‘Training is the only way we can grow to our fullest potential and truly be acknowledged for our work,’ says AccorHotels’ Kerry Healy.
There has never been a better time to take training and development up a few notches. The meetings and events industry is currently worth U.S.$250 billion for us in Asia Pacific (APAC) and last year, more than 35 percent of food and beverage revenue came from this segment. The APAC region currently represents 51 percent of our global pipeline — 33 percent of which will be in our luxury upscale brands. As such, we will continue to focus on delivering quality events at our hotels.
Talent development is a core priority for us. Not just because our customers expect service consistency from our hotels, but because our team members deserve to gain further knowledge on the ever-changing world of event management. We are a human-to-human business, despite technological advancement.
We are starting to see the fruition of our investment in training. In APAC, we started our education journey in 2016 by supporting the Incentive, Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific (ICESAP), and following PCMA’s acquisition of ICESAP last year, we now have access to thousands of event strategists. This has allowed us to better understand our customers’ needs.
Armed with new knowledge, our regional and hotel teams across our brands have also championed the development of the AccorHotels M&E Toolkit. Endorsed by Pacific World, this new toolkit is dedicated to our meetings and events customers, outlining why and how we can sharpen our focus on the customer experience, and how to create effective partnerships. This internal document is shared across multiple hotel teams to ensure our event service standard is consistent.
Earlier this year, we were invited by the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau to be an education partner for one of its signature events, Thailand Incentive & Meeting Exchange, where buyers from long-haul markets such as Australia, North America, and Europe shared trends and best practices with the business events industry. Again, this provided great insight for our regional sales and event management teams.
I would encourage my fellow industry colleagues to further invest in education and development — whether it’s building internal toolkits or attending regional conferences and networking events. Training is the only way we can grow to our fullest potential and truly be acknowledged for our work. After all, we are not party planners, we are event strategists.
Kerry Healy is vice president of sales, Asia Pacific, for AccorHotels. This article was compiled by staff at Untangled, a Singapore-based content, marketing, and business strategy consultancy.