three people looking at a proposal possibly hotel group sales person with some meeting planners

Do you find yourself having the same stale conversations when selling to meeting planners? Do you struggle to secure hotel group sales and leave conversations with planners feeling defeated or confused? If so, consider a new approach when selling to meeting planners.

NB: This is an article from Knowland

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The landscape of hotels and group bookings is changing rapidly, and it’s important to understand what planners need and how your property can address those needs.

Here are five ways to shake up your routine and have more meaningful, enlightened planner conversations that get attention and increase venue revenue.

1. Reconsider Your Comp Set

Identifying new target accounts starts with expanding your view of the competition. Who are your comp set properties? Are you bound to your STR comp set? If so, you may be unnecessarily limiting your property. Instead, consider multi-faceted data and look beyond your STR report.

To do this, reassess your chain scale competitors. Many new and renovated hotels look and feel more upscale than their official STR category. Most hotels entering the market today are upper midscale and upscale but could easily compete with upper-upscale hotels.

This is why you must rethink your comp set using competitive data. A local comp set is great for benchmarking, but you may be missing critical information if you only look at one data set, especially when selling to meeting planners. Differentiate between which hotels are comparable and which are actually competitive.

2. Be Proactive

Event planners are busy. They don’t have time to seek out individual properties, so ensure you get on their radar. And if you wait for them to decide on a destination, you could miss out on increasing venue revenue. Instead, reach out to planners to position your property as a wise choice.

Being proactive is especially important if you are located in a secondary market. Data shows that 53% of meeting planners consider moving meetings to secondary markets to reduce cost, which is well above respondents who choose a lower chain scale venue within the same market. This means you can reach out to businesses in primary markets and position your market as a competitive choice.

In addition to targeting different markets, look into groups going to larger hotels. According to our 2024 State of the Meetings Industry Study, almost 50% of US meetings had 100 attendees or less in 2023. This is an optimistic statistic because it means that even boutique hotels can drive revenue at their event venue.

Read the full article at Knowland