Bespoke Production equip MICE venue with online VR site inspection services to ensure event promotion continuity.
Surviving COVID-19 for the Conference & Exhibition industry
Couples can plan the biggest event of their lives in the comfort of their own homes
As COVID-19 spreads around the world and plummets every industry into despair, a number of exhibitions and weddings have been delayed or worse, cancelled. Moreover, event planners are discouraged to continue their projects due to flight suspensions and the economic slump. As such, Bespoke Wedding’s sister company and digital start-up Bespoke Production stay proactive during these tough times by bringing local venues overseas via VR so event planners from around the world can still conduct site inspections from within the comforts of their own homes and workspaces. This initiative has successfully boosted Hong Kong’s reputation in the event-planning realm whilst encouraging the industry to adopt better technologies to offer a better customer experience as we ride through the epidemic.
Lets Venue Providers to Upkeep their Sales and Business Development amidst Travel and Gathering Bans
As an international hub, Hong Kong has hosted countless large-scale exhibitions and welcomed a number of MICE event planners, whose site-selection process can span from a minimum of six months to two years. Under the current epidemic (pandemic), however, flights are suspended and governments around the world are restricting inbound visitors, meaning event planners cannot go overseas and must omit Hong Kong from their consideration. In fact, more than 80% of international large-scale exhibitions were cancelled in 2020. Bespoke Production predicts that most international exhibitions will choose to remain in their home country in 2021 and will have smaller spending budgets – factors that not only affect the Hong Kong event industry, but also the conference and tourism industries due to fewer hotel room bookings.
Focus on local spend, and equip for overseas spend rebound.
Industry should actively promote local consumption and digitalization and yet equip for overseas MICE rebound
As the demand for international exhibitions decreases, local hotels and venues should grasp onto this opportunity to secure local spend social events i.e. wedding to support the industry during these tough times. Under the social movement and the pandemic, a number of weddings planned for last or this year were forced to postpone. According to the data collected from Bespoke Wedding’s latest anti-epidemic newlywed’s forum, many couples remain skeptical their weddings would still go on. As such, Bespoke Production predicts that the demand for wedding venues will accumulate in a snowball effect until 2021 and 2022, making auspicious dates and popular venues even harder to book. As well, couples seek digitalized services to minimize the risk of the going out and coming in contact with others whilst still being able to continue with their wedding planning. As such, the wedding industry should stay relevant during these difficult times by seeking breakthroughs, bringing in new elements and digitizing their services to assist wedding-service providers reach a bigger customer base.
According to data collected from more than 3,500 members on Bespoke Wedding’s latest anti-epidemic newlywed’s forum, couples look for the following when it comes to wedding planning, venues and technology:
1. 80% of couples hope to use technology for wedding planning
According to the survey, more than 90% of couples employ search engines and social media platforms for research, testimonials and price comparison (98%) during their wedding-planning process. 80% of couples think the current availability of digital wedding-planning services is insufficient and hope to see more in the future. So to get into planners’ and couples’ radars, venues must have an online presence including their webpage, social media outlets as well as high visibility on wedding platforms.
2. The top 4 wedding service providers most in need of digitalization
According to the survey, the top-4 wedding service providers most in need of digitization include wedding venue (93%), venue décor (85%), wedding gowns and suits (74%) as well as wedding photography (71%). Current site-inspections are still photo-heavy with limited videos. However, the pandemic and social unrests may bring new business opportunities to venues that offer online site-inspections. Couples and planners are especially looking forward to developments in AR site simulation, VR wedding photography services and more.
3. Top 6 factors for venue selection
When selecting the place to say their I-do’s, couples’ main concerns include price, followed by ambience and layout; location and accessibility by public transport; food and service quality; as well as availability of on-site facilities and services. Evidently, on top of economic concerns, couples also look at the venue’s size and layout, such as the option of a stage and ceiling height.
4. Site inspections average at 5 venues, taking up approximately 30 hours
According to the survey, 60% of couples will physically visit 4 to 6 sites (75%) during their wedding-planning journey, during which transportation, booking, communication, and the actual site-inspection accumulate to approximately 30 hours. Within this process, most agree that making the booking is the most complicated (77%) as couples need to cater to the schedules of different family members and the venue, making it the most time-consuming part of the wedding-planning process.
All-new VR site-inspection programme: 4 major ups to help you choose the venue of your lifetime
Pandemic or not, both couples and event planners agree that coordinating site-inspections is the most tedious part of the wedding-planning process, when times are good, venues are often fully booked and the procedures required for site-inspections are extremely complicated, and during pandemic and social movement, buyers are reluctant to go for site visit. As such, Bespoke Production debuts the all-new Virtual Reality (VR) site-inspection programme so couples can select their ideal wedding venue within the comforts of their own homes.
Unprecedented immersive technology surpassing 360-degree display
Traditional photography based on the 360-degree display is old news. The latest technology can survey and digitize the whole site before turning it into a 3D model in real time. Venue owners can transform their venue into digitalized 3D model, and allow viewers to obtain spatial comparison using the 3D “Doll-House Mode”. The technology also offers an “Interactive Floor Plan” function, while an immersive “Step by Step View” option, as well as a Measure function for detailed assessments.
Not limited to time or space: Through our VR site-inspection programme, the venue could be magnified, shrunk or could move according to your preferences in a 360-degree manner, as if users were physically standing in the space. Prior booking and coordination are not necessary, thus helping both event planners and venue staff save time. As well, venue details are all readily available online for review and further planning any time, anywhere.
Unlimited participants and inspections: Under the traditional model, a venue can only host a maximum of 10 bookings per day, which may be cancelled or even further restricted on days with events or weddings. Vice versa, VR site-checks aren’t limited to the number of participants or times visited and can simultaneously cater up to 100 groups online.
Grasp onto the O2O trend: Technology can attract Gen Ys, so venue owners should ride on this online to offline (O2O) business trend. With the rapid development of the Internet and smart phones, consumers demand transparency and a one-stop-shop service. As such, this VR site-inspection programme hopes to ride the tough tides with the industry and explore new customer niches and commercial opportunities.
Visit the Hottest Venues via VR
Bespoke Production’s VR site-inspection programme offers partnered venues filming and marketing services. Professional equipment ensures VR videos are interactive, realistic and engaging. They will also be shared on the Bespoke Wedding platform for maximum viewership. A number of popular exhibition and wedding venues have already joined our 360-degree VR site-inspection programme. These include Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Gold Coast Yacht & Country Club, City Garden Hotel Hong Kong, Victoria Harbour Supreme Chinese Restaurant and also restaurant such as Paper Moon by 1957 Group.
Ride the Trend with site-checks and drink in the Victoria Harbour with VR
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong’s Director of Events Ms. Anna Wong-Che says while its venues have been popular among international exhibitors and event planners in the past, demand has dropped due to the epidemic, thus affecting room bookings. “We’ve noticed that a number of international meetings already employ VR technologies for site inspections. Hotels, too, should ride on this trend and fulfill the demand for technology by adding a VR element to its venues to better service clients who wish to do site inspections. Surely our majestic view of the Victoria Harbour can benefit from VR technology.”
Success calls for application in a range of services
Kim Tsui, Club Manager at the Gold Coast Yacht & Country Club, says VR was first implemented for its indoor venues, which were shot with VR technology so couples can grasp the splendor of its venues right from their phones. Since bringing in Bespoke Production’s VR site-inspection programme, Gold Coast Yacht & Country Club has received enquiries from more than 20 couples and hopes to apply the programme to other venues as well as future events and exhibitions.
About Bespoke Wedding
As a one-stop-shop online wedding portal, Bespoke Wedding provides comprehensive resources and information – such as banquet venues, wedding photography service, exquisite wedding dresses and groom wears, venue decoration, wedding invitation card design, customers’ reviews on versatile wedding services together with other wedding inspirations. Going into our 6th year, we have become one of the most reliable platforms in Hong Kong and continue to live up to our mission of offering excellent customer service. Our esteemed team strives to only present the most suitable selections for couples whilst actively promoting a customer review-based verification process to win couples’ trust, recognition and good word-of-mouth.
About Bespoke Production
Bespoke Production offers Virtual Site Inspection services via Matterport 3D VR’s 360-degree photography expertise. With experience servicing sizeable companies, our business mainly services large-scale exhibitions and venues including the likes of Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong; Sino Hotels Group’s Gold Coast Yacht & Country Club and City Garden Hotel; as well as banquet venues under the Victoria Harbour Restaurant Group (Hong Kong) and restaurant chain 1957 Group . A partner of Bespoke Wedding, Bespoke Production offers venues a one-stop-shop service in post-production and marketing.