Simplify group hotel reservations for conferences

As CEO and founder of the Academic Orthopedic Consortium, a company that organizes academic musculoskeletal ventures across the United States, Michael Gagnon was looking for a better way to lock in top hotel destinations and negotiate rates for his assembly. annual. Running a business with a rapidly expanding membership base left him with little time to identify and negotiate with hotels each year.

In my five years managing accounts for part-time planner clients, I’ve found this to be a common scenario. Not all event planners intentionally landed in their role. Often they took on the task of supporting an overworked team. Or maybe planning was one of their jobs when the company was still small, but now that it’s grown, it’s being pulled in too many directions.

There’s no doubt, even part-time event planning can be a complex and busy job that requires your time; often, it’s a lot of time. Not only do you use multiple websites and hotel information sources to find and narrow down your shortlist, just to get to the point of submitting a variety of hotel RFPs and negotiating hotel rates.

Luckily, a colleague referred Michael to our group hotel booking solution, GroupSync.

“For people planning large meetings,” Michael said, “there’s nothing they can do on their own that can ever remotely approach what GroupSync can do. In the past, I had to Personally handling everything from identifying suitable hotels to negotiating with those hotels for everything from room rates to bagel prices was exhausting, very inefficient and ultimately not profitable.

GroupSync: a crystal ball with better data

After a huge decline in the size of the hotel and motel market in 2020, from $210.74 billion in 2019 to $93.07 billion in 2020, the industry is recovering. Conference planners like Michael are happy to reunite with their community in person again, and I find it gratifying to see planners get the best deals using GroupSync. After all, through our partnership with Smith Travel Research, a hospitality industry data pipeline, GroupSync is one solution to source the latest market data.

GroupSync uses this data to forecast rates, find out market occupancy, and more. In the past, data like this was not available to planners to help inform shoppers while they shopped about whether they could, for example, afford the market on their preferred dates or have the potential to negotiate better concessions.

I like to think of this GroupSync-trained marketer as having a crystal ball to make better business decisions. The software shows you exactly what you want, asked and answered, with no surprises.

“For people planning large meetings, there’s nothing they can do on their own that can ever remotely approach what GroupSync can do.”

It’s time to review your event organization tools

A Splash research report found that the majority of companies did not change their pre-pandemic event marketing tools. Yet the landscape is different now, and with rising event costs, a reassessment of tools that worked before is needed.

Online comparison shopping is what we created for the meetings industry. If you’re shopping online for a car or home, find out about market rates, reviews, extra features, and more. That’s what GroupSync is for meeting planners and hotels: it’s the one place they can put all their information together so that when they need to book their hotel, they can make a quick decision armed with everything. the data.

Ease pain points in your group hotel booking

GroupSync was created by experienced hoteliers with decades of experience selling hotels, group travel, and event planning. Our solution, specifically created to meet the unique needs of part-time planners and seasoned event planners, solves hotel reservation problems and brings innovations to the industry that no other solution has.

Michael and other meeting planners I speak with say they find GroupSync alleviates a lot of their pain points, including:

1. Uncertainty about obtaining the best offer
2. Lack of trust when negotiating hotel rates
3. Having specific criteria for a location but being overwhelmed with options
4. You can’t or don’t want to spend a lot of money on an event planner
5. Need to get things done quickly (like yesterday)

Let’s see how GroupSync solves each of the above frustrations.

1. UNCERTAINTY ABOUT GETTING THE BEST OFFER

For me, the winning element of the value of our technology is the amount of data that we have access to. It goes beyond room rates for a specific date to help you plan a budget and know where a hotel’s data sits in the market.

Since GroupSync gathers the most important data in one place, schedulers are set up for successful transactions.

2. LACK OF CONFIDENCE WHEN NEGOTIATING HOTEL RATES

Customers have free and direct access to GroupSync without the need to trust us as an intermediary. We pass all available search results (no hidden information, no paid placements or ad redirection) to our users so that they can trade from a more informed and empowered position.

In Michael’s case, he combined his negotiating skills with all the supporting data he could need to plan exactly the right event for his organization.

3. HAVE SPECIFIC CRITERIA FOR A LOCATION BUT ARE OVERWHELMED BY OPTIONS

GroupSync Marketplace shows you rated hotels based on how well they meet your criteria. This includes budget, proximity to airport, weather, group size, meeting space, etc.

Planners can be as specific as needed: For Michael, this included a centrally located US city with open water access within 30 minutes of an airport with many direct flights. He also wanted a room rate of $269 or less and access to meeting space with a specified square footage baseline.

4. CAN’T OR DON’T WANT TO SPEND A LOT OF MONEY ON AN EVENT PLANNER

A limited budget means that outsourcing your hotel supply is not an option for you. Already stretched, you also don’t have time to consider your group’s learning curve of a complicated hotel reservation solution.

GroupSync’s intuitive interface makes it easy to find, compare destinations and properties, submit proposals, and book hotels, eliminating the need to outsource your hotel booking. The necessary details, the only ones you care about, are broken down for you to easily review and make decisions.

“The way the platform is laid out visually makes perfect sense,” Michael said. “Included information for properties and destinations, rates, details, everything is very easy to navigate.”

5. NEED TO DO THINGS QUICKLY (LIKE YESTERDAY)

On average, traditional hotel procurement, from initiating a search to closing the tender, takes planners 75 days.

With GroupSync, the average sourcing time is just 12 days. This represents an average saving of over 60 days (two months!) of procurement time. And because our solution is directly integrated with leading global hotel brands, response times can be as fast as 24-48 hours. (I once researched hotels in Ireland for a program. Due to jet lag, I sent out RFPs to 10 properties before I went to bed and woke up to seven responses the next day morning.)

And when planners choose instant booking for their small events, they spend even less time since the transaction is, you guessed it, instant.

“The time savings and financial savings are a game changer…I would never do it myself again.”

Find the right hotel with GroupSync

Time is money, and that’s why planners are switching to GroupSync. They value their time and efficiency is crucial. Effective teams save a ton of money. Think about how much you pay someone for two months of work, even at an hourly rate. Thanks to GroupSync, Michael found a solution that perfectly suited his needs without signing a paycheck. It is worth emphasizing once again: GroupSync saves the monetary investment of two months.

The biggest testimonial is Michael’s continued use of GroupSync. Since planning his symposium in Austin, he’s used GroupSync to book another block of rooms with meeting space in Philadelphia and a board retreat in the Cayman Islands. It’s been three meetings, purchased and booked, since his initial outreach.

“I would not only recommend, but urge, every group that schedules meetings to stop scheduling meetings on their own and instead try GroupSync for at least one meeting. The time and money savings are a game changer. You get these reports delivered straight to your desktop with all the essentials, pricing and locations that are way better than anything you could do on your own I would never go back to doing it myself says Michael.

You want to know more ? Contact us today and find out how GroupSync makes booking hotels for groups faster and easier.

About Groups360

Groups360 was created with one goal: to empower meeting planners to bring innovation, transparency, and simplicity to the decades-old problem of group booking. The company’s integrated technology solution, GroupSync™, enables suppliers to allocate inventory, engage with planners and optimize group revenue. GroupSync also allows planners to search and shop for hotels worldwide and book rooms and spaces directly, online or through a streamlined bidding process. GroupSync is the first distribution channel to offer online booking of hotel rooms and meeting spaces for groups.

Groups360 has offices in Nashville, London and Singapore. Learn more at groups360.com.

Hal Hasall
Vice President of Marketing
Groups360

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