Exploring meeting & event industry trends from Cvent's PULSE Survey

Exploring trends Cvent Pulse Survey
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Episode description

Have you ever wondered how to cut costs without compromising the wow factor in events?

That’s where leveraging local resources can be a game-changer.

Our guest, Virgil Napier, Area Director for Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa, explains how to utilize local resources for everything from coffee to fresh fish—all while making your events a total wow. Plus, Kelly McDonald, Senior Event Sourcing Consultant for Meetings and Events at Wells Fargo, shares her clever tactics for keeping those high-level meetings on-site to cut down on transportation costs. 

These aren't just budget hacks – they’re ways to enhance your attendees' experience without breaking the bank.

And if you’re wondering about planner-supplier relationships – we hear you. Discussing mutual goals, creative solutions, and the art of transparency in planning, our experts highlight how these elements are pivotal for success.

You won’t want to miss it.

Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Maximize local resources to enhance experiences on a budget: Virgil emphasizes the strategic use of local resources—such as local coffee, fresh fish, and lobsters—not only as a cost-saving measure but also to create memorable and unique experiences. This approach allows event planners to deliver high-quality events without escalating costs.

  • Upfront negotiations and partnerships to offset inflation and service gaps: Kelly McDonald highlights the importance of negotiating upfront to manage cost increases effectively, especially in areas like food, beverages, and AV equipment.

  • Adopt technology and innovation to streamline planning and enhance attendee experience: Kelly and Virgil share insights on how planners and hoteliers navigate the "test and learn" phase of technology adoption. They also discuss the importance of collaboration in implementing these innovations successfully.

Things to listen for:

00:00 An introduction to the episode 

05:17 Why technology is crucial for meetings

08:53 Hotel utilizes AI for experiential event marketing

12:35 Meetings and events challenges: space, cost, relationships

15:08 Negotiating for favorable rates and cost-saving tactics

19:04 Strategic partnerships for growth and cost management

20:53 Collaborate with Kelly for creative cost-saving solutions

Meet your host

Alyssa Peltier, Director, Market Strategy & Insights at Cvent Consulting

Meet your guest hosts

Virgil Napier, Area Director for Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa

Kelly McDonald, Senior Event Sourcing Consultant for Meetings and Events at Wells Fargo

Episode Transcript

Virgil Napier [00:00:00]:

So for us, first and foremost is what is the vision that needs to be met? And then we obviously, from a service standpoint, being one of the top 300 hotels in the world. For us, it's always about making sure that experience far exceeds what the original quote needed to be. Not in price, but in experience.


Alyssa Peltier [00:00:19]:

Great events create great brands, but pulling off an event that engages, excites, and connects audiences, well, that takes a village. And we're that village. My name is Alyssa.


Rachel Andrews [00:00:30]:

I'm Rachel.


Felicia Asiedu [00:00:31]:

And I'm Felicia.


Alyssa Peltier [00:00:33]:

And you are listening to Great Events, the podcast for all event enthusiasts, creators and innovators in the world of events and marketing. 

Hello everyone. What has been going on in this wide, wide world of events? My name is Alyssa and I will be your host for this week's episode on Great Events, a podcast by Cvent. Now we all know that the meetings and events industry is in constant change, however, presenting both incredible opportunities. But then there's always these unique challenges as well. So what we'd like to do today is kind of have a pulse check midway point through the year on what trends we are seeing in this very diverse and vast and exciting meetings and events space, and how we can adapt to those challenges, both from a planner point of view, but also from a hotelier point of view. I don't know how many of you all are familiar listeners out there that Cvent does produce a recurring pulse of the industry report that provides top trends in conjunction with Northstar Meetings Group. This is a bimonthly survey that is conducted for for the overarching market.


Alyssa Peltier [00:01:40]:

Both event customers and Cvent non-customers participate in this just to gain access to those insights into what planners are thinking. At a recurring cadence. We're able to identify what some of those challenges are, how those challenges might be changing or staying static, and how that ultimately shapes the state of meetings and events for any moment in time. And this has been going on since around 2020 and it's really been providing a guidepost for the industry. So today what we're going to do is dig into a few of those key findings in our May report, which is coming out just shortly. Lean into those experiences from this sourced group of planners and hopefully walk away with some great insights on how we can build better towards recovery, but also for our flourishing industry at large. So to help me do this, I am super excited to have two experts with us today. Outside experts.


Alyssa Peltier [00:02:31]:

I'm very used to working with CVenters on this podcast, but we've actually got some two outside voices, so that's extra fun for the podcast today. Like I said, one from the hotelier side and one from the events industry. A little bit more can to my subject matter area of expertise here. And they're going to share some of their perspectives and their insights, react to what we've seen in the pulse report from May. And we'll also talk about this growing demand for events, these booking trends, technology adoption a little bit and some event support concerns that we're seeing, and we'll get into that in just a second. But real data, real stories on how to build those partnerships and create even more amazing events. Or as we like to say, great events. Right, right.


Alyssa Peltier [00:03:11]:

So without further ado, these are my subject matter experts, my pundits, for example, on today's podcast. So Virgil Napier, he's the Area Director for Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa down in Grand Cayman, as I've been told, is the correct pronunciation. Is that right, Virgil?


Virgil Napier [00:03:30]:

Alyssa, you were close. You were close. It's k-man. Pleasure to be here. Thrilled to be a part of it with both Cvent and having Kelly, who's a great partner as well as she'll introduce herself. I'm lucky enough to be the area director of commercial for the Forbes ten-star Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa here in the Cayman Islands, as well as the new launch of the flagship for the Hotel Indigo brand, which is the Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman, launched ten days ago. So super thrilled to be a part of this and looking forward to this. And of course, CVN CONNECTcoming up in just a couple weeks.


Alyssa Peltier [00:04:00]:

I love it. What a perfect plug. I didn't even have to do it, which is even better, right? And Kelly McDonald is our second guest for today. She's a Senior Event Sourcing Consultant for meetings and events at Wells Fargo. Welcome, Kelly.


Kelly McDonald [00:04:15]:

Thank you, Alyssa. Thanks for having me. And yeah, I'm happy to be here. As a sourcing specialist for Wells Fargo meetings and events, I, along with a smaller team, handle all the sourcing, negotiating, contracting for our external partners. So work with our business groups and our event planners every day to make sure we can produce great events. And so I'm excited to dig into the results of the pulse survey.


Alyssa Peltier [00:04:40]:

I am too. This is very much outside of my comfort zone. I admittedly have never done any sourcing in any capacity. My background tends to be more on the commercial side, the quantifying the metrics for meetings and events program. So I'm excited to learn something today too, and see what's going on kind of the other side of the world of meetings and events this big, small, this big tangled web of partnerships and fun ecosystem of events. So Virgil and Kelly, let's jump right into this. What are some of these overarching trends that you're currently seeing in the industry? And so I'll pass the floor. Virgil, we'll start with you.


Virgil Napier [00:05:17]:

Well, part and parcel for us is there's a couple of them. The first one is the technology use for our meetings and events, and not only in sourcing, which is where Kelly's team comes into play, but the actual events themselves. And then looking at it as you move into everything from AI programming to the actual systems that are being utilized to social tables, which is very important for us, especially when we talk about diagramming both interior as well as exterior activations for the groups. So I would say technology is a firm, firm basis from a hotel perspective. It gives us the availability for smaller properties, not the large, shall we say, convention-style settings to be able to be frankly world-class or leaning in first in class. And then the second would be short-term usage and groups that are coming. We're seeing a large number of people that are shifting because of global dynamics, and whether it be weather patterns, whether it be strife, politicism, whatever the case may be, people need to have those. And then the third part of that is from Kelly's side where they've had, shall we say over the last few years, reduction in talent.


Virgil Napier [00:06:17]:

So they have more or greater responsibilities for her teams and they have more programs, they have to get out now than they ever did before. How do we help them get that off their desk? And I would say that the technology and the short term needs are the two biggest that we face, that we can help support.


Alyssa Peltier [00:06:32]:

Nice. Kelly, what's your point of view on this?


Kelly McDonald [00:06:34]:

Oh yeah. I mean, to echo what Virgil said, yes, we are smaller team tasked with more meetings. We do about 1200 meetings a year, and our staff was reduced during COVID coming back a bit, but still, still heavily taxed on the workload that we have. And I also think bringing up the AV is a great point because there are ways through AI to streamline our processes, but our budgets aren't necessarily growing to meet, you know, the AV costs that are associated with it. So we're trying to play that game of how can we get what we need, how can we be more efficient on the budgets that really aren't increasing that much if not decreasing a bit. You know, I know the post report said the booking window is going up. I think it was more nine to twelve months. I still feel like we're in that shorter area still, maybe that three to six months.


Kelly McDonald [00:07:24]:

We are starting to see a little bit more in the future, but, and hopefully that trend just keeps continuing because it still feels really short-term to me. Compared to pre-pandemic sourcing windows, it's hard to find availability in those peak times.


Virgil Napier [00:07:39]:

I was going to say I agree with that, the actual pulse setting saying that we are going further and further out. We see that at CifAr right now our booking window is upwards of twelve to 18 months and that's grown. But we also are noting that there are needs in short-term that frankly are just being dumped on top of our partners that are on the sourcing world and they're saying I need help, how can I streamline this, how can I make it effective and setting it so we're seeing both of those. We are seeing a further out because companies are now planning further and further out because they've come back to the office and they're also in play. We're also seeing great growth in some of our corporate entities, especially in canon with our financial services and our legal services settings. Both are having phenomenal years and so they also need to have those meetings as they grow their teams back. So very excited about it.


Alyssa Peltier [00:08:24]:

And yeah, let's drill into the technology piece. Virgil, I know you just mentioned, and I really like the call out to AI because it continues to be kind of the trendiest of all the trending topics over the last, let's say 18 to 24 months. Have we even been that long with the AI conversation? Probably in the 18 month window. Are you seeing any new innovations when it comes to technology adoption that can kind of solve some of these pain points that you both mentioned. And Virgil, I'll toss that over to you since you addressed the technology piece specifically.


Virgil Napier [00:08:53]:

So there are a few points to it from our perspective as a hotel operating an amazing event, whether it be a large-scale activation or a small-scale board executive meeting that's coming to can. We are not that traditional Vegas or Orlando or some of the larger thousand-room events or larger that happens and comes across Kelly's desk. So for us when we talk about it, it's utilization of that for the experience, making it experiential, but also the preview for it. Whether we're using it to create an amazing marketing piece that goes out for the incentive program or if we're going to turn that into something that happens from the physical design elements that we can actually create and then we use through both AI when we talk about how we make this beautiful vision come to life, but then we use that with our programming nodes that we have on property through our systems integration as well. So when we talk about AI, you've got the first, the general pose, or I don't even know if I'm actually a picture right now, it may be AI-generated, and then you have the other side of it, which is how we can actually take that, use that as a basis. Because when we have the teams that are planning, Kelly signs off on it, then she sends one of her team members down here to actually do the preplanning and the programming, and we can work with them to look at what are their main keywords, what do we need to do to help them? And then how can I create some marketing pieces from our team at CFire to then have that sent out, as, shall we say, previews for them? That's just on the small side. You can then take it to the Vegas world where you could be in the sphere and how that AI-generated physical capability is going to be, or a fourth dimension as we use it, depending on the scale and the budget that's going to be in place.


Alyssa Peltier [00:10:27]:

What about from the planner perspective, Kelly? Are you seeing new ways to kind of leverage technology across not just a particular location, but across a sea of events? Right. You talked about how large the program is at Wells Fargo. How are you leaning into technology in that space, too?


Kelly McDonald [00:10:41]:

Well, I think from a sourcing perspective, we rely really heavily on the C vent tool, and I have a ton of stuff to learn about the AI and CVET and how that's working, and I will be doing that at CONNECT in a couple weeks, so I'm excited to learn more about that. I can't really speak to what the planners are doing on-site, but I know I did just attend a conference in May, and just the technology that's out there, even with translations, was pretty impressive. And just watching that come up and evolve has been exciting. I can't speak too much about how we're currently using it outside of our tools right now, but I know that everyone's hungry for that information. And the more that we can learn and the more that we can share is going to be helpful for everyone.


Alyssa Peltier [00:11:25]:

Well, I don't think that's uncommon. Right. I think everybody's kind of in a test-and-learn space right now, too. So I don't know if anybody would say they're widely adopting anything other than the fact that we're trialing in pockets and we're trying to figure out how to operationalize that once we see the success metrics start to roll in. So just assuring you that that's not an uncommon space to be.


Kelly McDonald [00:11:46]:

You know, we rely on our audio-visual partners, too, to bring us this information and teach us and show us how it's going to work. So we do have great partnerships with a lot of AV production equipment. People in our hotel. Partners really just make our jobs easier in that regard, where they can say, hey, we've done this before. This is what it looks like. It might be a great fit for your program.


Alyssa Peltier [00:12:06]:

I love that. Okay, so I want to dive into some of the key findings that we got out of this report. I love the perspectives that you all bring to enrich this conversation, but there were kind of four key areas that we can hone in on when it comes to the pulse report that is coming out in May here. First, more meetings are driving more attendance. That was the first kind of key finding that we saw. There's just more volume right now. We're seeing the recovery is at play here. Right.


Kelly McDonald [00:12:31]:

I think there's no denying searching for overflow room blocks. I'll tell you that right now.


Alyssa Peltier [00:12:35]:

That dovetails very nicely to key finding number two, that there is a struggle to find space and dates, because more meeting, more volume, more attendees, creating taxation on the actual space finding itself. The third finding, and I really am going to kind of drill into this one, because it is interesting to me, is the cost increase of things. There is no denying that we are in an inflationary market, and that is being felt quite acutely in the meetings and event space. So I'm going to put a pin in that one, to use my, my corporate slang here, but we're going to come back to that in a second because I do want to ask for both of your points of view on that, and I think there's a delicate balance that we can strike from the planner and hotel perspective. Our fourth key finding was that there is a discussion around planner supplier satisfaction and honing in on relationships. And I think we can really, we can stress that piece as well here, too. Let's go into this inflationary conversation. Back in 2023, there was this hesitancy, this uncertainty around a recession.


Alyssa Peltier [00:13:35]:

I feel like we've kind of crawled out of that nicely. But there's been an impact on prices specifically, and so cost and budget constraints continue to impact the industry. We're seeing that very clearly in the results here. And specifically, f and b remains a major pain point, along with some of those increasing hotel and venues fees. We saw in the survey report, 42% of planners say that they have increased spending on meeting an event tech tech support compared to last year. We saw 37% of planners report being cautious with hotel and venue contracts. They're negotiating minimums that are necessary for their attendance numbers. So, Kelly, I'm going to start with you on this one.


Alyssa Peltier [00:14:20]:

How are planners doing? More with less. And to bring Virgil into this part of the conversation, how can hotels help?


Kelly McDonald [00:14:30]:

From my perspective, the planners, you nailed it in the survey. Of course, this is the consensus food and beverage AV, right? The prices are up. So my role is really the before work to get the best deal I can with our hotel partners before our planners are on site. So I will say I've seen year-over-year increases 15% 20%, which is just not something we can support. And I might sound like a broken record throughout the podcast, but it really has come back to the relationships that we've built with our hotel partners, with our guests, where I can go back to them and say, I cannot do a 15% increase. It's not going to happen. 5%. Let's talk.


Kelly McDonald [00:15:08]:

And through good relationships, good communication, we've been able to get the rates where we need to be. So I'm negotiating that on the front end to save as much money upfront to help account for the food and beverage increases and the AV increases. And our planners have their own, you know, ways of saving money on that. And I can't speak to them individually, of course, but different tactics they have in place to save food or maybe carry over some of our danishes from breakfast to put as a snack. Right. So they're getting creative and the food and beverage teams will help them with that. I feel like a lot of hotels all of a sudden are you have a higher resort fee or destination fee or convenience fee, whatever you want to call it. So the ability of our sourcing team to negotiate those down really does help the bottom line.


Kelly McDonald [00:15:55]:

We work with CBB partners that can help sometimes to help lessen, you know, even out the cost because our budgets are not increasing. Inflation is a real thing. So we just do our best ahead of time to work with our partners to make sure it's a win for everyone. And I do feel like most salespeople I work with, they understand that, right? They understand they have to meet their hotels. Their, the director of revenue management is in their ear too. But there's usually that negotiation that we can come to where both people are happy. So, relationships, just being honest and upfront with people I think Virgil and I both speak very directly for what we need and he's going to represent the hotel side of what they need to make their business profitable. And there always seems to be a middle ground.


Kelly McDonald [00:16:43]:

So that's my take on that. I will say I have been. You mentioned something about service level satisfaction being down, and I am seeing that. I actually just got a comment yesterday on a property we use all the time that I've never heard a bad thing about. And I'm like, they heard, you know, there was a bad service experience. It wasn't what they expect from this level of property. And that I said, I need more information on that, please, because I want to dig into it again. We have a great relationship with their sales team, so I want to contact them and say, hey, this is the feedback.


Kelly McDonald [00:17:12]:

How can we avoid it in the future but we're paying those higher prices. We do expect the service level to be what we're paying for.


Alyssa Peltier [00:17:19]:

Yeah, Virgil, what's your point of view on that too? I do have one call out from the survey that was more anecdotal feedback. It was qualitative, and it really struck a chord with me. You know, I wish I knew the name of the planner here, but I got the quote. It says we're spending more due to increased costs just to maintain the quality of our programs, not to enhance them. That really stood out to me because maintenance is one thing, right? But I think that planners are interested in creativity and innovating and driving change and growth for their events. And this is where I think if there is a joint goal objective between the planner and the hotelier, to enhance the program, right. Not just to spend the same and get the same output, but to really grow. Virgil, I'd love to hear your perspective on that.


Alyssa Peltier [00:18:05]:

To really, to help planners do more, truly do more with less, right? Not do the same with less, but do more with less.


Virgil Napier [00:18:14]:

Our industry, our world, in fact, almost every, every industry should be relationship driven. If all you care about is a financial bottom line, then frankly Cfire is probably not the place for you. It has to be a value relationship that fits what you need from your budgeting and an overall scale. The experience that has to be met. The vision that has been anticipated for your attendees, whether it be as simple as a board meeting as we said, or transactionals, or you've got five or six team members training, or if it's going to be for us, the ultra incentive when you're coming down to the Caribbean. So for us, first and foremost is what is the vision that needs to be met. And then we obviously, from a service standpoint, being one of the top 300 hotels in the world, for us it's always about making sure that experience far exceeds what the original quote needed to be. Not in price, but in experience.


Virgil Napier [00:19:04]:

We look at it, we look at it how we can partner with, in this case the sourcing agent or sourcing director. And what is the vision that you're looking for? Typically you're going to have a 5% maximum cost referral from the prior year. So the first thing is you look at where'd you go last year and how did that happen and does that assist Kelly and her team? Well, we know that frankly 5% will get it over the line, but if it's more than that, we need to go back to our financial team, our accounting team, our director of finance, whoever that may be, and decide if that's going to be a fit for them. So if that's the case, we should immediately look at that from a hotel's perspective or a resorts perspective, airline perspective, cruise line, any of those partner vendors that are truly partner vendors. Because at the end of the day, we work on not just one program, but of Kelly's 1200. We want to be represented and have the opportunity for all of them. Now we know we're not going to get that, but we want to be put into the game. And the mindset grow when you get that choice of going to one property, one restaurant, one dinner, because we're seeing inflation in double digits in the United States.


Virgil Napier [00:20:08]:

While we may not want to claim that from our mindset of our government, the reality is that we're sitting here as three independent business persons. We're seeing that, absolutely. We're seeing it from a cost of goods sold, we're seeing it from transportation of the goods, we're seeing it from people just getting to wherever you need to get to. We've also seen a large number of our people come back to the offices. So we want to have those in-person functions because they work. They really do work, even though we love being on vacation, sort of while you're calling in remotely, especially in the islands, but that's not the case. And you actually have to be back in Charlotte and you make it through traffic. The fact is we want to be in front of people, and you build those relationships internally, and then you tie those in with who your partners are around the world.


Virgil Napier [00:20:53]:

So when we see those costs going up, we see all those things happening. We need to come back together and work with Kelly and her team and say, hey, look, we have this opportunity. You know what, coffee and lobster are super expensive for us. Can we switch that and do something else like a grilled pork setting on the beach, and then have an amazing set of design of cocktails and rums that are coming in instead of champagnes? Because we give them the opportunity to make those decisions but have that value come to life with the vision that they need. But that's our responsibility to be their local experts and it's her responsibility to have the pencil and paper put together and where she needs to be for the financial side and then give us the creativeness to make it happen. But it comes out with relationship-driven. We have to be honest, as she said, with each other, hey, look, I can't give you a deal on 700 private lobster meals on the beach, but I can give you a deal on this. What if we translate this into an experience and then we expand it for you? That's where we can be creative and make it come to life.


Alyssa Peltier [00:21:52]:

I love that. The shared goal, the shared value, the shared vision, but allow the hoteliers the creative freedom, right to solution. Right. Not feeling like the planner needs to own that entirely. The hotelier has a responsibility there, too.


Virgil Napier [00:22:06]:

It is our responsibility as your local expert in whatever locality you're in. If you're in Nashville and you know you're going to go to Belle Meade, to the distillery and make it happen, fantastic. If you're going to be in Orlando and do one of the really cool donut shops that just opened, whatever the case is the new evermore project that's there, it's fantastic. But again, if we're doing that, we need to be that local expert to give Kelly the opportunity to say, I've got 17 different leads coming in, I've got 15 different destinations. Who works with me the best, who makes it happen and who can get this done in the right amount of time and the right amount of value with the right price to make it come to life. I don't have time to go back and forth with you. I've got 1200 meetings that she's doing a year. She's got a team of ten or 15 that are around her, which used to have 25.


Virgil Napier [00:22:53]:

So now you've got to make that happen. It's our responsibility to do the same thing for her, but not just for her, but for all of our partners. And we do that also on an orientation side as well. When we talk to our vendors that are bringing us the coffees and the lobsters and such we do that every morning. We have our fresh fish brought in from the fishermen. We work with local farms to get a better deal. So when Kelly is saying, hey, what's in process? Right now, it's mangoes. And our oyster mushrooms are growing here in Kitimat.


Virgil Napier [00:23:20]:

It's perfect. Let's do some really cool desserts with mango and have an amazing oyster mushroom setting for an appetizer. That saves her money, but she still has a wow experience and gets something done organically and locally.


Kelly McDonald [00:23:32]:

And I'll say one other thing that we're doing to, you know, save some money too, is when we're looking at our higher level meetings where it's more of a let's go and have these activities and interactions, we're trying to keep things on-site, right? So rather than go to that hotel where then I have to go to downtown to do a dine around and then I have to go to an outside company to do a jeep tour or whatever way it may be, trying to find that property where everything's on-site so we don't have to pay for additional transportation, right. Things like that, different restaurants that we're paying for. So, trying to keep that on site when we can has been a push for us as well.


Virgil Napier [00:24:10]:

You know, we do that. That's part of the reason why we launched this past week, the new Hotel Indigo, Grand Cayman. It's literally next door to our Kimpton seafire resort and spa. We've got two amazing beachfront locations. You can walk and wander. We also do support our local, what we would say, Cayman resident programming. We want to make sure that you do experience it. So on that night off, when they come in for their, for an incentive program, first night is on the property welcoming everybody.


Virgil Napier [00:24:34]:

You want to be toes in the sand. And the final night you have to do the award ceremony because they earned the award to make it profitable and have that person behind them, whether it be a spouse or significant other, recognize them as well. And then in between that, we want you to experience the destination without being costly or ineffective for the experience. We want them to come down and have such a great time that they're going to immediately go. Let's repeat. Our repeat factor for groups now is almost 40%. That almost never happens for incentives simply because you have to go to a new place. But because the planners have such a great experience, the purchasing side has hit it within the mark of where they needed to be for their financial obligation.


Virgil Napier [00:25:14]:

And now all of a sudden the staff are going, we want them back. And the guests who attended are like, yeah, let's come back. And that's that partnership that we talk about. You can't be naive to the fact that there are costs in the world. So we as a team, team need to make that come to life. And that's what we do pretty well down here in the islands. And hopefully it's translated into what some of the other destinations are seeing as well. But you got to give that value.


Virgil Napier [00:25:39]:

If you aren't providing the service, that excellence, that intuitive personal service that's required, you're just leaving Kelly in a storm of this didn't work. Now I have to go and find a whole new place and react, assess where we're going. You've done yourself a disservice twice. You didn't hit the projection budget that they needed and you didn't make it happen and make it flawless. And if that's the case, shame on you as an operator and you've lost.


Alyssa Peltier [00:26:03]:

The chance for recurring business, right?


Virgil Napier [00:26:06]:

That could be anything from an airline to bus service to simply going to a restaurant out to eat. And if you've got the opportunity to have your clients hug them, love them and know them, and that's what we.


Alyssa Peltier [00:26:17]:

Do, I think that's a perfect way to close out this conversation. I feel like we could talk for hours on all of these trends. I know we really only scratched the surface. However, that is a great teaser for more of this conversation taking place at Cvent Connect. Kelly and Virgil, I know we mentioned this several times here, but they will be participating on a panel at CventConnect taking place just shy of two weeks now in San Antonio. This session, if you are not able to join at Cvent Connect, will also be made available on demand so you can enrich this whole dialogue with their perspectives immediately following that conference. Like I said, first week in June here or second week in June here. If you are also interested in downloading the whole pulse report, which we do now have available for your review, that can be downloaded at plannerpulse dot cvent.com.


Alyssa Peltier [00:27:08]:

and you can kind of get into the nitty gritty on all of that data and understand what's happening in this space a little bit more granularly than what we were able to accomplish today. With that, Virgil and Kelly, I thoroughly appreciated this conversation. I felt like I learned a little bit more and certainly enriched my knowledge of the space and the partnership that goes on between planners and hoteliers. So thank you both for joining us and sharing all of your perspectives and insights today.


Kelly McDonald [00:27:32]:

Thank you, Alyssa, for having us.


Virgil Napier [00:27:34]:

Thank you for the time. Truly appreciate it.


Alyssa Peltier [00:27:36]:

And Virgil, I definitely want to come down and visit you all. I would love a little lobster. Lobster on the beach really sounded great.


Virgil Napier [00:27:42]:

Right now, living in the islands, you get used to it. All I want is some cheap Chinese food and some pizza. You know, it's a shame. I don't actually know what happens in my commute. It's almost two and a half minutes, so I don't know what happens at the end of Taylor Swift's song. Did she get back together? I don't know. Finished? I didn't hear the whole song, so you're a riot.


Alyssa Peltier [00:28:03]:

Virgil. Kelly Virgil, thank you so much for joining. And thank you, listeners for listening to this week's episode of Great Events. See you next week. Thanks for hanging out with us on great events, such as a podcast by Cvent. If you've been enjoying our podcast, make sure to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode.


Rachel Andrews [00:28:23]:

And you can help fellow event professionals and marketers just like you discover great events by leaving us a rating on Apple, Spotify or your preferred podcast platform.


Felicia Asiedu [00:28:32]:

Stay connected with us on social media for behind-the-scenes content updates and some extra doses of inspiration.


Rachel Andrews [00:28:40]:

Got a great story or an event to share? We want to hear from you. Find us on LinkedIn, send us a DM or drop us a note@greateventsavent.com.


Felicia Asiedu [00:28:50]:

Big thanks to our amazing listeners, our guest speakers, and the incredible team behind the scenes. Remember, every great event begins with great.


Alyssa Peltier [00:28:58]:

People, and that's a wrap. Keep creating, keep keep innovating, and keep joining us as we redefine how to make events great.