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Selecting the right hotel for your company meeting

January 29, 2016

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You will clearly see which hotels are providing the best value for your meeting.

Hotel sales managers typically don’t have the time to give each meeting request for proposal (RFP) the individual attention you might expect. Take a progressive approach to your hotel selection - you’ll gradually get their attention and their best offer for your meeting.

Here’s how a progressive strategy works in hotel selection: first, begin with a broad search including basic details of your meeting requirements. Next, narrow down your hotel selection and ask the remaining hotels to “sharpen their pencils” to earn your business. By doing so, you’ll send a clear message to the sales managers that they are part of the chosen few that made your short list. This will dramatically shift their attention towards working harder on your meeting. The result: you’ll get their competitive juices flowing, and you’ll be far more likely to get their best deal.

Here’s a detailed look at the process:

Step 1: Search broadly. Send your RFP to 5-8 hotels. Get room rates, food & beverage minimums, meeting room rental, and a definitive answer on availability for your dates. You can even ask for those concessions that are important to your meeting and depending on the hotel’s response, you can use these to negotiate later

Step 2: Narrow your hotel list. Based on the first round of the hotel’s availability and rates, reduce the number of hotels down to 2-4. This is your short list.

Step 3: Inform the hotels you selected. Tell the hotels they’ve made it to the next round and notify those hotels that didn’t make the cut. This will help build your relationship and credibility for the next time you contact them to bid on future meetings.

Step 4: Put your chosen hotels back to work for you. This is where sales managers start their engines! Open up the dialogue and connect. Give your “chosen few” an opportunity to re-evaluate their proposal and see what other savings they can offer you. This can include discounts on guest room or meeting rates, additional concessions, etc.

After you’ve completed this progressive hotel selection process, you should have a few compelling offers to help you make your decision with confidence.

As an ASAP member, you have access to a great resource to help book your off-site company meetings. ASAP’s eRFP Solution guides you through the process of creating a meeting request (eRFP). Select the hotels you want to bid on your meeting and you’re off to the races. The solution is supported by the meeting experts at Zentila, who can help you out along the way. Just click the link on the ASAP homepage or go to: https://www.asaporg.com/resources/zentila

American Society of Administrative Professionals

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