“We pride ourselves on being good listeners. We read every review and take it to our development team,” says Steve Enselein, senior vice president, events Hyatt Hotels Corp. MeetingsNet sat down with him at the recent IMEX America show in Las Vegas to hear about how the company is turning planner requests into enhancements to its various meetings-related technology and programs.
1. The Hyatt Event Concierge app, which was in beta last year, now is deployed in all the company’s U.S. properties and in approximately 30 more hotels internationally, with plans for complete deployment globally in 2018. The app enables planners to directly connect with the associate who can handle that specific request, and tells the planner when the task is completed. Enselein says that approximately 75 percent of planners are using the app, and those who do give it a 90 percent or above satisfaction rating.
2. Meetings on Demand, a tool for planners of small meetings to check availability, book, and receive immediate confirmation, arrange food and beverage packages, and customize room setups, is now deployed in all full-service U.S. Hyatt brands, and will be fully deployed internationally next year. The tool is generating a lot of interest, says Enselein, noting that about two thirds of all Hyatt meetings are for fewer than 40 people and activated within 100 days.
3. Group Bill, which automates the billing process and provides same-day billing information, now can integrate the meeting organizer’s billing codes, making it easier to export to the group’s system after the meeting.
4. The National Event Manager program, which sends a dedicated Hyatt event manager to all of a select customer’s meetings, has added another person, so there now are two staff in the program. It is available to select clients who organize the largest programs for events that are held solely within the brand’s properties. The idea is that the Hyatt event person develops an understanding of all of that client’s special needs and wants, Enselein says. He added that one of these managers actually received a note from an attendee at an event she traveled to calling her a “magical pink unicorn.”
5. Hyatt also has dedicated a staff member to handle the affiliate market—the satellite meetings that occur around large citywides. This staff member helps affiliates with contracting and securing space for these “events around the event.”
6. Hyatt’s Event Buzz is a new network where Hyatt associates can share best practices and post photos of their work. For example, one associate may ask for ideas for a healthy break, and others could post recipes, décor ideas, and photos. “It lets managers help each other help their clients,” says Enselein. The longer-term vision for the community, he says, is “to take the best of what we have shared internally and share it with the planner community.” Event Buzz launched in July and is now being used by all U.S. Hyatts; it will roll out globally in 2018.
7. The company’s automated diagramming and collaboration tool, offered in partnership with Social Tables, is now available via a one-touch button so planners can access room sets. It also will be available at the meeting-room level to those who are setting up a room so they can have it to refer to as they work.
On the Horizon
• The company is now looking into technology that would allow for instant language translation at the front desk and in restaurants for its hotels in gateway cities.
• With the addition of Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa and the Grand Hyatt Singapore’s focus on providing healthier menu items for groups, the company has entered into the health and wellness space, says Enselein. Hyatt is now bringing together experts to find more ways to incorporate wellness into meetings. “It shouldn’t be done halfway,” he says. “It has to be a real experience.”