In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, things are changing at a very rapid pace. In these turbulent times the news can feel pretty overwhelming. Indeed, with thousands of articles and opinion pieces providing differing advice and perspectives, it can be hard to know where to look for information. Here at Bien Venue, we make it our business to stay abreast of all developments, now more than ever. So, we have collated these articles, which we feel are helpful for event professionals. Do tweet us any others that you think should be shared!
Hotel Technology News highlights how hotel technology can assist with social distancing, keeping guests safe and reducing the burden on staff. They focus mostly on mobile check-ins and check-outs, as well as mobile hotel keys, which allow guests to use their own devices rather than reuse key cards. This article also made us think of the room service robot our Venue Consultant, Jenna, tried on her stay at Aloft Dublin Centre last year!
“The guest experience in hotels will likely change more in 2020 than in any year before. For the guest, that could mean an improved stay experience while also limiting factors that lead to compromising health while travelling. They say change is the only constant – and this year should prove to demonstrate how hotels can use change as a catalyst for improvement.”Hotel Technology News
Over on avvio.com you can find regularly updated statistics tracking hotel bookings, check-ins and cancellations so you can keep up with industry trends in the UK and Ireland. These trends are also broken down into domestic and foreign markets. On the same page you’ll find advice as to how hoteliers can prepare and manage the impact of COVID-19.
“We advise hotels to refocus their digital spend on domestic markets and increase budget on in-country advertising.”avvio.com
This article from Event Manager Blog sensibly weighs the options when it comes to cancelling events; whether you ‘soldier on’ or cancel ahead of time. It also outlines the takes of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and World Health Organisation (WHO). Another useful piece on this website is a detailed article about the ITB Berlin’s journey to cancellation and the lessons other event professionals can learn from it.
“there are benefits to being able to anticipate a risk assessment, like safety if your event doesn’t get cancelled and loss management if it does.”Event Manager Blog
If your in-person event is cancelled and you’re wondering how to approach digital solutions, Event Marketer’s article on ‘pivoting to digital’ is a great resource. It points you towards the practical questions you need to ask in order to shape your approach and focuses on outcome. We find this a more helpful approach than listing technologies as that might seem overwhelming to those unfamiliar with such things!
“Live broadcasts and on-demand content are ubiquitous in the industry today. But despite the advances in technology, from live streaming and social-casting to next-gen webinar tools and video conferencing, the concept of taking an entire event community fully digital (and, potentially, on a tight deadline) is new territory.”Event Marketer
This article from News Press focuses on event and travel agencies, which are working overtime to keep clients happy and cancel/rearrange bookings as appropriate. We know our team at Bien Venue are working harder than ever in these unpredictable times. Of course, this is reflected across the sector.
“While travel plans for thousands have gone awry, there is a silver lining for those who booked through a travel agency: you have someone in your corner.”News Press
And for those agencies that need it, TTG have just announced the launch of their Coronavirus Travel Business Support Service. From a handy Q&A with answers written by legal and industry experts to links to government and charitable support, this is an excellent resource of any event or travel professional. TTG also have a coronavirus update hub, which is accessible via this link.
“The Coronavirus Travel Business Support Service will aim to be a one-stop shop for business support, individual help and links to all the online resources that agents can use for further guidance.”TTG
This article from The Metro focuses on how the hospitality industry may be on the front line of provision. Best Western have already offered empty hotels as temporary hospitals should the NHS be over-capacity, which is likely at the peak of the outbreak. A great example of how the industry can rally round to help at this trying time!
“If the NHS wants additional bed space, and we can partner with other companies to provide the right medical equipment and supplies, and we can do it safely, then we would be willing to start having those conversations immediately. Whatever we can do to help.”Rob Paterson, CEO of Best Western Great Britain
Hotel group responses
Various hotel groups have also released statements responding to COVID-19, we’ve collated some here and will add as appropriate. If you’d like us to share you hotel’s update please contact us via Twitter or LinkedIn.
Want to speak to an expert? You can call team BV on 01625 877776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you ASAP.