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The 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech 2021

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 month ago

Each year Hotel Tech Report surveys thousands of industry insiders to find the best hotel tech jobs and employers globally. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the hotel industry.  The World Travel and Tourism Council predicts that 121 million of the 330 million jobs tied to tourism around the world will be lost in 2020.  Despite existential challenges, hotels and their vendors have proven resilient in the face of the biggest challenge ever posed to the hospitality industry by working together. But there’s always opportunity in crisis.  The pandemic has advanced digitization in the global economy by at least 5 years according to most experts.  Hotels that already had adopted technology like contactless check-in and guest messaging software have had a massive advantage since the pandemic broke out and the importance of technology for running a successful hotel business will continue to rise over the coming years meaning that demand for hotel technology talent will grow with it. Here at Hotel Tech Report, we’ve interviewed countless hoteliers about their journeys from being hoteliers into lucrative technology careers like Del Ross, Marco Benvenuti, Sameer Umar, and Kevin Brown. For hoteliers furloughed on the sidelines, there is an unprecedented opportunity to pivot into a technology career leveraging skills and knowledge from hospitality experience.   But which hotel tech companies should you apply to? Every year we do the hard work for you and survey thousands of hotel tech professionals to find the best companies to work for in the hospitality industry. We ask respondents to rate their employers from 1-10 on these key variables:  Work-life balance Personal development opportunities Gender equality Confidence in company direction Values alignment 2021 Bonus Question: Rate your firm’s COVD-19 crisis response Hotel Tech Report creates this list each year for two reasons: (1) to help industry professionals find the best hospitality tech jobs and (2) to help hotel tech buyers understand that it’s just as important to partner with great organizations as it is to find great software tools and products. Vendor culture is important to every aspect of a vendor relationship: Product: Great workplaces attract the best talent who make the best products Customer Support: Happy client reps give better service and stay around longer developing deeper relationships. Sales: When a sales team has high turnover, innovation gets strangled because there isn’t enough cash coming in the door to invest in innovation. Our 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech list features companies who foster wonderful work environments for employees.  In return, those employees deliver incredible products and services to clients. Without further adieu here are 2021’s 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech…     10. Siteminder (TIE) Right before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, industry leader Siteminder reached an incredible milestone earning itself unicorn status.  Under the stewardship of CEO Sankar Narayan the firm quickly composed itself when the pandemic broke out and began rolling out initiatives to support both employees and customers like its World Hotel Index sharing real-time data with the industry when historical data just wouldn’t cut it.  Siteminder has an internal slack channel called #stayingsocial dedicated strictly to team members having a social communal space in the age of remote work.  This is pretty typical for a small startup but much rarer in the world of 700 employee behemoths.  The great part about working at a large startup-like Siteminder is that there’s almost limitless upward mobility according to one employee working in operations at the firm, “They allow me opportunities to take on more responsibilities that are even beyond my scope to develop my skills and prep me up for bigger roles. They also give leadership training to enhance to continue developing my capabilities.”  If you’re looking for a fast-paced global startup on a world domination path - then you should absolutely be dropping a resume at Siteminder.  The best part is that they’ve got offices all around the world so even if you prefer the WFH life your colleagues shouldn’t be too far away no matter where you call home.     10. Atomize (TIE) This is Atomize’s first time making Hotel Tech Report’s annual Best Places to Work list but we doubt it will be their last.  In true Swedish fashion Atomize rates amongst the highest on the list for gender equality with a 50% ratio of men to women on its leadership team.  Atomize also rates very highly for culture alignment with a score of 97.8%.  Perhaps the biggest standout for Atomize was how highly employees rated the firm’s COVID-19 response and support for clients during a crisis.  “Everyone from finance to product development has chipped in to try to support clients. We have for instance developed a relief-program for those that are hurting really bad, we have updated the product to amend for the large drop in occupancy for hotels, etc,” one Atomize executive told Hotel Tech Report.  Atomize made it through COVID-19 without a single layoff which is a testament to the longevity of the business and its and commitment to team members.  During the crisis Atomize stayed calm, launched the 2.0 version of their core RMS product, and even found time to bring the team together for a BBQ this summer during a slow down in transmission rates.     9. Hotel Effectiveness Georgia (the U.S. state not the country) based Hotel Effectiveness is in the business of helping hotel owners more efficiently manage labor but the question is: how well do they manage their own labor? It turns out they do a pretty darned good job at fostering internal culture.  Prior to the pandemic labor costs were the biggest focus area for most hotel ownership and management groups - despite the shift in focus Hotel Effectiveness managed to grow through the pandemic all while placing a heavy emphasis on quality of life for employees.  Team members cite a high percentage of employees being groomed from junior roles into leadership positions, flexible PTO programs, and strong opportunities for women.  PTO is great but Hotel Effectiveness management goes one step further where they encourage team members to completely unplug and not even check email during their vacation.  Adding icing to the cake, employees raved about the firm’s response to COVID-19 where it was able to grow without any layoffs needed.  One engineer raved about the Company’s COVID-19 response, “Hotel Effectiveness immediately shifted priorities specifically to address the changing needs of our clients. Hotel Effectiveness provided new guidance materials, payment options, and built new features (such as Daily Wellness Check-In) under tight deadlines to meet the new needs of our customers.”     8. EasyWay Big congrats to the first-ever Israeli startup to make this list!  If you’ve ever been to Tel Aviv or the Start-up Nation (Israel), perhaps a job interview with EasyWay is the excuse you needed to visit one of the most amazing cities in the world packed with beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a foodie scene that’s truly in a league of its own.  EasyWay is the quintessential startup with a mentality that so long as you hit your KPIs - the rest of your life is totally flexible.  An EasyWay executive’s quote to Hotel Tech Report about the last 12-months at the company says it all, “The work around the clock in the COVID-19 time was crazy.  We have developed so much stuff, that I almost miss this period. We've learned a lot from that, and staid on our feet! The rest of the team was great and it really gave me confidence in my own abilities.  If you're the kind of person who likes to work hard and play hard - you’d be wise to check out EasyWay’s open positions.      7. Asksuite This is Asksuite’s second year making the list and true to their commercial team’s motto “rockets don’t have reverse”, even a pandemic couldn’t slow down this high flying Brazilian startup.  Florianopolis may not be a hotel tech hub (yet) but the Asksuite team has access to lessons in language, hospitality and other training to upskill their way into global domination.  During the pandemic, leaders have made themselves available for 1:1 meetings to support all colleagues and perhaps it’s this close communication that leads Asksuite employees to rate 98% confidence in the future success of the firm.  Asksuite employees frequently cite an onboarding process that makes all team members feel like a part of the family in short order.     6. RoomRaccoon Despite the pandemic RoomRaccoon doubled the firm’s headcount in 2020 and achieved a major milestone in reaching 1,000 clients.  Employees frequently cite similar aspects of the culture as differentiators like their annual international week at the Netherlands headquarters and an inclusive onboarding program.  One employee within the marketing department told Hotel Tech Report, “This year RoomRaccoon decided to start hiring more new colleagues against the market trend of furlough and letting people go. To smoothen the onboarding process of our new hires we've created an E-learning program and two intensive onboarding weeks. So far we've onboarded 15 new hires since July 2020 that immediately are getting results. Something I'm really proud of!”  If you’re looking for an ambitious organization with a strong remote culture and complementary annual trips to the Netherlands - don’t hesitate and check out open listings at RoomRaccoon.     5. Alliants The Alliants story is the cure to the common venture funded business gone wrong story.  Alliants built the business developing custom software for ultra luxury hotel brands like Four Season and Jumeirah before ever dipping their toes into the SaaS world.  That means they’ve got killer products, an eye for design and engineering to back it up.  Starting in a consultative role for luxury brands has afforded Alliants a luxury not many early stage SaaS products have - cash flow.  How would this impact you when you apply for a role there?  Alliants employees are given a $5,000 stipend to invest in their own education and training.  Whether it’s a paid marketing course or intro to Ruby on Rails - at Alliants you will be able to create your own journey and take control of your destiny.  Have you ever had a boss block your calendar so people can’t book meetings with you? Well, Alliants employees have.  During winter months with less daylight, CEO Tristan Gadsby blocked the entire team’s calendars from 11:30am - 1:30pm to encourage team members to get outside, walk or simply catch some rays.  If that doesn’t sell you I don’t know what will.     4. ALICE This ain’t ALICE’s first rodeo, well it’s their fourth if we want to be precise about it.  ALICE has made Hotel Tech Report’s Best Places to Work list 4 years in a row (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021).  ALICE is an incredible place to work for former hoteliers because employees truly act as a strategic extension of their partner properties.  During the pandemic, ALICE quickly pivoted to rollout closure checklists and other free assets to help partners quickly reconfigure their operations for the new normal.  “The most memorable achievement while working at ALICE this past year was being able to provide support for our employees during the pandemic. The pandemic-related fatigue and anxiety impacted everyone and in different ways. We were able to provide support to our employees through group therapy sessions, health and wellness initiatives, increased one-on-one check-ins regarding fatigue, increased opportunities for learning and connection with one another virtually. I am so proud of how the leadership at ALICE has led us through the most difficult time in our industry's history, and with such care for both our customers, our industry as a whole, and our employees,” says one ALICE team member in an HR role.  Just as important as supporting clients through COVID-19 is supporting colleagues.  ALICE team members were constantly comforted that management understood the stress and challenges they were facing during this historic yet tragic year, encouraging an environment of transparency and honesty about how to cope with natural distractions from work in times of stress.     3. hotelkit Austria-based hotelkit is another repeat visitor on this list moving up from 4th to 3rd place.  Founded in 2012 by hotelier Marius Donhauser, hotelkit is a majority female-run business that’s growing rapidly but responsibly throughout Europe.  hotelkit’s team motto is “one team one dream” and while the team had to work remotely for a good portion of the year, colleagues are hopeful that 2021 will bring back the annual hotelkit Christmas party famous for great eats and poker.  Under Marius’ leadership, hotelkit has fostered a culture that feels like family so it’s no wonder that employees rate the culture so highly across every single vector.     2. Cloudbeds Cloudbeds may be the fastest-growing hotel tech company right now so while their headquarters are in sunny San Diego the Company has got Silicon Valley energy pumping through its veins.  Not to mention, Cloudbeds is extremely global with local managers in 40 countries. On March 11th (yes that’s right when COVID-19 took the world by storm) Cloudbeds announced the closing of an $80M funding round.  Cloudbeds employees tend to share two main things in common: (1) they are extremely performance-driven and (2) they LOVE to travel. One Cloudbeds employee within the operations department told Hotel Tech Report, “I managed to get promoted on my 1 anniversary day at Cloudbeds, I was so happy and everyone was so attentive to me during this process. Cloudbeds is an amazing company, full of amazing individuals, it's so nice to see the owners in our calls and engaged with us all at all times. I used to think I had worked at good companies, till I met Cloudbeds. This is where I want to stay and grow. It will be hard for any other company to take me from here.”  Cloudbeds has TONS of openings so make sure to browse their career page if you’re in the market.     1. Mews This is Mews’ 3rd year making the list ranking #2 in 2019 and #3 in 2020 - but this is their first year topping the list which is a testament to the strong culture at the firm.  Like most fast-growing companies, the pandemic wreaked havoc on projections and business plans for Mews leading to some difficult decisions needing to be made.  Mews not only came through what was maybe the darkest moment in the history of the hotel industry but came out stronger than ever before.  Mews leadership set a strong course for the business cutting expenses, reorganizing the team, rebranding, focusing on remote deployments, and even making an acquisition.  Quite a busy year - even if things had been normal.  Mews management has created one of those infectious startup cultures that can almost feel cult-like at times often intoxicating entire trade show floors (pre-COVID).  It’s not often that employees at an aggressive high-performance tier 1 venture-backed business get to see their founder dancing through a town hall (affectionately named Mews Con) in a silly costume.  Mews pivoted from hyper-growth mode into a sharp focus on profitability right-sizing the business and is poised to come out of the pandemic far stronger than it went in.  Lots of open roles to check out and we’re sure that list will continue to grow over the coming months.  

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Cloudbeds, SiteMinder & Room Raccoon Top People’s Choice Awards in the 2021 HotelTechAwards

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 month ago

Each year along with individual awards for the top-rated hotel software in each category, Hotel Tech Report recognizes the Top 10 most customer-centric global companies in the annual People's Choice Awards. The People's Choice Awards serve to honor and recognize companies who have balanced strong growth with a relentless focus on customer-centricity. The HotelTechAwards platform (by Hotel Tech Report) leverages real customer data to determine best of breed products and companies that help hoteliers grow their bottom lines. “The People’s Choice Award goes to a single company across all categories who demonstrates the strongest customer relationships during the HotelTechAwards.  Cloudbeds had more than 550 hotelier customers come out to share overwhelmingly positive feedback about Cloudbeds products in the midst of a global pandemic.  To have that kind of support from clients during the most challenging market in hotel history says all you need to know about Cloudbeds’ commitment to their partner properties,” says Hotel Tech Report CEO Jordan Hollander. Here’s the Official 2021 People’s Choice List: Cloudbeds SiteMinder RoomRaccoon Bookassist OTA Insight ALICE IDeaS Avvio Hoteltime hotelkit The key factors used to determine the annual People’s Choice Award include total verified customer reviews, geographic reach of reviews, and overall review sentiment and ratings. The best companies know that the most effective way to communicate their value proposition is to empower and amplify the voices of their happy customers.  The People’s Choice Award recognizes companies whose customers really value the relationship and partnership. “Twenty years ago we lived in a world where hoteliers just used one of the three or four technology systems out there and typically just ended up using whatever system they had heard of before.  Today there are thousands of SaaS choices in the market and dozens of great options available for most use cases but the market is moving so quickly that it’s hard for hoteliers to identify and keep track of the best products and companies.  This award honors the companies whose hotel customers are the most vocal advocates of their products to make that process easy,” says Hollander.   About the 2021 People's Choice Award The People's Choice Awards serve to honor and recognize companies who have balanced strong growth with a relentless focus on customer-centricity.  Early on as a startup, it’s easier for companies to maintain strong customer relationships with a limited customer base. But as a company grows its install base and scales globally, maintaining high customer satisfaction becomes increasingly more challenging.  Each year along with individual awards for the top-rated product in each category, Hotel Tech Report recognizes the top 10 most customer-centric global companies in the annual People's Choice Awards acknowledging the achievements of top innovators across all categories who embody the values, transparency, and customer-centricity that lie at the core of truly great companies. View Ranking Methodology>>

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Winners of the 2021 HotelTechAwards Announced

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 month ago

Hotel Tech Report has announced winners in the 2021 HotelTechAwards, based on more than 10,000 hotel software product reviews contributed by verified hoteliers during the competition.  Winners are selected based on key performance metrics including product popularity, customer satisfaction, integration compatibility, customer support quality, and more.  Winning a HotelTechAward is the highest achievement in the hotel technology industry. “In the midst of a global pandemic, 318,466 hoteliers visited Hotel Tech Report from every corner of the globe contributing 10,227 verified new product reviews during the 3-month awards period to share insights about their favorite tech products to run and grow their businesses.  It has been inspiring to see this massive wave of hoteliers sharing technology insights and product recommendations,” says Jordan Hollander, CEO of Hotel Tech Report. “This is the most comprehensive dataset around hotelier preferences ever developed and it gives unprecedented insights into tech trends for hotels during a pivotal moment in history.  Winning a HotelTechAward is a huge feat with the 2021 competition being the most competitive year ever.  Every company on this list should be extremely proud of what they've contributed to the growth of the hotel industry.” During the HotelTechAwards, hoteliers from the world's leading hotel companies review the top tech products used at their hotels to increase operating efficiency, drive revenue, and improve the guest experience. This data is used to identify the best hotel tech products and organizations. "The HotelTechAwards  are the only prize in the industry that is completely and transparently customer-driven — it's the hoteliers that decide who is best, and it's their opinion that matters most." Gautam Lulla, CEO at Pegasus. "We at SiteMinder believe strongly in the essence of openness; it is what underpins the very core of what we stand for, and the HotelTechAwards, through the program's data-driven and transparent process, aligns firmly with this value.” - Sankar Narayan, CEO at SiteMinder “This honor has deep, personal meaning as it is decided upon by our clients and represents our passion and focus for providing the most sophisticated revenue technology and comprehensive support.” Dr. Ravi Mehrotra Founder at IDeaS “The HotelTechAwards are a powerful stamp of approval for any company to possess and for hoteliers to trust. We value the HotelTechAwards process, which collects thousands of verified reviews from around the world each year.” Alex Shashou, Co-Founder at ALICE “HotelTechReport is the leading platform for technology in the hotel industry, and its meticulous and impartial verification process makes this one of the most prestigious awards.” Moritz von Petersdorff-Campen, Co-Founder at SuitePad The competition spans core areas of hotel software & technology: marketing, revenue, operations, and guest experience. 2021 Voting included participation from major hotel groups including Four Seasons, Hilton, Marriott, Accor Hotels, Hyatt, Intercontinental, Rosewood, and thousands of independents. "We originally created the HotelTechAwards as a democratized way to help our fellow hoteliers quickly determine best of breed vendors based on data they can trust and the scope of the competition this year is a testament to how far the industry has come in the last decade.  The HotelTechAwards rating process is simple, transparent, and unbiased--judging is based on time tested ranking factors, publicly available data, and crowdsourced insights from verified hoteliers who have hands-on experience with each product.” The HotelTechAwards are often referred to as "the Grammys of Hotel Tech" and winners were selected from the top technology products around the world. The HotelTechAwards are the industry's only data-driven awards platform with winners determined not by a handful of judges or popularity votes but by a global community comprised of thousands of verified hotel technology users across more than 127 countries.   Best Hotel Software Companies List >>

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2021 HotelTechAwards Finalists Announced

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 month ago

Hotel Tech Report has announced finalists in the 2021 HotelTechAwards, based on more than 10,000 hotel software product reviews from verified hoteliers during the competition.  Finalists are selected based on key performance metrics like product popularity, customer satisfaction, integration compatibility, customer support quality, and more.  Winning a HotelTechAward is the highest achievement in the hotel technology industry. “In the midst of a global pandemic, 318,466 hoteliers visited Hotel Tech Report from every corner of the globe contributing over 10,000 verified new product reviews during the 3-month awards period to share insights about their favorite software products.  It has been inspiring to see this massive wave of hoteliers sharing technology insights and product recommendations,” says Jordan Hollander, CEO of Hotel Tech Report. “This is the most comprehensive dataset around hotelier preferences ever developed and it gives unprecedented insights into tech trends for hotels during a pivotal moment in history.  Finaling in the HotelTechAwards is a reflection of quality every company on this list should be extremely proud of what they've contributed to the growth of the hotel industry.” Hotel Tech Report authenticates reviews through a strict verification process.  Further, companies are ranked based on pre-defined objective data variables to avoid the biases present in other human judged competitions. "Based on real and honest customer feedback, the HotelTechAwards really do provide the most transparent view on how technology is perceived and used across the industry,” says Sean Fitzpatrick, CEO at OTA Insight. The HotelTechAwards are often referred to as "the Grammys of Hotel Tech" and finalists are selected from more than 1,000 of the top technology products around the world. The HotelTechAwards are the industry's only data-driven awards platform with winners determined not by a handful of judges or popularity votes but by a global community comprised of thousands of verified hotel technology users across more than 120 countries.   -- Competition winners will be publicly announced on January 12th --   Best Guest Experience Technology Finalists Guest Messaging Software: Whistle, EasyWay, Monscierge Guest Room Tablets: SuitePad, INTELITY Guest Survey Software: TrustYou, Guestrevu, Revinate Hospitality TV Providers: Monscierge (Apple TV) Mobile Key: ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, FLEXIPASS Mobile Ordering: Bbot, RoomOrders Hotel Guest Apps: ALICE, INTELITY, Wishbox   Best Operations Software Finalists Property Management Systems: Cloudbeds, Mews, Clock PMS+, HotelTime Staff Collaboration: hotelkit, Monscierge, ALICE Hotel Management Systems: RoomRaccoon, Cloudbeds Concierge Software: ALICE Cyber Security & Fraud Prevention: Canary Technologies, Sertifi Digital Signage: Monscierge Housekeeping Software: hotelkit, ALICE, Optii Marketplaces & Integrators: Hapi, Dailypoint Preventive Maintenance: hotelkit, ALICE, Transcendent Restaurant Management: HotelTime, Oracle MICROS POS Employee Engagement Software: hotelkit, Hotel Effectiveness, Beekeeper Contactless Check-in: EasyWay, Canary Technologies, Wishbox Spa Management: HotelTime   Best Revenue Management & Finance Software Finalists Revenue Management Systems: IDeaS, Duetto, Atomize Business Intelligence: OTA Insight, Duetto, ProfitSword Central Reservations Systems: Pegasus Channel Managers: SiteMinder, Cloudbeds, D-EDGE Parity Management: OTA Insight, RateGain Rate Shopping & Market Intelligence: OTA Insight, SiteMinder, RateGain Reporting & Accounting: M3, MyDigitalOffice Upselling Software: Oaky, GuestJoy, EasyWay   Best Marketing Tech Finalists Booking Engines: Cloudbeds, Bookassist, SiteMinder Hotel CRM & Email Marketing: Revinate, Profitroom, Dailypoint Digital Marketing Agencies: Bookassist, Avvio, Net Affinity Direct Booking Tools: Triptease, Hotelchamp Website Live Chat and Chatbot: Asksuite, Whistle Independent Loyalty Programs: The GuestBook Metasearch & Ad Tech: Bookassist, Avvio, Koddi Reputation Management: TrustYou, Guestrevu, Revinate Hotel Website Design: Bookassist, Avvio, Profitroom   Best Meetings & Events Tech Finalists Event Management Software: Event Temple Group Sourcing & RFP Software: MeetingPackage, Venuesuite Meetings Intelligence Software: Duetto, IDeaS Sales CRM: Event Temple, MeetingPackage  

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Event Planning 101: How to Plan an Amazing Event

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 months ago

From ticket revenue to customer retention and more effective sales prospecting, event management and corporate events can be extraordinarily lucrative for hospitality venues like hotels and restaurants. From tradeshows to nonprofit fundraising galas, events are the lifeblood of many hotel businesses but they can also be quite stressful.  They drain attention and resources from your organization in ways that can be counterproductive if you don't plan properly.  Weddings are the most stressful type of event since they're so high pressure - but with big risk comes big rewards. To avoid the downfalls of a poorly-produced event, you must be organized and thorough, using all the tools at your disposal to deliver a successful event. In our Event Planning 101 guide, we’ll walk you through a framework for throwing an amazing event. It may seem intimidating at first, but the comforting truth of event planning is that organizational skills go a long way.  We'll walk you through everything from hiring an event manager to leveraging event management software, planning for special events, and even how to approach large events.   Define Your Goals and Objectives Your event’s goals may seem obvious to you -- but those goals may actually be quite different among your stakeholders. Before you begin planning, you need to get everyone in one room and on the same page. Questions to ask: Why are we organizing this event? What are our expectations from the event? How will we measure its success? Where are there overlaps or conflicts when it comes to expectations and measurements of success? Is there anyone else not in this room that should be? Is there anyone in this room that shouldn’t be? By gathering stakeholders and taking the time to identify your main goals and objectives, you’ll have a strong foundation that leads to a more successful event. Otherwise, you risk a muddled event that tries to be too many things to too many people -- and ends up pleasing no one.  Once you establish your goals, write them down for clarity. Then, when you face the inevitable conflict down the line, you can refer back to your agreed-upon objectives. They become your ally to prevent the event from drifting too far away from its intended purposes. Also, each goal should have a quantifiable metric that you can use to evaluate success during the post-event debrief. Now, with goals in hand, you can work backward to ensure the event is structured to deliver for attendees and corporate stakeholders.   Assign Roles and Responsibilities Once goals are defined, it’s time to assign roles and responsibilities. Clarity is one of the most valuable things an event planner can provide. In fact, everything you do should be centered around reducing ambiguity! You want everyone to be on the same page, with clear expectations and tasks so that there’s no confusion about who’s doing what and when.  Ideally, these will be hashed out during the same kickoff meeting so that everyone is aligned around their tasks moving forward. As the event planning lead, it’s beneficial to have these assignments so that you can spread the workaround and continue to engage stakeholders in the event’s success.  Depending on the event type, and available internal resources, you may want to consider creating subcommittees, each with their own lead. This structures the event planning process and clarifies roles: Vendor management: This team handles everything related to third parties, such as securing a venue, finding a caterer, and handling A/V, among others. Programming: This group is responsible for building out the agenda for the event, including creating sessions and panels, securing speakers, finding entertainment, and anything else related to the event’s schedule. Marketing: This team tackles marketing and PR for the event, which includes press outreach, managing media on-site, social media, and more. Sponsorships: This group will bring on external sponsors that can help reduce the costs of the event.   Set Your Budget Once you have the parameters of the event and a rough outline of everyone’s roles and responsibilities, you’ll be in a better position to establish the event’s budget. You’ll be able to identify opportunities for sponsorship, as well as other revenue streams that can help cover the costs of the event. Some may be monetary and others may be “in-kind” contributions that trade publicity for donating goods and services. Some expenses to include in your budget: Venue. Include all related costs here, not just the venue rental fee: any required insurance, A/V costs...everything that has to do with the venue. If you’re doing an exhibition, also break out those costs. Design. Each venue comes with associated design costs: chairs, tables, flowers, etc. This is where you set aside money to spruce up the venue to create an atmosphere that matches your event.     Programming. Will you be paying keynote speakers? What about a band for the evening entertainment? Factor in all costs related to executing your desired programming schedule. F&B. Attendees must be fed and appropriately boozed up! You’ll want to align your spending here with the style and vibe of the event so that you aren’t overdoing it (or worse, underdelivering on expectations). Of course, if you’re doing a virtual event, one benefit is that you can delete this line item. Branding and Marketing. Every event requires attendees. What will you do to build buzz and sell tickets? Your investment here may also include a publicist, paid marketing, and organic marketing on your owned media channels. Staff Costs. Whether it's bartenders and servers or the cost of travel and accommodations for your support staff, you have to budget for all your staffing costs. You may want to include the relative cost of your own internal staff as well; that just depends on if you want to have a true cost accounting of the event. Contingency. Go ahead and add a 5-10% buffer to your budget for those unexpected costs that always pop up... You may also want to include any expected income so that you can evaluate profitability (or, for a company event, your break-even point). Even if you’re offering free tickets, put a price on those tickets to put a price on the event’s value to attendees. This provides a full accounting of the event so you know where you stand.   Consider Virtual Options As we all know, the global pandemic upended the events industry. But there’s been a silver lining: event organizers became focused on improving the virtual experience, something that most events had left on the backburner.  Today, event organizers must consider if (and then how) to integrate a virtual component into their events. So, whether it’s a virtual-only event or a hybrid event that blends in-person and online, you have a variety of tools at your disposal. Here are two to consider, each of which allows you to seamlessly integrate a virtual component into your event strategy: Cvent. Virtual events are now a major part of the Cvent hospitality portfolio. The Virtual Events platform includes an attendee hub for enhanced networking, scheduling meetings, video breakout rooms, and downloadable content.  Bizzaboo. This platform supports virtual, hybrid, and in-person events, which means that you can develop a broad slate of event types without having to splash out for new tools. Bizzaboo also has many integrations so that you can customize your experience. Attendify. With full browser-based streaming capabilities built right in, Attendify’s platform makes the virtual part of your event just as engaging as the in-person. There’s a branded community homepage, interactive sessions, and robust networking -- all of which make a virtual event come to life.   Lockdown the Logistics Even the most accomplished event planner needs time to plan a successful event. Give yourself at least 3 months' lead time, with an ideal window of around 6 months. When setting your date, don’t rush. Carefully consider public holidays (both in your host country and those that attendees may come from), look at competing industry events, and also take a look at school calendars. You’ll also want to reach out to your programming pillars, such as speakers and entertainment at the center of your event.  Then, once you have a few dates in mind (one target and two backups), reach out to your venue shortlist. You may find that the date actually helps you narrow down your choices. If you find that your top venue can’t accommodate your preferred dates, then you can either look elsewhere or circle back with your stakeholders to see if there’s flexibility. While you have to decide this for yourself, it’s often better to go with the ideal date than the ideal venue, as getting schedules to line up perfectly is nearly impossible!   Make Your Master Plan This is your “bible.” It’s the go-to document that should answer everyone’s questions. It’s the single source of truth. It can be updated over time, so be sure file names reflect the latest update and you have periodic reminders out for people to access the latest version Your master plan will build out all parts of your event: Venue, catering and vendor logistics Speaker and entertainment management, including contracts, travel and other logistics Estimated timeline, broken down by deliverable and task owner Registration management (both pre-show and on-site) Printing and signage Marketing and PR plan Programing, activities and entertainment Contact information for external vendors Think of this as your “save me time answering emails about every last detail” document. Not that there won’t be lots of emails! It’s just that you want to offer as much “self serve” information as possible so that you can focus on the important stuff.   Build Your Brand  Branding helps you define what the event stands for, who it speaks to, and what attendees can expect from it. Make sure that you reflect all of those things in your event’s brand! You want to have something that is both unique and relevant, a brand that resonates with your audience and ladders up to your company’s overarching brand voice and mission. When doing well, an event’s branding can withstand the test of time and become an institution. Think of Dreamforce in San Francisco or SXSW in Austin. A conference can become a pillar of your company’s entire marketing, branding, and retention strategy. Of course, even smaller events benefit from branding, which can make events seem more premium, exclusive, and intimate. Wield the power of the brand wisely!   Identify Partners to Amplify Success Once you’ve branded your event, you can go out to partners and sponsors that can make it even more successful. This approach depends on your event type. With for-profit events, sponsors may be revenue-generators. Or, with corporate customer conferences, they could simply help the event break even. For event planners that work with multiple companies, local partnerships with other small businesses can improve your margins, make your marketing more effective and/or improve the overall quality of your event offerings.  Keep in mind that the right partnerships can amplify your success in other ways. Partners can also become advocates for your event within other communities. For instance, you could partner with one of your biggest customers to participate in your annual marquee event, which amplifies the cross-marketing opportunities. The main criteria when selecting partners for your event is alignment: Make sure any brand you choose matches your own brand’s voice and aligns with your event’s purpose and tone.   Craft Your PR and Marketing Plans Once your event has a defined purpose, a clear master plan, a solid brand, and a slate of co-partners and/or sponsors, you’re ready to craft your PR and marketing plans. Here are the core elements to include: Earned media. This is your media and public relations plan. How will you reach out to the media and get them engaged with your event? Will you host the media on-site? What relevant stories can you use as story hooks? How can you engage speakers to amplify your PR efforts? Owned media. This is your company blog, social media handles, email newsletters, customer lists, and any internal employee networks. What content will you create before, during, and after the event? How will you leverage this content into earned and paid media? Paid media. This is all paid marketing activities. Which channels do your target attendees use most? Where can you find the best bang for your buck? Who will be managing the creative, copy, and ad placements?   Increase Meeting Frequency Closer to Event Meetings are the most effective way to convene the team and work through last-minute issues. Increase the frequency of your meetings as the event approaches so that you don’t have any nasty surprises. See the next point.   Define Your Day of Processes and Run-of-Show As you increase the frequency of meetings, you’ll also want to clearly define your day-of processes. This advance planning reduces surprises, increases clarity, and lowers stress (kind of). When in doubt, refer to the run-of-show! Your run-of-show should outline all relevant details, putting all essential information in a single spot so that you can focus less on conveying information and more on managing the event. Things can and will go wrong; you need to automate everything you can to give you the time and headspace to tackle the inevitable curveball. A run-of-show has a few must-haves: Contact info. Use the front page to highlight the contact information of the team leads. Clearly identify who is in charge of what so that the right person gets the query first, without having to chase someone else down. Schedule. An hourly breakdown of what’s happening where, who’s in charge, and what needs to be done by when. This is a project manager’s organizational dream!  Breakdown. The end of the event rarely marks the end of the work. Outline everything that happens after the show ends to make sure that breakdown happens in an orderly and timely manner.  Depending on the complexity of your event, you might want to have a run-of-show for each room/stage that includes a breakdown of everything happening each day. Then, pull those individual documents into a master run-of-show that makes the day of the event go smoothly.   Don’t Brush Off the Post-Mortem Pulling off a successful event is stressful --  and rewarding! Even so, no event is without its flaws. Don't brush off the post-event team meeting to discuss what went well and what could be improved. You must do this while it's fresh; otherwise, people will forget and the insights will fade.  Questions to ask your team: What went well?  What went poorly? If we were going to do this again, what would change and what wouldn’t? A proper post-mortem also includes attendee feedback. You may discover some areas that you hadn’t considered before or some issues that were overlooked. You also will get plenty of valuable insight into making the next event even better!  

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Meetings & Events Category Press Releases

MeetingPackage and Event Inc GmbH Announce New Exclusive Partnership to Bring Direct Meetings & Events Booking to Hotels in Germany

MeetingPackage
6 months ago

MeetingPackage and Event Inc announced the launch of a new strategic partnership between their companies that will see them work together to help hotels and event spaces in Germany and beyond making the long-awaited switch to online booking and management of meetings and events. During the last months, both Event Inc and MeetingPackage have seen several industry marketplaces and similar players as well as venues and hotels, gone to insolvency state or have needed to close their operations due to COVID-19 and the current shape of the industry. Other players are struggling to make ends meet. MeetingPackage and Event Inc see this partnership will strengthen the service offering to hotels and venues as well as corporate meeting bookers. Both companies are the most used solutions in their respective business areas and feel that now is the right time to take digitization to the next level. Based in Hamburg, Event Inc is Germany’s largest booking platform for meetings, conferences and event spaces. The fast-growing service provider supports corporate bookers in finding, planning and booking meetings and events. As part of the new agreement, Event Inc will roll out MeetingPackage innovative suite of software solutions to its hotel clients. This means clients will benefit from more visibility regarding availability and pricing, while venues will see increased direct bookings as well as more highly qualified enquiries. Joonas Ahola, CEO and Founder of MeetingPackage, is glowing about the new deal: “Germany has long been the crossroads of Europe and as such it’s a really important market for meetings and events. Event Inc is the ideal partner for us in Germany as we are so complementary in terms of our service offerings. Event Inc has built a solid and fast-growing corporate client base while MeetingPackage can deliver the industry leading technology solution for the benefit of the German market. Working with a local partner will give us speed to market and a local presence to ensure venues and clients using our software will get the support they deserve. We also want to work together with Event Inc to support their ambitions in markets beyond DACH.” The partnership will not only see the MeetingPackage software being rolled out to German event spaces, but in addition, venues across the globe that already work with the MeetingPackage software will be able to distribute their venues on Event Inc’s German platform, as well as on Event Inc’s platforms in Austria, Switzerland the UK and the Netherlands.   Paul Philipp Hermann, CEO of Event Inc, comments on the announcement, “We looked at a number of different options to help support our efforts of bringing the MICE industry bookings online and our business forward with the support of leading technology. We feel certain that MeetingPackage represents the best partner for us to help develop our service offering to clients and hotels in our core market. I firmly believe the future for M&E booking and management is online, and the present crisis is only going to accelerate in the medium term – with this strategic alliance we make sure to have a robust offering that is aligned with how we see the market evolving now and in the future. I believe that we and MeetingPackage are truly sharing that view.” Initial work has already started on integrating systems and content and the two partners expect the first rollouts of the software to German venues to happen towards the beginning of October. As Ahola added, “We want to make sure we have things in place by October as people get back to work and the market for meetings and events starts to return.” It is estimated that more than EUR 100 billion is spent each year globally on small meetings of under one hundred delegates and the vast majority of these events are still planned and booked offline.   About Event Inc Event Inc is Europe's largest platform for booking corporate events of any kind. Via Event Inc's B2B purchasing platform, it is easy for companies to find the right location and receive corresponding offers. Event Inc's highly qualified expert team supports you in finding the ideal location and negotiating the offers. The service is free of charge and based on thousands of successfully arranged bookings. A company event cannot be booked in any easier, cheaper and more risk-free way.  

Amadeus Delphi Named Top Rated Sales & Catering Software in the HotelTechAwards

Hotel Tech Report
1 year ago

Hotel Tech Report has named Delphi 2018’s top rated Sales Software based on data from thousands of hoteliers in more than 40 countries around the world.  Over 100 of the world’s elite hotel technology products competed for a chance to win this prestigious title. The HotelTechAwards platform (by HotelTechReport.com) leverages real customer data to determine best of breed products that help hoteliers grow their bottom lines. “The GM of perhaps New York’s most esteemed hotel once told me that he viewed his property like a factory.  He elaborated that he viewed group business as the output of that factory and that leisure was the excess capacity that he flexed seasonally and cyclically.  Without effective sales software, your factory doesn’t stand a chance” says Hotel Tech Report’s Jordan Hollander.   Get a FREE Delphi Hotel Software Price Quote   Amadeus’ Delphi Sales & Event Management product line is poised for sustained growth in 2018. Hoteliers recognized the product’s ability to deliver an incredible return on investment with a score 6% higher than the category average. “Delphi provides powerful functionality for sales and catering, account and contact management, and reporting and analysis that help properties and venues drive revenue, increase operational efficiency, and improve guest satisfaction” says a Boston based corporate Director of Sales with over 10 years experience in the hotel industry. "Delphi is great tool for managing function space, available guest room inventory and evaluating group business opportunities," says a California based DOSM. "Delphi provides powerful functionality for sales and catering, account and contact management, and reporting and analysis that help properties and venues drive revenue, increase operational efficiency, and improve guest satisfaction," says one Director of Sales.   Get a FREE Delphi Hotel Software Price Quote

Top Hotel Tech Providers Revealed in the 2018 HotelTechAwards

Hotel Tech Report
3 months ago

For the past 3-months, more than one hundred of the hotel industry's top tech firms across 40+ countries have campaigned in the 2018 HotelTechAwards joining in Hotel Tech Report's mission by leveraging customer feedback and transparency to speed up the pace of global innovation. Companies competed for the coveted top spot across 30 critical categories of hotel technology and today, Hotel Tech Report is proud to announce the 2018 winners.  The HotelTechAwards segment top technologies into the following categories: Marketing - technology that attracts new customers Revenue - technology that optimizes distribution and informs business strategy Operations - technology that helps hotels run efficiently Guest Experience - technology that differentiates the guest stay at a hotel Hotel Tech Report's global hotelier community rallied behind participating top vendors by contributing invaluable qualitative product feedback as well as more than 7,500 data points across key metrics including: ease of use, customer service, implementation, ROI and likelihood to recommend (learn more about scoring) to help determine winners. So what is the significance of the HotelTechAwards? "For the first time, hoteliers can reference an unbiased source of information provided by their peers and verified by a 3rd party to help them easily learn about and discover the best technology for their hotels. Hoteliers can often be slow to adopt new technology.  The reality is that they're slow for a reason--the wrong choice in a vendor can risk both their hotel's profitability and even their personal career" says Hotel Tech Report's Adam Hollander. "Whether its lost revenue from a poorly optimized mobile website, a lawsuit from a security system that failed to record or a hit to their P&L from a poorly calibrated revenue management system--hoteliers are justified in being especially cautious during the technology vendor selection process.  The HotelTechAwards serve as a platform to help educate hoteliers and keep their respective hotels competitive in a world where tech giants like Airbnb and Expedia are looking more like their compset than ever." Quantitative data is extremely important for selecting the right technology for any hotel company.  What is the ROI? What’s the uplift in conversion, how does a product improve guest satisfaction scores or decrease service response times? Quantitative data drives the promises made by vendors during the sales process. Subjective data from unbiased customer reviews enables decision makers to see how well vendors deliver on those promises.  The winners of the HotelTechAwards are the companies who have both world class products and incredibly strong relationships with their customers. To all of the companies (view all) who embraced customer feedback and transparency by campaigning in the 2018 HotelTechAwards, we commend you for your service to the industry at large and are now proud to present to you--the winners of the 2018 HotelTechAwards:   Bonus Feature: The 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech