Group Meetings
Brett Ellison
  • Group Meetings
  • How to Manage March Madness at Your Hotel
  • With the annual chaos and excitement of the NCAA Tournament upon us once again, this is a good time to take a closer look at how hotel professionals manage high-volume external events. From concerts to conferences, and festivals to big games, the unique challenges of high-volume special events can put a strain on even the most well run and accommodating hotel property. Read on...

Dan Berger
  • Group Meetings
  • Hoteliers Look to Automate Bookings as Demand for In-Person Meetings Grows
  • A decade ago futurists and armchair analysts were convinced that the internet would move face-to-face interactions online and therefore kill the meetings & events industry as we know it. Instead of joining together under one roof, we’d educate ourselves via webinars, make new connections exclusively over LinkedIn, and swap catered lunches for granola bars and iced-coffee at the office. So, what happened to this dystopia? Today, it’s evident that technology is having the opposite effect on events. We’re actually seeing that modern connectivity and social networking is driving higher demand for face-to-face interactions. In the past, we predicted that broadband would make in-person meetings redundant. Read on...

Ben Premack
  • Group Meetings
  • Play Time: How Incorporating Rest & Relaxation Increases Meeting Productivity
  • Meetings and events need not be designed around stuffy, windowless rooms involving information overload and ten-minute stretch breaks. These types of gatherings are neither engaging nor fun for anyone. Today, meeting planners want more than just a location; they want a flexible venue in a desirable destination which offers an array of amenities and add-ons for groups looking to make their out-of-office gathering one to remember, and even envied. Well thought-out and customized corporate meetings and events that feel more like a retreat can create new opportunities for employee growth, networking, and creative-thinking – all while boosting productivity and morale. Read on...

Jim Vandevender
  • Group Meetings
  • New Group Data Tool Defines Drivers of Meetings Business
  • As hotels head into the fourth and final quarter of 2016, sales operations and revenue management teams are beginning to look toward next year. Budgets and marketing plans are beginning to be developed that hope to capture the lucrative high demand group market, drive RevPar and meet occupancy and ADR forecasts. But questions loom. Which segments will remain robust and fruitful? Will the high demand within corporate, for example, begin to ebb with the hotel construction pipeline in full swing supplying more and more inventory in most cities? What subsets within corporate group will continue to drive demand and which ones will be the new emerging provider of group room night opportunities? Read on...

John Hess
  • Group Meetings
  • Adding Meaning to Meetings: Group Volunteering in Local Communities
  • Social responsibility enables a culture of caring within organizations in all sectors of business, including the financial services, manufacturing, and retail industries. At organizations of all sizes, from large Fortune 500 companies to small startups, individual team members find satisfaction in helping others and often appreciate the opportunity to do so, because acting with purpose provides a shared experience that is positive and contagious. As the groups business continues to evolve and sales professionals and corporate planners explore the latest bells and whistles, such as 3-D Selfie Stations, to get meetings attendees engaged and excited. Read on...

Mike May
  • Group Meetings
  • Tips to Help Win Over Meeting Planners
  • Millennials, Zika, Brexit, elections, the economy, mega-mergers…every quarter brings a newsflash du jour. Hotel professionals need a genie to tell them what to ignore and what requires their action. This article summarizes the most relevant trends affecting group meetings – along with tips from corporate meeting planners on what hotels can do to help their group customers succeed, and help you improve a hotel’s group meeting business. Read about the importance of authentic local experiences, unique venues, event apps, and negotiations with buyers. Read on...

Paul Van Deventer
  • Group Meetings
  • When We Meet, We Change the World
  • In the U.S. alone, the meeting and event industry drives $280 billion in annual economic impact. To add perspective, that’s more than air transportation, the motion picture industry or spectator sports. Additionally, the industry generates a massive amount of taxes, with $88 billion generated at the state, federal and local level last year; taxes that help our communities pay for services, build schools, fix roads and maintain parks. The Meetings Mean Business (MMB) Coalition—an industry advocacy group of which MPI is a part—has been conducting video interviews with top executives at major companies to find out just how important meetings and events are to their bottom line. Read on...

Brian Bullock
  • Group Meetings
  • The Rise of Urban Team Building
  • Last year, millennials surpassed Generation X to become the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. They also may be history’s most fickle generation. Two-thirds of millennials plan to leave their current organizations by 2020, according to a recent survey by Deloitte. Additionally, 44 percent said they would leave their current employers within the next two years if given the choice. So it’s not surprising that businesses are adjusting everything – from office space to company culture to the way business is conducted – to cater to millennial wants and needs. Companies have recognized that attracting and retaining top talent from this burgeoning generation is no joke. Read on...

Michael Dominguez
  • Group Meetings
  • The Meeting Industry Today - It's Exciting, Disruptive and Complicated
  • As the meetings market has fully recovered from the 2008 recession, this industry expansion has given all the players in the meetings market some unique circumstances that have not been collectively experienced before at any one given time. If this was a social media relationship, we would have to list it as “it’s complicated”! First the good! We are experiencing record demand in North America that has set records now for 3 consecutive years. What is most encouraging is that there is not a particular scale of hotel that is leading this growth, but rather all segments are showing record strength. Read on...

Trevor Lynn
  • Group Meetings
  • How to Drive Group Sales From Gen-Y
  • From content consumption to meeting and function room design, millennial mindset will continue to be the primary change agent at properties. Millennial: It’s a buzzword that we see in just about every article today, but there’s good reason for that. By 2025 millennials will make up over 75% of the workforce, which means they’re an ever growing portion of hotel guests, attendees, and the event planners you’re trying to reach. Asking how to reach millennials today, is really more like asking how to connect with the dominant mindset in hospitality (and every other industry for that matter). Read on...

Karyl Leigh Barnes
  • Group Meetings
  • How Today's Hotels Are Satisfying Corporate "Experience Seekers"
  • Meetings are out. Experiences are in. That’s the message that emerges from research Development Counsellors International (DCI) conducted earlier this year, in partnership with the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC), to determine what will be required in the meeting rooms of the future. In a detailed survey of more than 150 meeting planners from five continents —including those specializing in corporate, association, and government meetings — 75 percent of respondents said their job is increasingly about “experience creation.” Before mobile phones and Wi-Fi, meeting participants had no choice but to sit down and engage with what was being presented. Read on...

Charles de Gaspe Beaubien
  • Group Meetings
  • The Rise of Generation C and Small Meetings
  • According to Google Research, Generation C is a powerful new force in consumer culture. It's a category of people who care deeply about creation, curation, connection, and community. It's not an age group; it's an attitude and mindset. Brands that take the time to understand Generation C and better engage with them will find a willing and influential audience. For this new group of consumers, the internet no longer sits behind a screen – it’s a way of life - engaging with technology whenever they want. Gen C wants access to goods and services from all their devices in the fewest possible clicks. Read on...

Michael  Hudson
  • Group Meetings
  • Lowest ADR Does Not Always Win the Bid
  • Most progress in human thought occurs by challenging common assumptions; sometimes at great personal peril. Galileo Galilei was placed under house arrest for the last eight years of his life for championing the heliocentric view of our solar system described by Copernicus. It was heresy to suggest that the Earth and the rest of the planets revolved around the sun. Germ Theory of Disease was ridiculed by the leading medical minds of the time. It was not until 300 years after the concept was introduced that it finally trumped the Miasma or “Bad Air” theory of sickness transmission. Read on...

John D. Robinson
  • Group Meetings
  • How to Maximize Bandwidth to Support Your Meetings Business
  • Hotels and chains are looking to meet the rising demand for more bandwidth as they ramp up their hotel group meetings business. Throughout the industry, hotels are upgrading (or have recently upgraded) their Wi-Fi to serve in-room guests. Now that these properties are growing their group meetings business, they’re finding that their existing bandwidth is no longer sufficient. Problems can arise when your Wi-Fi service becomes stretched too thin. This can diminish your competitive advantage and even lose business. On a broader level, it can also damage your branding because, let’s face it, few things are more frustrating that attending a conference with spotty, unreliable Wi-Fi. Read on...

Diego Lowenstein
  • Group Meetings
  • Unique, Boutique and Independent Hotels Can Gain More Group Meeting Business
  • More and more, smaller independent hotels striving for success in the group meeting business find out they’re not truly on their own. Vying for this business remains highly competitive. Some strategies, however, can increase their chances to attract, impress and retain a significant amount of group meeting business. When you’re responsible for a lifestyle or boutique hotel’s success, go with your strengths. Be unique and distinctive, target a niche in your community, and emphasize how you offer guests a truly different and memorable experience.That’s not to say it’s easy. Successfully booking group sales at an independent hotel relies less on sheer volume and more on savviness Read on...

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MAY: Eco-Friendly Practices: The Value of Sustainability

Eric Ricaurte

In 2011, we visited the 10 hotels contracted in the room block for the Greenbuild conference in Toronto. As part of their award-winning sustainable event program, the conference organizers embedded green practices into the contract language for these hotels, who either had to comply with the requirements, explain their reason why they couldn’t implement them, or pay a $1,000 fine. Part of our consulting work was to gather the data and confirm some of the practices on-site. Read on...

Susan Tinnish

Hotels brands have actively engaged in large-scale efforts to become more environmentally friendly. Individual hotels have made great strides on property. Many significant large-scale eco-initiatives s are most easily built initially into the infrastructure and design of the building and surrounding areas. Given that the adaptation of these large-scale changes into the existing asset base is expensive and disruptive, hotels seek different ways to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. One way to do so is to shift the focus from large-scale change to “small wins.” Small wins can help a hotel create a culture of sustainability. Read on...

Shannon Sentman

Utility costs are the second largest operating expense for most hotels. Successfully reducing these expenses can be a huge value-add strategy for executives. Doing this effectively requires more than just a one-time investment in efficiency upgrades. It requires ongoing visibility into a building’s performance and effectively leveraging this visibility to take action. Too often, efficiency strategies center on a one-time effort to identify opportunities with little consideration for establishing ongoing practices to better manage a building’s performance ongoing. Read on...

Joshua Zinder, AIA

Discussions of sustainability in the hospitality industry have focused mainly on strategies at the level of energy-efficient and eco-friendly adjustments to operations and maintenance. These "tweaks" can include programs to reduce water usage, updating lighting to LEDs, campaigns to increase guest participation in recycling, and similar innovative industry initiatives. Often overlooked—not only by industry experts but even by hotel operators and designers—are possibilities for hotel design and construction that can make a property truly sustainable from the get-go. Read on...

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.