More than 100,000 events occur every day, from boardroom meetings, private parties, conferences, tradeshows, etc. The global meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry was valued at US$916 billion in 2019 and is forecast to gain another US$1.78 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of 6.1% from 2020 through 2030, according to a recent report from Next Move Strategy Consulting.
However, the meetings and events world has certainly changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hoteliers are now working within the next normal—that is, what was status quo for operations two years ago will mean money left on the table today. As revenue managers look to build out their strategies, many are looking to total revenue management as the best foot forward. Here are three challenges they face—and how to solve them.
Challenge 1: Doing More with Fewer Resources
Teams are working with smaller staffs and finding it more and more difficult to get the work done manually. Additionally, budgets are lacking after a tough 18 months operating with little to no revenue.
The Solution: Stay Centered and Automate to Deliver in Real Time
Automation enables you to manage events from the booking process through to operations, with lowest cost, increased profitability and ensuring efficiencies across the board.
Everything needs to be in one place, including:
- live availability and direct instant booking online
- finance and billing
- strategy tools and revenue management system integration
- group booking for beds and meetings and events integration
- event management and delegate registration
- PMS/CRS/POS integration
- booking engine for Brand.com
You need to optimize revenue by digitizing real-time data to your customers. Remember that time is money for both you and your customers—who are also working with fewer resources. That means extended Requests For Proposals (RFPs) are a thing of the past. You need a customized hotel booking engine that is easy for your customers to use and includes available meeting space. A truly integrated environment allows you to respond to requests in real time, choose whether to book business immediately, and hold rates and availability or proceed to a full RFP.
Challenge 2: Changing the Mindset
The pandemic forced us to adapt and think on our feet. But it’s rarely easy to change processes—especially when you’re working with fewer resources.
The Solution: Remain Flexible to Find the Opportunities
You need to understand that business changes and get the teams in place to help you support the shifts. Then, monetize where it makes sense. For instance, a senior VP of revenue and marketing for an international chain recently said, “We only have meeting rooms to support bedroom sales.” It’s about having a strategic approach and not being afraid of change.
Additionally, you can ensure you have digital and COVID-safe practices in place that bolster confidence in customers to re-engage and commit to bookings for groups and events in the future.
Challenge 3: Figuring Out the Focus
Because things changed so rapidly with the COVID-19 pandemic—and they continue to move quickly due to new variants emerging today—knowing what to focus on can sometimes seem daunting.
The Solution: Lean into the Right Tech Tools
Integrated technology solutions provide a competitive advantage. We know that venues will generally win more business by responding faster. In fact, instant responses have shown the highest conversion rates.
You can reduce inertia by educating the industry how to instill confidence in technology that can deliver distribution and immediate online booking capability while retaining control with the ability to manage availability rates and inventory for groups, meeting space and F&B.
iVvy’s software solutions offer proven results, including:
- Speeding up the event booking process from six weeks to six minutes
- Drastically decrease average venue response and conversion to sale rate from 3 - 19 days to just 2 minutes
- 53% increase in conversion rate
- 60% increase in efficiency of centralized sales management
- 30% reduction in cost of acquisition
- 50% increase of ability to cross-sell and upsell
Unlearn What You’ve Already Learned
This year, we have the opportunity to reset, rethink, reimagine and redesign strategies to remain resilient and sustainable. Tomorrow’s thriving meetings and events business starts today. Disruptive technology helps provide the key to success—and with it, recovery.