Why chase after venues that don’t fit your event? Sounds crazy, right? Yet that’s exactly what thousands of planners do every day.
You see, traditional RFP technology isn’t built to book meetings. It’s designed to sell marketing packages for hotels. Properties that pay get high visibility even if they don’t fit your meeting requirements. With the goal of driving leads, the conventional RFP encourages planners to send requests to scores of hotels that might work instead of saving you time and aggravations by identifying five or so venues that fit your meeting to a tee.
Not surprisingly, hotels today are drowning in RFP spam, facing a 300% jump in lead volume compared to five years ago. At the same time, the RFP close rate has plunged – down an astounding 87%.
Let’s do the math. Hotel sales managers spend about an hour to complete one bid, and the close rate on RFPs is now only 2%. That means it takes 50 proposals to book one meeting. No wonder you’re waiting three to 10 business days on average to get responses. Many hotels don’t bother to respond at all. Or, they submit incomplete proposals, leaving you to chase them down for missing information.
So, what’s a planner to do?
If you’re less than satisfied with your RFP responses – and the time and energy it takes to get them – bright, new technologies can lend you a hand. These next-level solutions offer a much quicker path to finding and booking the perfect venue. Plus, they capture data to increase event ROI. Using Zentila as an example, here’s what the latest technology can do.
- Smart Hotel Search: No need to pour through bids that don’t offer you what you need. Drawing from a vast database of venues worldwide, an ad-free search engine identifies properties that satisfy all your requirements. Smart search tools enable you to drill down with filters like date of last renovation, drive time from airport, proximity to restaurants, and more. With help from unique crowd-sourcing algorithms, you can zero in fast on your best competitive set.
- Simple RFP Creation: You can create an RFP with a complete meeting agenda in minutes. Cool tools build your agenda automatically from your meeting specs. Then you can customize as you like with easy drag-and-drop functionality.
- Best Practices to Banish the Back-and-Forth: No more chasing down hotels over missing bid details. Best practices built into the platform assure you receive complete proposals the first time. Hotels even have to read any special notes you add to your RFP before they respond to assure all your bases are covered.
- City-Wide Events: Got a mega-event on the horizon? Don’t waste hours conducting a separate search for every possible venue. New technology has mastered the art of the multi-venue search. Now, you can simultaneously search different hotels, convention centers, dates, room blocks, concessions, fees and more – all from a single RFP. Source and book multiple venues and even build your room block from many hotels. You’ll automatically get a complete summary of spend and savings on each property, so you can explore a full range of options and easily identify top choices for the best value.
- Meetings Booked: Newer RFP technology doesn’t just source venues; it helps out with all the other work that goes into planning and booking great meetings. That includes: automatically tracking and storing negotiation details in one place, calculating spend and savings, compiling bids in a summary to compare offers, capturing data to increase ROI, and more.
No more laborious searches, incomplete proposals, back-and-forth with hotels, hunting through emails for previous bids, etc. Just imagine what you can do with all the time and energy that you save?
Learn more about how to change the way that planners manage the thousands of details surrounding each of their events in this free ebook.
Written by: Brad Langley