The pandemic has changed a lot in the hospitality industry, especially events. The needs that event planners have are much different today than they were a year ago and two years ago. As we move further into 2021, the hospitality industry is transitioning from a period of restrictive safety mandates to looser requirements that will lessen over time as the population receives the COVID-19 vaccine.
How does all of this impact event planning and venues that host events? We asked some industry experts to provide their insights during our EventCamp Digital Series panel discussion, What Event Planners Want From Your Venue. The panel explored what planners are looking for from venues right now, when they expect in-person events to return, and what they are doing in the meantime.
Our moderator was Latha Youngren, Tripleseat’s Vice President of Marketing, and our panelists included Kristi Allen, VP/Senior Manager of Events at AllianceBernstein; Mai Miller, Co-Founder and Vice President of Client Services at The New Normal; and Natalie Thomas, Co-Founder of MTG Hospitality.
Here are some of the takeaways from the discussion. You can view the recording of the session below:
- Your personal network can provide the best information right now. Keep in touch with your contacts and partners for the information you wouldn’t otherwise have access to on what’s happening at specific venues, in your community, and with the constant changes of government safety restrictions.
- Virtual events are dominant for the first half of the year, but in-person events are being booked for later in 2021. Hybrid events are here to stay for a while as attendees decide their comfort level with in-person activities.
- Venues need to be as transparent as possible about their safety policies and procedures and make sure to communicate those on their website, as well as in any proposals or contracts they provide to event planners.
- Event planners are looking for creativity when booking venues. Don’t be afraid to try something new with your food and beverage services, your indoor space, your outdoor space, services, and amenities. Promote what makes you stand out on your website and in your social media posts.
- Budgets have changed, and venues should be transparent about their fees with clients. Be upfront about these changes and let event planners know that there are increased costs for new services like extra cleaning and extra staff in order to provide safety for attendees.
- Event planners search for venues on social media but they also turn to Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVB) and Destination Management Companies (DMC) when planning events, so be sure to connect with the CVBs and DMCs in your area.