Rethink Sales Deployment: Electronic RFPs continue to grow in volume while group size decreases. Should hotels have reactive vs. proactive sales people to handle this change? Should brands still enforce mandatory responses to all leads as group planners cast wider nets? Should hotels designate a person on the sales team to handle all incoming leads and distribute based on the hotel's needs and likelihood of booking, in other words, a lead catcher?
Outlook is Cautiously Positive Despite Forward Group Weakness: In recent past downturns, the industry has had a strong group cushion to mitigate the negative effects in the next downturn. We may have skipped a recession this cycle; however, the industry needs to source other base business to protect against a down market in the future.
Revenue Managers should be Executive Committee Members: Revenue managers are the hotel's strategists and leaders that drive the hotel's goals. Consider leadership training for revenue managers; furthermore, consider revenue management training for general managers. Unfortunately most incentive plans are based on total bookings versus need time periods making the revenue strategy job harder to execute.
Blockchain: Blockchain technology is expected to be a game changer for hospitality loyalty programs by improving the reconciliation process, but there doesn't appear to be an obvious first leader advantage.
Disruptors: The OTAs seem to be front runners in voice activated assistance search. The brands need to be focused on voice activated search to drive consumer direct in order to achieve an equal footing in this new search space.