Before we dive in, be sure to visit our ultimate guide to grow events and group business for an all-encompassing rundown of events, sales and catering tips, data points and best practices.
Request for proposals (RFPs) have become the standard for kicking off the event planning process. As we head into the future, we can expect technology to further speed up the workflow significantly for both venues and planners. Leveraging the traditional RFP process and direct booking capabilities, properties are able to expose the right level of information to win more business. Sharing their available space online, displaying custom offers, further automating responses, and refining proposals all help close business faster. These time-saving features provide planners with what they need to optimize the booking process.
As events both big and small grow in popularity, technology will have to evolve to address heightened demand and manage the shrinking lead times that come along with it. Hotels and other venues need to manage inbound RFPs efficiently so they can identify which opportunities to pursue, without ignoring small meetings which on average account for almost 65% of group business revenue. Planners are also likely to be juggling multiple events at once and need options to book group business even faster, and sometimes last minute. How can event RFP technology providers help bridge the gap?
Let’s Explore what’s next in event RFP technology?
The qualified RFP is emerging as the next iteration of the digital RFP. Qualified RFPs enable properties to share relevant information with planners, while the venue maintains complete control of the booking process. For example:
Availability and Pricing
As a planner, one of the biggest challenges is trying to figure out whether a hotel has event space available on a particular date and what they can deliver within the meeting budget. The properties that provide these critical details upfront, updating in near real-time, will receive RFPs that are better aligned with their business and more likely to close. The planner can also feel confident that the destination is more likely to respond quickly and fulfill their event vision.
Group Rates and Add-ons
Negotiated rates (package pricing) simplifies the booking process by defining an experience that the planner can visualize. By providing packages to support different types of events along with optional add-ons like upgraded food and beverage, parking etc., you’ll give planners a better idea of the end-to-end experience they can provide their guests, while generating profitable upselling opportunities for your property.
Advances in event technology have to allow for a more connected workflow between venue and planner. Properties leveraging software to capture more qualified RFPs or offer direct bookings will stand out from the competition, get the attention of planners, and win more repeat business.
Interested in growing your group business in the future or in event RFP technology? Contact us, we’ll help you review your technology options.