Turning Small Group Bookings Into Big Business
“How can I get the most bang for my buck?” — This is a concept that has guided consumer buying behaviours for decades. With each dollar spent or invested, we hope to receive the best value and/or return. In regards to the hospitality industry, getting the most bang for your buck translates to “how can we maximise revenue?” as well as across the various revenue streams that drive a hotel’s profitability. While mapping out revenue projections, budgets and occupancy forecasts, hoteliers have to ask themselves — “How can I generate the most revenue from each reservation?” In other words, with each room or event booked, how can hotels maximise their revenue potential? Effective revenue management has become a primary indicator of both short and long-term success in the hospitality industry. The technology/strategies employed to maximise revenue potential should help to drive down costs, optimise pricing according to demand, improve demand forecasting, provide competitive insight/market awareness and reduce time associated with traditional pricing/booking tactics. Further, a strong revenue management strategy must account for group business — a segment which is growing faster this year and represents an exciting wealth of revenue opportunity across various touch-points of guest spend. Of course, while group business represents a profitable group of travelers, it’s no secret that effectively managing large groups revenue (with various moving parts) can be easier said than done. Luckily — with the right technology in place, hoteliers can turn small group bookings into big business. Here’s how: 1. Take it Online The booking process for group business has finally tapped into the online audience. While making a group reservation was previously a tedious and manual process for sales teams and planners, hotel websites can finally offer a comprehensive booking portal. With images, virtual tours and real-time availability, conversion rates are sure to increase favourably for group business. 2. Easy to Book Creative Packages Advertising exclusive packages, tailored upgrades or deals to groups (or during ‘shoulder season’ to increase occupancy) allows hotels to upsell with ease. For example, hotels attracting businesses (with a predominantly millennial employee base) can provide creative wellness packages or memorable local experiences that those meeting goers would feel inclined to purchase, in order to maximise their stay. With eCommerce statistics revealing that consumers are spending more money each time they shop online (consumers worldwide will spend up to $4.8 trillion online in 2021) utilising an online booking portal represents an exciting opportunity to increase revenue.
3. Optimised Pricing Advertising the wrong price at the wrong time can severely undermine a hotel’s ability to maximise occupancy, just as advertising the right price at the right time can ensure a property is constantly booked and in demand. Group booking technology should make revenue management easy, by suggesting optimised pricing based on demand forecasts, real-time availability and more.
4. Automate Marketing With the help of an automated platform that utilises guest data, hotels can readily curate effective, tailored marketing campaigns and appealing upgrade offers. After all, group segments aren’t likely to capitalise on a discount or upgrade that doesn’t appeal to their group or their event agenda. But with an insight-driven platform that selectively suggests appropriate upsell opportunities, hotels can better understand (and market to) each group and what they are looking for.
5. Centralised Lead Tracking Not all groups are created equal, when it comes to revenue potential. With this in mind, it’s important for hotels to utilise technology which effectively streamlines their lead tracking process in a way which allows them to focus on high-value, qualified leads. Those smaller groups with less complicated requirements for their stay can self-serve via an easy-to-use online portal, while the sales team can focus high-touch attention on those leads which represent the most value. With the right technology and management strategy in place, your hotel is sure to maximise group business in a way that translates to major profit for your property. After all, with big business, comes big reward. Need help empowering your approach to group business? Click here.