Excerpted from the HSMAI and Cvent White Paper: Room Blocks in Real Time
When a hotel team has up-to-date data at their fingertips, maximizing return on investment, RevPAR, and profitability feel like more attainable goals. “With the dashboard, [we’re] able to access realtime data and the [room] block from the desktop or a cellphone,” said Richard Taylor, director of sales and marketing for Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront in Vancouver, British Columbia. “It really does allow for flexibility, especially for our revenue team, to maximize room blocks.” That lets Taylor and his team The greatest advantage is for the meeting planner to be able to see information in real time without even having to email or call us. — Lorena Aguilera, JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa quickly add more rooms to a block or make other tweaks. It also means they’re spending less time entering or mapping a rooming list, giving them more time to sell higher-value items, such as meeting breaks.
And it makes a huge difference in upselling. Software that displays a snapshot of how a hotel’s upselling is going at any particular moment — if it’s trending up or down from last month, for example — also allows for quicker, better decision-making. Upselling is about personalization, and because group members share the same stay dates, they often occupy a similar demographic, which makes them easy to target them with relevant offers.
For example, Riza Mina, reservations manager at Lansdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg, Virginia, uses online booking software to upsell spa treatments to groups. “Usually I look at a group’s dates, then I look at our spa bookings and how many leisure guests we have,” Mina said. “If I see that we have plenty of open spots, I offer them a 15- to 20-percent promotion via an email campaign to the group. It’s great, because I don’t have to ask marketing for an email list.”
Many times, the person staying in a hotel room isn’t the person who actually made the reservation. A software solution that is built into a group’s registration system gives attendees the chance to customize their experience, whether it’s upgrading to a room with a view or booking a dinner reservation at the hotel during a free night. More often than not, attendees bite. “With the revenue we’ve seen [from room upgrades],” Taylor said, the software “has paid for itself a couple of times over.”
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