For meetings and events professionals, it's imperative for technology to be top of mind. After all, its quickly evolving nature paired with our fast-paced industry is enough to keep us on our toes, constantly. To keep us up-to-date with tech happenings and how they can affect our work, we sat down with, Andrew Yeo, BCD M&E's Director of Technology in Asia Pacific, to further discuss.
Keep reading to discover Andrew's take on trends, pain points and opportunities for technology in the meetings and events industry.
Your top meetings and events technology questions answered
Q: What changes have you seen in the market over the last few months/years in how companies are sourcing their meeting and event spaces?
A: Having recently entered the meetings and events industry from a very different background, the first obvious trait I noticed was how fast the turnaround time is as well as the completeness of data required from clients. Based on emerging solutions and the availability of data, companies expect a holistic approach in the way meeting and events are being sourced.
Q: Are there any trends that stand out in how meeting spaces are being sourced?
A: The desire for a one stop shop where all information can be easily accessed from one place. Clients are seeking optimization of time for sourcing as well as improving productivity of the personnel doing so. Time saved can be spent on other service-related areas, enhancing the overall experience of sourcing.
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Q: If you had to highlight one pain point from a client’s perspective, what would that be?
A: In the digital age, people are expecting ease in accessing and understanding data that enables them to make informed decisions in a short amount of time. People want to feel empowered by data and to do more in an easier way, which is driven by the increased expectations in technology advancement.
Q: Where does the industry fall behind in addressing these issues?
A: There are a myriad of products that try to address different area of sourcing needs but having different kind of datasets can be intimidating for end-users in the market. A good enterprise solution should show the necessary data points for decision making, have a good user interface to facilitate sourcing and/or bookings as well as insights and reporting on how the organization is utilizing the system to measure their ROI.
Q: Are there tools or companies out there that do this well?
A: In terms of booking, Agoda is a strong choice among consumers in the Asia-Pacific region. The hotel choices are extensive, and data such as rates and location reviews are displayed in a way which makes it easier for consumers to compare between their choices. Not forgetting the intuitive user interface that allows the ease of use!
Q: Where do you see technology as a whole advancing in the next ten years?
A: I believe devices such as smart phones and tablets will be the way to go in terms of enhancing both personal and work life. There is so much potential in enhancing smart phones' capabilities and we have already seen the convenience in what technology can bring. We can also anticipate the rise of robotics engineering combined with artificial intelligence which will help ease the burden of mundane chores. Personally, I am looking forward to the day where we can buy a Passenger Drone; just so I can escape all the traffic hassle!