Attaining Extreme Efficiency in the Group Business

By Greg Pesik President and CEO, Passkey International | February 22, 2009

In light of today's economic uncertainty, hotels now more than ever need to make sure that they are operating as efficiently as possible, taking advantage of the latest technologies to get there. The question really boils down to, how can you do more with less, how can you generate more revenue and save costs, even in a downturn?

Driving Reservations Online

The reality is that some attendees are still accustomed to making their hotel reservations the old way - by calling the hotel directly. But recently, we have seen a significant push towards online reservations. That is becoming a mega trend, particularly as more and more Millennials or Generation Y (as they are called) are starting to move into the workforce and apply their habits.. what is ingrained in them.

With this new generation hitting the workforce and with people in general becoming increasingly more comfortable with conducting business online, offering online reservations across the board, from leisure to groups, is emerging as a standard business process and objective. Since everything is shifting in that direction, it only seems natural that group business and reservations should also follow this model.

In order to provide an unforgettable service, a hotel needs to understand and achieve all of the required elements. With the move to online reservations, a hotel can allow its meeting planners to offer a convenient and consistent booking experience for their attendees, which makes the hotel look first-class.

By shifting its group reservations online, a hotel stands to benefit in many ways, both in terms of providing superior service to its meeting planners and attendees, as well as generating incremental revenue and saving costs. Each meeting or event can have its own customized reservation website, including its own logos, text, pictures, etc., so attendees can enjoy the convenience of making their hotel reservations for the event anytime, online. In addition, the hotel can allow its planners to track their events online in real-time and receive automatic email updates. Planners gain many advantages from feeling in control of their event. The most significant being the ability to mitigate attrition costs without constantly calling the hotel for updates and reports.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.