Booking the ideal venue for your meeting or special event is not solely your decision. The hotel vets and selects your group just as much as you assess them.
While it might seem like hotel sales managers bend over backward to win your business, they also have their eye on the bottom line and will evaluate group business accordingly. Their goal is to only contract events that make the most business sense for the hotel and their revenue goals.
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 guest rooms and meeting space
Hotels have daily revenue targets for occupancy from both event space and guest rooms. If your event requires too much venue space, the hotel may be left with a surplus of rooms to sell. If you occupy too much meeting space, you limit their options for filling those sleeping rooms. They then 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.
2. 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 or 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 to Wednesday or a Wednesday to Saturday stay. If you prefer a pattern outside those standard stays, such as Tuesday to Friday, this will throw off a hotel’s normal schedule. It’s also likely that your peak day with your highest occupancy will overlap with another group, which can cause logistical headaches for the hotel.
3. Your group’s spend outside the event
Hoteliers love event attendees who socialize and mingle après-meeting at the hotel’s 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 since they provide a significant revenue boost in a short amount of time. If your group tends to spend, be sure your hotel partners understand the full value that your group brings.
4. 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 intermediary representing your organization?
When you work with a third-party intermediary, they send out anonymous RFPs, withholding your group’s name or any identifying details. This practice is a disservice to both 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 only generic proposals in return.
Just like any corporate event planner or other meeting professional, 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 toward 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.