News for the Hospitality Executive
Collaborative Selling Necessary with Meeting Demand Returning
With the demand for meetings growing, with owners and operators itching for a return to those pre-recession profit days, once again we’re seeing pressure put on hotel sales associates to push for higher room rates and greater total spend.
Professional meeting managers and planners - - in particular, those with budget responsibility - - have expected this, but now they bring with them lessons learned and negotiating skills acquired from the heavy rate discounting, perk adding, planner-friendly booking days of 2009-2011.
Let’s hope that this time around we’ll find a more collaborative approach by sales associates and a new appreciation by planners of how critical room rate is to the profitability of hotels.
Meeting managers and hotel sales associates to collaborate
Here are a few suggestions that should help during this new round of group bookings:
Meeting managers and planners:
News and notes . . .
“Keep America Meeting” - - in case you missed seeing it, The United States Travel Association (www.usta.org) has produced an excellent report underscoring once again the importance of meetings to the American economy. Meetings contribute billions of dollars to the US. gross domestic product; directly employ nearly two million in jobs, supporting nearly five million indirect jobs; generate billions of dollars in tax revenues for the federal government; and meeting participants spend billions of dollars at local businesses including hotels, restaurants and shops.
I wrote a piece on the value of meetings back at the beginning of the economic dive (Time for Hotel Sales Professionals to Lobby Meeting Planners / David M. Brudney / April 2009. I pointed out meetings and events provide the “highest return of investment of any marketing channel,” according to a survey of Fortune 1,000 chief marketing officers.
More: meetings and events are strategic tools that deepen employee relationships and contribute to the overall health of companies. And a 5% increase in employee retention can generate a 25% to 85% increase in profitability.
The report addresses the “converging trends” that still impact the meetings and events business: 1) businesses and government still discouraging meetings travel (budget, cost-cutting) concern over media, shareholders and taxpayers perception, 2) long-haul travel hassles and 3) new technology substitutes (video conferencing and virtual meetings - - see PCMA's Successful Experiment With Hybrid Meetings / David Brudney / March 2012).
The report concludes with these recommendations: 1) make meetings more relevant uniting the entire travel industry behind strong messaging, research, and real data (the blueprint for success), 2) make meetings more accessible; safe, efficient cost-effective travel, invest and modernize the nation’s air infrastructure, help the nation’s airlines and airports succeed by reforming aviation taxes and ensuring that all revenue is reinvested into the aviation system and 3) make meetings more competitive: a new national dialogue; the final challenge is for the meetings industry to evolve and meet the needs of tomorrow’s consumer. The entire travel industry must engage in new dialogue on how we can provide even better experiences for our customers. This includes harnessing the power of new technology, including unified communications, to strengthen the value in-person meetings.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Additional good reads . . .
“Luxury corporate retreats are back” - - Forbes Travel Guide, April 4, 2012, reports group travel spending went up nearly 8% in 2011 and is expected to rise in 2012.
“2012 Top Ten Meeting Trends” - - www.benchmarkhospitality.com, February 2012, cites 1) luxury is back, 2) meeting demand strongest it’s been since 2008, 3) meeting size is trending up and space is at a premium (see report’s trends # 4-10).
David M. Brudney is a charter member of International Society of Hospitality Consultants
Successful Experiment With Hybrid Meetings / David Brudney / March
Leven Bullish on Las Vegas Group Demand / David Brudney / December
Forecast Bodes Well for U.S. Hoteliers / David Brudney / October
Search Producing Positive Results for Hoteliers / David Brudney /
Time to Revisit the Art of "Check-Building" and "Add-Ons" / David
Brudney / July 2011
Business Lost by Hotel Sales Department Interruptions and Lack of Focus
/ David Brudney / June 2011
Commitment to Excellence is Harry Mullikin’s Legacy / David Brudney
/ May 2011
Meetings: An Idea Whose Time Has Come / David Brudney / April 2011
Gen Hotel Sales Pros Hungry for Storytelling / David Brudney /
Works Best Upclose and Personal / David Brudney / February 2011
to Change: Hotel Sales Professionals New Year’s Checklist / David
Brudney / January 2011
Sales Professionals: Would You Buy What You Are Selling? / David
Brudney / December 2010
Planner Voices Concern over Demand Return / David Brudney /
|Value of Face-to-Face Meetings Resonates Even More Today / David Brudney / September 2010|
|Expect Hotels to Pare Back on Perks in 2011 While Implementing Modest Increases in Room Rates / David Brudney / September 2010|
|Good News for Meetings-Driven Resorts: Site Inspections and Bigger Group Bookings are Back! / David Brudney / August 2010|
|Kimpton Is Bullish on Fourth Quarter 2010 / David M. Brudney / June 2010|
|Landmark Decision by Arbitration Panel on Aviara Resort / David M. Brudney / April 2010|
|Group Business Comeback in the Cards / David M. Brudney / March 2010|
|Applying Five Tenets of Hotel Sales and Marketing in These Tough Times / David M. Brudney / January 2010|