The first-ever Skift Forum Asia, held on May 27 at the Equarius Hotel in Singapore, gathered nearly two dozen of the travel industry’s top thinkers and thought leaders for a day-long discussion of the trends shaping the sector.

And when it comes to meetings and events, business is strong, said Konrad Pant, regional manager, Asia, Cvent.

“If you focus on small and medium sized events, that’s where we’re seeing the highest growth,” Pant said. “And planners want the ability to direct book those events versus sending out an RFP — and that’s something we’re definitely working on.”

To sustain continued success, planners and host venues alike need to work more collaboratively and flexibly, Pant said, taking an iterative approach that uses post-event feedback to improve future programming. That’s made easier with the help of technology platforms like Cvent, which frequently surveys its large user base of planners and hotels to figure out what’s working and what might need improvement.

“Feedback is actually what led to the creation of the Cvent Supplier Network,” Pant said. “We’re gathering feedback from two sides of the pond — the planners and the hotels,” he said, then sharing those results in data-rich studies like the 2018 Global Planner Sourcing Report.

One big insight from that report is that “50 percent of planners start their sourcing journey online, so being present on your ‘brand dot com’ channel is important, as is being present on other channels — whether that’s Cvent, Google, SEO, SEM — so that no matter where a planner is coming from, you’re there,” Pant said.

Watch the video above for a complete discussion of the meetings and events sector, what Pant sees as the key opportunity for hospitality providers, and more from the Skift Forum Asia.