Group business is the number two revenue generator for hotels, right after guestrooms. So it’s no surprise that competition for is growing. Historically, hotels have mostly competed for group business with each other. But new players are making inroads into this lucrative market. This creates a significant threat for revenue streams that hotels may have taken for granted.
In a survey of planners, conducted by Amadeus and MPI at the end of 2016, we found that planners are now more open than ever to use non-traditional venues for their events. 56% of surveyed planners said they have used or will consider using non-traditional venues in the future. The infographic below provides an overview of the growth of non-traditional venues.
So for hotels, growing its groups and meetings business is a key driver for increasing organizational profitability. Here are ways hotels can maximise growth in this area:
Understand your market
Your most qualified prospects are those already meeting in your market. Do you know what groups are meeting with your competitors? Are you sure that your key customers are consistently doing business with you? You can build on intelligence available in easy-to-use formats to understand your market and build a plan to grow your share.
Consider your online presence
Prospects are already 57% of the way through the buying process before they contact you. Is your website and social presence current and engaging? You will win more business when you provide planners with the tools they need to visualise their event in your space and then quickly submit a RFP. Technology is a key enabler for this.
Respond quickly and empower your customers
Managing the increasing volume of RFPs is a top concern for hoteliers. Implement a plan to ensure that the highest profitability leads receive a quick response. With the support of the latest technologies, build a strategy to empower local planners to directly book space at your property. Allowing the new generation of planners to build both online and in person relationships is key to winning and keeping their business.
Communicate and collaborate for success
Winning the business is only half the battle. Delivering on and exceeding customer’s expectations is critical to winning their continued business. Provide your planners with tools to effectively collaborate with all of your team members to ensure successful event delivery.
Now, more than ever, building stronger in-person and online relationships is critical to winning new prospects. Today’s technologies will help you do just that and delight your customers every time they interact with you.
For over thirty years, Amadeus has been helping hospitality organisations deliver on their promise of hosting successful events and delivering exceptional experiences for their guests. Our capabilities in group and event management, property management and hospitality operations means that we have the solutions that you need to deliver exceptional guest experiences while increasing venue revenue, lowering costs and increasing guest satisfaction.
For more information on our sales and catering technology – visit the Amadeus Hospitality site.