Meetings & Events Management Tools Align Revenue Management and Sales Initiatives
Amaris Hospitality is one of the largest property management companies spanning the United Kingdom and Ireland, overseeing more than 65 internationally branded hotels under the Jurys Inns, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn, IBIS Styles and Mecure brands.
Although they operate independently, each of the hotels has been responsible for optimizing revenue from guest room sales in order to meet Amaris’ overall profitability goals.
Many of the properties have implemented a successful guest room revenue management strategy by partnering with IDeaS Revenue Solutions. However, to stay competitive in the marketplace, the Amaris team recognized that revenue managers needed to be more strategic about driving revenue across the entire property.
A unified revenue management strategy that went beyond guest rooms – to include function space and meetings rooms – could help Amaris gain a more holistic view of revenue opportunities and offer ways to meet its “total hotel performance” goals.
Strategic Revenue Managers Need Strategic Tools
“Our revenue managers are experienced in commercial decision-making in terms of driving guest room revenue strategy. But it made sense to have them also oversee meeting and events revenue. It’s not only an opportunity for us as a business, but it offers development opportunities and helps the team enrich their skillset as well,” said Stephanie Gosling, head of revenue for Amaris Hospitality. “Moving forward, that’s where the future of revenue management lies – the totality of revenue.”
Aside from a sales and catering system, the revenue management process for meetings and events at Amaris properties had been entirely manual. Sales staff relied on off-site revenue managers to email spreadsheets with revenue information including demand, forecasting and booking pace. The process also relied on sales staff being able to understand the information to set the pricing strategy.
“Simply put, this was an inefficient and manual process,” said Gosling. “We knew the revenue management tools, reports and recommendations that we wanted existed for guest room revenue, so we immediately looked to IDeaS to help us implement something similar for our meetings and events space.”
Improving Meetings and Events Insights
After talking with IDeaS to understand their function space options, Amaris implemented Smart Space by IDeaS, a cloud-based platform designed specifically to analyze the business trends and performance of meetings and events space within hotels and stand-alone venues.
Smart Space creates a firm connection between revenue managers and event sales managers by providing visibility into meetings and events demand. Through cloud based technology Smart Space leverages sales and catering data to strategically manage meetings and events pricing, allowing hoteliers to collaborate and create demand based pricing scenarios to maximize revenue.
By combining Smart Space with the IDeaS solutions already in use, Amaris was able to provide the tools, reporting and strategy needed to bring the revenue managers and function-space sales and marketing teams together. Now, each team has access to the information they need to make smarter decisions about how space is priced and sold – moving them toward a singular, optimized revenue strategy.
“Smart Space gives us everything we need, very quickly through the cloud-based application,” Gosling said. “This is very different from what we did before; we now have the ability to control total revenue.”
Results Driven Partnership
Four hotels have already seen significant success with Smart Space, and Amaris plans to implement the tool across additional properties in 2018. To make sure that both revenue and sales managers were fully trained on the tools, and understood the importance of alignment across the two teams, all managers went through Smart Space training, provided by IDeaS. This helped them discover how each of their strategic roles in meetings and events business impacts overall hotel profitably.
“The implementation was great. The IDeaS deployment team was able to show us how to use it, but also the role that the tools play in our overall profitability, and why team alignment is critical. I cannot speak highly enough of them,” Gosling said.
Previously, sales staff believed there was demand for large meeting spaces and would reserve those spaces for big events, often turning down smaller groups regardless of demand. This caused a loss in revenue when large events didn’t materialize.
With Smart Space, revenue managers can easily see the dates where there is not sufficient demand for these spaces. They have since changed their sales strategy to sell the function space in parts when the demand does not exist to sell it as a whole, rather than waiting for a big piece of business that never comes to fruition.