Meeting Mentor Magazine

March 2024

Digital Transformation

CEIR Toolkit, Video Revenues,
Sharing Data, New C-Suite Exec

Digital transformation is critical to your organization’s future. Indeed, travelers now consider their smartphone to be the single most indispensable item when they travel, ahead of their toothbrush, deodorant and driver’s license (according to the Expedia/Egencia Mobile Index).

Here are other digital findings, plus resources to guide your organization’s transformative path:

Digital Roadmap. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research presents the first in a new Digital Toolkit series. Focus Report on Organizer Pre-event Communications and Registration Offerings guides show organizers and marketers in aligning their digital practices with attendee and exhibitor preferences. Attendees are looking for interactive tools to search, sort and evaluate all aspects of the meeting and to sign up for events and services. These help bridge such pre-planning gaps as:
• Ability to download speaker presentations.
• Mechanism to show attendees a product of interest based on their profiles.
• Promotions or special prices for attendees.
• Real-time tracking of pre-event planning tools.
• Registering in response to text messaging.
• Meeting the needs of returning attendees.

Two very useful charts in the report list digital information sources and pre-show planning tools for attendees rated by importance to attendees, use by organizers, and effectiveness. The report is free for CEIR members and $49 for non-members.

Revenue Source. Here’s a good reason why your eyes (pun intended) should be on digital video for your meeting. Mobile and video are converging, as faster network speeds and more screen sizes fuel mobile video content consumption, reported the 2015 State of the Video Industry from AOL. More than 191.5 million people watched nearly 50.5 billion online videos in the United States just this past August. And smartphone video viewers are four times more likely to watch video on the device that is “most convenient” and “easily accessible.” Beginning to surge is branded video — defined as digital video content co-created between a brand marketer and a publisher/content creator.

Idea: Think of partnering with your meeting sponsors and exhibitors to deliver an “immersive experience” to their clients through digital video on your web site, event app and social media channels, while creating a new revenue source for your organization.

Sharing Data. Are you using attendee data to its fullest? Take a leaf from a recent study from Sabre Hospitality Solutions. More than half of travelers (business and leisure) are open to sharing personal information in exchange for relevant deals, discounts or loyalty points, according to Customer Experience in Hospitality: Embrace Customer Data and Elevate the Guest Experience, conducted by Forrester Consulting. Travelers 55 and older are actually more willing than younger travelers to share their personal information to get additional benefits.

What’s key for hotels to meet customer expectations, improve their experience and foster loyalty: Collecting, integrating and applying customer data and insights to deliver seamless, cross-channel experiences — especially to Millennial customers.

Travelers will share their information for convenience and such personalized touches as:
— Check-in or check-out time that fits their schedule.
— Room selection based on their preferences.
— Assistance discovering local activities and places of interest.

New C-Suite Executive. Of the largest 1,500 public and private companies by revenue, 6 percent have appointed a chief digital officer to oversee the digital transformation of their businesses. A study from PwC’s strategy consulting business, Strategy&, focused on this new and relatively undefined corporate role. About 80% of CDOs have been appointed only since 2012; 40% are members of their companies’ C-suites.

Large companies and those in consumer industries (media, entertainment, food and beverage) lead this trend. It is happening because organizations need to use online and mobile interaction to create the best possible customer experience (external), and fully transform the employee experience and the way companies deliver their products and services (internal). Traditional chief information officers and chief technology officers, the study pointed out, focused on their companies’ IT, managing employee desktops and enterprise-wide ERP and CRM systems, while the chief data officer managed the effort to collect and analyze big data. “Changing how people work — especially non-digital natives — and the corporate culture that underpins their work behavior is a critical element of the CDO’s job,” the report noted. The CDO’s cross-functional approach spans traditional IT and other, newer technologies, as well as marketing, sales, and other functions. Is a CDO in your organization’s future? — Maxine Golding

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About ConferenceDirect
ConferenceDirect is a global meetings solutions company offering site selection/contract negotiation, conference management, housing & registration services, mobile app technology and strategic meetings management solutions. It provides expertise to 4,400+ associations, corporations, and sporting authorities through our 400+ global associates.

About MeetingMentor
MeetingMentor, is a business journal for senior meeting planners that is distributed in print and digital editions to the clients, prospects, and associates of ConferenceDirect, which handles over 13,000 worldwide meetings, conventions, and incentives annually.

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