In The Know - Knowland Blog

5 Ways to Think Like a Meeting Planner and Sell Smarter

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Jan 26, 2018 2:17:41 PM

 

Are there times when you find yourself having the same-old, same-old conversations with meeting planners? Or worse, not even getting a chance to speak with them at all? Consider a new approach to your prospecting calls. Do you need to step back and look at the bigger picture? Do you need to leverage more data in your approach?

Try these five ways to shake up your routine and have more meaningful, enlightened planner conversations that get attention and convert to new group bookings.

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Topics: Third Party Planners, Meetings and Events, revenue, success, Groups, technology, meeting planners

The Top 3 Qualifying Skills Every Sales Manager Should Have

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Nov 21, 2017 3:10:42 PM

Ever wish you had a crystal ball to tell you which groups are more likely to book your hotel? Well, you don’t need one! It’s all in how you qualify and prioritize the group opportunities you have at hand by looking at specific aspects unique to every group. A lot of us have our tried and true qualifying methods, but by honing your qualifying skills in three important ways, your efforts will pay off big and your ROI will grow by leaps and bounds.

Here are the top skills we at Knowland have witnessed in the industry that have brought sales managers big success.

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Topics: Third Party Planners, Meetings and Events, Destinations, revenue, success, Groups, technology

Ann Arbor Area CVB - A Success Story

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Oct 27, 2017 4:20:50 PM

When you're selling your destination to meeting planners, one of the most important things to understand is the planner's needs. It's easier to make a planner listen if you have enough data on their past events to show you've done your homework and know how their event and attendee needs align with what you have to offer. Doug Bienenfeld, the Convention Sales Manager at the Ann Arbor Area CVB, not only forges strong planner relationships, but also uses data to discover new opportunities for his city that are outside his range of vision. He shows that a little research -- and an open mind -- have big returns.

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Topics: Knowland Stories, Third Party Planners, Destinations, CVB, success, Groups

3 Ways to Rethink Your Comp Set to Discover New Group Business

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Sep 25, 2017 4:18:52 PM


Who do you consider your “comp set?”

STR defines competitive set (comp set) as “a peer group of hotels that competes for business and is selected to benchmark [a] property’s performance.”

Having a local comp set of comparable properties is great for setting rate strategies and for benchmarking your hotel’s performance in the market. When it comes to group business, though, are you missing out on opportunities if you limit yourself to thinking of your meetings competitors as just the properties down the street? Are you differentiating between which hotels are simply comparable and which are actually competitive?

Regarding selecting the right comp set, Hotel News Now says, “Comp sets often seem obvious, but it’s surprising how often a more relevant property is subjectively excluded or a less relevant hotel is included.” To be truly competitive, comp set hotels need to be viable substitutes in the mind of a planner or group.

Here are 3 ways you can discover new group opportunities by thinking outside the traditional definition of “comp set.” 

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Topics: Third Party Planners, Meetings and Events, Destinations, ADR, Groups, technology, comp sets

The Evolution -- or, De-Evolution -- of eRFPs

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Aug 31, 2017 10:33:00 AM

“Time is a big challenge.”

As these words come from the mouth of a group seller at a conference center, everyone around her nods in agreement. Group sellers today feel a shared sympathy for having enough time in the day to manage a hectic job. Meetings, site visits, follow-up calls with planners, active prospecting -- all of this takes a tremendous amount of time. On top of that, there’s responding to inbound eRFPs. What was once a way to streamline booking processes has become a laborious, time-consuming challenge for group sellers, as well as the planners awaiting responses.

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Topics: Meetings and Events, Groups, 2017, technology

Group ADRs: Do room rates reflect group performance in a market?

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Jul 21, 2017 10:36:25 AM

Last week, STR reported on ADR for group room rates in high-end hotels in the US, which increased 4.4% in 12 months. STR clarifies that the group room rates it reports were negotiated as far back as a few years ago and room rate increases for all US hotels (all chain scales) is markedly less, at 2.8%.

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Topics: Third Party Planners, Hotel Trends, Meetings and Events, Destinations, Current Events, ADR, Rate Relief, Groups, 2017

Amsterdam Group Meeting Trends

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Jul 19, 2017 2:47:22 PM

After entering 2107 with a 5% increase in average room rates, Amsterdam has continued to hold the highest average room and occupancy rates in the Netherlands. Increased tourism to the market has helped absorb new room supply over the past few years, keeping Amsterdam’s growth on-pace with demand. However, STR reported that there are 167,543 rooms and 1,074 hotels under contract in Europe as of May 2017. Amsterdam will see some significant changes, including the first Kimpton and Hyatt Regency brands outside the US, plus the opening of The Maritime, one of the largest conference hotels in Europe that features 579 rooms and space for 4,000 conference attendees.

Using data on actualized group business in the Amsterdam market, Knowland observed trends in industry segments and sub-segments to help hoteliers identify drivers of group business in Amsterdam and prepare for the impending changes. 

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Topics: Hotel Trends, Meetings and Events, Destinations, Groups, Corporate, 2017, MICE, MICE Market Data

The Kahala Hotel & Resort - A Success Story

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Jun 15, 2017 2:27:09 PM

With limited time and floods on inbound RFPs to respond to, proactive group prospecting can be hard. However, it's critical that hotels sell proactively to keep up with increased competition resulting from new inventory coming into nearly every US market. Independent hotels often have to work harder to sell their property without the backing of a brand affiliation, but big data can make proactive selling easier, more efficient, and more effective. Kerry Kuhl, the National Sales Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, demonstrates how she successfully generates new group business using group data and booking patterns to develop time-saving tactics and do a lot of the heavy lifting for her.

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Topics: Knowland Stories, Third Party Planners, Hotel Trends, Destinations, success, Groups

Brussels Group Meeting Trends

Posted by Katherine Leiden

May 24, 2017 4:09:00 AM

Hotel occupancy in Brussels declined following the 2016 terrorist attacks, but has now seen steady growth for more than 5 straight months. According to STR, the rise in occupancy levels can be attributed to a 40.4% increase in group business year over year when comparing March 2016 to March 2017. Knowland provided insight into the specific segments and subsets driving that group business to the Brussels market to further address what types of organizations were the most significant contributors to the rising occupancy levels.

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Topics: Hotel Trends, Meetings and Events, Destinations, Groups, Corporate, 2017, MICE, MICE Market Data

Growing Pains: Handling the pitfalls of record occupancy

Posted by Katherine Leiden

May 22, 2017 11:07:26 AM

After a dynamic year for hotel occupancy in 2015, demand spurred a rise in planned hotel construction in most major markets. 4,721 hotel projects were under contract in the US as of March 2017 -- a 14.4% increase over last year. 1,449 of those are in development, which is a 24.4% increase over 2016.

All this new inventory is being planned and built during a wave of confidence as occupancy continues to grow to all-time highs. ADR is also growing at close to 3% and the new supply is not predicted to impede continued RevPAR growth. While this is great news for hotels across the US, when does the addition of more than 500,000 rooms become a concern instead of a sign of prosperity?

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Topics: Third Party Planners, Hotel Trends, Meetings and Events, Destinations, Current Events, ADR, Groups, Occupancy, 2017, Construction pipeline