Part 2: Helping Planners Search More Efficiently

In her original post, “What Hoteliers Can Learn from Planner Wish Lists,” Cvent Planner Rachel Andrews dished about her top tips for hoteliers looking to increase group business. When working with planners, she recommends hotel professionals make the sourcing and planning process as easy as possible, ensuring stronger relationships and a more efficient event lifecycle. As Rachel and the Cvent planning team prepare for this year’s Cvent CONNECT, they’re leaning on integrated technology and their counterparts at The Venetian and The Palazzo for a seamless, attendee-friendly experience. So how can hotels streamline this process?

63% of planners are always open to exploring multiple venues

Rachel noted how she’s able to book the best location for every event: “We use the Cvent Supplier Network (CSN) to search for venues. We get a comprehensive look at all of our destination and venue options without needing to manually sort and filter through an unorganized dashboard.” By reducing the amount of manual processes, Rachel and her team were able to save and reallocate their time.

Before the sourcing process begins, many planners already have a “somewhat certain” idea of their requirements and expectations, but according to our 2015 Planner Sourcing Report, 63% of planners are always open to exploring multiple venues. On the CSN, Rachel added, “There are more than 200,000 hotels and venues listed on the network, and there’s always one that fits our needs. Highlighted properties also show us venues we may not have thought of before, and the CSN’s consistent updates help keep us on our toes.”

Hoteliers can use Rachel’s tips to help shape their online presence. To increase brand awareness and drive qualified lead traffic to your site, develop a strategy for marketing to planners online. Here is where most planners start their sourcing journey:

  • 38% use online sourcing
  • 29% depend on search engines
  • 17% go directly to the venue site
  • 12% rely on peer recommendations
  • 4% chose “other”

In short, it pays to meet your clients halfway. Since planners are sourcing venues online, it’s your job to market your listings and ads digitally. When planners are ready to book, they’ll know who you are and what your venue has to offer – it’s as easy as that.

Hannah Burks

Written by Hannah Burks

Hannah lives in the world of content marketing for Cvent's Hospitality Cloud. She builds blogs, reports, eBooks, and more that bridge the gap between hotel professionals and modern event planners.