HelmsBriscoe uses Cvent products to source venues for event planners, while also increasing MICE business for hotels and venues.
HelmsBriscoe is the global leader in meetings procurement and site selection, with more than 1,400 Associates operating in 55 countries. Using their global reach, experience, and industry relationships, they manage the task of researching, contacting, and evaluating venues for their clients’ events.
From sending the RFPs and tracking down answers, to following up with hotels and managing the entire venue sourcing process, HelmsBriscoe’s aim is to secure the perfect venues for their clients’ events.
Today’s planners are increasingly busy with shrinking budgets, constrained room inventory, and declining sales support levels at hotels. HelmsBriscoe started using Cvent products to help streamline their RFP process, ensuring the best possible venue for their clients, while also giving hotels bigger and better MICE opportunities.
Making Use of the Cvent Supplier Network
HelmsBriscoe uses the Cvent Supplier Network (CSN) when sourcing venues and hotels for client events. Properties that aren’t on sourcing networks, or that have poor profiles, will inevitably lose out on business. These pages are critical. When it comes to sourcing hotels, whether HelmsBriscoe sends an RFP depends on the information displayed on the property’s page. If there is not enough information, or their profile is low quality, they will be less likely to engage.
Including a few images and amenities isn’t enough to warrant an RFP submission. It’s important that hotels and venues utilise their page to its full capacity by including as many high-quality, varied images as possible; outlining all meeting spaces and their measurements; and adding guest room detail, directions, information on local attractions, and detailed property description.
By sending proposals via the Cvent Supplier Network (CSN), HelmsBriscoe can “convert the proposals received into a comparative report for clients,” says Joris Eyck, Managing Director with HelmsBriscoe.
Responding to RFPs with Detail
HelmsBriscoe places significant importance on RFPs, the information that is included, and the way hotels respond. Attention to detail is critical, as it could mean the difference between a hotel gaining new business, or losing it. Likewise, HelmsBriscoe needs to find a venue suited perfectly to their clients’ events, which means that the need for detail goes beyond the hotel’s CSN profile. They need all the relevant information (and then some) submitted in the proposals, with every question answered in full.
Eyck says that they attempt to give hotels and venues an opportunity to shine by including two key things: the “must-haves” and the “nice-to-haves”. The latter gives the “opportunity for the hotels to increase their chances of booking the business.”
HelmsBriscoe ensures every lead given to hotels is qualified, but this also means that they expect a certain amount of attention to detail in return. Eyck adds, “Sometimes, we receive unclear proposals, and you can tell that the hotel has not understood the inquiries.”
HelmsBriscoe uses Cvent to bring clarity to this process by providing mandatory questions. “Cvent is a great system because it also allows us to take away any misunderstandings,” Eyck says.
Accurate Meeting Space
Conveying accurate meeting space measurements is equally important on a venue’s CSN profile. Planners need to know room size, ceiling height, dimensions, maximum capacity, and how many delegates a meeting room can fit depending on the seating layout. “It's also important that they don't “sell air” in the sense that the capacity is just too large,” Eyck says. “If a meeting room is too large or too small, and not comfortable for the number of delegates, it can hurt our reputation.”
Hotels and venues can ensure they get as much business as possible by using floorplans. In addition, when visiting a venue in person isn’t a viable option, Cvent Social Tables is a tool that can help HelmsBriscoe visualise meeting space. One of its main functionalities is its ability to allow hoteliers and planners to collaborate effectively using diagramming, 360-degree virtual tours, and floorplans.
Optimising Room Block Management
Systems such as Cvent Passkey can be used by hotels to create a dedicated booking link for delegates. This ensures the biggest pick-up and profitability possible for clients, while also preventing attrition or cancellation fees.
Eyck mentions that using standard booking forms can create room for error, and delegates may not be as willing to fill them out. “Passkey is ideal in order to combine these room blocks into a single, appealing page,” says Eyck. “It makes it easier to navigate and for delegates to maximize the success with the largest pickup possible for the rooms contracted.”