It’s a dog’s life
From dog sitting to outdoor WiFi, Gareth Warnock, Group Sales Director at De Vere, outlines how hotels are responding to key meetings and events trends
According to reports, 3.2 million households in the UK have gained a pet since the start of the pandemic and due to lockdowns and working from home our four-legged friends have been used to having us around more. As a result, we expect to see more corporates needing to find a suitable service to care for delegates’ pets when heading to work, training sessions, conferences, meetings, or events.
We recently launched a convenient solution for doggy day-care for our guests with our dog sitting service at De Vere Wokefield Estate in Berkshire. The service allows owners to leave their dogs in safe hands and will be rolled out across the portfolio in a phased approach.
The pandemic has created a new trend – the ‘workcation’ – combining travel and remote working. I believe this trend will continue to grow in 2022 as people look to make the most of working from wherever they are. A UK workcation trip also allows professionals to use less annual leave and also provides a better work life balance.
Responding to this trend, De Vere recently introduced Smart Base across many of its properties, with outdoor Wi-Fi, free sustainably-sourced fresh coffee and a pastry or nutritious snack from The Pantry, our signature coffee shop.
With more people now working remotely, I believe there’ll be a renewed focus on the importance of meeting with your team in order to build relationships. The American Express 2022 Global Meetings and Events Forecast revealed a strong awareness of the value of internal interactions to build the cohesion, collaboration, innovation, and trust needed for success.
We expect that many teams we will want to continue to reconnect with each other in the new year and continue to do so regularly, especially if many were unable to do so due to the cancellations of Christmas parties or because of isolation rules in December.
The current environment means it isn’t always possible for everyone to attend meetings in person, so I believe there will be an increased demand for hybrid events, which leads me nicely to the final trend…
The pandemic accelerated the need for new tech. In 2020 and 2021, we saw a huge increase in new hybrid event options due to travel and isolation restrictions and we will see this continue in 2022. With restrictions changing so quickly, event organisers want to book a venue that isn’t only flexible with space but a venue that is also flexible with its booking service to make it easier and quicker for them.
At De Vere, we’ve introduced Smart Booker, a new integrated cloud-based meetings and events booking platform, powered by MeetingPackage. It allows greater flexibility for bookers by showing them real-time room availability across a number of properties and search, filter, and book event spaces.
Gareth Warnock is Group Sales Director at De Vere, a collection of historic mansion house estates and distinctive contemporary hotels and event destinations.