On average, hotel sourcing for an event can take an organizer 93 days to locate a venue and sign a contract. That seems like a long time, and it is. Between searching through multiple online sources, shopping for the perfect location and venue, communicating back and forth over the details, getting stakeholder reviews and approvals, and contract negotiations…those that have experienced this understand that it’s typically not a quick or smooth process.
We all know that the traditional hotel searching, shopping and booking process for groups has been long overdue for a simpler alternative. Many of the request for proposal (RFP) and venue sourcing methods continue to be inefficient and time consuming, but for decades this is how it’s been done. It’s no secret that planners are actively looking for an alternative method to make the hotel group booking process smoother.
“There is not a specific resource that I know of where I could go say, I need A, B and C, hit enter, and then I get suggestions.”
– Group Travel Planner Pain Points Research Study 2020
The searching, shopping, booking process – redefined
As an event organizer, having a quick and efficient hotel sourcing process is key to a successful event. But more often than not, significant time is spent using multiple sourcing options such as search engines, hotel websites, or picking up the phone. This usually provides varying, often incomplete, information that needs to be collected, clarified and organized centrally.
Our founders and executive team members have first-hand experience with these same struggles, and knew there had to be a better, easier way to source group rooms, meeting space or both. With their personal experiences, collaboration with hoteliers and planners, and extensive research, we created GroupSync. We found that the biggest issue with legacy RFP methods is the lack of marketplace transparency from hoteliers and event information from planners.
With GroupSync, as simplicity and efficiency being our main goal, we made it possible for planners to get search results generated from their unique criteria, such as budget, destination, distance from an airport, and even room or meeting space availability for your desired room block at over 200K hotels worldwide. GroupSync can show inventory availability and rate even before you submit an RFP based upon your event specifics. This way, you no longer have to sift through other resources’ list of irrelevant paid placements before getting to the results for which you’re seeking. Additionally, you can even skip this step, streamlining your process, if you know the exact venue and destination you would like to book. Both methods provide you instant insight into a hotels marketplace, with visibility into room and meeting space availability, amenities, restaurant menus and more.
We also know how important it is for you to include key stakeholders in on the process. So, we created a collaboration tool within GroupSync that gives you the ability to include stakeholders into the selection process before sending an RFP. Get comments and feedback on locations, hotel selections, meeting needs, costs and dates at all stages of searching, shopping and booking. This all helps organize and streamline who you send your RFP to and makes the process more efficient.
A comprehensive, quicker RFP process
When it comes time to create and send your RFP, constructing your own unstandardized format could be one of the factors that result in a denied request or delayed response time. After extensive research and collaboration with hoteliers to find out what would make the RFP process simpler, we took our findings and constructed a consistent format that results in higher RFP acceptance rates over other legacy sourcing methods. Communicate your event space needs, F&B budget, all the way down to the types of rooms and how many. It’s a solution that drastically cuts down communication time with the venue and shortens your sourcing time. GroupSync enables planners to send more relevant RFPs, resulting in a better booking experience.
A customer success team that fosters communication and timely RFP responses
Typically, after sending an RFP, planners are left wondering if or when they are going to receive a reply. Hotels receive stacks of RFPs to review, and personnel can be stretched. To alleviate this issue, we have a customer success team that tracks your submissions and ensures communication is happening between planners and hoteliers. They can also provide training and guidance to GroupSync users at any stage in the process. Between the customer success team and an easier RFP process, planners who route an RFP through GroupSync have a higher chance of receiving favorable responses. Groups360 is here to help speed up the process, and no one likes long wait times, especially when you have an event to solidify and other tasks to get to.
Make the switch to a simpler, quicker group booking solution
From recent studies, planners have spoken up and are tired of the drawn-out, complicated sourcing methods and have been waiting for a simpler alternative. Legacy sourcing methods don’t always consider your criteria first, showing you numerous paid placements before reaching results that matter, and take months to solidify a hotel for your event, big or small. There are several pain points to solve for, which is what we set out to do.
GroupSync is answering the call from both planners and hoteliers, and is providing a much-needed solution to the hospitality, group-travel industry. Event organizers can now easily get search results tailored specifically to your needs, insight to hotels marketplace, and the ability to instantly book group rooms and meeting space all in a single transaction.
For more, read “No Going Back: How GroupSync Has Changed Group Travel”.