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What Will Events Look Like in the Future?

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What Will Events Look Like in the Future?
Predictions by Azavista

 Amsterdam, 25 November 2014 – Azavista, the leader in corporate event technology, participated in the EIBTM conference last week, in Barcelona. Cassandra Michael, Sales and Marketing Manager at Azavista, gave a presentation about the future of events as the company envisions it.

The presentation contained a melange of smart gadgets, virtual reality and wearable technology, and analyzed how these technologies might be applied in the meeting and events industry in the years to come.

Here are some of the key technologies and trends presented:

Augmented Reality Supplier Sourcing:
Various augmented reality headsets like Oculus Rift are being launched. The current focus is on gaming, but Azavista predicts that in the near future hotels will allow planners to view meeting and event facilities virtually, just from the comfort of their desk or home.

Setting up your venue interactively
Azavista presented “Leap Motion”, a device that allows you to control a computer in three dimensions with your natural hand and finger movements. Azavista predicts that this technology will be used side by side with AR head-sets and allow planners to create their meeting or event set-up in an interactive and virtual way.

The end of translation booths
Microsoft’s Skype Translator automatically translates your voice and video calls with real-time translation. Its still in beta version and there is vast room for improvement,especially regarding the contextualization of conversations. Nevertheless, according to Azavista, in the near future we might see this technology replacing translation booths; Delegates will be able to follow any presentation in any language just from their smart-phones.

Your future contingency plan for rain

A new kickstarter campaign presented the “air umbrella” – a literally invisible umbrella which takes advantage of airflow and creates shelter from the rain. Azavista predicts that we might see this technology expanding and possibly being using for big outdoor events.

Your personal event chauffeur
Google, Audi, Mercedes, GM and more are all working on self driving technology. By 2020 these vehicles will probably be on the road. Azavista predicts that self driving cars will be notified automatically when a delegate lands and be at the pick-up point right on time.

Post Event questionnaires with…robots
Social robotics will also find its place in the meeting industry. According to Azavista, post event questionnaires and evaluations might be substituted by robots that will collect participant feedback on the spot! “Blabdroids are a good example”, said Cassandra. According to a study endorsed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, people are more likely to engage emotionally with artificial intelligence than others. The robots are intended to be comforting and non-judgmental.

A Wearable Thermostat
Wristify is a bracelet that controls your body temperature using thermoelectric material and sensors. As a future scenario, Azavista predicts that these bracelets will be handed out to event attendees ensuring everyone is 100% comfortable and the temperature is according to their personal preferences.

 

About Azavista
Azavista is headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The company has created an integrated online event management platform especially for the corporate planner. Through a wide set of modules and functionality, users can handle everything from event registrations, email marketing, participant management, budgeting, supplier procurement and more. At Azavista, we have taken into account the pain points of the modern event manager and created a tool that provides planners with all the essentials to more efficiently handle their meetings and events.

Press Contact:
Cassandra Michael
Sales and Marketing Manager, Azavista
cassandra@azavista.com
+31 (0)20 8464066

Group Flight Reservations: Trends, challenges and technology recommendations

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Price, flexibility and complex processes, the main hurdles for group flight reservations

Azavista releases its survey and industry report “Group Flight Reservations: Trends, Challenges and Recommendations”

Amsterdam, 1 April, 2014 – The airline industry should improve its procedures and processes for group reservations, reveals a survey conducted by Azavista, the first data driven group travel and event planning solution. Azavista interviewed 200 group travel managers and 20 major airline carriers in EMEA and the United States and identified the challenges that the travel industry faces in this sector.

To contribute to a good economic climate, airlines should develop more flexible procedures for group reservations. According to the latest financial report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global airline industry should make a high net profit of $19.7 billion in 2014, as passenger demand – groups and individuals – is expected to rise. While for individual bookings, reservations can be made in a matter of minutes, for group reservations matters are not that simple. A group booking could take days or even weeks.

 Price is another sensitive matter for group travel planners. Over 80% of the interviewed travel planners said that finding a good price for groups is harder than for individual bookings. As such, the airline industry should offer more flexibility in cancellations, for instance. According to Azavista’ s survey, 56% of the respondents stated that airlines should offer more flexibility in changes, as travel planners have to deal with last minute approvals.

 The majority of the respondents described group flight reservations as expensive, inefficient, frustrating and time consuming. Almost 60% of respondents stated that group check-ins can be made more efficient with online group check-in systems. They also proposed group baggage check in or boarding passes printed in advance before the group arrives. Travel planners are more and more taking into consideration which airline is the easiest to work with and which can offer the best terms and conditions.

 Furthermore, 80% of group travel managers say they would like a technology solution that can handle all aspects of group flight arrangements, such as sending RFPs, receiving offers, tracking terms and conditions and handling passenger details.

 On the other hand, for airlines, conditions are strict because groups come with a level of uncertainty and this might cause drops in revenue for the airline industry. Therefore, airlines choose to reduce this element of uncertainty by setting conditions that will safe-guard them in possible cancellations. To facilitate a more efficient planning process, both parties should work together and find the best solutions to make all procedures run smoothly.

 The results from the Azavista survey, “Group Flight Reservations: Trends, Challenges and Recommendations, March 2014” show that besides the apparent need for the industry to collaborate in order to ensure a smoother group planning process, technology can also play a vital role in facing these challenges.

Key findings of the survey:

  • 80% of the respondents concluded that the reservation process for groups is more complex than for individual bookings
  • 43% ranked price as one of the most important factors when making group flight reservations
  • 88% of the travel planners requested longer option dates when making group flight reservations
  • 56% of the respondents stated that airlines should offer more flexibility in ticket changes
  • 80% of the travel planners would appreciate a technology solution that can handle all aspects of group flight arrangements

Currently, Azavista is developing the first online solution that will streamline the group flight reservation process. Currently, the company offers an advanced eRFP and supplier sourcing tool that allows planners to seamlessly manage group accommodation, meeting space, dining and ground transportation. Azavista offers this solution completely free of charge.

About Azavista

Azavista was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It is the brainchild of Web and IT specialists, as well as a team of travel and tourism industry professionals. Azavista believes that the future of travel and event planning is evidence-based. The company’s mission is to provide a tool that will help industry professionals around the world make bigger and better decisions. Azavista aims to facilitate travel and event planners in successfully overcoming budgetary and organizational challenges by using technology and data combined.

Press Contact:

Cassandra Michael, Azavista

cassandra@azavista.com

+31 (0)20 8464066,

www.azavista.com

Follow Azavista on Twitter (@azavista) and Facebook.

 

HAPCO and Azavista Enter a Partnership Agreement

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Azavista will offer HAPCO PCO members access to its cutting edge technology solution

Amsterdam, 21 March 2013 – The Hellenic Association of Professional Congress Organizers (HAPCO) entered a partnership agreement with Dutch technology company, Azavista. According to this agreement, Azavista will offer HAPCO PCO members complimentary access to live international market data that can facilitate the cost effective planning of their congresses and events.

More specifically, Azavista has developed an integrated online platform for group travel, congress and event planning. A truly innovativhotel_price_forecasting_Frankfurte feature of the platform is Azavista Analytics.

After two years of rigorous research by the company’s IT department, in collaboration with travel and event planning specialists, Azavista Analytics was developed. Using advanced technology, the company processes over 2 million hotel prices daily in 43 countries around the world and offers valuable live market data for cost effective group travel and event planning.

In the context of this agreement, Azavista will offer HAPCO PCO members unlimited and complimentary access to Azavista Analytics for one whole year.

Azavista Analytics promotes evidence-based planning and offers the user a multitude of benefits. More specifically, the planner can:

  • Determine whhotel_market_demand_athensich cities and which dates are more cost effective for a future event
  • Analyze and compare the average prices of multiple hotels in a specific city
  • Determine which hotels can accommodate the needs of the event, in terms of pricing, as well as services
  • Find the best dates to send the RFP to the hotel; this is based on historic data that detects trends in pricing

“We are very happy that HAPCO has identified the value of Azavista for its members. Azavista Analytics is a very powerful tool, which can help PCO’s all around the world in budgeting control and cost-effective planning”, said JP van der Kuijl, CEO and co-founder of Azavista.

About Azavista

Founded in 2010, Azavista is a product of Web and IT specialists, as well as a team of travel and tourism industry professionals. Azavista is the first – all in one – Web 2.0 solution that streamlines every aspect of group travel, event and meeting planning. Using advanced technology, the Azavista platform offers a multitude of features that covers even the most challenging needs. From e-RFPs to group transportation, event management, industry data, delegate communication, online contracting, logistics and more, Azavista is an A-Z planning solution. The company is headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Follow Azavista on Twitter (@azavista) and Facebook.

Press Contact: Cassandra Michael, Azavista, cassandra@azavista.com, +31 (0)20 8464066,www.azavista.com

About HAPCO

HAPCO (Hellenic Association of Professional Congress Organizers), from its foundation in 1996 to this day, continues its mission dynamically, with the aim to represent professional congress organizers as well as companies offering a broad range of services and products relevant to the congress market. Over the years, HAPCO, with the essential contribution of its members, has developed into one of the principal institutions in the Greek tourism sector and has been acknowledged as the official partner of the Greek State on issues relating to the meetings industry. HAPCO’s international presence is equally important, as it constitutes a founding member of EFAPCO (European Federation of Associations of Congress Organisers) and participates frequently in its activities.

Press Contact: Dora Sgartsou, marketing@hapco.gr, (+30) 210 7256541-3, www.hapco.travel

Azavista releases survey results on Event ROI, industry challenges and technology penetration

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Azavista, the first data driven group travel and event planning solution, surveyed 400 event planners from agencies and enterprises around the world. The goal of the survey was to identify the key problems event planners face, as well as the correlation between these challenges and the measurement of Event Return on Investment and the use of technology tools. 

According to the Azavista survey “Event Management: Budgetary Challenges and Event ROI”, over 70% of event planners do not measure the ROI of their events. Almost 60% stated that their budgets have been cut at least by 20% in the last 2-3 years and identified issues like limited resources and cost control as some of the main challenges they face.

“As event budgets become tighter and planners need to do more with less, measuring Event ROI can facilitate budget approvals, improve the overall success of the event and be utilized to avoid pitfalls in future projects. We believe that planners should start embracing a more evidence based approach in order to safeguard declining budgets and maintain the viability of their events” , stated JP van der Kuijl, Azavista CEO.

Another interesting finding from the Azavista Survey was that the penetration of technology tools remains significantly low in the event planning industry. Almost 50% of respondents do not use any Event Management Solutions at all; 160 respondents out of the 400 surveyed, use registration tools, while about 40 utilize Supplier Sourcing & RFP Tools and 70 Event Reporting Tools and Mobile/Web Apps. This finding is strengthened even more with the fact that 82% of respondents state that they are not aware of tools or solutions which can help them measure and boost Event ROI.

Azavista recognizes that every event has its own distinct variables, and as such, a standardized method to measure Event ROI that covers all parameters is challenging to implement. However in the survey “Event Planning: Budgetary Challenges and Event ROI”, Azavista identified the main methods event planners use to measure the Return on Investment and success of their events. Here are the top examples:

  • Analysis of social media content
  • Monitoring of sales results and new leads
  • Implementing questionnaires and monitoring attendance
  • Media coverage reports
  • Evaluating employee engagement
  • Solicitations vs participation
  • Website clicks
  • Costs vs. opportunities
  • Measuring the incremental revenue that came from the business contacts created during the event

The results from the Azavista survey, “Event Planning: Budgetary Challenges and Event ROI, June 2013” show that event planners do not emphasize on evaluating and boosting the Return on Investment of their events. Azavista estimates that this trend will change, as budget approvals become more demanding and planners have to validate the importance and success of their events. Furthermore, the penetration of event technology tools still remains low, but given the reduction in resources and manpower, sooner or later planners will have to turn to technology in order to streamline their work in a more time and cost efficient manner.

About Azavista

Azavista was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It is the brainchild of Web and IT specialists, as well as a team of travel and tourism industry professionals. Azavista believes that the future of travel and event planning is evidence-based. The company’s mission is to provide a tool that will help industry professionals around the world make bigger and better decisions. Azavista aims to facilitate travel and event planners in successfully overcoming budgetary and organizational challenges by using technology and data combined.

Press Contact: Cassandra Michael, Azavista, cassandra@azavista.com , +31 (0)20 8464066

 

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Event Management: Budgetary Challenges and Event ROI

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Azavista surveyed 400 event planners from agencies and enterprises around the world. In this survey, Azavista sought to identify the severity of the budgetary and other problems event planners face, as well as  the correlation between these challenges and the measurement of Event Return on Investment (Event ROI). Is measuring Event ROI a common practice? Is it seen as a solution? Are event planners embracing new technologies to help them achieve Event ROI?

 

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