Making Big Business Out of Small Meetings: Tapping into the $10 Billion Day-Meetings Market
By John Arenas Chief Executive Officer, Worktopia | October 28, 2008
If, as most of us believe, it is just as difficult, time-consuming, and therefore costly, to service a small request as it is to negotiate a large one, why bother with the sardines when catching tuna is more profitable?
When it comes to meetings, this is a ten billion dollar question. In a $124 billion industry, 80 percent of all meetings have 50 participants or fewer - a segment of the business worth $10 billion a year. Is the opportunity worth the trouble? To put it another way, the typical day-meeting generates approximately $4,000 to $6,000 in total revenue for a hotel. If property's small meeting bookings increase by just two meetings per week, the revenue impact could be over half a million dollars a year. And, because most small meetings are regional or local in nature, the chances of repeat business are high if the customer is satisfied the first time.
Nevertheless, given the choice between a mega-meeting and a handful, why would anyone choose the latter? The answer lies in avoiding the choice: the future of the meetings industry is likely to be letting automated, online programs handle planning and booking the small meetings quickly and efficiently.
When deciding how to capitalize on the small meeting market, there are two important factors to consider. The first is selecting the procurement software solution or solutions that represent the right fit with the hotel or brand. The second is selecting the right people to work with - the marketing channels - who will best drive incremental business at a high rate of return on marketing investment.
Considering Procurement Solutions
The stakes are high. The right automated procurement solution means increased market share, competitive strength and lower overall costs of sales and marketing. Ideally, the right solutions allow the hotel or conference center to maintain control over pricing and inventory availability, while giving planners instant access to these variables along with an ability to measure and manage the planning and procurement process. It should be noted that the benefits work both ways: planners who have access to such automated tools gain competitive advantage as well.