Group Business for 2014: Old Tricks in a New Environment
By Brenda Fields Founder, Fields & Company | September 22, 2013
The latest technology has afforded meeting planners greater efficiency when researching venues, making a booking, and when communicating with attendees. Technology has also enhanced the actual meeting experience for both attendees on property as well as off site with live feeds and video streaming, and real time social media feedback. Meeting attendees take notes on tablets and take photographs and videos of presentations with their smart phones, almost eliminating the need for paper and pencils!
To stay competitive and current with the changing trends, hoteliers are adding technological enhancements to the entire booking and meeting experience, but does the job end there for hoteliers? This article will address some "old tricks" in a new environment to help hoteliers get a greater share of the group business and ensure satisfaction for repeat business.
Be Your Personal Best
Experienced athletics use the term "Personal Best" to measure and monitor their progress against their own performances. It keeps them motivated and focused on continuing to improve and to be their best, regardless of the competition.
This item has been placed at the top of the list, as many times, there can be an attitude of complacency within operations and sales. Budgets are tight so there is a lack of commitment to ensure that meeting rooms and guest rooms are in excellent repair. Or if there is difficulty in attracting staff or if there is staff cutback, then customer service standards are sometimes not maintained to the highest degree of excellence and consistency.
Every property has its market regardless of its position in the marketplace. It is still important when catering to the group market, to have rooms that are clean and in excellent repair and excellent service provided by the staff. That is the most basic and fundamental requirement. An iPad or free Wi-Fi will not compensate for a substandard guest/meeting experience.