Technology is moving along quickly in the hospitality sector, with hotels and venues under huge pressure from platforms like Airbnb, One Fine Stay and various meeting room sites. Improving the user experience on the branded accommodation websites is key for the hotel groups and venues to compete better in 2018.
The meetings and events side of the business is no different. Showing off our venue spaces online has never been more important, as event organisers have less and less time for venue finding. A few years ago, virtual tours or 360 walk-throughs arrived on the scene and they were adopted by many venues offering the user unguided access to the hotel or venue without the organiser having to leave their desk. This offered some value to both the organiser and the venue, yet the ‘unguided’ aspect of such tools has thrown up some valid questions and concerns. We would not allow a client to arrive at our venue and walk around unchaperoned, so we thought, why would we take this approach online?
The World has moved on and being able to tell our brand and property story online has become one of the differentiating factors that can win us more business. We need the opportunity to control our narrative and tell our clients about our unique selling points. 360 walk-throughs don’t afford us that opportunity. Just like a live site inspection by prospective clients, we want to guide our clients through the delegate experience and tell the whole story from location to history to features to catering rather than give them unaccompanied access to all the venue spaces. We wouldn’t want them to get lost or miss out on the full experience. This is why we adopted the new Eventopedia video Site Inspection (VSI) technology that we use in all of our corporate proposals.
High quality films of the event spaces, reception, meeting rooms and catering are all connected through a simple but very effective technology that allows the user to control what they want to see, whilst taking a journey through the property as we would do in a live site inspection. We can also incorporate an illustrated background story unlike in live tours. The feedback from prospective clients has been fantastic and it really helps us with marketing the property and, most importantly, to convert enquiries much quicker.
This technology is fully branded to complement our brand guidelines, meaning it looks and feels very much like our own product, allowing us to embed it across our key distribution channels. It is also backed up by detailed and easy to understand engagement data that really shows the pay-off compared to any digital marketing activity that we have employed before. As budget allows, we will be investing more into this video technology as we have only just started telling our story.