We asked Randy Miller, the Gaylord Opryland’s director of sales and marketing, about the strategies, processes, and tools that his team uses to continue to draw group business.
Q: This is the second year in a row that Gaylord Opryland has topped Cvent’s list, so you must know how to generate loyalty and repeat business. How do you nurture and own your relationships with planners to keep them coming back year after year?
A: Our focus on providing flawless service naturally leads to repeat business. From the sales process to the execution of the event, we always aim to exceed expectations.
Q: Speaking of service, respondents in Cvent’s 2018 Global Planner Sourcing Report (to be released in July) said the most difficult part of the planning process is negotiating with the venue. What can hotels like yours do to alleviate that?
A: We find that accessibility and open communication are vital on the part of the hotel and the customer for making the negotiating process smoother for all involved. This is where our focus on service and understanding the customer’s needs sets us apart.
Q: Technology’s role at hotels has continued to grow in everything from guest rooms to booking experiences to presentation equipment. Can you describe one technology that you have implemented that has gotten really great feedback from planners and event attendees?
A: Our Meeting Services App gets great feedback. It connects planners and hotel teams on any web-enabled device in real time, 24/7. The app creates more time to empower, showcase, and personalize every event from planning through billing.
Q: The Cvent Supplier Network offers properties access to a lot of data. Are there any metrics that you pay particular attention to?
A: We monitor a variety of metrics and pay special attention to ensuring we are staying on top of search criteria like need dates, so they are up-to-date.
Q: It’s definitely working! What do you think makes your property and sales team so successful in attracting and winning group business?
A: Our primary strategy is that we are built with everything you need all under one roof. That means convenience with purposely built meeting spaces, guest rooms, welcoming public spaces, bars, and restaurants, all in close proximity. With everything onsite, guests don’t need to travel offsite for entertainment, which allows more time for networking.
Read more: Loews Vanderbilt offers insight on how it hangs with huge convention hotels
See the full list: Top 100 Meeting Hotels in the U.S.