In The Know - Knowland Blog

Katherine Leiden

Recent Posts

What Meeting Planners Want

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Jan 31, 2017 11:04:00 AM

 Jill Burke is a planner-extraordinaire of sorts -- a true Renaissance woman of the meetings professional industry.

Currently, Jill works for a non-profit foundation, but her planner resume includes independent consulting for major global companies as well as small a la carte planning services, planning meetings for multi-billion dollar agribusiness cooperatives, other management positions for third-party solutions organizations, and more.

We wanted a meeting planner’s perspective on what the main influencers are in the destination decision-making process. With her vast knowledge of the industry, Jill was the perfect candidate.


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

2016 Los Angeles Group Meeting Trends

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Jan 26, 2017 2:05:00 PM

Group meetings actualizing in LA are growing year over year -- and according toTravelClick’s December 2016 North American Hospitality Review, this trend is predicted to increase in 2017. However, with 6,772 rooms in the LA hotel construction pipeline (the highest in the state), will hotel sales teams be able to book enough group business through traditional methods when set against new competition? Knowland broke down YOY trends in the LA market from 2015 to 2016 to shed light on market segment and subset activity -- and hopefully help hotels better align their 2017 group sales strategies.

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Topics: Hotel Trends, Meetings and Events, Destinations, Groups, Corporate, 2017, Construction pipeline

The hospitality outlook for 2017 and what to do about it

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Dec 29, 2016 8:11:06 AM

2017 has you biting your nails? You’re not alone. Most US hotels fear the forecasted occupancy and ADR for the coming year. Though occupancy looks flat an ADR is less than hopeful, you can still make this year work for you. Create an action plan focused on reassessing your competition, being confident in controlling your own rates, and taking a more proactive approach to booking group business.

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Topics: Hotel Trends, Meetings and Events, Current Events, ADR, revenue, Groups, Occupancy, 2017

How to Create an SMMP Game Plan

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Dec 6, 2016 10:01:00 AM

Strategic Meetings Management Programs (SMMPs) can be stressful, but working with them is a neccesity these days for hotels looking to book corporate group business. Here's how to approach groups using SMMPs to set your team up for success, not stress.
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Topics: SMMP, Training, success, Groups, Corporate

Stay focused in the face of increased competition

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Nov 3, 2016 9:35:27 AM

The US hotel construction pipeline continues to increase – currently up to 24.4% over 2015, according to Hotel News Resource. Cities such as Nashville and Seattle are seeing year-over-year (YOY) changes of more than 100% and 200% respectively (STR Sept. 2016). Total in-construction supply, however, is most concentrated in New York with nearly 16,000 new rooms being added to the market.

With lots of additional space competing for group business, how do you focus your prospecting efforts to bring in the right groups while still matching your parameters for revenue maximization?

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Topics: Hotel Trends, Meetings and Events, Destinations, revenue, success, Groups

Case Study:  Find Solid Group Business in a Shifting Economy

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Oct 10, 2016 1:14:55 PM

Meet Al Luciano: A hospitality veteran with more than 30 years of experience. He has been a sales director at prominent properties in two of America’s biggest destination cities, San Antonio and Las Vegas, including San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter (1,500 rooms, 86 suites, 60,000 sq. ft. meeting space).

Al spoke to us about using Knowland’s meeting intelligence platform, Insight. For him, this tool was essential in order to:

  • Quickly identify new prospects in shifting economy;
  • Book groups of all sizes, from small meetings to corporate gatherings of several thousand guests; and
  • Successfully execute a 15-city sales campaign.

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Topics: Knowland Stories, Insight, Meetings and Events, Destinations, revenue, success, Groups

I never thought I'd say the words "Pokemon Go"

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Jul 18, 2016 4:05:52 PM

As a child of the 90’s, I get it: this obsession with chasing Charmanders using the Pokemon Go app. You’ve seen it, right? Trainers of all ages hunting for virtual Pokemon in the real world – walking all over town to “catch ‘em all.” 

The phenomenon resonated with me today as I thought, “this is exactly what we encourage our customers to do every day.” With prospecting for groups at "competitor" properties, that is. Not... Pokemon.

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Topics: Hotel Trends, Insight, Meetings and Events, Destinations, Current Events, revenue, success, Groups

Turn 1.5 Hours into $100K

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Jun 29, 2016 2:58:03 PM


I recently had the pleasure of speaking to Michelle Sedlak, the Director of Sales and Marketing at the Holiday Inn Stevens Point Convention Center, about using Insight – Knowland’s meeting intelligence platform. 

She was frank. She was open. She was a breath of fresh air.

Within a year, Michelle and her team booked more than $101,000 of group business through Knowland. I wanted to pick her brain on tips for success, so I gave her a call.

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Topics: Knowland Stories, Hotel Trends, Insight, Destinations, Associations, revenue, success, Groups

For Planners, It's All About Minimizing Costs

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Oct 20, 2015 2:00:00 PM

As room rates soar and availability plummets, meeting planners are shifting their arrival/departure and overall meeting patterns to accommodate a new economy. According to a recent article in Smart Meetings magazine, meetings are changing in multiple ways with one common goal: Minimize costs. 

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Topics: Third Party Planners, Hotel Trends, Insight, Meetings and Events, Current Events, Rate Relief

Catch New Group Opportunities as Meeting Planners Shift Destination Preferences

Posted by Katherine Leiden

Sep 9, 2015 2:04:28 PM

A recent article in MeetingMentor Online highlighted predictions and views on the current market conditions that are now influencing planner behavior. A surge of transient business and limited construction is driving hotel occupancy to record highs – up to 73.6% occupancy for upper upscale hotels.

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Topics: Third Party Planners, Hotel Trends, Insight, Destinations, Current Events, ADR