The good news is that events are back. This year, 65% of meeting planners say that meeting spend is increasing. And demand has been outstripping supply, with50% of meeting planners having trouble finding space and dates for meetings.
On the other hand, hotel sales & banquet teams are struggling to keep up with the demand as the overall industry is short-staffed. Reducing friction in the sales process is key to sales teams closing business — and short-staffed hotels risk losing business if the contract process gets dragged out. Hotel sales teams need to find ways to streamline their sales processes in order to take advantage of the increased event spend.
By embracing technology and leveraging its momentum, event professionals and hoteliers can streamline processes, enhance engagement, and drive revenue growth. Between digital transformation and contactless solutions, hoteliers can streamline their sales process to win more business and do more with less.
Shorten Sales Cycles
Digital contracts can significantly shorten the sales cycle by streamlining the process and reducing the time required for contract negotiation, execution, and processing. One of the most significant advantages of digital contracts is the ability to use electronic signatures. Electronic signature solutions allow parties to sign contracts digitally from mobile or desktop, eliminating the need for printing, scanning, and physical transportation of documents. This accelerates the signing process and reduces the time required to obtain all necessary signatures.
Actually Get Paid on Time
Too often, sales teams plan events and then get paid late or never at all. Digital payment solutions enable sales teams to easily collect payment immediately for deposits, as well as create pre-approved payment schedules for future payments with digital credit card authorization solutions.
Integrate With Your Existing Solutions
Integrating the entire sales stack is key for maximizing efficiency. Make sure your sales and catering CRM can integrate with your contracts and payments solution - which should also integrate with your payment provider and property management solution - ensures a completely streamlined process that saves your staff time and avoids mistakes.
Enhance Guest Engagement
And then of course don’t also forget about ensuring the actual event goes off without a hitch so that your clients become repeat clients! Creating a premium guest experience is crucial for event planners and hoteliers alike. Utilize technology to offer interactive and personalized experiences that leave a lasting impression on attendees. Solutions like mobile check-in and checkout can eliminate lines and ensure guest stay happy. Mobile guest solutions can also provide detailed event information, personalized schedules, and instant updates, reducing the workload for event professionals.
Access Seamless Communication and Networking
Efficient communication plays a vital role in event planning. Technology offers a myriad of tools to ensure smooth and seamless interactions between organizers, attendees, and vendors. Implementing collaboration platforms and instant messaging apps can facilitate real-time communication, making it easier for event planners and hoteliers to address queries, handle last-minute changes, and provide timely updates. Moreover, leveraging social media platforms and event-specific hashtags can enhance networking opportunities, allowing attendees to connect and engage before, during, and after the event.
The possibilities are endless, and the timing is critical for events professionals and hoteliers to implement new technology to streamline and enhance events as bookings continue to ramp up and space - and staff - remain at a premium. Those who seize this opportunity to combine technology with their expertise will help lead the way of the future of event management, reducing costs for customers and providing a more efficient experience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Harman Singh Narula is the Principal and Co-Founder of Canary Technologies, a leader in hospitality software solutions, alongside long-time friend and Co-Founder SJ Sawhney. Narula was previously a member of the Global Strategy team at Starwood Hotels and Resorts and a management consultant at Bain & Company, where he advised senior executives in hospitality and technology. He is a graduate of the renowned Cornell School of Hotel Administration and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.