Hospitality industry professionals joined together at the Cvent CONNECT 2023 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada at the end of July. Cvent CONNECT is an annual user conference and meeting industry event for Cvent users, production pros, experience makers, and engagement specialists to encounter cutting-edge event tech innovation and leave with new ideas, best practices, inspiration, and creative strategies to maximize their total event programs.
Conference attendees included event professionals, marketers, and business partners. The conference gave attendees an opportunity to network with peers in hospitality industry, discuss the latest trends in event planning best practices, discover planning technology and integrations by visiting the Innovation Pavilion, and learn tips for managing event volumes. In addition, conference attendees had the opportunity to go to thought leadership and educational sessions led by subject matter experts, connect with companies at the trade show, meet with business partners, and get a pulse for what’s on the horizon for meetings and events in 2023 and beyond.
This year, Onyx CenterSource was a gold-level sponsor with several colleagues in attendance. GroupPay by Onyx CenterSource kicked off the Leadership Summit on Monday, July 24 as the luncheon sponsor, with opening remarks given by Onyx Chief Commercial Officer Tony Wagner.
Remarks centered around sharing the magic of GroupPay, and this theme continued with the charitable portion of the luncheon – sharing some magic with children and families seeking medical care. Onyx provided a chance for busy M&E executives to write cards of encouragement for families staying at the local Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas and donated floral centerpieces from the luncheon there after the event.
Onyx shared the value of GroupPay and how this industry-first payments platform makes M&E commissions easy for hotels and agencies alike. GroupPay was built by meeting professionals for meetings and events. For agencies, this means more money, faster payments, less effort, and actionable insights. For hotels, this means more money, payment accuracy and flexibility, less effort, and actionable insights. Click here to see how GroupPay can help streamline your B2B event commission payments.
Onyx hosted a booth in the Innovation Pavilion in anticipation of our GroupPay product integration with Cvent slated to launch later this year because Cvent + GroupPay = Your Sourcing to Payment Solution.
Onyx also highlighted GroupPay at our trade show booth when the expo hall opened on Wednesday and offered prospects a chance to enter a drawing for a chance to win an Apple Watch after watching a brief product demo to see GroupPay in action.
Team members from Onyx also participated in the conference’s Partner Summit on Monday to maximize opportunities associated with our Cvent + GroupPay integration launching later this year.
Read on for more insights and takeaways from Cvent CONNECT 2023.
In-Person Meetings Have Returned
With over 5,000 attendees, more than 50 accredited sessions, 20+ networking experiences, and 195 exhibitors at Cvent CONNECT this year, it’s safe to say that in-person meetings have returned. Although not quite reaching pre-pandemic levels yet, many in the industry are certain about the future, with two-thirds of people surveyed by American Express expecting the number of in-person events to return to pre-pandemic levels within one to two years.
According to the 2023 Global Meetings and Events Forecast by American Express, in-person meetings and events are roaring back. Dramatic improvements in technology and a renewed focus on sustainability, wellness, and inclusivity provide a clear path forward for the hospitality industry.
The forecast mentions, “A sign of a thriving environment is the unanimous desire among clients, meeting planners, and suppliers to simplify and streamline the planning process. Everyone is at capacity and searching for time efficiencies. Within our Meetings & Events business, we see a continued trend for short booking windows with lead times 25% shorter than in 2019. We expect to see continued innovation and automation for small and simple meeting bookings, the RFP process, and other repetitive tasks. Attendee experience technology continues to be in demand as meeting owners aim to meet attendance goals, connect in-person and virtual audiences, and deliver unique experiences.”
For meeting and event industry professionals, sustainability remains top of mind. According to American Express, many organizations have publicly committed to it, and they now need to cascade their sustainability goals to their meeting programs. We can expect the levels of climate reporting on meetings and events activities to grow. From choosing destinations that promote sustainability to selecting sustainably certified venues, organizations are implementing robust strategies and processes to minimize their event emissions and report on their progress to internal and external stakeholders. From a regional standpoint, Europe continues to be the leader in sustainability practices.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I)
According to Unbridled, an event management and production agency, prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is a direct result of greater awareness surrounding profound disparities in society as a whole—not just in events. The 2023 Global Meetings and Events Forecast reported that 87% of survey respondents said their organizations or clients strive to incorporate DE&I into their events. The industry has very purposefully embraced this movement and will continue to do so into 2023.
Cvent has seen an increased effort to improve DE&I initiatives within the event industry in 2023 and said, “Championing diversity and inclusion will also mean a concerted effort to host events that are more inclusive and accessible to all. This is multi-faceted and comes in many forms.”
The Onyx team enjoyed attending, sponsoring, and exhibiting at the 2023 Cvent CONNECT Conference and captured key learnings through discussions throughout our time at the show.
GroupPay by Onyx CenterSource is an industry-first payments automation platform that provides hotels and meeting agencies unparalleled transparency and efficiency to track and proactively manage their event commissions, enabling easy reconciliation, compliant invoicing, and faster payments. If you’re ready to see GroupPay in action, contact us today to schedule a demo.