It’s true that corporate meeting planners often prefer to deal one-on-one with hotel event coordinators. However, it’s also true that planners are increasingly making use of the Internet to screen potential venues.
As the owner or manager of a small or independent hotel that’s looking to increase corporate meeting business, it’s up to you to make sure your facility pops up on planners’ web radar—and to make sure your facility has what they’re looking for. How should this affect your hotel RFPs?
Just the Details, Please
Many planners use an online database like hotelplanner.com to quickly narrow down the list of venues to contact with a hotel request for proposal (RFP). So it’s critical that when you upload your hotel’s information into one of these databases, the information is as complete and accurate as possible.
- Complete and accurate measurements of each conference room, boardroom, and ballroom, including ceiling height.
- Number of people each can accommodate, depending on table configuration
- Features such as video screens, windows, number of outlets, etc.
- Equipment provided (TV/DVD/VCR, podium, video conferencing, flip boards, sound system, dry-erase boards, etc.)
- Amenities provided, like coffee, tea, and food service, Internet, and even things you might take for granted, like air conditioning.
Let’s say that a corporate planner has used an online database and your facility has landed on their ‘top ten’ list of hotel venues. Now they’re going to visit each hotel’s website to quickly compare those facilities—including yours.
It’s no longer enough to have a single page of your hotel’s site dedicated to meetings and events, containing only a brief description, a couple of photos, and a phone number or email. A corporate planner will quickly move on to your competitors’ sites.
Turn your hotel website into a virtual tour with interactive content; photos of facilities, rooms, and amenities; video; downloadable e-brochures; and most importantly, an opportunity to submit a hotel RFP online, or even book a small event right from the website.
Know What’s Hot
Pay attention to the deal breakers for today’s corporate planners. It wasn’t so long ago that Internet access of any kind was a luxury. Now, high-speed Wi-Fi is a must-have. Special rates for on-site restaurants, spa visits, and other amenities can also be the enticement that puts your hotel RFP at the top of the list. Don’t forget that the growing buzzword in the corporate world is “green”; pointing out your hotel’s efforts to be environmentally responsible will put a star by your hotel’s name on many a corporate planner’s short list.
Don’t let corporate meeting business slip away. Let us help you make the hotel RFPs pour in. Contact us today.