Saving face

News World
Saving face

Hotel and hospitality group Accor has released research that reveals the overwhelming majority of event planners (91%) it surveyed believe face-to-face meetings are more valuable than technology led meetings, centred around video/tele-conferencing.

The most commonly cited reasons why professionals prefer face-to-face meetings are:

  • They help build stronger relationships (71%)
  • They allow participants to read the mood of a room and respond appropriately (49%).
  • 44% of respondents say they lead to a decrease in the time spent making decisions.

The Accor research also confirms that event planners are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, with two-thirds (66%) ranking a venue that minimises food waste as most important.

However, event organisers cite the range of facilities or venues in a city (63%), connectivity (62%) and entertainment (22%) as the most important factors when selecting a location.

Nearly three quarters of planners surveyed (73%) believe kick-off meetings held face to face are invaluable, as they cement team bonds and client relationships.

The research also confirmed that event planners are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, with two-thirds (66%) ranking a venue that minimises food waste as most important. Venues that enforce a no printing policy (28%) and use solar energy are also appealing.

Event organisers cited the range of facilities or venues in a city (63%), connectivity (62%) and entertainment (22%) as the most important factors when considering where to host an event.

Once the city or region has been chosen, good transport links were cited as the most important factor when booking a venue (69%), followed by the design of the meeting rooms (46%).

Venue and meeting room selection commences on average almost five months before the event takes place. Event planners also value hotel brand familiarity, with over two-thirds (68%) stating that they would need to be familiar with a brand or hotel in order to book a meeting there.

Dana Lewis, Director of Meetings, Events and Leisure, Accor Northern Europe, said: “This research clearly shows that the value of face-to-face kick-off meetings has not been lost in an ever-transforming digital age. The benefits of being able to judge a person’s body language and react in an appropriate manner mean that while technology can help our day to day lives in so many ways, it cannot replace face to face interactions.”

Lewis continued: “It’s heartening to see that event planners and their clients are looking to environmentally conscious venues for their meeting needs, reflecting the growing focus on the impact of business operations on the world around us. At Accor we are passionate about sustainable development – as part of our Planet21 commitment to sustainability, we’ve planted over 100,000 trees in the UK in partnership with the Woodland Trust, and saved more than 26,000 meals in Northern Europe though an international partnership with food-waste app Too Good To Go.”

The Accor research is based on answers from 152 professional event planners between 15 July-7 August 2019.

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World. Write Paul an E-mail