We are living in a digital era — a realization which directly affects the way we approach our life, work and leisure. Across generations we witness the prioritization of a digital experience, a large-scale appreciation (and in most cases, demand) for the ability to remain connected 24/7, without interruption.
It’s no secret that the sales and catering segment represents a lucrative revenue opportunity for hotels both big and small. And yet, despite the growing demand for function space within hotels, the process of vetting, inquiring and booking event space is often rife with timely setbacks, unqualified leads and missed opportunity.
As our industry adapts to the digital age, we’re witnessing the subsequent enhancement of operational technology and mobile functionality. With intuitive PMS and CMS systems, artificial intelligence and enhanced mobile tools available to hotels, it’s long overdue for the event booking process to undergo a technological makeover. Why? Because with the right sales and catering technology in place, hoteliers can finally remedy the primary problems encountered within their group booking process and truly maximize that revenue stream.
1. Booking Automation
The best way to expedite a process that is in drastic need of a digital update? Automate it. Previously, booking meeting space required a convoluted paper trail of emails, delayed follow-ups and phone calls — all before a physical site visit could even be considered.
Utilizing web channels to sell your meeting space online (just like room bookings), innovative sales and catering solutions empower the event planner/organizer to book online. With relevant, updated booking details available live on site, planners can effectively vet potential leads and only submit RFPs, questions or booking requests to properties that are able to handle their request. This not only streamlines their process (within an industry that often demands fast turnaround) but enhances your Sales Manager’s productivity by ensuring their time isn’t wasted on unqualified leads. Hotels can finally provide planners the instant gratification they crave within the booking process and automate a system that has remained manual for far too long.
2. Maximize Sales
For years, the event booking process has been primarily reactive, rather than proactive. Sales Managers were inundated with emails, questions and requests and their time was often consumed by the response process — meaning that potential leads were frequently neglected (sometimes until it was too late). With such a flawed system in place, managers were unable to keep pace with the demands of interested parties, and therefore their selling process relied primarily on their ability to simply respond to inquiries. Essentially, hoteliers were dealing with a perpetual game of catch-up, rather than the proactive process of selling space to qualified parties.
By utilizing sales and catering technology to open up your inventory to all interested parties online, Managers can finally promote their event inventory effectively to maximize group sales. By adding the online purchase of F&B, AV requirements, room configuration hotels are able to continuously expand their revenue stream, appeal to new segments and enhance their group offerings.
3. Take it to the Cloud
Out with the old and in with the new. While the hospitality industry is notorious for holding onto our traditional methods and platforms (sometimes for far too long) the rise of mobile technology welcomes the rise of the cloud. Legacy systems are simply too limited to support modern operational demands within hotels and restrict the interaction between the hotel and the person or group managing the event.
The technology you have in place needs to work for you, not against you — which means it’s time to take it to the cloud. With a cloud-based sales and catering platform, your data is always available at your Manager’s fingertips as well as the Event Coordinator’s. The event booking process then becomes flexible and efficient in nature, allowing for the fast turnaround that the group booking segment demands.
Over the past few years, the hospitality industry has seen an influx of innovation as it relates to the technology available to hoteliers to enhance their offering. It’s more important than ever before to capitalize on that momentum to finally bring the event booking process up to speed and maximize that revenue stream to its full potential. The latest sales and catering technology has been created specifically to address this need for an online, seamless and fast-tracked experience and truly transform the group booking segment.
So, the only question that remains is this… what are you waiting for?
For more information about the iVvy Sales and Catering Solution, get in touch with us today email@example.com