Group Meetings
David Lund
  • Group Meetings
  • Separating Group and Local Banquet Sales
  • If your hotel has a reasonable amount of meeting space (+10,000 ft) and your banquet business is a significant contributor in your Food and Beverage Department (+20% of F&B revenue), you are going to want to separate local banquet business from group banquet business on all of your financial statements, forecasts, budgets and daily reporting. At this moment you may be asking, “Why would I want to do that? That sounds like a lot of work.” There are some very good reasons to make this practice a standard in your hotel. I see many hotel financial statements and most are missing the boat because they do not separate group and local banquet revenues. Separating this reporting and setting it up properly provides powerful information you can use in your hotel to make better decisions and ultimately be more profitable. Read on...

Brett Ellison
  • Group Meetings
  • How to Manage March Madness at Your Hotel
  • With the annual chaos and excitement of the NCAA Tournament upon us once again, this is a good time to take a closer look at how hotel professionals manage high-volume external events. From concerts to conferences, and festivals to big games, the unique challenges of high-volume special events can put a strain on even the most well run and accommodating hotel property. Read on...

Dan Berger
  • Group Meetings
  • Hoteliers Look to Automate Bookings as Demand for In-Person Meetings Grows
  • A decade ago futurists and armchair analysts were convinced that the internet would move face-to-face interactions online and therefore kill the meetings & events industry as we know it. Instead of joining together under one roof, we’d educate ourselves via webinars, make new connections exclusively over LinkedIn, and swap catered lunches for granola bars and iced-coffee at the office. So, what happened to this dystopia? Today, it’s evident that technology is having the opposite effect on events. We’re actually seeing that modern connectivity and social networking is driving higher demand for face-to-face interactions. In the past, we predicted that broadband would make in-person meetings redundant. Read on...

Ben Premack
  • Group Meetings
  • Play Time: How Incorporating Rest & Relaxation Increases Meeting Productivity
  • Meetings and events need not be designed around stuffy, windowless rooms involving information overload and ten-minute stretch breaks. These types of gatherings are neither engaging nor fun for anyone. Today, meeting planners want more than just a location; they want a flexible venue in a desirable destination which offers an array of amenities and add-ons for groups looking to make their out-of-office gathering one to remember, and even envied. Well thought-out and customized corporate meetings and events that feel more like a retreat can create new opportunities for employee growth, networking, and creative-thinking – all while boosting productivity and morale. Read on...

Jim Vandevender
  • Group Meetings
  • New Group Data Tool Defines Drivers of Meetings Business
  • As hotels head into the fourth and final quarter of 2016, sales operations and revenue management teams are beginning to look toward next year. Budgets and marketing plans are beginning to be developed that hope to capture the lucrative high demand group market, drive RevPar and meet occupancy and ADR forecasts. But questions loom. Which segments will remain robust and fruitful? Will the high demand within corporate, for example, begin to ebb with the hotel construction pipeline in full swing supplying more and more inventory in most cities? What subsets within corporate group will continue to drive demand and which ones will be the new emerging provider of group room night opportunities? Read on...

John Hess
  • Group Meetings
  • Adding Meaning to Meetings: Group Volunteering in Local Communities
  • Social responsibility enables a culture of caring within organizations in all sectors of business, including the financial services, manufacturing, and retail industries. At organizations of all sizes, from large Fortune 500 companies to small startups, individual team members find satisfaction in helping others and often appreciate the opportunity to do so, because acting with purpose provides a shared experience that is positive and contagious. As the groups business continues to evolve and sales professionals and corporate planners explore the latest bells and whistles, such as 3-D Selfie Stations, to get meetings attendees engaged and excited. Read on...

Mike May
  • Group Meetings
  • Tips to Help Win Over Meeting Planners
  • Millennials, Zika, Brexit, elections, the economy, mega-mergers…every quarter brings a newsflash du jour. Hotel professionals need a genie to tell them what to ignore and what requires their action. This article summarizes the most relevant trends affecting group meetings – along with tips from corporate meeting planners on what hotels can do to help their group customers succeed, and help you improve a hotel’s group meeting business. Read about the importance of authentic local experiences, unique venues, event apps, and negotiations with buyers. Read on...

Paul Van Deventer
  • Group Meetings
  • When We Meet, We Change the World
  • In the U.S. alone, the meeting and event industry drives $280 billion in annual economic impact. To add perspective, that’s more than air transportation, the motion picture industry or spectator sports. Additionally, the industry generates a massive amount of taxes, with $88 billion generated at the state, federal and local level last year; taxes that help our communities pay for services, build schools, fix roads and maintain parks. The Meetings Mean Business (MMB) Coalition—an industry advocacy group of which MPI is a part—has been conducting video interviews with top executives at major companies to find out just how important meetings and events are to their bottom line. Read on...

Brian Bullock
  • Group Meetings
  • The Rise of Urban Team Building
  • Last year, millennials surpassed Generation X to become the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. They also may be history’s most fickle generation. Two-thirds of millennials plan to leave their current organizations by 2020, according to a recent survey by Deloitte. Additionally, 44 percent said they would leave their current employers within the next two years if given the choice. So it’s not surprising that businesses are adjusting everything – from office space to company culture to the way business is conducted – to cater to millennial wants and needs. Companies have recognized that attracting and retaining top talent from this burgeoning generation is no joke. Read on...

Michael Dominguez
  • Group Meetings
  • The Meeting Industry Today - It's Exciting, Disruptive and Complicated
  • As the meetings market has fully recovered from the 2008 recession, this industry expansion has given all the players in the meetings market some unique circumstances that have not been collectively experienced before at any one given time. If this was a social media relationship, we would have to list it as “it’s complicated”! First the good! We are experiencing record demand in North America that has set records now for 3 consecutive years. What is most encouraging is that there is not a particular scale of hotel that is leading this growth, but rather all segments are showing record strength. Read on...

Trevor Lynn
  • Group Meetings
  • How to Drive Group Sales From Gen-Y
  • From content consumption to meeting and function room design, millennial mindset will continue to be the primary change agent at properties. Millennial: It’s a buzzword that we see in just about every article today, but there’s good reason for that. By 2025 millennials will make up over 75% of the workforce, which means they’re an ever growing portion of hotel guests, attendees, and the event planners you’re trying to reach. Asking how to reach millennials today, is really more like asking how to connect with the dominant mindset in hospitality (and every other industry for that matter). Read on...

Karyl Leigh Barnes
  • Group Meetings
  • How Today's Hotels Are Satisfying Corporate "Experience Seekers"
  • Meetings are out. Experiences are in. That’s the message that emerges from research Development Counsellors International (DCI) conducted earlier this year, in partnership with the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC), to determine what will be required in the meeting rooms of the future. In a detailed survey of more than 150 meeting planners from five continents —including those specializing in corporate, association, and government meetings — 75 percent of respondents said their job is increasingly about “experience creation.” Before mobile phones and Wi-Fi, meeting participants had no choice but to sit down and engage with what was being presented. Read on...

Charles de Gaspe Beaubien
  • Group Meetings
  • The Rise of Generation C and Small Meetings
  • According to Google Research, Generation C is a powerful new force in consumer culture. It's a category of people who care deeply about creation, curation, connection, and community. It's not an age group; it's an attitude and mindset. Brands that take the time to understand Generation C and better engage with them will find a willing and influential audience. For this new group of consumers, the internet no longer sits behind a screen – it’s a way of life - engaging with technology whenever they want. Gen C wants access to goods and services from all their devices in the fewest possible clicks. Read on...

Michael  Hudson
  • Group Meetings
  • Lowest ADR Does Not Always Win the Bid
  • Most progress in human thought occurs by challenging common assumptions; sometimes at great personal peril. Galileo Galilei was placed under house arrest for the last eight years of his life for championing the heliocentric view of our solar system described by Copernicus. It was heresy to suggest that the Earth and the rest of the planets revolved around the sun. Germ Theory of Disease was ridiculed by the leading medical minds of the time. It was not until 300 years after the concept was introduced that it finally trumped the Miasma or “Bad Air” theory of sickness transmission. Read on...

John D. Robinson
  • Group Meetings
  • How to Maximize Bandwidth to Support Your Meetings Business
  • Hotels and chains are looking to meet the rising demand for more bandwidth as they ramp up their hotel group meetings business. Throughout the industry, hotels are upgrading (or have recently upgraded) their Wi-Fi to serve in-room guests. Now that these properties are growing their group meetings business, they’re finding that their existing bandwidth is no longer sufficient. Problems can arise when your Wi-Fi service becomes stretched too thin. This can diminish your competitive advantage and even lose business. On a broader level, it can also damage your branding because, let’s face it, few things are more frustrating that attending a conference with spotty, unreliable Wi-Fi. Read on...

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AUGUST: Food & Beverage: Multiplicity and Diversity are Key

Larry Steinberg

The foodservice industry is one of the oldest and most important. Consumers from all demographics rely on it virtually every day for sustenance. In fact, in the U.S. alone, it’s a nearly $800 billion industry that’s extremely competitive, with hundreds of new establishments popping up every year, and much of this new business is the result of increased consumer demand. Consumers want more options. For every practiced chef, there is a collective of guests eager to spend their hard-earned dollars on something exotic and different. They want to experience a bit of culture by way of their next meal, and they want to find it using the latest technology. Read on...

Frank Sanchez

About two years ago, I started my career at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. I came from San Diego, California, the apparent capital of farmer’s markets. When I moved to Chicago in late-October, the number of farmer’s markets had already begun to taper off and all that was left of the hotel’s rooftop garden was the sad remnants of a summer full of bounty. However, I was in for a pleasant surprise. The Chicago Marriott Downtown operates a year-round experience to create food from scratch that gives customers fresh and nutritional options. I was thrilled to join a team that can tell a customer that the very greens on their plate were grown just floors above them. Read on...

Thomas  McKeown

To serve today’s eclectic, socially engaged and sophisticated guests, hotels and chefs need to get creative, change their thinking and push back some walls – sometimes literally. The fun thing about meetings hotels is that they are a different place just about every week. One week we’re hosting a bridge tournament, the next a corporate sales team, or a dentists’ conference, or sci-fi fans in costumes, or cheerleaders jumping for joy. You name the group, and our hotel has probably welcomed them. Read on...

Elizabeth  Blau

Over the past several years, many of us have watched with excitement and interest as the fast-casual restaurant segment has continued to boom. More and more, talented chefs with fine dining pedigrees are bringing their skills, creativity, and experience to concepts built around speed, approachability, and volume. Right now, the ability to offer a gourmet experience at all price points is as compelling to restaurateurs and diners alike. Read on...

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead
After a decade of sacrifice and struggle, it seems that hotels and meeting planners have every reason to be optimistic about the group meeting business going forward. By every industry benchmark and measure, 2017 is shaping up to be a record year, which means more meetings in more locations for more attendees. And though no one in the industry is complaining about this rosy outlook, the strong demand is increasing competition among meeting planners across the board – for the most desirable locations, for the best hotels, for the most creative experiences, for the most talented chefs, and for the best technology available. Because of this robust demand, hotels are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their collective muscles. Even though over 100,000 new rooms were added last year, hotel rates are expected to rise by a minimum of 4.0%, and they are also charging fees on amenities that were often gratis in the past. In addition, hotels are offering shorter lead times on booking commitments, forcing planners to sign contracts earlier than in past years. Planners are having to work more quickly and to commit farther in advance to secure key properties. Planners are also having to meet increased attendee expectations. They no longer are content with a trade show and a few dinners; they want an experience. Planners need to find ways to create a meaningful experience to ensure that attendees walk away with an impactful memory. This kind of experiential learning can generate a deeper emotional connection, which can ultimately result in increased brand recognition, client retention, and incremental sales. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.