By Ariana Reed, Director, Global Strategic Partnerships, American Express Meetings & Events
We are seeing and reading everywhere that the future is hybrid. We are also seeing this trend, though in reality for many of our clients, there is still hesitation and uncertainty surrounding it. The main question we hear is “if the future of travel will consist of hybrid experiences, how can we deliver it seamlessly to all travelers and meetings attendees?” If you’re thinking that technology could be the answer, you’re on the right track.
But, with endless options, solutions, and providers, do you always know which one will be the best to achieve your meeting or event objectives? For hybrid events, for example, you need a platform to connect and engage your virtual and in-person attendees. Sometimes, you may want to create curiosity and great expectations with a touch of that “fear of missing out” feeling so your event is a hit. You might also need to make sure you’re offering safe ground transportation options for those attending in person. Or you might want to get creative and innovative by incorporating virtual reality into your event. And yes, while we are all lucky to have so many technology solutions and suppliers ready to help with each individual need, we know it can get overwhelming to sift through so many options and make a decision.
Our Meetings & Events team at American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) established the Meetings MarketplaceTM several years ago to address this very problem for our clients. Essentially, our team has done the heavy lifting of identifying solutions and partners, vetting them, and educating our teams on the best use cases for each one. As our teams consult with clients on a meeting or entire meetings program, they can efficiently make a recommendation on how to enhance the attendee experience utilizing one of our Meetings Marketplace solutions or providers. We’ve heard positive feedback from clients on this approach; they appreciate that we remove the guesswork, saving them time and energy, minimizing their risk of working with unvetted suppliers, and most importantly, being able to focus on maximizing their attendee experience.
Within the Meetings Marketplace, we now have expanded to offer more and better technology solutions and service providers to help you identify and build your end-to-end meetings experience – from venue finding, virtual and hybrid meeting platforms, small and simple meetings, attendee experience, online registration, mobile apps, ground transportation, emerging technology such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence to professional services to help our clients administer their technology. We’ve also added new categories such as audiovisual/production and gift, print, and promo partners in addition to new technology providers. Another key update is that we now bring these solutions and providers to our clients faster and while still thoroughly vetting them, which is important as meeting requirements rapidly evolve.
As the hybrid world and technology offerings constantly change, at American Express Meetings & Events we remain innovative and look into the future with passion, confidence, and expertise.
If you are interested in learning more, talk to your Amex GBT account manager or, if you do not have one appointed, you may contact us here.