From demands on technology
to an increased focus on security, Claire Rowland, Director of
Marketing at QHotels shares her conference industry predictions for
Demand for increased connectivity is putting technology
right at the top of 2016 trends. The expectation that we're always
'on', plus the expectations of younger more tech-savvy bookers in
the industry, means that rapid delivery and response times have
become a key differentiator of good service. E-proposals and
E-contracts have become the norm in recent years, shortening the
timeline between enquiry and booking and as a hotel group we're
mindful of the need to continue to deliver ever-more timely
solutions in innovative ways.
The expectation of immediacy can also be witnessed
in the conferences and events themselves, with the demand for use
of mobile technology during events. Whether that's for social media
or streaming files and information, the pressure on services such
as Wi-Fi just keep growing. The use
of technology is now actively encouraged at most events and our
campaign actually revealed that the use of social
media, such as Twitter, can actually aid concentration and improve
how event content is absorbed.
Tied in with this is the blurring boundaries between work
and home life. With the growing popularity of wearable devices such
the Apple Watch and life-tracking and
health management tools such as Fitbit,
consumers are constantly receiving potentially massive quantities
of data and expect to access this at all times of the day. This
means we have to support this expectation and better understand the
segregation, or lack of, between work and home life; as consumers
expect the same access to technology and experience that they enjoy
at home, when they are on the move.
Across our group we're investing £1million in our Wi-Fi
facilities in 2016 to help cope with the increasing demands of
multiple connected devices ensuring that up to 500 people can
connect at any given event.
An area of the industry which remains high on
QHotels' priorities in 2016, and also one that we are seeing a
major change in, is training and careers. There is undoubtedly a
shift in perceptions around hospitality bringing it more in line
with how 'service' roles are viewed in
Europe. We're seeing young people entering the
industry because they view it as a good career and are interested
in on-the-job learning rather than going to
QHotels implemented a Foundation Degree in Professional
Hospitality Operations Management, the first qualification of its
type to be provided by a UK hotel group and have seen the first 15
employees graduate through the scheme in September 2015.
Not only has it given them a hands-on education in
operational, managerial and sales roles, it's also fostered a great
relationship with QHotels and
BirminghamUniversity. These links
between employers and educational providers is something that we
expect to grow and become an increasingly important part of the
industry if we want to attract the best people.
From a bookers' perspective, we've witnessing an uplift in
demand for our QHotels
Inspirational Training facilities and forecasts
suggest this will continue to grow in 2016: generally a sign of
confidence returning to the market.
Security will feature for a couple of reasons. We
anticipate increased focus on how you ensure safety at large-scale,
high profile events given recent events
Having hosted party political conferences at
The Midlandin Manchester
and multiple team stays during the
Rugby World Cup, we recognise that security
will be high on our clients' agendas in 2016 and that they will
expect to see these procedures and practices in place and working
effectively as they look to choose venues and event
The other security aspect worth mentioning is one of
holding and transferring client information. As technology plays an
increasing role in conferences and events, the amount of
information that we share digitally has increased dramatically and
with that comes the need to reassure clients that it is being done
securely. Our 2016 investment in
our Wi-Fi infrastructure has been planned to help our clients and
delegates continue to connect safely and
Sustainability has perhaps not been at the top of bookers'
priorities list during recent economic times. However, with the
increasing confidence in the market we expect to see this move back
up the list in 2016.
QHotels hosted its first entirely paperless conference in
The Westerwood and we expect to see more of
this sort of event in 2016. We currently offer our corporate
clients the opportunity to take part in a carbon
offsetting initiative and as an industry we will
need to continue to find new ways of off-setting and minimising the
impact of conferences to help meet clients' requirements and
Back to news and blog
There are no comments on the post yet. Be the first.
Please enter your email address here so that we can send you our latest offers. We promise not to bombard your inbox but simply keep you up to date with QHotels best offers.