Increasing group event business is a win-win for your venue, because it can increase revenue and improve operational efficiency. According to the CWT 2019 Meeting & Events Trends Report, group bookings can save 22% less time on sourcing and an additional 22% on negotiated savings on room rates.
By developing a consistent schedule of group events, your hotel can increase overall revenue and grow your customer base thanks to these five benefits:
1. Reduced Need for Discounts
Counting on transient customers can leave the best hotels with empty rooms and reduced rates. When you have group events, attendees reliably fill more rooms, leaving fewer vacancies — and less reason to discount rates. That means you can keep your hotel full while earning higher per-night fees. Not to mention that a sold-out property creates opportunities for more incremental revenue, such as food and beverage and spa services. And over the year, those seemingly small differences in rates and other earnings can add up to a big difference in revenue.
2. Lower Cancellation Rate
Leisure travelers often cancel their hotel reservations — because of illness, a change of plans, bad weather, or a lower-priced room at another property — but entire events are rarely canceled. Plus people are less likely to cancel a trip for a business event than a vacation or family visit. By making group business a large part of your overall bookings, your property will likely see a lower cancellation rate, which translates into greater overall certainty and higher annual revenue. Additionally, your property can more accurately forecast room bookings, which makes it easier to plan staff hours to increase efficiency and profitability.
3. Upselling Opportunities
While you offer group discounts on guest rooms, event attendees typically spend more per room than other guests.
Many attendees choose to upgrade to a suite or a room with a view. Others come a day early or stay through the weekend. And almost everyone grabs dinner or drinks with their fellow attendees at some point throughout their stay. Because many attendees often reserve rooms on shoulder nights, group bookings give many opportunities for selling additional services, such as spa treatments or rounds of golf.
4. Lower Operational Costs
When you book an event, you earn revenue from the group booking with a single buying decision. This means less marketing and sales time to land a large amount of business for that time period. It takes a lot more effort from your staff to earn the same amount of revenue through single room bookings.
5. Repeat Business
According to Invesp, acquiring a new customer costs five times more than keeping an existing customer. Many leisure travelers don’t go on vacation to the same spot every year. But many events will go back to the same venue — if they have a good experience with the facility and service. As a bonus, attendees who have a good experience may return to your property as leisure travelers in the future! By capitalizing on “bleisure” travelers — those combining business and leisure in a single trip — your hotel can see even more revenue.
To learn more about why meetings and events are so important and how to make them even more profitable, download The Basics of Group Event Business eBook here.