Summer months warm up many markets with hotter temperatures and a louder, busier buzz of city activity. Hotels are prime to reap the fiscal rewards of city-wide events such as concerts, sporting events and cultural festivals. Is your hotel prepared for the high traffic events in your area?
Here are 5 considerations to prepare your hotel for increased business:
Minimum length of stay
Enforce minimum length-of-stay requirements, as needed, throughout the duration of the special event. This encourages longer booking periods and has a positive impact on occupancy levels throughout the area.
Length-of-stay requirements should be determined according to each specific event. Music festivals such as Lollapalooza present a very different scenario than a sporting event like the Pan Am Games. The event duration and volume of patronage they each generate can vastly differ between different event types.
Find the appropriate ‘balance’
Pay attention to the balance between the pace of your normal base business and the actual period of the major event. This improves all long-term occupancy levels, while still maximizing the patronage levels during the event.
Research has shown that initial days of the event see an increase in overall demand, yet also shows there is a potential for base customer booking hesitation due to pricing and logistical concerns.
Use a carefully planned strategy aimed at this segment of the market to maximize occupancy levels. Develop this strategy between your executive team, revenue management, and sales and marketing teams.
Optimal pricing strategies
Carefully manage your pricing strategies leading up to the event. While expected increases in demand on peak days allow rates to be driven accordingly, this will not be the case in other less significant days.
Pay significant attention to particular days and focus direct marketing strategies and available offers on enticing visitors to arrive earlier than the significant periods of the event.
Advance purchase plans
Advance purchase plans can help minimize costly last-minute cancellations. Clearly state the terms and conditions of ‘no-shows’ and cancellations to dramatically minimize any potential negative impact on revenue.
If you experience a large amount of cancellations over the course of an event, advanced purchase plans can allow you to recoup a large slice of any lost profits. These profits can then be complemented by last minute fill-ins.
Set appropriate overbooking levels to counteract expected rises in cancellations. Cancellations are often seen in the night leading up to the height of an event; be that the Thursday before a Grand Prix weekend, or the Friday before a Sunday Grand Slam tennis final.
Combining your overbooking strategy with careful and detailed observations of demand will allow you to achieve an optimal balance between price and demand.
Analyze your market thoroughly when developing your marketing strategy.
Recognize that your customers are booking their hotel visits around the clock with access to available rates at numerous hotels. Maintain a reasonable amount of rate parity with offers between other hotels. While visitors will expect higher rates than normal, they will compare prices with different hotels to ensure a reasonable level of consistency.
Don’t worry if your rooms are not filling up as quickly as you anticipated; the last month prior to the event is generally where the majority of visitors finalize their accommodations.
Prepare your hotel for the large increase in demand and join in with your local tourism industry. How a guest views the host city effects long term financial stability of an entire market. Consider this when planning for a major event.
Looking for more information on managing your hotel over major events?
Visit IDeaS Revenue Solutions at www.ideas.com