Thanksgiving reminds us all to be grateful for what we have in our lives. Family, friends, pets, health, safety, love, employment, freedom — the list can be (and hopefully is) endless.
It’s also a time to show that gratitude by giving back to others. Many hotels are doing their part, including the Omni Bedford Springs, which donates money raised during its annual Turkey Trot to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer foundation. The Peninsula’s 10 properties are selling ornaments and hosting festive tea parties, and they’ll donate a portion of the proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and local charities that promote children’s literacy. And the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C., invites public servants working on Thanksgiving to a gourmet feast.
No matter how they’re celebrating, hotels certainly have a lot they appreciate, starting with their customers — especially their group customers. In the spirit of counting our blessings during the holidays, we’re rounding up the bounty of benefits that group business brings to hotels.
7 Reasons to Value Meetings and Events
- People. In a world of email, text messages, and social media, meetings and events encourage people to get their eyes off their smartphones and computer screens to interact face to face. It’s just as true for hotel employees, who get to meet great planners, attendees, and organizations.
- Creativity. Planners are increasingly coming to hotels focused on providing unique experiences for their attendees. It gives the catering, sales, and conference staffs a chance to really create something special, whether it’s a special party theme, a banquet in a nontraditional hotel space, or a beautiful food spread.
- Dependability. Group business is typically booked much further in advance than leisure travel. It’s also far less likely to be canceled. That combination results in a more predictable stream of revenue that offers some insurance against all the uncertainty in the other segments.
- Teamwork. Events require a lot of different services, so it’s often all hands on deck at the venue. A large conference means many teams — everyone from the reservations and catering managers to the bellhops and recreation leaders — will need to work together. That sense of community will likely carry over into everyday business success and satisfaction.
- Profit. Beyond the block of guest rooms, groups usually spend more than transient customers on ancillary services and food and beverage. In addition, when hotels have the insurance of booked group business, it allows them to better price leisure and business transient rooms without resorting to steep discounts.
- Consistency. Because events are held by so many kinds of companies and groups in so many industries, their schedules are all different. That means they’re booking meetings on different days of the week and at different times of year, unlike the many leisure travelers all booking stays during weekends, holidays, and summer. Groups’ diverse preferences mean a full hotel calendar with a consistent flow of events in any season.
- Relationships. A successful event experience is a very powerful influencer for planners who organize annual or recurring meetings. One piece of group business may turn into a long-term customer relationship for a hotel.
At the end of the day, we hope you find a lot to be grateful for this holiday season, both professionally and personally. Happy Thanksgiving!