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Top Ten Meeting Trends for 2013

03/12/2013


From: Ellens, Ken

To: Ellens, Ken

Subject: Benchmark Resorts & Hotels Announces The “Top Ten Meeting Trends For 2013”

Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 10:24:09 AM

News Release

Ken Ellens

KEN ELLENS COMMUNICATIONS

201-758-2864-Phone / 201-951-9511-Cell

KenEllens@aol.com

@KenEllens

Benchmark Hospitality International’s

Benchmark Resorts & Hotels Announces The

“Top Ten Meeting Trends For 2013”

The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, January 2013 … Benchmark Hotels & Resorts

announces the "Top Ten Meeting Trends for 2013" as observed by its properties. Benchmark

Hospitality International is a leading US-based hospitality management company, which

operates 39 award-winning hotels, resorts, and conference centers coast to coast and off

shore.

Trend #1 Steady As She Goes ... Meeting demand is improving at an encouraging pace

to start the New Year. Many organizations have a positive outlook for 2013, but still remain

cautious with long term meeting commitments.

Trend #2 Rates Are On The Rise … With increased demand, group rates are advancing

commensurately, depending on the location and the market. Meeting planning professionals

are still in the driver's seat and they know it. Pricing is least sensitive within new industries

and new media companies that are on a strong growth path.

Trend #3 CMP=Completely “Customized” Package … Expectations are heightened

for the creative and unique delivery of the industry’s Complete Meeting Package. It's not that

meeting planning professionals don't like packaging or see its value. They just want that

CMP acronym to now mean "customized meeting package" - customized to their unique

meeting needs and budget. Gone are the days when a CMP was one size fits all.

Trend #4 The Pace Is Promising! Across the country, booking pace is getting more

encouraging for 2013 and for 2014. Depending on the market, there is positive direction with

future bookings and healthy signs of activity and interest in getting deferred meetings on the

books. Things are looking positive and headed in the right direction - onward and upward!

Trend #5 Wireless EVERYTHING! … Whether it's a nod to green meetings or just

convenience, note pads & pens are taking a back seat to iPads and electronic tablets as the

preferred means of taking notes and documenting learning in the meeting room. Conference

facilities are responding with charging stations throughout to juice up conferees' devices

during breaks. Meetings are increasingly active with texting and tweeting exchanges with

meeting-related content. Smart, interactive meetings are here to stay!

Trend #6 F&B -- Healthy Culinary Continues, but ironically that doesn't mean the

Danish trays aren't emptied daily. Meeting attendees, though, are demanding healthy, gluten

free, sustainable cuisine and refreshment break selections - even going so far as to request an

authentic culinary experience reflecting the native cuisine of participants. Creative,

imaginative, and healthy culinary offerings are increasingly requested. Healthy proteinnourished

meeting attendees are attentive conferees!

Trend #7 What’s New With Meeting Room Demand? Today's meeting technology

brings a stronger need for secure environments in which to conduct business and learning

when off site. And meeting planning professionals are demanding that meeting facilities

respond accordingly. There's just too much at risk in this competitive business environment.

Guess what else is in high demand -- more breakout rooms … what we've been hearing for

20 years! Demand for smaller and more intimate attendee interface is increasing after a

lengthy period of deferred meetings. Some things never change, including demand for more

space!

Trend #8 Teambuilding Continues Its Trend Upward. After years of postponed or

deferred meetings, many companies are using teambuilding to inspire camaraderie and revive

enthusiasm. But this is not your 1990s ropes and obstacle courses; today's teambuilding is

about scavenger hunts, early morning group fitness runs, competitive bowling, and culinary

cook-offs. Fun, challenging and delicious!

Trend #9 21st Century Meeting Planning Professionals are Busier, with increased

multitasking responsibilities than ever before. Fewer have planning as a primary function

within their job responsibilities, and due to their hectic schedules, they have less time to be

educated and even less patience to wait for a response. Interface with meeting professionals is

increasingly done through RFP, e-mail communication and in some cases texting. Know

your meeting planning professionals, understand their needs, and help them be heroes to their

attendees and organization leadership! It makes a difference and helps your venue stand out

from the crowd!

Trend #10 What Business Segments are Heating Up? Several, actually! Education

(particularly engineering & technology), medical, bio tech, high tech, new media, association,

not-for-profits, financial services and the incentive segment are all showing signs of recovery

for 2013. What's not won't surprise anyone -- government related business.

Bonus Trend Value, Value, Value, including plenty to do on property for attendees, up to

date fitness & recreation, and strong WIFI signals throughout! It’s all expected today. Social

responsibility and sustainability are important, but not game changers – they’re a part of the

mix and not an end in themselves.

About Benchmark Resorts & Hotels

Benchmark Resorts & Hotels represents the finest in lodging, dining, recreational and

meeting accommodations in unique destinations throughout the United States. Each is a Four

Diamond property with award-winning service and exceptional accommodations. Most

Benchmark Resorts & Hotels are certified by the International Association of Conference

Centers, the leading professional organization governing the multi-billion dollar conference

center industry on five continents. Benchmark Resorts & Hotels deliver highly specialized

service that anticipates guests needs and ensures a hospitality experience unsurpassed and

long remembered. For additional information and the location of properties, visit

www.benchmarkhospitality.com.

Benchmark Hospitality’s Lifestyle Journal

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Contacts

Ken Ellens
KEN ELLENS COMMUNICATIONS
kenellens@aol.com
201-758-2864