Group Meetings
Michael Boult
  • Group Meetings
  • Small Meetings = Big Opportunity
  • A recent report on the groups and meetings industry published by PhoCusWright, "Groups and Meetings: Market Opportunity Redefined," estimates the current size of the meetings industry in the U.S. at $164.1 billion and projects it to grow to $175 billion by 2008. PhoCusWright estimates that nearly one quarter of all online travel in the U.S. will be groups and meetings related by 2008. What the hotel community should recognize is that a key factor in this growth is the anticipated increase in small meetings. While the total market for corporate meetings will be relatively flat, PhoCusWright reports that corporate meetings with fewer than 25 attendees are projected to grow a 13% in 2007. Obviously, this shows that to grow your business in this market you have to focus on increasing your market share and attracting more small meetings. Read on...

John Arenas
  • Group Meetings
  • The End of the RFP: Is the RFP Process for Day Meetings History?
  • Until now, customers seeking short lead time meetings have had to fax, phone and email and then wait for manual responses to RFPs. But planners increasingly want the freedom to book meeting space, catering, audio visual and guest rooms for small groups on the Internet. For hotels, letting customers view live proposals and book small meetings on-line can drive market share and customer satisfaction, while reducing administration, sales and marketing costs. John Arenas provides tips on how to offer your availability of free-to-sell, inventory directly to buyers 24 hours a day, seven days a week for incremental revenue. RFP. RIP?. Read on...

Andy Dolce
  • Group Meetings
  • Innovation in Design of Conference Hotels, Resorts & Centers
  • The conference center advantage is now a well-known fact. Thanks to our industry's successful outreach efforts, business clients understand that a conference center offers an unbeatable fusion of luxury amenities and sophisticated technologies. But a subtle, often overlooked element of that formula is now taking a front seat when marketing a facility to conference planners. Design innovation is fast becoming a pertinent, enticing amenity actively sought out for conferences thanks to the dialogue, functionality and the fun it inspires among conference attendees. Some call it "Feng Shui"; we call it thoughtful design. Our clients call it a welcome enhancement of the conference center approach. Read on...

John Arenas
  • Group Meetings
  • Making Big Business Out of Small Meetings: Tapping into the $10 Billion Day-Meetings Market
  • If, as most of us believe, it is just as difficult, time-consuming, and therefore costly, to service a small request as it is to negotiate a large one, why bother with the sardines when catching tuna is more profitable? When it comes to meetings, this is a ten billion dollar question. In a $124 billion industry, 80 percent of all meetings have 50 participants or fewer - a segment of the business worth $10 billion a year. Is the opportunity worth the trouble? To put it another way, the typical day-meeting generates approximately $4,000 to $6,000 in total revenue for a hotel. If property's small meeting bookings increase by just two meetings per week, the revenue impact could be over half a million dollars a year. And, because most small meetings are regional or local in nature, the chances of repeat business are high if the customer is satisfied the first time. Read on...

Andy Dolce
  • Group Meetings
  • Venue Choice: First and Most Important Factor in Coordinating a Meeting
  • In the early years in this industry, corporate meetings and conferences were stodgy affairs with limited options in terms of location and capability. Although sites offered room accommodations for large groups, guests had only two choices on the dinner menu. Meeting equipment consisted of an easel and a slide projector, and too frequently, there was a coffee hour that offered more varieties of sweeteners than beverages. Clearly we have come light years when it comes to the depth and variety we offer meeting planners in our meetings, but it is the choice of venues - the meeting site or destination - that has truly made a big impact on the industry. In fact, the excitement, anticipation and expectations that surround a conference are completely contingent on the venue choice. Meeting planners live by this truth. Read on...

Lynn McCullough
  • Group Meetings
  • Selling Your Venue's Uniqueness
  • No matter what your guests are in town for -- whether it is a convention, an educational workshop or an awards event - professionals in the hospitality industry have a chance to make a lasting impression on a large group of people all at once. Regardless of the program or career-related benefits of these events, planners know that attendance is at its highest when professionals have the opportunity to travel to an interesting destination offering a truly unique experience. And, while actual location plays a role, planners value even the little things like one-of-a-kind hotel giveaways or room amenities that will make their attendees' visit memorable. Guests and meeting planners respond well when the venue's staff pays extra attention to detail and goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure repeat business. Read on...

Lynn McCullough
  • Group Meetings
  • Ten Tips for Avoiding Operations Snafus
  • No matter how organized you are, or how much advance preparation you put into a show or how much attention to detail you apply, sometimes it is impossible to avoid the proverbial operations snafu. Or is it? As a fellow show organizer, I follow virtually the same routine as you do when planning a meeting and it's a safe bet that we use a similar checklist. However, whether you have five years of experience or 25, when it comes to show operations, everyone can use some help avoiding simple and possibly costly mistakes. In this article, members of the Association for Convention Operations Management (ACOM) share a few seemingly obvious but often overlooked tips which you can use when planning your next event. Read on...

Bruce Fears
  • Group Meetings
  • Seven Secrets to a Successful Meeting
  • Are your company's training sessions designed to inspire maximum creativity, innovation and productivity? In a successful session, participants are actively engaged, groups are collaborating successfully and energy levels are high. A successful meeting or training can help improve overall quality and produce results that ultimately contribute to the bottom line of your organization. Don't expect this article to give you the usual dry academic concepts. My goal is to share with you ideas that have sprung from real-life situations where goals have been met in new and exciting-and sometimes unconventional-ways. Read on...

Lynn McCullough
  • Group Meetings
  • Successful Upselling
  • More often than not, your meeting planner clients will come to you with a set budget for their event-with set parameters for what they want in terms of food and beverage, decor and logistics. While it is good when clients know what they want, it is also good to suggest ways to enhance their event so that they look even better-and equally as important, these enhancements can improve a facility's bottom line. That is where upselling comes in. Read on...

Greg Pesik
  • Group Meetings
  • Maximizing Group Revenues and Profits
  • We know why hoteliers look to bring groups to their venue. That answer is simple: Revenue. As I have said in past articles, group events represent a $30 billion+ market opportunity for hotels, and over 30% of a hotel's total revenue on average. Many hotels rely on group events for over 50% of their revenues. In order to tap into this opportunity hotels are scrambling to line up their calendar of events for the year ahead. One question I get from many customers, colleagues and friends in the business is the following: "Once we have booked a healthy amount of group events, are there any additional ways to identify and generate more revenue from each event so we can take our group revenue up to the next level?" These folks are always glad when I answer that question with a firm "Yes." The question is how, and read on to find out more! Read on...

Greg Pesik
  • Group Meetings
  • The Secret to Attracting Meeting Business to Your Hotel
  • The group events business is booming. In fact for hotels such as Fairmont, IHG and Hyatt, group events-everything from corporate events and trade shows to family weddings and reunions-are huge business. To be exact, they represent a $30 billion market that comprises up to 60% of their revenue. As I have stated in previous articles, technology today plays a big role in attracting meeting planners, securing their business and retaining them as long-term customers. In these articles I have looked at the specific types of technologies that hotels should be looking at-everything from collaborative online group management technologies, to Blackberry mobile phones and automated room list solutions. Now it's time to take a step back. What promise and possibilities do these technologies really allow the hotel to offer meeting planner looking to find a home for their next event? Read on...

Lynn McCullough
  • Group Meetings
  • Cost Saving Strategies for Meeting Planners
  • It is important for meeting planners to be aware of the many ways they can plan for and conduct highly effective, memorable meetings, while simultaneously taking their organization's budgetary parameters into consideration. Now is the ideal time-especially as we embark on a new year-to start a clean slate comprised of cost-savings strategies and planning decisions that ensure both financial benefits for your client's organization while also generating a successful meeting for their audience. So, if you or your client need to plan big with a budget that's small, let the following tips from ACOM-the Association for Convention Operations Management-serve as a helpful guide to achieve both objectives. Read on...

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NOVEMBER: Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive

Eric Rahe

The advent of social media brought with it an important shift in the hospitality industry. Any guest’s experience might be amplified to thousands of potential customers, and you want to be sure that your hotel stands out for the right reasons. Furthermore, technology has increased competition. According to Euromonitor International, the travel industry will have the highest online payment percentage of any industry by 2020, often occurring through third-party sites that display your competitors alongside you. As a result, many hoteliers are looking to stand out by engaging customers and the experience has become more interactive than ever. Read on...

Pat Miller

Even the most luxurious hotel has a finite budget when it comes to the design or re-design of hotel spaces. The best designers prioritize expenses that have the biggest impact on guest perceptions, while minimizing or eliminating those that don’t. This story will focus on three blockbuster areas – the entry experience, the guest room, and the public spaces. This article will focus on these three key areas and shed light on how the decision making process and design choices made with care and attention can create memorable, luxe experiences without breaking the bank. Read on...

Patrick Burke

For over 35 years, American architect Patrick Burke, AIA has led Michael Graves Architecture & Design to create unique hospitality experiences for hotel operators and travelers around the globe, in Asia, Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East. As the hospitality industry has shifted from making travelers feel at home while away to providing more dynamic experiences, boutique hotels have evolved to create hyper local, immersive environments. Having witnessed and contributed to the movement, Burke discusses the value of authentic character that draws on physical and social context to create experiences that cannot be had anywhere else in the world. Read on...

Alan Roberts

More than ever before, guests want and expect the design of a hotel to accurately reflect its location, regardless of whether they visit a property in an urban center, a historic neighborhood or a resort destination. They also seek this sense of place without wanting to sacrifice the level and consistency of service they’ve come to expect from a beloved hotel brand. A unique guest experience is now something expected not just desirable from any hotel wishing to compete in the world today. A hotel’s distinctive design and execution goes a long way to attracting todays discerning customer. Read on...

Coming Up In The December Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Law: Issues & Events
There is not a single area of a hotel’s operation that isn’t touched by some aspect of the law. Hotels and management companies employ an army of lawyers to advise and, if necessary, litigate issues which arise in the course of conducting their business. These lawyers typically specialize in specific areas of the law – real estate, construction, development, leasing, liability, franchising, food & beverage, human resources, environmental, insurance, taxes and more. In addition, issues and events can occur within the industry that have a major impact on the whole, and can spur further legal activity. One event which is certain to cause repercussions is Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. This newly combined company is now the largest hotel company in the world, encompassing 30 hotel brands, 5,500 hotels under management, and 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. In the hospitality industry, scale is particularly important – the most profitable companies are those with the most rooms in the most locations. As a result, this mega- transaction is likely to provoke an increase in Mergers & Acquisitions industry-wide. Many experts believe other larger hotel companies will now join forces with smaller operators to avoid being outpaced in the market. Companies that had not previously considered consolidation are now more likely to do so. Another legal issue facing the industry is the regulation of alternative lodging companies such as Airbnb and other firms that offer private, short-term rentals. Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Monica are at the forefront of efforts to legalize and control short-term rentals. However, those cities are finding it’s much easier to adopt regulations on short-term rentals than it is to actually enforce them. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.