popular meeting day.
- 95% of meeting rooms booked online are for under 20 attendees, with the average meeting size being of 8 people.
- Automation of meeting room bookings focuses on meetings for under 20 people, as these don’t require much interaction and planning with the venue.
- There is room for growth in the food sales and catering aspect of meetings. Only 53% of bookings select coffee breaks or lunch.
- Bookers browse on average 14 venues before making a final choice.
- Peer reviews play a vital role in the selection process. Venues with over 3 reviews and an 80% rating score receive on average 39% more bookings.
Additional tips on how to get the best from your meeting and conference space