After a packed first day at Cvent CONNECT, hotel professionals gathered to hear Cvent's Co-Founder & President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Chuck Ghoorah, and Senior Vice President of Sales, Bharet Malhotra, speak about the state of group business in the hospitality industry and how venues can remain competitive in today's market. Bharet kicked off the session by recapping the success of 2015. Though he notes, “If you’re trying to grow and stay relevant, you’re going to have to do things differently in 2016.” As the industry continues to shift, traditional tactics won’t work as well as future methodologies. To ensure future growth for your group business, you’re going to have to get ahead of the curve during the rise of a new generation of planners.
In 2016, 42% of meeting planners are millennials, so hoteliers need to adjust how they sell themselves to this audience
These new planners are included in the three disconnects that Bharet mentions hoteliers need to address in order to achieve group business success. The three disconnects include customers, marketing, and analytics.
In 2016, 42% of meeting planners are millennials, so hoteliers need to adjust how they sell themselves to this audience. It’s important to note that millennials source differently, they seek out anonymous reviews (ie. Yelp), and book venues that offer valuable experiences. However, there’s another generation of planners in the works: Gen Z, including those born after 1995. Many of these individuals have never lived without social media and a smartphone. The biggest challenge? They have an average attention span of eight seconds. Hoteliers are going to need to adjust their marketing approach to attract this new breed of planners.
If you don’t know your customers, you cannot market to them effectively. Use your audience to mold your marketing approach. Until now, group marketing has not really evolved much. Capitalize on this opportunity to differentiate yourself from competition.
For part three, Bharet introduced Chuck and his topic: analytics. Chuck says in order to eliminate the disconnects, we must merge them together and seize the opportunity where they intersect. This opportunity drove the reveal of Cvent’s newest additions to the Hospitality Cloud: Group Business Evaluator and Group Business Trends. The Group Business Evaluator requires hoteliers to answer 26 questions about their business and used the information to create a personalized report based on four pieces of criteria: Acquiring Leads, Converting Leads, Customer Management, and Data Monitoring. Think of it as a group business FICO score at market level. The second part is Group Business Trends that offers four years of data in four categories: Group ADR, Sales Behavior, RFPs, and Planners.
Both tools equip group hotel professionals with the power to evolve their group business strategy and stand out from competition. It’s time to revolutionize the way you think about marketing, by allowing Cvent to assist you in staying relevant and ahead of an ever-changing industry.