The worst kept secret is that corporate business meetings slowed to a screeching halt because of COVID-19. Hotels with significant meeting business not only had to figure out how to navigate a new normal that meant fewer in-person events, but they also had to contend with the unpredictability of when conferences and events could return to normal operating levels. For a very long time, it has been purely a waiting game.
With the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine, the slow trickle of events returning to full in-person levels has begun to gain momentum. Many properties, including the Daxton Hotel, and meeting planners are seeing inquiries tick up, especially as 2021 came to an end. Many big brands have implemented enhanced health and safety protocols to help spur confidence and comfortability in having onsite meetings, while hotels like the Daxton have demonstrated leadership towards health and safety initiates by achieving Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED® status with Forbes Travel and the AAA Diamond Inspected Clean designations.
The Move Toward Larger Gatherings
As the pandemic begins to wain and confidence in returning to in-person activities continues, we are beginning to see a move back towards larger meetings taking place. An element of both face-to-face and virtual events will remain for the better part of this year, but the shift back towards larger gatherings is happening.
“Hybrid meetings provided a bridge to the challenges that were in place while many hotels were handcuffed by reduced capacity limits and social distancing mandates,” said Suzanne Gagnon, director of sales and marketing at Daxton Hotel. “We have begun seeing a significant return to in-person corporate meetings and networking opportunities, as we believe people are starting to yearn for some return normalcy. Nothing can replace face-to-face human interaction, and we are poised to deliver this elevated experience to all our guests when they join us.”
The Post Pandemic Business Traveler
Business travel overall is expected to increase in 2022 compared to 2021, but according to analysis by Kalibri Labs, Q3 of 2022 is projected to hit 80% of 2019 business travel figures. While many of the larger managed corporate organizations will be a little slower returning to pre-pandemic travel and meeting cadences, there is an emerging sector of business that is driving recovery – the small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). Many SME accounts have come back rather quickly out of 2020, as smaller companies began returning to the office faster and have begun putting their people on the road sooner.
“We have seen a diversified return when it comes to our corporate meeting and travel segment of business,” said Raj Radke, managing director of Daxton Hotel. “While there are numerous large business organizations that are booking meetings and events with us, we have experienced a tremendous outreach from the small to medium-sized business category to help with their demand for in-person meetings.”
If you are ready to learn more about the Daxton Hotel and see how we can accommodate your corporate event needs, please visit https://daxtonhotel.com/meetings-spaces/ or call (248) 283-4200.