Having worked with hotel marketing and sales teams for over a decade, we are constantly looking for new ways to recreate the meeting experience for planners on a site visit and provide a taste of what their meeting reality could be. With some new technology, it may not be long before we're able to actually put the planner into a meeting space and allow them to create their meeting, experiencing what it's like prior to the big event. The new Oculus Rift technology allows you to control a camera with your head via a special pair of glasses. The camera follows your movement as if you were there. As it is, this technology would be great to show new ballroom construction or those undergoing renovation. And in conjunction, different technology could allow planners to see a ballroom at a hotel while meeting with that sales person at a trade show in a different city.
Taking it a step further, when the Oculus Rift technology is paired with the Kinect Motion Tracker and overlaid with a 3-D rendering image, planners can step inside a non-existent ballroom years before it's built. Here is one such example with office space. Add in some tables, chairs and a few setups and planners could work with the sales person to set up their room before the show: optimizing the configuration, the setup and location of the speaker down to where snacks or whatever else is needed should be placed.
This technology has the ability to be a real game-changer in the meetings industry, allowing planners more control over their meetings and events while allowing hotels to set expectations with the planner and what's possible. A win-win for both parties and a movement that could change the way and when meetings are booked.