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Spring Is Here! What Are You Doing About It?

With daylight savings flipping our clocks an hour forward on the 12th and with the sun crossing the equator this past weekend during the March equinox, we are now officially into spring. This stretch of time can be quite variable for the books so it is deserving of particular attention so that you can set a precedent for recurrent stability and healthy occupancy. While corporate and groups are perennially strong during this time with the zenith of group activity coming only after the schools have resumed the tail end of their semesters, the season can be meddlesome for the leisure front excluding any spring break family or college student getaways. Still, though, there is much that can be done to drum up sales between now and Memorial Day which traditionally marks the beginning of summer and the peak travel period. First off, there aren’t many ‘rallying points’ during this stretch …

lmaadminSpring Is Here! What Are You Doing About It?
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Guestroom Design and Meeting Productivity

Like all other aspects of a hotel, the connectivity afforded to us by the growth of the internet has forever changed the landscape of meetings. In this virtual world, people do not necessarily have to meet face-to-face, or be in the same country, to open a dialogue or efficiently conclude business agreements. But even with this grand technological advancement, the act of meeting together in a preordained conference setting is still an especially productive activity. When we as hoteliers discuss improving the meeting environment in order to facilitate greater productivity and better states of mind amongst our conference guests, often this conversation is limited to technological, special or service tips pertaining only to the meeting rooms or otherwise designated space. We repeatedly neglect the importance of the guestroom in this context and the reciprocal relationships these private spaces have on public business gatherings. This is not to say that guestrooms …

Larry MogelonskyGuestroom Design and Meeting Productivity
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Adapting To Digital Meeting Channels

We all know digital advancements have impacted and will continue to impact the way we reach and transact with customers. We’ve seen this most prominently to date with the OTAs and other similar electronic accommodations channels. However, the meeting and conference business has yet to feel the full brunt of this evolution. This is not to say group business has been ignored by Internet startups — they are just warming up in terms of how much these new channels will influence the way hotels acquire their meetings revenues. Websites like Hotel Planner, Group Hotels, Groople and meetings.com are all viable candidates. Two I am quite familiar with are Cvent and eVenues. The former, which I’m sure many of you already know, is a publicly traded company specializing in facilitating large meeting RFPs and registration. Still in the gestation phase, the latter allows any venue provider to post their space for …

Larry MogelonskyAdapting To Digital Meeting Channels
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Ten steps to building successful group sales promotions

Recently, I was asked to be a part of an online seminar conducted by a leading online group sales RFP provider. For the benefit of those who were not part of the 300 or so hotel sales professionals who attended that day, here is the gist of my presentation – a 10-step formula for making better sales promotions. 1. Set your objectives. We’ve all heard of SMAC principles (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Comparable) as an approach to business management. Start by stating objectives and defining them holistically. Take your time with this one because if you start off on the wrong path, changing course is all the harder to do. 2. Identify the competition. Do your research. Understand the properties that you compete with for groups. Note that this may be a completely different set than what you use for STR analysis. Understand not only what they are offering to their …

Larry MogelonskyTen steps to building successful group sales promotions
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Building Mobile Apps to Boost Meetings

It’s no secret that mobile software — apps — are emerging with many new and interesting functions to change nearly everything about our daily lives. It’s widely known that the convergence of hotels, social marketing and real-time guest interactions is already well underway via mobile and tablet devices. All pursuits in this field tend to obey the general paradigm that their usage will in turn enhance a guest’s perception of a hotel. Apps built for improving meetings work the same way. If there’s a piece of software that can increase an event attendee’s ability to enjoy an upcoming, current or past conference, this ignites a virtuous cycle of positive outcomes. In the aftermath of a successful meeting, the planners would subsequently receive higher recognition for their efforts, increasing their ability to propagate future business ventures. Likewise, the meeting or conference center (often a hotel) would indirectly share in this praise, …

Larry MogelonskyBuilding Mobile Apps to Boost Meetings
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Are meeting planners incentivized by points?

Here’s a situation for you to think over. I came across an offer by a major hotel chain aimed at meeting planners and companies looking for a meeting location. The promotion offered triple the quantity of loyalty reward points if you booked your meeting at one of its hotels during a two-month period at the end of the year. It’s simple: give perks to secure more meetings business. On the surface, this seems like a crafty way to create an edge in the RFP marketplace without spending any real money to do so. The points cost little, but they’re worth little as well. In fact, I beg the question: Does anybody care about points when it comes to meetings? What are they really good for? To fully answer this question, you have to first look at who benefits from receiving such points. In the case of meeting planners, their contracts …

Larry MogelonskyAre meeting planners incentivized by points?
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Top Ten to Consider for Meeting Space Design

One potent offshoot of the exponentially swelling internet is choice. Choice in hotels, choice in dining, choice in meeting venues. In this buyers’ market, customers demand nothing but the best in everything they purchase. Hotels are no longer the only entrants in the octagon for conference revenues, but the cage has been opened to restaurants, universities, museums, churches and unused office space. What’s more, the very essence of business meetings and conferences is itself in a volatile state. Laptops, video chats, webinars, smartphones – people can work from everywhere nowadays, and they are. Many don’t even have an office away from home to call their own. This is nothing new and reassuringly, at least in the near foreseeable future, nothing will replace quality face-to-face time. It’s still the best means for effective teamwork. However, the combination of technological requirements and increasing choice has changed consumer expectations, particularly when discussing the …

Larry MogelonskyTop Ten to Consider for Meeting Space Design

Is it time to get bullish on meetings business again?

My favorite TV show, “Mad Men,” is back this month for Season 5. And, I was wondering, are groups flocking back on property as well? I get that feeling reading some excellent in-depth research done by Meetings Focus magazine. In a similar vein, Benchmark Hospitality International recently released optimistic meetings business predictions for 2012. I am excited by the prospects of a return to some sense of normalcy in this critical business segment. I sure hope it is true. The concept of pent-up demand is one we have heard of many times. It works this way: You have a car, and you typically replace it every five years. Now business is a little soft, year five comes around and you elect to hold off for a while. That “overdue” sale is considered pent-up demand. The older that vehicle gets, the higher the propensity for a purchase. The broader question is …

Larry MogelonskyIs it time to get bullish on meetings business again?