Meeting Planner Satisfaction and Loyalty
|DALLAS — Oct. 12, 2005 — UniFocus announced today that MEETINGScope™,
an essential relationship-management tool for meeting sales providers and
their meeting planner partners, continues to become an industry-standard
for delivering quality services and repeat business. MEETINGScope
users repeatedly report that they rely on it to be an important part of
their quality assurance programs. Furthermore, they are realizing
increased loyalty and, therefore, profitability from this key revenue segment.
MEETINGScope is a Web-based application that is customized to uniquely meet the needs of each the market segments it serves: hotels, conference centers, resorts, casinos, destination management companies, convention centers, and convention & visitors bureaus. It provides real-time meeting planner feedback and roll-up management reports with detailed drill-down capabilities and industry benchmarking.
As opposed to the traditional post-event feedback ‘only’ model, MEETINGScope distinctively identifies issues throughout the entire meeting event process, from the beginning of contracting, through the planning phase, meeting execution and conclusion. This on-going feedback throughout the entire process serves to ensure consistently successful meeting outcomes. Each user can customize their exact meeting planner feedback points through the process cycle to meet their unique needs.
One of the more innovative features of MEETINGScope is its ever-expanding database of meeting event performance results and meeting planner profiles. The profile information on meeting planners is extensive. Over 51,000 meeting planners are in the database. Its industry-standard benchmarking categories include price, segment, brand, geography, size and meeting type. The benefits delivered by this feature include advance understanding of meeting planner preferences and crucial assessments of competitive performance.
The functionality of MEETINGScope is further enhanced through interfaces with Sales and Catering systems. With this feature, meeting details are seamlessly shared by both applications. This integration feature reduces training time, increases operational efficiency for meeting sales departments and service managers, and ensures valid feedback from an accurate cross-section of all meetings serviced.
The meeting sales industry has long known that gratified meeting planners remain devoted customers and will continue to generate increasing amounts of business. This is important for future growth in a highly competitive industry. The magnitude of the meeting revenue source is significant. Meeting Professionals International reported in a press release earlier this year that meeting planners were forecasting a five percent budget increase in 2005 and that overall revenues from this segment are projected to increase 13 percent.
Winegardner & Hammons, Inc. (WHI), an award-winning, full-service hotel management company, was an early adopter of the MEETINGScope technology. Its mission is the delivery of exceptional service. WHI has incorporated MEETINGScope into its standard management practices and has realized many benefits from its use.
“We are very pleased by the results we have obtained with MEETINGScope,” said Winegardner & Hammons’ Vice-President of Food and Beverage, Dennis Lanners. “Up and down the line, my managers have repeatedly told me that it is not uncommon for them to experience repeat business because of the successful results we are able to deliver from using MEETINGScope. Operationally, it has helped us increase our service delivery standards and overall performance results, and we have created successful new service programs as a result of the information gained from MEETINGScope.”
The Puerto Rico Convention Bureau (PRCB) is using MEETINGScope as part of a recognition program for its members, effectively creating a market-wide quality assurance practice. On a quarterly basis, they announce the hotels and meeting services suppliers that received the highest ratings from meeting planners. The PRCB also recognizes the best performers in each of the two quarterly categories with a special award at their annual meeting.
“MEETINGScope represents the cutting edge in on-line meetings hospitality research and we’re extremely satisfied about the level of quality and feedback from this method of surveying meeting planners,” stated Ana Maria Viscasillas, the president and chief executive officer of the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau. “As the only survey of its nature in Puerto Rico, the research reflects the specific experiences and needs of meeting planners, providing the Bureau and its partners with the feedback necessary to continue to evolve as a premier meeting destination.”
Dolce International, which specializes in the conference niche of the hospitality industry, is a notable user of MEETINGScope. It has been integrated into their operational culture to achieve their goal of delivering unique meeting experiences and excellence.
“I believe it is a tool everyone should have,” says Dolce’s General Manager of Quality Assurance, Geoff Lawson. “It is a good system. The summary reports, with their custom formats and drill-down capability, allows us to pinpoint and analyze disconnects, and eliminate defects. With MEETINGScope, we now have real-time process improvement. Plus, the interface with Delphi allows us to streamline processes and operate more efficiently. Being an international company with many global locations, I appreciate that it is on-line and I can access my reports from anywhere.”
RockResorts & Vail Resorts Lodging Company, a luxury resort hotel company located in Denver, Colo., has been deploying MEETINGScope across its portfolio of properties since May 2004. Debbie McCarthy, corporate director of sales for both the RockResorts luxury brand and Vail Resorts Lodging properties, uses it to implement reliability in service-levels across the brand.
“MEETINGScope is a great tool for me to consistently view opportunities to improve services,” said Ms. McCarthy. “It gives me the ability to easily determine where we should focus our resources in order to maintain our goal of continually setting the bar higher for our performance. It helps us directly engage the input of our customers into that process. I have also gained a better understanding of the types of groups that are using our services.”
“MEETINGScope was developed to help those who want to maximize the profitability
of their meeting services be able to clearly define and create highly efficient
strategies that exceed the expectations of meeting planners,” said Mark
Heymann, UniFocus’ chief executive officer. “We believe MEETINGScope
creates significant competitive advantage through its unique benchmarking
information and the positive changes in how its users service their meeting
business and interact with meeting planners because of the insight gained
through its comprehensive reporting system. Consistent with UniFocus’
strategy of moving feedback processes to real-time operational tools, MEETINGScope
is another service that is designed to deliver heightened and measurable
UniFocus is a Microsoft® Certified Partner, an affinity partner of the International Association of Conference Centers, a business partner of the International Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus, and an allied member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. For more information, visit www.unifocus.com.
|Also See:||UniFocus Gives a Big Texas ‘Howdy’ to The Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center / April 2004|
|Deb Chancellor Joins UniFocus as National Sales Director / March 2004|
|Benchmark Adopts UniFocus’ MEETINGScope™ To Ensure Quality of Meeting Services / February 2004|
|UniFocus Names Patrick Glennon Chief Technology Officer; Technology Driven Products Lead The Way for Double-Digit Growth in 2003 / December 2003|
|UniFocus Launches ACTIONScope™ to Compliment its Suite of Sophisticated Reporting Capabilities / November 2003|
|MEETINGScope™ By UniFocus Destined to Become the Industry Standard for Successfully Managing Meeting & Convention Revenue Streams / September 2003|
|Meyer Jabara Hotels Selects UniFocus’ Comprehensive Suite of Guest, Meeting Planner and Staff Satisfaction Measurement Services / September 2003|
|UniFocus to Demonstrate the Latest in Meeting Planner Satisfaction Management Technology at the IACVB 89th Annual Convention / July 2003|