Hotel Insider: How Hotels Really Evaluate Your Group

how hotels evaluate groups

Booking the ideal venue for your meeting or special event is not solely your decision. The hotel is vetting and selecting your group just as much as you are assessing them.

While it can seem that hotel sales managers usually bend over backward to win your business, they also have their eye on the bottom line and will evaluate group business purposely. Their goal is to only contract events that make the most business sense for the hotel and their revenue goals.

Here’s what you need to know: On any given day, hotels want to optimize the best combination of leisure and meeting bookings to drive the most profits.

When presented with a promising group event, there are four crucial points hotel managers and their revenue management team consider.

  1. Ratio of Required Guestrooms and Meeting Space

Hotels have daily revenue targets for occupancy from both event space and guestrooms. If your event requires too much venue space, the hotel may be left with lots of rooms to sell.  With you occupying so much meeting space, you limit their options for filling those rooms.  They’ll have to sell them to transient customers. If it’s a slow period for leisure reservations, the hotel may present your group with a higher rate to make up for that loss in profits during those dates.

  1. Your Group’s Travel Pattern

The length of your group’s stay and your preferred meeting days matter. Most groups have a three-day meeting pattern: Check in, meeting/event, and check out.  Since groups usually fill in the weeks around business travel, you’ll find the best rates if your group’s pattern is a Sunday – Wednesday or a Wednesday – Saturday stay. If you prefer a pattern outside of those standard stays, such as Tuesday – Friday, this will throw off a hotel’s normal schedule. Then, it’s likely that your peak day with your highest occupancy will overlap with another group which can cause problems for the hotel.

  1. Your Group’s Spend Outside the Event

Hotels love group attendees who socialize and mingle après-meeting at its restaurants and bars, order room service, play golf, treat themselves to a spa treatment, or sign up their kids for the hotel’s youth activities. Groups that spend extra money on-property are extremely attractive to hotels since they provide a significant revenue boost in a short amount of time. If you are one of these groups, be sure your hotel partners understand the full value that your group brings.

  1. Your Professional Standards

Are you likely to be a good partner? Do you team up with quality event professionals who uphold your standards? What about the reputation of any third-party that is representing your organization?

When you work with a third-party planner, they send out anonymous RFPs, withholding your group’s name or any identifying details. This practice is a disservice both to you and the hotel, since it makes it difficult for hotel sales managers to evaluate group business potential and present a solution that is bespoke to your specific meeting goals. As a result, you’re then likely to receive generic proposals in return.

Just like any meeting planner, hotels prefer to work with others who are timely, transparent, and trustworthy. Hotels genuinely want to be seen as your partners-in-planning, and lean towards working with planning teams that are well-oiled machines.  They depend on you to bring your A-game, just as much as you depend on them to do the same. If you bring your best, so will the hotels.