Recently, Discover Coronado held two focus group studies where meeting planners in San Francisco and incentive planners based in Minneapolis shared their experience working with Coronado’s resorts. The studies were held so Discover Coronado could better understand the strengths of our destination and address our weaknesses. (No, Coronado isn’t perfect).
Thankfully, their observations were positive and constructive. There’s always room for improvement. We wanted to know what could be better.
It should come as no surprise that the planners in attendance were working with shorter timelines, less budget, and less staff assistance. There were greater demands from their clients and supervisors. Sounds familiar, right?
Finding the perfect dates and the perfect space isn’t perfect science. It takes time, learning from failure, strong communication and keeping the faith. Sometimes it’s just pure luck.
The feedback from the planners was consistent when it came to RFP response time. Whether the RFP was distributed by Cvent or another source, time is of the essence. Delays cost them value decision-making time and reflect poorly on properties that are the most delinquent in response. While each of the Coronado resorts were quick with responses to RFPs, the comments from the planners were a good reminder to not let it slip as the volume of RFPs (thankfully) grows during 2022.
Those who attended our focus group studies also recognized the challenges resorts are managing. The pandemic deeply impacted the bench depth of the group sales team across the nation, not just Coronado. Some group sales representatives in the US have not returned to their positions and the learning curve for newer staff can be steep. What’s not hard to learn, is kindness. It takes almost no effort to acknowledge new leads that arrive. Sometimes the planner only expected an email reply or note from the resort that the response is being prepared.
Observations that pertain to response time has resonated with me.
As resorts quickly ramp up staff levels and guest services, suppliers are reminded to be quick in our response times (and be quick to offer a kind comment). It’s sounds cliché, but we truly are all in this together.