Having the “Gift of Anticipation” is Essential to Ensuring Productive Meetings
By Mike Hall General Manager, The Westin South Coast Plaza | September 08, 2013
Playing the part of a trusted housekeeper in a English countryside manor in the 1930s in the 2001 feature film, Gosford Park, Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren notably observed that she "had the gift of anticipation" when it came to knowing what her guests wanted, sometimes even before they, themselves, did.
Today's luxury hoteliers would be well advised to take Ms. Mirren character's lines to heart. These days, to anticipate and then to surpass the changing needs of today's mobile business travelers, hoteliers must think outside of the box by offering such things as convenient and environmentally sound pre-event services, better on-site technical resources, and even state-of-the-art innovative workspaces so that these busy guests can make the most of their meetings before, during and afterward.
In point of fact, it's a simple matter of dollars and cents. Direct spending on business travel by domestic and international travelers, including expenditures on meetings, events and incentive programs, totaled $249 billion in 2011, according to the U.S. Travel Association. And things are starting to get better in many regions of the nation now that the effects of the recession are waning.
To win a fair share of this business, hotels must stay ahead of the competition by providing thoughtful, innovative and cost-effective solutions that give a prospective meeting client the most bang for his buck, yuan, euro, peso or yen.
As hotel professionals know, successful meetings begin months and even years before they actually convene. So knowing the requirements of meeting planners at the very beginning will help to land the contract in the first place and to ensure a superior outcome that will have the client coming back for more again and again.
It's common knowledge that many meeting planners will subject prospective hotels to a comprehensive checklist, often before the properties have any idea they are being scrutinized.
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