If you run a small or independent hotel, you may think you can’t compete with the big hotel chains for corporate business meeting contracts. However, remember when we talked about finding your hotel’s niche and sticking with it? If you do it right, and target the right audience, your hotel request for proposal (RFP) is more likely to pop to the top of potential clients’ short lists.
What does your hotel have that the big boys don’t? The ability to focus a higher percentage of your resources on a smaller group of people. By targeting smaller meeting events of 100, 50, or even 20 people, you’ll attract businesses that are looking for personal service in a setting that won’t make them feel like they’re getting lost in the crowd.
Ever been to a meeting at a giant hotel or conference facility? No one likes spending all day in a meeting—much less having to compete for tables and seating against a thousand attendees of six other meetings!
There are a few must-haves for appealing, effective meeting spaces. These include (but are certainly not limited to):
- Offer meeting rooms in a range of sizes
Even if your meeting space is limited to three to five rooms, make them great places for small groups of people to spend long hours.
- Décor that doesn’t bore—or worse, is wince-worthy
There are few things worse than spending all day in a cold, grey, impersonal room. Neutral carpets, wood paneling, and tasteful artwork that reflects the local culture can really warm up a meeting room.
- Comfortable seating
Don’t skimpy on the chairs! Padded, rolling, office-style chairs with armrests will be much appreciated by those who would rather not be distracted by sore posteriors.
- Sturdy, laptop-friendly tables
These should be heavy enough that minor bumps won’t send everyone diving to save their expensive gadgets from puddles of coffee. Built-in outlets would also be a nice touch.
- Adequate lighting
No one wants to feel like they’re stuck in an interrogation room. Warm-glow bulbs are easier on the eyes. Provide a dimmer switch for audio-visual presentations.
- Climate control
If possible, install individual climate control in each room.
- High speed Wi-Fi
- Telephones with speakers for teleconferencing
- Plug and play audio/visual equipment, including presentation screens
Make sure the room’s ceiling height will accommodate larger screens.
- Extra wall outlets
Don’t make your guests fight over limited outlets. Provide one or two power strips per room, as well.
Removable walls make a larger space more versatile, but they’re seldom soundproof. Nobody wants to deal with sensitive corporate problems while a cocktail reception is going on next door.
- Dedicated event planner/concierge onsite
Having one go-to person to keep things running smoothly will bring back repeat customers.
- On-site technical support
Don’t let your client’s meeting get hung up over a glitchy projector or broken Wi-Fi. Problems will happen, but have the proper staff in place to quickly resolve them.
- Indoor and outdoor break areas
Even if your hotel is located in an urban area, try to find an outdoor space for guests to step out and get some air during meeting breaks. Leave no rooftop unturned! Many city hotels make use of roofs for patio socializing spaces.
- High-quality food
Look at the reviews on any hotel RFP site: what is one of the top three items guests remember? The food! Whether you work with caterers or prepare food onsite, make sure it’s something you’d be proud to serve at your own table.
- Workout and relaxation facilities
Savvy business travelers always appreciate a place to sweat off on-the-road meals or enjoy some after-meeting social time. If your hotel doesn’t have an onsite restaurant or bar, a cozy lounge area is a nice touch.
Let us show you how to increase your hotel RFP submissions PDQ! Contact Smart eHotels™ today.