Leading group hospitality analytics firm, Knowland, conducts webinar to inform hoteliers on best practices during a time of crisis, with a focus on key recovery strategies
ARLINGTON, Va. — March 27, 2020—Knowland, the leader in group hospitality analytics for hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, conference centers and other meeting venues, announced today the results of a live survey of more than 700 hoteliers conducted during its informative webinar “COVID-19 Preparing Today for Success Tomorrow.” Knowland’s VP of product management, Kristi White provided insight and guidance during a webinar held on March 25, 2020 and is available https://www.knowland.com/2020/03/on-demand-webcast-covid-19-preparing-today-for-success-tomorrow/.
Throughout the webinar, hoteliers were eager to respond to a series of questions about how they were handling the COVID-19 crisis. Questions such as “Is your hotel closed?” and “What percentage of cancellations have you received for the next 90-120 days” were asked in order to gain insight into the current situation.
- Survey reveals “stay the course” mentality – While 70 percent have had 75 percent plus cancellations over the next 90-120 days, 50 percent of participants indicated that they are not planning to close their hotels and were “staying the course” during this time. This may be due to the fact that many hoteliers are hoping the new CARES Act stimulus bill will help keep them from shutting their doors and their teams capable of prospecting business over the next 60-75 days, however approximately 23% of attendees reported that closing their hotel was “under consideration.”
- Pivot and train your sales teams – White advised attendees to evaluate sales team members to determine those that are best qualified to conduct outreach based on compassion and assistance, as opposed to “making the sale.”
- Identify and cater to local market opportunities – The survey also revealed that 50 percent of participants conducted local sales outreach earlier this year, compared to 38% in 2019. Corporate, government and local catering, as well as smaller and regional events and local drive market will bounce back first.
Knowland provides key profile indicators such as what businesses have held local events, the history of their performance (such as what they did during the 2008 recession) to help sales teams better identify potential local customers.
Robert Post, CEO, Knowland, said: “Today we are in the middle of a crisis unlike anything we have seen in the past. While we may have a tendency to panic, now is a time to plan and prepare. In light of the economic evaporation of our business, closing the hotel makes the most sense to some. However, with the upcoming CARES Act, there is hope on the horizon that there will be lower cost loans by property that will allow hotels to reduce the impact of the furloughs and keep hotels open and able to prospect for business. Now is the time to help sales teams better manage warm ‘relationship-building’ calls out to their local markets. Customers will absolutely remember how you approach them during this time because at the end of the day, thoughtful communication will win the day.”
Survey statistics: Data is a result of a survey of more than 700 plus hotelier conducted on March 25, 2020. Titles of participants ranged from owners/asset managers, revenue managers, vice presidents and regional heads of sales, general managers and directors of sales. These represented 19 percent luxury, 66 percent upscale and 15 percent midscale/economy classes.
Knowland has established a resource page for hotels impacted by COVID-19 at https://www.knowland.com/resources/covid-19-hotel-resources/