This is a continuation of our 2-part article series on hotel marketing for groups. In this article, we focus on best practices for promoting need dates and incentives for meetings and event booking. For part 1, where we cover creating group-focused content, click here.
Part 2: Promoting Need Dates & Incentives
Attract planners through need dates and incentives
Long gone are the days when hotels would prepare and send an email to a customer with their need dates and incentives. The outreach only worked if you happened to get lucky that it arrived when the customer was actively searching for a hotel over that set of dates.
The lacking element for hoteliers in the approach above…a high quantity of those with booking intent.
Rather than relying on the hope, hoteliers are in continual need of a designated online marketplace that focuses only on group, meeting and event booking. A marketplace where need dates can quickly and easily be promoted to those with high booking intent in your market.
GroupSync can help your hotel capitalize on promotions and monetize low-occupancy periods. These special offers are targeted, as GroupSync displays your available incentives to planners sourcing in your market and with matching event dates.
Best part is, hoteliers that market on GroupSync see more booking activity–
up to 30-40% more.
Best practices: need dates
A need date is a window of up to five days in which your hotel has a down pattern or inventory anomaly. By entering a need date, you simply agree to offer 10% off the GroupSync Market Estimate over the selected date range.
- Identify need dates in both the current and subsequent calendar years. These are often your slow or shoulder seasons, group cancellations or unexpected low demand.
- Optimize the visibility of need dates by extending the Publish dates, as planners are less likely to be sourcing at certain times of the year, such as holidays and late summer.
- Extend, modify or cancel an offer easily and immediately based on your in-house needs.
You may not want to use need dates for weekends, as the entire market may have a decline in occupancy. For slow weekends, create a promotion instead and list available dates in GroupSync. Each hotel can enter up to 20 concurrent need dates.
Best practices: incentives
GroupSync can help you win new business without a significant investment of time. You make updates to your incentives and promotions and monitor your progress in as little as an hour a month.
- Make promotions available across a broad spectrum of your desired booking window, whether that’s in the year, for the year or as far out as you desire, if your hotel has that demand.
- Increase the effectiveness of your promotions by extending the Publish and Event dates.
- Let a planner choose their incentive: “Pick Your Perks” is a great way to add flexibility. Perks may include room rate or A/V discounts, bonus points, free parking, free coffee stations or complimentary room nights.
- Don’t list dates when your hotel will be busy so that your promotion won’t be visible during those periods. Just enter the available dates as separate event dates when you create your promotion.
Each hotel can post up to five concurrent promotions. Understand your hotel’s booking window to be sure to get the most out of your promotions. No other platform makes it as easy and effective to display your incentives and need dates to the right buyers at the right time.
Market to the most relevant groups and programs
GroupSync doesn’t offer paid placements for a reason. While paid placements can position hotels favorably in search results, we believe an unbiased booking platform offers a better experience for all. GroupSync has been designed to pair meeting and event professionals with best-fit hotels that can accommodate their group. The algorithms weed out properties without enough rooms, as well as hotels that don’t have the needed venue square footage. As a hotelier, you receive fewer irrelevant proposal requests which can save you a lot of time.
Additionally, you’re not offering incentives and need dates that might be irrelevant to the planner searching and sourcing in a certain market for certain event dates. You’re receiving leads for dates that you need, and planners have the opportunity to save money. Best part is, hoteliers that market on GroupSync see more booking activity—up to 30-40% more.
Gain an advantage with GroupSync
Just like a gym membership, you get results when you put in the time. Make the most of your GroupSync presence by using all the available features to strengthen your online presence and attract the right group business to your property.
There are more than 200,000 properties in GroupSync Marketplace. Your hotel may be a great match for a group travel organizer or meeting planner, but many other hotels could be too.
Question is, will yours stand out enough to be considered?
This completes our article series. For more info on GroupSync, options to enhance your property’s profile, or to see what your current GroupSync profile looks like, connect with us here.
Click the following to read part 1 of our article series, ‘[Group] Content is King.’