Advice for Planners in a Seller's Market

Really strong hotel occupancy rates are limiting buyers’ negotiating power. And, with a reduced supply of new properties coming into the marketplace along with many hotels going through inevitable renovation cycles, the supply of rooms is compressing availability even further.

Additionally, meeting attendance figures are growing as the economy improves so planners are now threatened with running out of rooms and space. All of these factors contribute to the need for hotels to find different ways to drive value for customers.

As a result, it is imperative that meeting planners need to more clearly articulate their priorities during negotiations in order to drive bottom line results for their organization.

Suggestions for planners:

  • If at all possible, book multiple meetings and trainings at once to increase your buying power.
  • Be flexible on space requirements and/or pattern of the event. If you are sourcing a meeting in an urban venue, and the function(s) has to be a midweek, be prepared to pay a premium. Similarly, resorts or second tier cities might have demand generators that are not as obvious, so be sure to ask.
  • In earnest, entertain alternate pattern and date quotes in tandem with preferred dates so that your organization can place a quantified value on the preferred versus alternate. Encourage hotels to quote both your preferred and their preferred so you can better assess the cost differential and decide if that drives enough ROI for your event.
  • Rely on your long-term partners more diligently in order to exchange your mutual needs. As an example, if the hotel site really needs business the week of Halloween, but you need to save money for an alternate meeting in Q1, bundle the two together so you both end up winning in the long term.

Submitted By: Stacey Edinger
Director of Sales and Marketing
stacey.edinger@hyatt.com
Hyatt Regency San Francisco
www.sanfranciscoregency.hyatt.com

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