"What really impressed me was the partnership I managed to establish with MeetingPackage customer care"
In your opinion, what are the upcoming industry trends going forward?
I think it's going to end up in direct bookings but very, very, very slowly. So I think change is something that will come. But it's a slow change. It's the same way with the customers when then the meeting & event planners that are booking these meetings, they are used to sending emails. They are used to picking up the phone and calling a team and talking to somebody to get an offer or to get a proposal for their next meeting. And I think it will take some time for them to understand that it's much easier to just send the request online, already choosing all the aspects they will need for their meeting. But again, there's not many platforms that offer this kind of service at this time so how can we expect the customers to learn?
The digitalization and automation is coming to the meeting industry
So I think it's a process that has started. The digitalization and automation is coming to the meeting industry but it's not as quickly as I would like. It is just something that will take some time, but it's the direction that the world is moving into.
What was your experience with regards to the implementation and introducing the solution to both customers and to Silo employees?
The implementation was very easy, there was good support from your team, and it was quite quickly done after we've decided to start in May 2020. Requested changes were implemented by MeetingPackage, it got better and better and we are now at the point that we use it with customers and we don't have to create Word documents anymore.
What always worked was the booking engine. We did get bookings or requests for proposals from guests through the booking engine. Also, lots of people looked at the booking engine, but then still picked up the phone or wrote an email. Sending eProposals from the Venue Sales Management tool has saved a lot of time and effort and our customers like the easiness too.
Most important thing was really to have somebody that was there to help
Overall, it was nice to have somebody to talk to from MeetingPackage support and somebody that was ready to help. I think that the whole process was very well done. I would change nothing in the implementation process. Actually that was one of the reasons that I decided to work with MeetingPackage because the team is in Europe. There’s just a small time difference. And if the team would be in another continent like Asia or North-America it would be more difficult because then you might get to time-zone issues with the answers and it would always take a lot more time to get help.
What are you looking forward to with MeetingPackage product suite?
The basis of the MeetingPackage product suite is great and that's really something. Lots of hotels can save a lot of time by using this platform because if you've got all your packages, all your items, all your extra services at one place, you just need to click the button and it's in the proposal you send. So, no need to create complicated Word documents or PDF’s but just send the eProposal to the customer.
Lots of hotels can save a lot of time by using this platform
The customer could actually change minor details themselves before the event is happening, you just click one button and you get your function. As I've said, I've worked for Marriott in the past and we had 16 meeting rooms and one ballroom. We had multiple things every day at all hours and we made nearly 17 million a year with just the meeting part of it. Point being, there were a lot of meetings and I've seen how much paper gets printed, how many short notice functions and BEOs had to be brought to all the different departments. So I guess that’s where the upsell potential lies and a lot of time to be saved.
And what do you like most about MeetingPackage service offering?
I really have been impressed by the potential that the booking engine and the direct eProposal offers. But at the same time, I see MeetingPackage as a work in progress and we are growing together and basically what really impressed me was the partnership I managed to establish with MeetingPackage customer care. Really! MeetingPackage listening to my concerns, trying to adjust a little bit, maybe implement new features because of feedback I gave...this was very impressive. This was not really the product itself, but yes, that was very impressive.
Is there anything else you'd like us to know at this point?
I love the fact that when there’s something missing it will get developed very quickly
I told you everything I wanted to or I think that is important. Again, I really love the potential and I really think it's great. If you grow even more on that potential as it seems as the changes I'm seeing every week are very good and I love the fact that when there’s something missing it will get developed very quickly. It makes me feel that customer feedback is really important and looked after in MeetingPackage. And what I really can't stress enough is that it's great to work with you and I think you should really keep on listening to your customers and keep on being there for your customers, to grow and develop your product.
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