Are you still searching for destinations and hotels on Google? How many times have you had to send out RFPs just to get an idea of hotel rates? The usual ways of sourcing venues simply cost too much time.
In early 2020, Groups360 commissioned interviews of meeting planners from corporations and associations across the U.S. to better understand their sourcing journeys to inform the ongoing development of the GroupSync platform.
We built GroupSync with the event planner in mind to give you transparency and control over your shopping experience. Below are two of the most common event planner pain points voiced by your industry peers, along with the solutions you’ll find in GroupSync.
You can’t easily find suitable destinations and hotels.
“I go to the internet and start searching, looking at different cities, going through their websites, going to the different hotels, finding out which hotels or conference centers are in that area, researching and going through those websites. I tend to do a lot of my own research.” —Trade association planner
Solution: Old-school approaches to searching can take up an enormous amount of time that you’d rather spend on the details of your event, such as crafting intriguing content and unforgettable experiences. Google and other search engines lack the complex data required to effectively book groups for meetings and events.
GroupSync is a completely unbiased platform that aggregates a world of data to show you hotel properties, amenities, estimated future hotel rates, anticipated occupancy levels, available and relevant incentives, local weather, and other market insights you can’t as easily access anywhere else.
GroupSync’s inventory includes more than 200,000 properties across all hotel brands in 225 countries and territories around the globe. While our database offers maximum choice, our proprietary algorithms streamline the search to the destinations and hotels that best fit your needs according to your event dates, budget and weighted preferences.
As a result, when you source through GroupSync, you receive targeted destination and hotel results. Meeting planners who use GroupSync reduce their sourcing time from an average of 75 days to 20 — that’s more than 50 days returned to your calendar to spend on more creative tasks.
You have to send an RFP just to get an idea of pricing.
“I look at the most important piece in our proposals, which is usually our hotel room rate. I am up front in our RFPs. I tell our brands to not even send proposals if it’s not going to be within $20. We can’t negotiate that down. But sometimes they will come in $50 to $100 over our room rate and those just go in an automatic ‘No’ pile.” —Corporate event planner
“You have to contact the hotel to get more information, but what I don’t get is a good comparison. [Legacy sourcing systems] don’t give you pricing. Each hotel sets its own pricing, but maybe we could have a price range, something where it says, ‘This is four money symbols, this is two money symbols.’” —Corporate event planner
Solution: GroupSync helps you find destinations and hotels within your budget before you ever send out a single RFP. One of GroupSync’s defining features is the price predictor tool, powered by an exclusive partnership with STR, the hotel industry’s most trusted data repository.
When you evaluate a destination, the GroupSync market estimate displays a range of estimated future hotel rates based on your event dates and hotel star rating — as far as 10 years into the future. This graph helps you visualize the daily price fluctuations so you can see dates near your preferred set, which may be more cost efficient.
Beneath the market estimate are historical occupancy trends for transient and group travelers. High group or transient occupancy in a given market during your desired dates means less flexibility in hotel rates. Groups360 wanted to give event planners insider data earlier in the process to provide unprecedented transparency and clarity for making better, quicker decisions in the sourcing process.
Find out how GroupSync can simplify your workflow and give you back your most valuable asset — time.