Group Business Strategies for Every Season

By Kevin Fliess Vice President Supplier Network Product Marketing, Cvent | September 10, 2017

Seasonality is a blessing and curse for hospitality professionals who want to plan ahead. Cvent’s customer success team receives calls, emails, and tweets every day from hoteliers looking to take the reins of the data they’ve already collected to fill need periods. Whether they want to maintain repeat group business or expand to new markets, so many of our partners value the importance of using predictable, recurring behaviors to make strong sales and marketing strategies that last.

Group business accounts for approximately 30% of a hotel’s revenue ( Frost & Sullivan ). But even for venues that know their meetings and events sector inside and out, seasonality is often left as an afterthought. That’s why anticipating sales cycles and adapting your practices to support them makes a huge difference in the volume and pacing of your group business. As soon as you know what data you should be looking for, developing plans gets much clearer.

Here are some of Cvent’s go-to tips for improving seasonality-supported strategies for hotel sales and marketing teams.

Lean on Your Property’s Year-Round Appeal

From your sales and marketing teams to the meeting planners you serve, you already have a dedicated team of ambassadors to show you what they want and how they want you to conduct business with them. You are the expert on your property’s strengths and weaknesses, and your destination is the backbone of your venue’s appeal. Use your expertise and data collected to refine your value proposition and break it down into seasons.

Know What You’re up Against

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Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.