Group business can be the difference between a profitable quarter and hiring cuts, and in many cases, hotels rely on group business to fill slower periods.
Although it may not seem like the most appealing pursuit due to heavily discounted rates. It’s always a good idea to attract group business that benefits the entire property and every department rather than just one faction of the hotel. Trade shows and banquet events are often key.
There may be times where every square inch of banquet space is in use with hundreds of guests, while simultaneously not collecting a single dollar in food, beverage, or room rental for the event. Groups like that are great for room sales, but they put a beating on the operations budget of the F&B department.
It is far more beneficial to book group business that fully utilizes every aspect of the hotel rather than just putting heads in beds and driving labor costs in another department?
Know Your Market
When you are searching for the ideal client, you must know what is most important to these clients that will mesh with your property’s best assets. For instance, if you have a large group that also needs a dozen breakouts but you only have one ballroom and no suites, going after that group simply does not make sense.
If you are going after a gamer convention, is your wi-fi up to par or does it lag? Don’t try to jam business into the hotel for the sake of getting the booking but rather try to ensure everything the group needs can be provided as well as the property being able to maximize income for every inch of space that is being used.
What Is Your Competition Doing?
And even more importantly, what can you do better? Large groups will often require breakouts or various settings throughout the day. For smaller properties, that often means delayed sessions rather than smoothly transitioning from event to event. If your competition has a group that is sitting around waiting for rooms to be flipped and you can provide that smooth transition from session to session, that is the perfect place to start your proposal to lure the group away from the smaller hotel.
Look at every piece of group business your top competitors have, then break down those functions to see which aspects you can do far better. The best-case scenario is when you are offering these clients something their current hotel is simply incapable of pulling off.
Improving Brand Awareness
Your online presence needs to mirror the types of guests and group business you want booking at your property. Images, for instance, are powerful. If you have the capability of hosting a 1,500-theater set or a 1,000-person sit-down dinner, those images should be on your website. You should also be engaging with these types of groups online.
If the local talent pool has dried up and you are ready to take your hotel or hospitality organization to the next level, JDI is consistently ranked among the top hotel recruiters.