Hotel meetings and events are a great way to boost revenue at your property and attract a constant stream of professionals and business travelers.
Having or creating a function space at your hotel allows you to cater for a whole range of different purposes and visitors, which will usually translate into extra bookings in the hotel, itself.
This means you’re receiving revenue from two sources, often for minimal effort, depending on what the event planner needs from you.
Engaging with Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) is the perfect opportunity to build the reputation of your hotel and exhibit it to potentially-valuable and long-term business. For example, a conference on risk management could attract the top fortune 500 companies to attend, which provides great exposure for your hotel business.
As we draw near to the GBTA Convention in Boston this year, it’s apt to look at how MICE can contribute meaningfully to a hotel’s revenue.
How to maximize business and revenue from hotel meetings
1. Focus on diversity and building relationships
Meetings can be big or small, and come in various forms. So, make sure your hotel is seen as a function space that can cater for many different events.
For example, you might be able to hold large dinners, exhibitions, conferences, summits, or networking gatherings. If you’re a larger hotel, you could even bid on the privilege to host particular delegations such as a sporting committee.
While the event is happening, place focus on trying to lock the planners in for other meetings they want to hold or regular events that take place quarterly or yearly. This way, you know you’ll be guaranteed room sales and revenue and can better manage your hotel business’ finance.
2. Deliver a great experience
Of course, people are more likely to hold their event with you again if everything runs smoothly. Event planners have a lot to think about, aside from just choosing your facility to host their meeting and reserve rooms at. They have to plan attendees, seating, catering, key speakers, the agenda, etc. Their life will be made much easier – and they’ll appreciate your property a lot more – if you can provide them a seamless and hassle-free booking experience.
With technology playing such a huge role in the online booking experience, you need to make it easy for the event guests to reserve their rooms and make key arrangements around the meeting.
The less the planner has to get involved here, the happier they’ll be. So, make sure your hotel has a great Internet booking engine with seamless integration to your website.
One of the most important things you also need to remember is that planners are often running on a strict deadline. Nothing will annoy them more than delayed communication. It’s imperative that you respond to any enquiry as soon as possible and never more than 24 hours from the asking.
If you do everything right, you’ll increase your chances of referral and repeat business.
3. Create a flexible operating procedure
The chances are a lot of events might only be for several hours during the day or night. This means if you have the staff and ability to turn around quickly, you can sell your spaces more than once in a day, giving you at least twice the revenue.
Depending on what each event requires and who will be attending, as well as your setup, you could even lift your bottom line further by running multiple meetings at the same time.
4. Put long-term plans in place
Meetings and events will make your revenue management more complicated, so it’s important you have yield strategies ready that look into the future – as far as three years in advance. Always make sure you’re working with and making yourself visible to travel agents, as well as engaging regularly with the event departments of corporate businesses.
A holistic approach is needed to maintain the overall profit of your hotel. Once you have done enough reporting and analysis you should be able to accurately predict demand and the results you’ll get, allowing you to start making adjustments.
5. Optimize your website content
The final tip is to highlight your destination as an appealing place to host events. Ensure you have a blog on your website and share insider knowledge, tips, trends, etc to advertise your destination as a hub of activity that would be an attractive place to hold meetings.
Planners want to take their attendees somewhere that will interest and excite them beyond the event. Clearly advertise your ability to cater to different groups and conferences, and publish the testimonials you collect.
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About Jason Lewis-Purcell
From the renowned Brown’s Hotel and The Lancaster in London, to the Millennium Hotels and Resorts chain, Jason Lewis-Purcell has served as a director of sales and marketing at some of the world’s leading properties to gain an intimate understanding of a hotelier’s true needs and challenges. It is Jason’s 15-year career in hospitality that has forged his success at travel technology disrupters since 2010, including the hotel industry’s leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, where he initially led sales and marketing for the company’s booming EMEA region and today heads up its global GDS business.
Meet Jason and the SiteMinder team at the 2017 GBTA Convention in Boston, booth #339.
As the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.
SiteMinder’s products include The Channel Manager, the industry’s leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world’s major global distribution systems. With more than 26,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry’s top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.
For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.
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