Over the last months, the Wizme Team has taken time out to acquire feedback and listen to our venue customers and venue leadership teams in order to get a better look at the underlying challenges of the meetings management environment today. I would like to thank everyone who has shared their frustrations, challenges, and forward-looking opportunities in what has been an eye opening “think-tank” experience.
There were many common themes that were consistently shared by leaders across the UK, USA, mainland Europe and Middle East. I was encouraged as Founder and CEO of a venue technology platform (Wizme) that a focus on accelerated change was key to both survival and success. Throughout a variety of discussions, many spoke of how working practices in the handling the meeting enquiry to post the meeting billing process had to be better and become automated as a future necessity.
May be they had read the Forbes 22 “How to prepare for Gen-Z taking over the hospitality industry” article’s key message that doing nothing is not an option? According to the research, Gen Y and Z are going to be the largest, highest earning working generation within three years; they are more challenging and complex; in the near future computerization of hospitality will be an obligation and we must prepare for the Gen Z takeover.
But key to all this is understanding the “to be” model, which allows hotels and venues to move purposefully to better places and address the common challenges that senior leaders highlighted as holding back their organisations from unlocking yield and growth potential:
- Low levels of automation in the enquiry to payment of an event / meeting lifecycle
- meaning too many low value touches in customer engagement, slow responses, errors, and many missed opportunities due to high volumes of unqualified opportunities.
- Conference team burn out leading to a worry of talent retention / attraction
- This was of high concern within the venue leader community.
- How do you get high performing team members, with great customer engagement, spending more time engaging with your customers, converting opportunities and selling in the unique benefits of their properties rather than drowning in administration?
- At Wizme, we like to call that enabling team members to move from “order takers to revenue makers”.
- The dependency to remain addicted to accommodation centric PMSs is unhealthy, it is not the solution to deliver the opportunity of better customer experiences, yield growth and build more productive conference teams.
- This will instead come from specialist meeting focused PMS style platforms.
- The desire to take customer interaction for meetings enquiry and modification / proposal and contracting, etc. online is growing in the customer world.
- The concern in many of the leadership groups we have engaged with is “they don’t know what they don’t know” and so feel blinded to the opportunities they are missing out on as a result of nil or inconsistent online own brand meetings presence.
You don’t get to make those steps of change unless you identify and are motivated by the opportunity to make the change. I felt assured that the variety of hotel and venue leaders, that were so open with us in our 2023 kick off engagements, are now seeing the challenges and opportunities as material enough to seriously review this long-overlooked area. Doing nothing appears no longer an option.
Wizme, as a disruptive meeting management technology for hotel and venues, I am feeling positive 2023 will be that tipping point of change.