Hotel Online  Special Report

Top Five Complaints About Hotel Reader Board Services


August 23, 2005 - In developing and marketing our service, we heard form hoteliers around the country what was wrong with existing reader board services – oh boy did we hear!

What is a Reader Board Service? For hoteliers working in a group sales offices, you know. You're familiar with the traditional method of finding out what's going on in your competition's group meeting space -- you check the reader board in their lobby. Typically by hiring a company or an individual that provides this service for a fee. A few of these companies are nationwide and some are small local operations run by ex-hoteliers, but they all do pretty much the same thing.

At the Knowland Group (, we've taken the reader board concept to the next level -- iKnowGroups -- our patent-pending online application was designed to 1) increase group sales at your property and 2) increase real-time visibility into the group meeting activity of your competition. We designed a state of the art system that provides faster information and is easier to use. 

In developing and marketing this product, we heard from hoteliers around the country what was wrong with existing services – oh boy did we hear - and we listened. And we designed our product to address each and every one of these issues. Then we added a lot more.

1.    We Pay for a Hotel Reader Board Service but My Staff Doesn't Use It

We hear this all the time. The main reason hoteliers don't utilize a reader board service is because, well, they’re hard to use. They typically arrive a few days to a few weeks after an event and they are sent as an attached .pdf file. To use them you have to open the attachment and search for the information you want. Occasionally staff will print them out and take them to a weekly sales meeting. Frequently they are put into binders… where they sit.

What if your Reader Board reports were delivered the next day? What if the reports arrived in the body of your email -- in easy to use tables and graphs, with contact information included, easily accessible through hyperlinks? What if these reports included detailed information on group size, included information on catered events and square footage utilized? And how about if all of this was topped off with hotel and travel trivia and news articles from your comp set? Well, that's just the start of what we offer at the Knowland Group. A reader board service that will definitely get used.

2.    Our Hotel Reader Board Services Has Poor or Missing Contact Information 

The second most common complaint is that the contact information is inaccurate or missing altogether. Many times the contact information will include generic 800 numbers or main mailing addresses. Frequently they’re just post office boxes.

What if you received internet research on all contacts overnight - and you had a team of researchers at your beck and call. Researchers tasked with finding the actual meeting planner responsible for scheduling an event. And those researchers not only determined contact information but also important qualifying information - like the number of room nights actualized or the dates of future events. And they asked up to three qualifying questions of your choice? Well, that’s what you get from the Knowland Group - much more than just a mailing address.

3.    Our Hotel Reader Board Service is Difficult to Use

Adobe Acrobat is a great product, but printable document files (.pdf's) are designed so that you can only do one thing with them -- and that’s print them. You want to copy and paste information on a group from a .pdf - good luck. Some services send their reports as spreadsheets. Certainly a step above Acrobat but that increases your risk for computer viruses, corrupt data and a whole host of other problems. And as far as an online application with custom reports and searchable parameters, forget it.

Our system and our reports were designed to get used (see complaint number one) and the first rule of making a product that gets used is to make it easy. Our system is easy and intuitive and powerful. You can do nothing at all and get detailed reports delivered to you every day at eight o'clock in the morning. Reports so easy to use that they don’t even have to be opened - just scroll through the information in your preview pane. And for power-users or IT folks – our system has it all. Custom reports, searchable parameters, animated graphs, downloadable data for import into other systems or spreadsheets – its all in there. The data is yours, and with iKnowGroups – you get the most out of it.

4.    The Information We Get in Our Hotel Reader Board Service Isn't Timely Enough

Simply put, stale or old information is, well, stale or old information. Even if it's only a week old – wouldn't you rather know what happened yesterday? And contact information with other reader board services – sometimes that can take weeks, just for basic internet research.

At the Knowland Group – you get your information generated overnight and delivered with your morning coffee. Our reports are delivered at 8 AM the next day, that's why they're called 8AM Comp Set Reports.

5.    Our Reader Board Service Charges us for Historical Data and Special Reports

Of course they do, they're designed that way. Custom reports, historical data, the ability to search for groups or events that meet specific criteria? Traditional reader board services charge additional fees for these things.

What if you never had to pay an additional fee or wait for a custom or special report? If all your data were available online – with a simple to use web interface that allowed you to search for information whenever you want? A report builder that lets you create custom reports that you can schedule for delivery on specific days of the week? And, of course, daily reports delivered with compelling, easy to use graphics and charts built right into the body of your email. All of these things are available through iKnowGroups and The Knowland Group ( right now.

About The Knowland Group
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., The Knowland Group provides market intelligence services to the hospitality industry. Through the use of technology-based business practices, The Knowland Group is able to offer services at a speed, ease of use and quality that is unprecedented in the hospitality industry. The Knowland Group’s services include providing clients with qualified group sales leads, event planner contact information, upcoming events suited to their properties, and detailed information on group activities in their competitive set. For more information, visit or call toll-free, (888) 841-2289.



The Knowland Group
(202) 842-9244

Also See: The Knowland Group Expands Services by Teaming with Expotel / August 2005
The Knowland Group Announces Entrance into the HSMAI Affinity Partner Program / November 2004

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