Results of a new survey on the expectations of meetings and events in Asia Pacific has found half of the respondents (50 percent) are planning to continue with in-person meetings and events. However, the research by Marriott Bonvoy found there continues to be a high level of concern around government regulations (45 percent) and safety and hygiene standards of venue (30 percent).
The survey reached more than 500 respondents including event and meeting planners, administrative support staff and those in management roles across multiple industries in the Asia Pacific region, excluding China.
Other findings include over one-third (36 percent) were leaning towards working with hybrid virtual/in person events, while over two-thirds (70 percent) said they would prefer to meet in a domestic location.
“The current ‘new world’ we are experiencing through this pandemic has required us to have a different elevated experience for guests across different sectors and markets,” said Rajeev Menon, president of Asia Pacific (excluding Greater China) for Marriott International, in a statement.
“We are seeing leisure travel slowly returning, followed by business and then groups. And with our Commitment to Clean initiative, we are ready to welcome guests back to our hotels around the world, providing them with a safe environment that aligns with expert protocols to travel and connect with confidence.”
To expand on the survey and give up-to-date information in a timely fashion, Marriott International is introducing new content on meetings and events on a new digital platform found at MarriottBonvoyEvents.com.
The site allows access to a series of new materials including an informational video, customer stories and resources that provide additional context and information for designing successful events in the current environment. The tool addresses the issue across its full portfolio of hotels and resorts.
Marriott International properties across the region are also offering virtual solutions for event planners who are unable or prefer to not travel. Masks and hand sanitizers will be made available when requested by meeting planners and attendees to allay hygiene concerns. Regular temperature checks will also be implemented for all attendees upon arrival at the properties. Additionally, all associates are required to wear masks.
Through the virtual planning, consultations, pre-convention meetings and site tours can be adapted to include hygiene and safety briefings.
Venues can also accommodate different seating capacities through flexible rearrangement of meeting furniture. Furniture is set up to ensure that social distancing requirements are met. Where available, live or virtual hybrid meetings through live-streaming capabilities are available to minimize social contact.
Meals and breaks are spaced out for different events to avoid co-mingling with attendees from other events. A wide variety of enhanced food and beverage options tailored to group size may be offered, including: Grab ‘n Go, canned and bottled beverages or plated service available on request.
As an incentive, Marriott Bonvoy is also currently offering three-times rewards points for eligible meeting and events booked at participating hotels across the Asia Pacific region.