Hotel RFP Software Improves RFP Response

The invention of hotel RFP software (request for proposal) has revolutionized hotel business meeting planning. If it seems like every business and organization is suddenly shooting RFPs to your inbox, it’s probably because they are!

Quantity – yes. Quality? Hmmm…

While hotel RFP software has increased the number of proposals you’re receiving, what it hasn’t done is magically increase the time you have available to deal with the deluge. This means you could be spending lots more time going over requests, only to find that the number of acceptable ones hasn’t increased all that much.

So how can you efficiently weed out the hotel RFPs that you, as a hotel manager, wouldn’t normally touch with a ten-foot pole?

Fight software with software.

The Sorting Hat for Hotels

There now exists electronic hotel RFP software that intelligently captures the characteristics that will put the right RFPs at the top of the electronic pile, while shuffling unacceptable ones to the bottom.

In addition, eRFP software can be set up to generate an automated response that will use information in the proposal to give the sender most of the information he or she needs without requiring you to spend time answering each and every one.

Businesses that are serious about holding their meeting or event at your hotel will get back to you to hammer out the details – the very customers you want to spend your time on!

Current Software Choices

It’s easy to find software to generate paperless RFPs. You as a hotel manager can use these applications yourself to let businesses know your facility is available for meetings and conferences.

Finding software that helps you sort through RFP responses takes a little more research, but there are some good choices out there:

  • SalesEdge – designed to streamline responses to RFPs generated by one of the most popular RFP software packages out there, Qvidian.
  • Qvidian – can be used not only to generate your own RFPs, but also to analyze RFPs submitted to your hotel and tell you instantly if the proposal is a good match for your facility. In addition, it can generate professional, automated responses.
  • RFPMonkey – another software package that can quickly categorize incoming RFPs, saving you weeding-out time.

Get the RFP monkey off your back with help from SmarteHotels.com. Contact us today!

Hotel Marketing Plan: Keep Your Hotel From Becoming A Wedding Disaster Tale

When a prospective bride and groom fill out your online hotel request for proposal to decide if your hotel is right for their wedding, they have a vision of the perfect day – not the myriad things that could go wrong.

Even the best hotels can’t be completely prepared for every possible mishap, misstep, or miscommunication, but here are a few common problems for which you can have a back-up plan in place.

  • On-Site Maintenance and Renovation

Regularly scheduled maintenance that affects any visible part of the hotel or the grounds should be scheduled around a wedding event, or simply do not book a wedding or event on those dates. Even if renovation does not impact guest areas directly, be aware that dust and paint fumes travel, and some guests may be sensitive enough that they require relocation.

For unplanned, emergency construction, such as after a flood or storm, it’s a good idea to develop a partnership with other local hotels. An agreement to transfer guests for unexpected disasters could save the couple’s day, and earn your hotel points for customer service.

Make sure all elevators, sprinkler systems, and other safety features are inspected and functioning properly.

  • Nearby Construction

Dust, noise, and unsightly road or building construction nearby can disrupt a wedding event, even if it doesn’t directly involve your hotel. Pay attention to city, county, and state construction plans so you can offer guests alternate routes, or alternate dates, if necessary.

  • Local Events That Draw Crowds

Be aware of local events that could impact a wedding. Location near a major convention center, NASCAR track, or venue for an annual event that draws large crowds could impact a couple’s plans for an intimate destination wedding. Make sure you inform the couple, especially if they’re not from the area, of popular local events that could affect availability of rooms, car rentals, restaurant table availability, and even traffic on the streets and at local tourist attractions.

  • Personnel changes

Your hotel wedding and event coordinator should have a back-up plan in place and a fully informed back-up person on standby if he or she must leave the site for any reason. Few things stress a bride out more than having to deal with a new and possibly uninformed event contact when she arrives at your hotel for her big day.

  • Not Enough Hands on Deck

Make sure you have enough staff scheduled to help wedding guests and vendors with extra luggage, equipment, and decorations. If you have a security guard, consider scheduling an extra one to keep an eye on all the additional guests and vendors on site.

  • Heath Emergencies

A hotel wedding party is bound to include a number of out-of-town guests who don’t know the local lay of the land. In addition to informing guests of the nearest medical facilities, someone on your staff should be trained in CPR and first aid. It’s also not a bad idea to keep an AED device on the premises, and train your staff how to use it.

  • Accidental Overbooking

Even with modern technology, unintentional overbooking will probably happen at some point. Work with your partner hotels in the area to handle the overflow – and try not to let the wedding party be the ones to relocate. Business and just-passing-through travelers will be less picky about relocating to another hotel, particularly if you offer them a restaurant voucher or a free night at another time.

  • Power Outages

Few things will panic a bride more than a power outage in the middle of her blow-dry. A back-up generator could save the day – and perhaps a kitchen full of reception food!

  • Weather Emergencies

Always have a guest evacuation plan, and have periodic practice runs. For the minor rain shower that could potentially ruin a bride’s dress, simply keep a supply of large golf umbrellas stashed in a closet. Brides will be “singing in the rain”, and singing your praises to other potential customers.

Even the greatest hotel marketing plan might not help you avoid a wedding disaster, but we can! Contact Smart eHotels™ today.

Wondering Why Your Hotel Request for Proposal Form is Empty?

More brides will fill out your online hotel request for proposal if you make your hotel a dream wedding destination. You need to stand out from the crowd and find what brides are looking for. 

Indoor/Outdoor Ambiance

If your hotel has a unique location, chances are you already have some event requests for proposal from interested wedding and event planners. However, there’s more you can do to take full advantage of the possibilities for increasing the number of wedding bookings.

Building a gazebo or simply maintaining an outdoor lawn and garden area is a no-brainer if you have natural beauty surrounding your facility. Even an urban rooftop can be utilized as an event space, with a little imagination – and attention to safety concerns.

Many urban hotels are tapping into their customers’ growing desire to patronize environmentally responsible businesses. Rooftop areas redesigned to be “green” can pay for themselves many times over in terms of energy savings, as well as providing beautiful and practical event venues.

Indoor facilities are critical to provide a place to hold events and weddings that are rained out at the last minute. Like any event planner, brides are looking for event spaces that have adequate room for their guests, and neutral yet attractive décor that doesn’t clash with their chosen wedding colors.

Value and Convenience

It’s not always enough to offer a romantic, attractive place to hold a wedding and/or reception. Brides are stressed! Make their to-do list shorter by bundling items and services they might otherwise have to contract separately, such as:

  • Catering
  • Table linens and chair coverings
  • Bar services
  • Wedding cake
  • Table decorations
  • Shuttle services or free parking
  • An on-staff wedding planner to provide one point of contact to coordinate the event

You can offer these services on-site, or develop relationships with a select list of florists, caterers, photographers, and rental companies to provide these services at a discount.

Providing an online, interactive RFP on your hotel’s web site is a good way to let brides scope out your facility and services, plus give you a way to respond personally with additional details and incentives. 

Deals and Packages

Offering deals on a block of rooms for wedding guests, access to hotel amenities such as restaurants, spas, pools, and more – perhaps even a free night in the honeymoon suite for the bride and groom – will take additional worries off a bride’s shoulders. She will rest assured her guests will be both safe and entertained while enjoying the wedding events.

In addition, if your hotel is located in a recreational mecca, developing relationships with local ski resorts, horseback riding stables, boating rentals, fishing guides, restaurants, wineries, and more is a way to offer even more attractive deals and packages.

Go Where The Brides Are

In addition to providing the online hotel RFPs, explore the possibilities of pay-per-click advertising on the web’s most popular wedding sites, such as theknot.com or bridal magazine sites. Pay-per-click, in combination with search engine optimized content on your hotel’s web site, will drive more traffic to your home page – and more weddings to your event calendar.

Let SmartEHotels.com show you how to appeal to the heart – and pocketbook – of modern brides. Contact us today!