Dinesh Rai, General Manager, Crowne Plaza Kochi, in an exclusive interview with TRAVTALK, shares knowledge about the use of technological advancements in wedding and M!CE sectors, scope of development in both the sectors, and how technology makes execution and planning of events in the industries different.
In a world that is increasingly reliant on digital solutions, various industries are incorporating technology to adapt to changing times and provide better experiences to their clients. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more innovative uses. Sharing his experience on how the wedding and M!CE industries are leveraging technology, Dinesh Rai, General Manager, Crowne Plaza Kochi, says, “The wedding industry and the M!CE industry have recognised the potential of technology to make events more efficient, engaging, and secure. The wedding industry, for instance, has embraced virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to offer couples immersive experiences, enabling virtual venue tours and even AR-based costume fittings. Wedding planning apps have streamlined the organisational aspects like guest list management. Drones are used to capture breathtaking aerial shots.”
On the other hand, the M!CE industry has adopted technology in a variety of ways. Event management software has revolutionized event planning, providing solutions for ticketing, registration, and participant engagement. Artificial intelligence (AI) plays a pivotal role in personalizing attendee experiences through and extending networking opportunities.
Rai says that hybrid events have gained prominence, allowing participants to join remotely, enhancing inclusivity and accessibility. Facial recognition technology streamlines registration and enhances security. AR apps at conferences provide interactive experiences with floor maps and exhibitor information, while data analytics offer insights into attendee behaviour and feedback, facilitating data-driven decision-making.
These technological advancements in both the industries not only improve operational efficiency but also enhance the overall experience for couples, clients, and attendees, marking a significant shift towards more innovative, inclusive, and engaging events.
Kochi – an events hub?
Talking about Crowne Plaza Kochi, Rai says that its strategic location complemented by a well-connected international airport and major transport infrastructure makes it an ideal destination for a wide array of events. For the M!CE industry, Kochi offers diverse event venues, including modern convention centres, and its natural beauty, with serene backwaters and coastal charm, adds a unique touch to conferences and exhibitions. Additionally, the city’s rich cultural heritage can be integrated into M!CE events, providing delegates with a memorable experience. On the wedding front, Kochi’s scenic wedding venues, cultural experiences, make it a perfect choice for destination weddings. The city’s international appeal and welcoming atmosphere ensure an inclusive and accessible experience for the guests.
As Kochi continues to evolve and adapt to the changing demands of these industries, it is poised to become an increasingly popular destination for both business events and weddings, Rai adds.
Amid the pandemic, Crowne Plaza Kochi has capitalised on the circumstances to embark on an extensive refurbishment endeavour. “This strong dedication to enhancement reached its pinnacle with the exciting introduction of our fine dining restaurant Skygrill – a rooftop lounge that has quickly become a favourite among the city’s residents. We have also opened a luxury pan Asian progressive restaurant named Zoka, which is again city’s most talked about restaurant and loved by the crowd for its Teppanyaki grill specialties,” he informs. Beyond gastronomic innovation, the hotel broadened its horizons to accommodate larger gatherings like meetings and weddings.
Sharing his views on emerging trends in the wedding industry, he mentioned that there is a shift towards more intimate and personalized weddings. Second, sustainability and eco-friendly weddings are gaining traction, with an emphasis on reducing waste and environmental impact. Third, technology has become integral, with live streaming, virtual invitations, and digital wedding planning tools becoming the norm. Finally, inclusivity and diversity are on the rise, with a focus on representing different cultures, traditions, and backgrounds in weddings, reflecting the modern, multicultural society.