The larger your group event, the more complicated the planning. When it comes to complex hotel group stays, special requirements, and event spaces with multiple configurations, an event planner can feel like Goldilocks, seeking the solution that’s just right.
The right fit is out there—and, more than likely, a handful of venues would work out nicely—yet sourcing and booking can often feel like a full-time job. The involved variables often can’t be easily handled in an instant, online transaction. And you’re left wondering if you’re getting the best deal.
Plus, almost all options for big events require an RFP.
The 411 on hotel RFPs
Event organizers submit an RFP, or a request for proposal, when sourcing a venue with which they don’t already have an established relationship so they can find the best, most strategic deal. The thought is that by varying the venues they work with, planners stay on top of market value instead of becoming complacent or possibly being taken advantage of.
An RFP is used to request and gather relevant information in the booking process, and then each returned proposal is compared and contrasted to determine the preferred venue.
If it sounds like a long, arduous process, it can be: on average, traditional hotel sourcing takes 75 days. (More later on how we can get that down to 12 days.)
Booking for large vs. small events
Eliminating the effort spent on crafting individual hotel RFPs means there’s more time for an event planner to examine other ways to level up their gathering. Large and small events aren’t the same beast; each has a unique set of requirements.
Here’s where, in general, planners see the two differ:
|Large event||Small event|
|Venue capacity||Multiple meeting spaces and configurations||One room and configuration|
|Time to book||Need more advance notice for room/space availability||Can book closer to desired date|
|Meal/food offerings||More attendees come with more complex dietary needs||Simple refreshments may suffice|
|Transportation||Can become a logistical issue with larger groups||Easier to coordinate with a smaller group|
|Space consideration||May need broader health and security requirements||Flow of people is more painless|
|Add-on needs||Could require audio/visual tools from the venue||Likely already has its supplies|
A note about Instant Booking
While GroupSync’s Instant Booking is a real game-changer for group travel planners, it can’t yet replace the RFP for large, complex events. And although Instant Booking is perfect for the planner with smaller group accommodations to book or less involved meeting space requirements, RFPs will still have their place.
But the process to create and manage RFPs should be a better one. One designed with the event planner in mind.
Why GroupSync is perfect for large groups
Whether you need hotel group booking for a 200-person annual conference meeting or a vast citywide event, GroupSync has you covered. It allows planners to create, distribute and manage RFPs with ease, giving planners the power to search, source and book hotels in days as opposed to months—no matter how big the bash.
1. No need for RFP variations
We’ve simplified the traditional and often painful RFP process by removing your need to create tailored requests per property: once you build your RFP in the web-based solution, you can distribute it to your highly-matched search results, or any of the 200,000 properties in our database.
2. Immediate matches for specific criteria
Close all browser tabs right now because you don’t need a boatload of Google searches to manually gather your hotel options. GroupSync’s hotel search capability is designed for quicker group sourcing and booking—without paid placements—providing you with qualified search results of venues matching your specific criteria.
3. Get rates and availability ahead of the RFP
The key data a planner needs more than anything when sourcing hotels is cost and availability. GroupSync has both, including forecasted market rates according to industry data, as part of the hotel search and sourcing – before sending the RFP. Real-time rates and availability are also displayed for a growing list of properties, based on your event criteria.
Cut months off your venue sourcing and booking time
GroupSync is designed to simplify the booking experience and trim time off the booking process—more than two months, actually. In many cases, we’ve gotten the average RFP booking time down from months to days – reducing the stress that planners often face when securing room blocks and space for large events.
Want to learn more? Connect with us today to learn how GroupSync makes hotel booking for large groups an easier process.