Planner Pain Points: How to save time on group hotel sourcing

by | Mar 14, 2022 | Planners

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.

We interviewed meeting planners from corporations and associations across the US to better understand their hotel sourcing journeys and create meaningful solutions for our GroupSync platform.

We built GroupSync with group travel organizers and event planners in mind, giving you transparency and control over your shopping and booking experience. Below we’ll examine two of the most common event planner pain points voiced by your industry peers and the ways GroupSync solves these issues.

Pain Point #1
The inability to easily find suitable destinations and hotels.

“I go to the internet and start searching, looking at different cities and going through their websites, 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 could be better spent 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 easily access anywhere else.

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Search, shop and book on GroupSync Marketplace.

search-shop-book-marketplace

Search, shop and book on GroupSync Marketplace.

GroupSync’s inventory includes more than 200,000 properties across 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. Group travel organizers and event planners who use GroupSync reduce their sourcing time from an average of 75 days between RFP and award date to 12 days. That’s more than 60 days returned to your calendar to spend on more creative tasks—and with Instant Booking, it’s even faster.

Pain Point #2
You’re required to send an RFP just to learn more about pricing.

“The most important piece of [an RFP] is usually our hotel room rate. I tell brands to not even send proposals if their rate isn’t within $20 of our budget. We can’t negotiate that down. But some still come back $50 to $100 over our room rate—and those we send to the automatic ‘No’ pile.”

– Corporate event planner

“You have to contact the hotel to get pricing information. [Legacy sourcing systems] don’t even give enough pricing info to make a good comparison. Each hotel sets its own pricing, but knowing any kind of price range ahead of time would help.”

– 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.

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GroupSync market estimate.

GroupSync market estimate.

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.

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Historical occupancy trends on GroupSync’s market estimate.

GS-occupancy-trends

Historical occupancy trends on GroupSync’s market estimate.

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 gives organizers and event planners insider data earlier in the process to provide unprecedented transparency and clarity for making better, quicker decisions in the sourcing process.

Managing traditional planner headaches becomes easier with access to the right technology and resources. Read more in our Planner Pain Points series to find out how you can simplify your workflow and get back your most valuable asset — time.