Taking advantage of all the features of Cvent Passkey helped Grand Wailea maximize the value of its group business — and save money with more efficient processes.
Net upsell revenue
Call center savings
Channeling the Aloha Spirit
It doesn't take much to make people want to visit Hawaii. The eternal sunshine, picturesque beaches, spectacular natural wonders, and positive energy make a pretty convincing case. But for Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, all that is secondary to its superior meeting facilities and amenities.
Even so, Grand Wailea struggles to keep its meetings and events calendar consistently full throughout the year. When slow periods start to make it difficult to hit their goals, the team must find other ways to generate group revenue and cut costs.
Meetings in a Beachfront Paradise
Grand Wailea is set on 40 beachfront acres on Maui. In addition to 776 guest rooms, it features pools, restaurants, a spa, and much more. It's also one of the island's largest meeting hotels, with over 100,000 square feet of event space. According to Reservations Manager Michele Perkins, that's why Grand Wailea attracts groups of all sizes and types, including social, incentive, educational, and corporate events. Perkins also credits site visits with securing group business. "We have a discovery visit on property, with everyone saying 'aloha' and making planners feel welcome," she said. "I think overall, that pre-booking experience really sets us up for success in getting that business."
Maximizing Value, Optimizing Shoulder Nights
While Grand Wailea's property and service attract plenty of planners, its group business is very seasonal. When the calendar is light, the team can't get as much additional revenue from shoulder nights. In order to make up for those slow periods, Perkins and her four team members needed to find ways to maximize the value of every group.
The other challenge for Perkins was a long process for creating and managing group booking websites. In addition to being time-consuming, this process meant that any inaccuracies would live on the booking site for an extended period.
Perkins turned to Cvent Passkey, which "is not just a reservations tool; it's a property tool," she said. Even though her team is responsible only for the rooming for groups, she knew there was an opportunity to add revenue from upsell.
Suite Success and a Revenue Boost
With Passkey, Perkins and her team now aim to offer suite upgrades on every group staying at Grand Wailea. It's become part of the process, in fact. "When we're loading the group, we'll check availability for those premium suites, and we'll add inventory into Passkey automatically, right from the beginning," she said. The additional room types appear seamlessly on the booking websites in Passkey, so attendees can choose and pay for the upgrades.
Perkins also offers incentives to her team members who facilitate these extra sales, getting them invested in the results. As a team, they regularly review the progress; some even set up alerts so they know when a suite sells.
The next step is to get other departments on board with Passkey's upsell features. While Perkins is doing everything she can by offering upgrades, shoulder nights, and even in-room amenities such as rollaway beds, she knows there's a lot more the hotel could do. Add-ons including food and beverage and treatments at the onsite Spa Grande could increase revenue substantially.
Efficiency for Hotel, Planners, and Attendees
Cvent Passkey has done more for Grand Wailea than boost profit — it also streamlined processes for both staff and group customers. First, it eliminated the tedious process of sending out requests to get group booking sites built or edited. Now, Perkins' team can do it all themselves. "With Passkey, it's instant," she said. "Just having the ability to do it yourself and fix it right away is so much better than sending it off so it takes a week for a change to happen. That wasn't efficient at all."
The hotel's planner clients appreciate the tool, since it offers them real-time access to status reports, saving everyone time. And because the booking sites are so easy to set up and use, more group guests are reserving their rooms online. "You don't need to call the call center and get offered four different rates. This is your rate, here's your group, here's your information. It made the booking experience quicker and more efficient," Perkins said. That improves guest satisfaction — and results in call center savings.
When a Rooming List Just Won't Do
The numbers show amazing results, but the stories of Perkins' team working better with group clients are just as powerful. One group, she said, wanted to use a rooming list for its peak night, but the planners didn't want to handle any requests for shoulder nights. Her team suggested they use Passkey, explaining that it would offer a booking website loaded with the shoulder date and availability information, so attendees could make secure credit card payments for the extra nights and get an instant confirmation. "We were able to share with them the ease of Passkey so they could be more successful and efficient," Perkins said.
Cvent Passkey for Hotels and Destinations
Cvent Passkey streamlines and automates meeting and event bookings for hotels, DMOs, and venues — creating valuable upsell opportunities for hoteliers. Event planners benefit from a centralized room block and reservation management system, and hotels can promote room upgrades, extended stays, and other amenities to group guests.
Automatically promote and sell room upgrades, extended stays, amenities, and packages.
Sync real-time updates to CRS, PMS, revenue management, distribution, and sales and catering systems — eliminating errors and saving time.
Planners get tools that help them easily upload block lists, reduce attrition risk, and ensure that guests book inside of the event's room block.