Interviews and article by Lyne Branchaud
What are the latest meeting and conference trends in the Laurentians? To find out, we talked to three representatives who work in the area: Marie-Chantal Thibault, Sales Manager, Groups & Conferences for the Tremblant Resort Association; François Desrochers, Convention and Services Manager at Le Grand Lodge Mont-Tremblant; and Line Latour, Sales Manager at the Estérel Resort.
The second article in this three-part series on trends looks at communications, length of stay, and client base.
Texting: a practical tool for quick on-site communication!
Texting has replaced walkie-talkies and cell phone calls as the most common means of communication between planners and hotel coordinators on site during events. I find texting fast and very practical, especially for urgent issues.
Email is still the most frequently used means of communication throughout the event planning process. It’s less intrusive than texting, especially since most issues are not urgent.
Exchanges between planners and event site coordinators extend beyond the event itself. “It’s common for clients to ‘like’ our Facebook and LinkedIn pages and share articles or post comments,” notes Thibault.
Do all planners use new technology?
“Some clients create their own apps for events, especially during trade shows. There’s also the Social Tables app that I hear about occasionally,” says Thibault. This software program is used primarily to create floor plans, assign seats, and manage guest check-in.
“Professional event planners are on the lookout for new technology much more than direct clients,” says Latour. “But there are some clients who come to a resort hotel like this to unplug and who want to take a break from all the technology. It depends on the type of meeting, of course,” she adds.
Besides Social Tables, I personally use the online registration tool Eventbrite, plus SurveyMonkey to create post-event surveys, Check In Easy to manage guest check-in, and Paymo to calculate how much time I spend on my various mandates.
Are stays getting longer or shorter?
It’s common for clients to try to cut a night from their regular events, and meetings are also finishing earlier, often after the break. Today’s planners are much more focused on meeting content than activities, but that doesn’t mean that themes and activities have been dropped altogether. I’ll discuss this in the next article in the series.
Without a doubt, May to mid-June and September to October are the peak periods for hotels in the Laurentians. However, for nearly a year the fall event season has been starting in mid-August and many events now take place in November and January, according to our three representatives.
By Lyne Branchaud
Lyne has been the president of Guide Événement for six years and is involved in planning several corporate events and conferences (Descair, Aubainerie, RISQ, etc.). Lyne is also a lecturer and professor of event planning at Zoom Académie and LaSalle College. With over 20 years of experience with advertising agencies and corporate events departments, including Provigo and Uniprix, Lyne is the author of the best-selling book L’organisation d’un événement : Guide pratique and the blog Guide Événement, which is dedicated to anything and everything related to events.
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