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Seizing a city’s experience; how to add additional value to meetings and events

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Mark Spivey, Director of International Sales at Maritim Hotels, discusses how hotel groups must take advantage of local specialist knowledge to attract greater revenue from meetings and events.  

During the last five years, the meetings and events industry has witnessed a key shift in paradigm. 

Past events were always anchored by a ‘single moment in time’. Planning for these was simple and straightforward; a destination, a time and a hotel conference room or ballroom. Delegates would arrive, the event or meeting would begin began, several small breaks with or without catering would follow and the event would finish with little fanfare or flourish.

Today, conference planners and event organisers are looking to plan events that contain sensory, multi day experiences. Modern delegates want to know more about a specific product or service to help contextualise and add specificity to their jobs. These events are planned with longer-lasting, more meaningful experiences which are still felt long after the event has ended. 

As a result, specialist knowledge industries have emerged from large scale events held prior. They often fall broadly into five different strands: political legacy; educational legacy/social impact; corporate social responsibility legacy; environmental legacy and personal legacy (exceptional people doing exceptional things).

Added experiential value

As a hotelier, ensuring that your portfolio offers a wide selection of experiential partnerships with these industries is key to developing and maintaining market share. The engineering industry for example, has always had a strong German influence.

The Porsche and Mercedes Benz Museum’s, located in Stuttgart and the BMW Museum in Munich, are ideal for those working in the automotive sector. In between conference sessions, Maritim can help organise guided tours and hands on demonstrations, where local expert knowledge can provide attendees with a unique and specialist perspective.

The best experiential events combine multiple strands. The German renewable energy is widely regarded as one of the most innovative, recording an annual turnover of €160bn and a workforce of over 800,000 people[1]. Many key trade associations in the sector are based in Berlin, where Maritim has two properties.

For hotel operators, this approach not only attracts a greater number of event organisers and delegates, meetings planners are more likely to return due to the in-depth knowledge, experience and contracts gained from insight from accessing relevant industries.

There is a link to increased delegate desire for all things experiential. For event organisers, selecting a venue that offers access to a range of experiential partnerships is now a key consideration. Hoteliers that are able to demonstrate excellence in meeting these new trends will increase competitive edge. 

For further details about Maritim Hotels, please see www.maritim.com 

 By Mark Spivey, Director of International Sales at Maritim Hotels