Demand is Back: Cvent CONNECT 2022 Conference Recap

May 3, 2022
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Hospitality industry professionals joined together at the Cvent CONNECT 2022 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in mid-April. Conference attendees included event professionals, marketers, business partners and hospitality. The conference gave attendees an opportunity to network with peers, discuss event planning best practices, discover planning technology, learn tips for managing event recovery volumes, attend thought leadership and educational sessions led by subject matter experts, connect with companies at the exhibit hall, meet with business partners and get a pulse for what’s on the horizon for meetings and events in 2022 and beyond.

This year, Onyx was a gold level sponsor with several colleagues in attendance, including Tony Wagner, Chief Commercial Officer, Sara Meyer, Vice President of Product Management, Hayley Kenslea, Vice President of Marketing and Elissa Ward, Marketing Manager.

Wagner and Meyer participated in the conference’s Partner Summit on Monday and were interviewed live in the Innovation Hall by Cvent CONNECT TV. Onyx CenterSource also hosted a thought leadership breakout session on Tuesday, discussing how payment technology is evolving in the M&E landscape. With 100+ registrants, interest and engagement in the topic was high. For the thought leadership session, Pati Partelow, Managing Director, Financial Services Consulting at Ernst & Young joined the Onyx team. Click here to watch the session on demand.

Read on for more insights and takeaways from Cvent CONNECT 2022.

Travel demand is returning

According to Reuters, there is a tremendous amount of demand, especially in domestic U.S. markets, that has ramped up in 2022 thus far, and only expected to get busier as the summer vacation travel months approach. With this surge, agency and hotel industry is feeling the burn of staffing shortages. Rather than taking on new business and figuring out how to manage as they used to, hospitality companies are simply turning away business.

Staffing remains a challenge across the industry

Staffing to handle current travel demand is an industry-wide challenge on both the supply (hotel/venue) and demand (third party planners) sides. Automation tools can help make work swifter and reduce overhead on staff as well as costs and is a key need as recovery takes hold. Not only are these programs customizable and scalable but there is also the benefit of providing employees the proper tools to do their everyday work in relation to employee retention. Onyx’s GroupPay is one solution to help fill in this need, both for businesses and their staff. With challenges in today’s high-demand, low-resource environment, retaining talent once it’s found is key for both hotels and agencies. This can reduce training costs and is a benefit to the bottom line. There is also a challenge with balancing both short term needs and long-term strategies but a need to do both even though hotels and travel agencies cannot always afford to not do both. For example, focusing on the hire that needs to be made to service the client in the coming weeks needs to be actioned as well as the introduction of the right technology and process optimizations so that they can emerge from the staffing challenges more quickly.

Hybrid approach and new technology

In-person meetings will continue to embrace a virtual component to broaden reach and engage a hybrid audience. According to Cvent CEO and founder Reggie Aggarwal, virtual events are now mainstream and are in demand, and more organizers want the best of both with hybrid events.

Marketplace investment trend

Beyond hotels & venues – was warmly received by reducing friction and efforts to engage additional third-party suppliers (non-hotel like DMC’s, entertainment, transport, etc.).

In today’s world of rising business travel demand, connectedness and collaboration are what it’s all about. This was felt at Cvent by the 1500+ in person participants and countless more who joined virtually and with those who engaged with us to collaborate and learn more about how Onyx is driving meaningful solutions for in commissions and payments management which has historically driven tremendous levels of challenge.

GroupPay by Onyx CenterSource is an industry first payments automation platform that provides hotel industry and meeting professionals unparalleled transparency and efficiency to track and proactively manage their event commissions, enabling easy reconciliation and faster payments. If you’re ready to see GroupPay in action, contact us today to schedule a demo.

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