Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

August 15 2016

Debunking The Big Myth About Millennials And Hotels

David McMillin

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No matter what role you play in the convention industry, you’ve most likely spent plenty of time discussing Millennials over the past few years. How do they want to learn? What are the best social channels to connect with prospective Millennial attendees? What motivates them to register for a face-to-face event? The findings of a new survey of more than 1,000 US consumers have answered another key question: do Millennials want to stay in hotels?

The answer appears to be a resounding yes. According to the American Express Future of Travel study, more than 76 percent of Millennials prefer to stay in traditional hotels. The figure is nearly equivalent to Baby Boomers and highlights that plenty of young attendees will continue to enjoy the comfort and convenience of established hospitality brands. As hoteliers offer new high-tech upgrades, the investment is paying off; 46 percent of Millennials say that enhanced in-room technology is the most appealing hotel trend.

SEE ALSO: 5 Ways Millennial Planners Are Going To Change The Meetings Industry

What Do The Numbers Mean For Room Blocks?

If the youngest generation of attendees is still checking into hotel rooms, can meeting professionals keep their reservations with traditional room blocks? The answer to this key question is not so clear. The AmEx findings show that nearly 70 percent of Millennials will put in the effort to plan a personalized travel experience versus purchasing a pre-packaged trip. So, rather than booking a room in one of the host hotels, this segment of attendees is likely to consider alternative properties that will best fit their needs.

Ultimately, though, Millennial decision-making comes down to a familiar factor: money. Nearly 60 percent of Millennial respondents indicated they will choose a package if it’s less expensive. For meeting professionals and trade show organizers, this figure is especially important. While “packages” in the AmEx survey may refer to booking a flight and hotel together, the convention industry can use similar styles of bundling to motivate in-block bookings. By offering registration discounts for attendees who book within the block, organizations may be able to fuel room night pickup.

Will Destinations Start Thinking About More Than Room Nights?

Room nights have been a historical measure of the value of a piece of a convention, but will that be the case in the future? Check out “Should Destinations Start Evaluating Convention Business With New Metrics?” for a glimpse inside the conversation at DMAI’s 2016 Annual Convention.

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