Research among its membership by the Hotel Booking Agents Association has shown that over 93 per cent regard new technology as positive and recognising the increasing presence of webinars, video conferences and cyber events in the meetings procurement process.
Twitter, social networking and online immediacy are leading corporates to look at new ways of managing their marketing budgets.
The respondents, whose collective buying power exceeds £1.4bn acknowledge that the face-to-face priority has changed in favour of “a dramatic increase in experiential events”, as corporate seek to get ’side by side’ with their target audiences.
Grassroots HBI MD, Des Mclaughlin says: “We have seen a shift in the way that meeting programmes are being purchased by procurement. Webinars and webcasting are increasingly important to large organisations as they seek to minimise costs and maximise impact with their employees and clients. However, there is still an implicit need for people to get together and this is where events are becoming far more experiential.”
Peter Ducker, HBAA’s executive director adds: “As an association, we have seen how the understanding and use of cyber communication is more crucial than ever. These trends bring opportunities and challenges and we believe they are transforming our industry in a very positive way.”