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.
Because booking the same destinations has become a challenge in light of expenses, here are some interesting trends to note:
- Tuesday is the most popular meeting day
- Spring months between April and June are the slowest times for meetings
- Weekend meetings are occurring more frequently
Smart Meetings noted that over the past couple years Saturday meetings increased 49% and Sunday meetings saw a healthy 84% increase. The reason is clear: Many planners now look at weekends as an option to avoid the high room rates top tier cities require for weekdays.
Traditionally, weekends have been opportunities for hotels to offer “value rates” to incent planners to consider a pattern change and book on a weekend. In light of the new weekend trend, however, groups that actually want to book on Saturdays and Sundays are becoming desirable, available targets for hotels to fill weekend needs dates.
When it comes to slow spring months, the same is true: Planners are considering options outside of typical peak seasons because they’re confronting limited availability and high rates in their preferred locations. This does two things for hotels: Sales teams are poised to hunt for groups to fill need dates during low seasons, and hotels in second-tier locations gain the opportunity to pursue groups looking for new destinations while keeping peak season dates.
For hotels, it’s all about getting ahead of the decision-making process. As rates and availability force planners to think outside the box, the challenge for hotels is to keep the flow of quality meetings coming. Having the technology to increase visibility to planners is crucial. Proactively looking for shifting groups and meetings gives hotels a better chance at catching new opportunities before they land in another city.
Knowland tools help maximize these opportunities to find new group opportunities. Features such as the day of the week filter in the advanced search direct hoteliers to groups that meet over weekends. Other date and location filters can increase specificity to help hotels search for and find the groups most likely to shift their preferences and look for options that will help them find rate relief – options that can maximize a hotel’s sales revenue, too.
Give it a try: Current clients can login in on the Knowland site and run a search.
Don’t have a Knowland subscription, but curious to see how Insight could work for your hotel? Contact the Knowland team.