Customers take the time to pre-screen far more potential meeting and event spaces online than ever before, and they form an opinion about the venue long before making contact. These prescreening procedures turn into shortlists, and shortlisted venues have the chance to get the customer. Therefore, WOWing your customer early on is imperative – long before the site visit.
The MICE industry has gone through drastic changes in the recent years, but one thing remains the same: customers look for the WOW factor when they book event and meeting places. What has changed, is that customers take the time to pre-screen far more potential meeting and event spaces online than ever before, and they form an opinion about the venue long before making contact. These prescreening procedures turn into shortlists, and shortlisted venues have the chance to get the customer. Therefore, WOWing your customer early on is imperative – long before the site visit. We prescreened a number of hotel websites through the eyes of a customer and here’s what we found out:
Most hotels lack the materials to WOW their customers
Many hotels do not acquire proper sales materials for their MICE sales. The images used for promoting meeting rooms are usually small, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to tell how rooms are connected. Floorplans are often confusing, and even the basic information for each meeting room is missing.
The necessary information is not easily accessible
Hotel websites are not MICE centric, so usually their information is not displayed from a meeting and event customer’s perspective.
Instead most hotels have basic MICE materials, but they are sprinkled onto the website among other content. Digging out this information can be a difficult, time-consuming task. Often hotel websites provide too much content, including information about their other brand hotels, small details about their services and a multitude of downloadable content. For MICE customers it makes things difficult rather than answers questions. Since everything can be found on the website, it is easy to navigate away from what you are looking for and often challenging to return back to your original location. You can easily end up opening several tabs of information without getting conclusive answers to your questions. No one looking to screen 5-10 meeting spaces is willing to spend that much time pre-screening one space.
It is no wonder most MICE and venue sourcing agencies spend time and effort compiling their own PDF summaries for potential customers rather than displaying content directly from hotel websites.
It is difficult to influence a customer from afar
It seems most customers prescreen venues before making contact with the venue. Once a customer has completed the prescreening, they either contact the establishment or they leave the website. Once they leave, they are gone, leaving behind no information or further possibilities for contact. Therefore, it is imperative to to convey that WOW moment digitally as well as physically, since most customers will not short list your venue without it.
What have we learned from this?
The three problems mentioned above are the most common issues we ran into, which stand between your customer and their WOW moment. It seems that most hotels and conference venues have a hard time compiling a good summary of their spaces online. With just a little more effort, as well as the courage to try new ways of presenting MICE venues, this problem can easily be solved. The key for creating the WOW factor online is having great, focused materials to communicate your MICE spaces and your brand effectively. It is this lack of information and lack of focus on a website, which often drive away potential customers.