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Why we drastically changed our development priorities

A few months ago, on the first of January, I declared 2020 the year of Meetings & Events.

I could not have been more wrong.

Things were looking up, though, at the beginning of the year. AMEX Meetings & Events had predicted another year of moderate growth and I saw more interest in function space revenue optimization than ever before.

When pitching our newest innovation at Opportunity 2020, Revenue by Design’s yearly conference, we almost managed to win the “RevFactor” pitch contest for most innovative hotel tech after a neck-on-neck with our industry friends from Juyo Analytics.

That new innovation was all about answering the question “To sell or not to sell?”. The solution helped to deal with the following dilemma: Would you rather accept an inquiry with the risk of blocking the function space and missing out on a more profitable option or would you wait for that more lucrative opportunity with the risk of ending up completely empty-handed. The solution we pitched used advanced machine learning to give predictions on the likelihood of you receiving anything better and would give advice on whether or not to accept an inquiry at a certain point in time.

Fast forward just a couple of months and proactively not accepting an inquiry feels like vague memory from different times.

Long story short: Even though we were almost ready to launch the innovation above, we decided to pause the entire project (for now) as it simply no longer makes sense in current times. Apart from that, we rethought our entire development strategy for the coming months.

Many Zoom-calls with customers, industry experts, and virtual team brainstorms later we came up with the following changed plan for development in 2020:

The highest priority goes to development that is crucial right now.

Sounds logical, right? As a lot of “forecasting, re-forecasting and please forecast again” has to be done for future months we launched some tools and smart filter options to make life just a little easier. We also launched a completely new dashboard called Yearly Overview that helps to keep an eagle’s perspective with an important part dedicated to pick-up. This to make sure you’re ready to respond from the moment the first signs of improvement are shown.

We pivot from revenue central to sales central.

When demand returns the market will likely be more competitive than ever. It will be more challenging than before to secure business for your hotel or venue. We want to make sure we support your sales team with analytics to power conversion, so your property ends up once again with filled meeting diaries.

A focus on profitability.

As long as social distance measures stay in place, we’ll see a strong reduction in the capacities of meeting rooms. We, therefore, expect to see the rise of hybrid meetings where usage of smart AV technology allows a mixture of on- and offline participants. There is of course a cost involved in buying or renting this equipment. We’ll make sure Get Into MoRe reflects real results by offering an option to include or exclude this AV revenue.

We’d love to keep the conversation going as, to be honest, no-one can really say what the future will bring. The only thing we can do is keeping a close eye on the data and talking with as many people as possible. We're happy to have you as our conversation partners. While 2020 is definitely not going according to plan, these times also present an almost blank canvas with an opportunity to do things differently.

Onwards and upwards!

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