Searching for a needle in a haystack
With meeting and events booking spend on the rise, agencies value the importance of the data hotels and venues provide us in helping to meet our clients’ requirements. Quality data saves time and money, and prevents us from searching for that needle in a haystack.
At Trinity Event Solutions we’ve recognised the need for quality data. There’s nothing worse than using old venue data resulting in inaccurate proposals for clients.
The latest HBAA Meetings Barometer Report indicates that average spend per meeting increased to £1,954 in 2017 from £1,613 in 2016, an increase of 21.2%, while the average spend per delegate rose by 21% to £88.35 from £73.04 in the previous year.
Highlighting the fact that clients are spending more with us within the industry, we need to continue providing a high-level service to meet their needs. How do we do this? By ensuring that as experts we know our venues inside out and combined with quality data, we can provide accurate proposals.
There are many booking tools currently available that allow you to compare properties for meetings - but how accurate is the data contained within these booking tools? Who is responsible for ensuring these tools are regularly updated? Do they provide everything you need for an accurate proposal, or do you need to carry out further research?
As agents, we’re responsible for promoting quality venues to our corporate clients. In essence - we’re working on the properties’ behalf to help sell them.
So, what data should hotels and venues be providing to ensure we have everything we need to put their property forward effectively to our client?
We’re looking for everything from the number of bedrooms and meetings rooms available; the layout of meetings room with any additional breakout space or reception areas; special offers or promotions and any terms and conditions we need to be aware of.
However, don’t just think of data as facts and figures; quality images are just as important for agents to promote properties to clients to help them understand visually where they might be putting their next meeting or event.
Don’t limit yourself to just pictures. More and more properties are investing in virtual tours or showreels that help to make their venue stand out in what’s become a very busy market place.
Take etc.venues as a prime example: their ‘venue views’ is a fantastic way to navigate your way around their space. You can determine whether you think any of their meeting spaces might be suitable for your next event without having to necessarily carry out initial site inspections.
Corporates are becoming increasingly busier, with less time to spend on visiting potential venues – it’s our job as the intermediary to minimise avoidable wasted time for them. What better way than by taking them on a virtual tour?
It’s not only the corporate whose time quickly disappears every week. It’s a challenge for us all to keep on top of the latest news, movers and shakers happening across the industry. At Trinity, we pride ourselves on carrying out as many site inspections as we can, but with new properties popping up all the time, it can be a challenge to keep track of all the developments.
That’s why it’s so important that the tools that are available to us all are used to their potential. This brings me back to my key point - take the time to ensure your data is up-to-date in all the channels you use, as it will benefit us all in the long run.
Jacqui Kavanagh is managing director of Trinity Event Solutions and EDGE Venues.