When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Start Selling
Some Sure Fire Tips to Impact Group Business
By Brenda Fields Founder, Fields & Company | September 14, 2014
It is unquestionable that we are faced with strong economic conditions, especially in the United States, which have had a dramatic impact on the lodging industry. For the past five years, all success indicators (occupancy, average rate, and RevPAR) have climbed steadily and most owners have enjoyed record profits. In New York City alone, demand for the first six months of 2014 increased by 6.6%, breaking all records, per Smith Travel Research (STR).
According to STR, business will continue to remain strong through 2016. But long- time hotel veterans know that success is not based on riding the wave during the good times, but by developing and maintaining excellent sales, marketing, and operational standards, regardless of market conditions. That dedication to excellence is the best insurance against poor market conditions, as we know that the good times do not last forever. Dedication to excellence results in customer loyalty, top market share, and profitability. Complacency is common during the high demand periods.
But why not start now to use valuable resources already in place and take the steps to increase productivity and expertise? A consistent, strategic, and proactive approach will generate optimal results in a strong market and lay the foundation for success in a soft market.
Group business has historically represented a significant portion of revenues for hotels. In large properties, group business i.e. guest rooms and meeting rooms, can represent 30%-50% of the total revenues. In small properties, groups can represent 10%-20% of the market mix. A drop in this segment can have a tremendous impact on a property's profitability.
Whether your market is the million-dollar convention segment or wedding blocks of 10 rooms, the following tips have withered the test of time for success, regardless of market conditions and new technologies.
Establish a Plan