The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and Rainmaker, a leader in profit optimization solutions for the hospitality industry, have developed a white paper titled 'A New Age for Group Pricing.'
The white paper, written by Trevor Stuart-Hill, discusses one of the more difficult responsibilities sales managers and revenue managers have; that is, deciding what prices to quote a group. Stuart-Hill is the founder of Revenue Matters and co-author of the college textbook “An Intro to Revenue Management for the Hospitality Industry – Principles and Practices for the Real World.”
Currently, sales and revenue managers look at capacity, segmentation, staying patterns, alternative business, goals, market compression, displacement analysis and pricing to come up with a competitive response for meeting planners. In “A New Age for Group Pricing,” HSMAI and Rainmaker look at taking an enhanced approach to group pricing decision-making by using analytics and how it can increase conversion.
Pricing can be frustrating for everyone involved in the process. The sales manager develops a relationship with a key contact in a group, while the revenue manager works to maximize the financial performance of the property. In the absence of a scientific approach to group pricing, differing opinions, conflicts and mistakes can occur and have a negative effect on revenue and profit consequences for the property.
“Nearly 40 percent of hotel revenue comes from group business, and there’s an increasing need for meeting planners and groups to prove their return on investment,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO of HSMAI. “That need to prove value is not changing anytime in the near future.”
Plus, there are an increasing number of group proposal requests coming in to properties, making it difficult to prioritize leads and come up with appropriate pricing in a timely manner. Factoring in the time, salaries and resources needed to respond to the proposals, hotel sales and revenue managers are finding there is no room for error in pricing.
With 15 years of revenue management experience with Hilton Worldwide and Millennium Hotels, the Rainmaker Group’s Erik Browning discusses taking a page out of traditional science and analytics, including accompanying technology, and applying it to group pricing.
“Key stakeholders will need to see the value and find technology useful in their day-to-day jobs to make the change,” Browning said. “Though that probably shouldn’t be a hard sell given the current economic environment and the time and money spent on responding to group business needs.”
Technology products, like Rainmaker’s GroupREV®, provide an optimized group rate that alleviate time-consuming manual analysis and increase conversion, shorten response times and improve efficiencies for both properties and meeting planners.
The white paper also includes a link to a case study for Omni Hotels & Resorts, which has successfully used an analytics-based approach to responding to meeting proposals.
Visit the HSMAI Foundation Knowledge Center to download the complete white paper.
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals & their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI’s MEET, Adrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at http://www.hsmai.org,http://www.facebook.com/hsmai, http://www.twitter.com/hsmai and http://www.youtube.com/hsmai1.
An innovator and thought leader in the highly specialized revenue optimization field since 1998, Rainmaker’s sole focus is on Revenue Management and delivering quality solutions that provide quantifiable value. Through the implementation of state-of-the-art software and services, Rainmaker significantly improves the bottom line profitability for customers. Rainmaker earned its innovator role through its industry-leading, award-winning GuestREV® system for hotels and casino hotels. By optimizing hotel inventory based on Total Guest Value, a methodology pioneered by Rainmaker, GuestREV allows clients to offer the right room prices while maintaining availability for their most profitable guests and achieving the highest profitability. For group pricing, Rainmaker’s GroupREV® system is a first-of-its-kind sales empowerment tool that provides advanced scientific modeling and an elasticity-based approach for fas! t and comprehensive group-pricing recommendations. For more information, go to http://www.LetItRain.com/GroupREV or contact Chris Clement at CClement@LetItRain.com.
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