The end of quarter one is an apt time to take a fresh look at what we’ve done so far and how we can do better through 2015. This means we should stop talking (sometimes a struggle for those of us in sales) and start listening more to what our clients really want and need from our services.
Agents and bookers have seen a tough few years. Budgets have been tightened and while we have seen some green shoots of economic recovery, we still need to work hard to support our clients and provide great value and high quality conferences and events.
That’s why we asked 50 agents and bookers what they will be looking for in the future when it comes to venues.
Top six most important requirements from agents and bookers in 2015:
- Bookers are expected to turn around events more quickly than ever and they want venues to be consistent with communication, enquiry ownership and keeping the agent fully informed at each stage of the booking.
- Financial constraints mean that added value is not just a focus for bookers, it is expected. Bookers told us that facilities such as Wi-Fi will continue to be important throughout 2015, but quality of service and a personal approach will be crucial for going that extra mile.
- Clients are looking for the highest IT specification as standard and bookers will expect technology and fast broadband to be included as part of their package. Venues will have to ensure that these basic criteria are met in order to meet the needs of the client.
- Bookers and agents expect all food to be fresh and locally sourced. If the food is not consistently high quality it can detract from the objectives of the meeting. Also, with tightened budgets, bookers and agents expect good value for money for a great food offering.
- General managers remain important for event organisers – 60% of the agents and bookers we asked said that a meet-and-greet was a positive way to start an event and would encourage them to use the same venue again.
- Bookers and agents are under pressure to cater for individuals rather than groups. We have seen the death of the term ‘delegate’ and the growth of the ‘participant’: an engaged attendee who wants to get the most from the experience and make the most of the time investment. In the context of conference and meeting attendance, time really is money. We must help agents to offer a personalised approach from how they are welcomed to the food they are given.
Any comments? Email Paul Colston