Blog Archives

Throw your Hotel Loyalty Program out the Window

LoyaltyThat’s right, hotel loyalty programs are part of the past. Guest behavior changes, so should your loyalty scheme.

This should not come as news to you, it’s really been out on the streets for some time now. As returning guests are key to any hotel management structure, we’ll have a look at current challenges and possible solutions.

Posted in Blog, Syndicated

Throw your hotel loyalty program out of the window

LoyaltyThat’s right, hotel loyalty programs are part of the past. Guest behavior changes, so should your loyalty scheme.

This should not come as news to you, it’s really been out on the streets for some time now. As returning guests are key to any hotel management structure, we’ll have a look at current challenges and possible solutions.

Posted in Blog, Syndicated

Hotel Distribution Simplified

Hotel distribution made easyIn the light of the numerous hotel management and hotel opening articles we have posted, and also the free revenue management book we created, we have come to realize that it’s nothing but logical to also write a book about hotel distribution.

Posted in Blog, Syndicated

Channel Management: an ongoing challenge for hotels – part 2

Best hotel channel managerWe’re on a mission to help you select the best channel manager available for you, let’s continue. We have covered a number of general system selection criteria in the last release. Due to the important role of channel management within hotel revenue management, we’ll now have a detailed look at rate management, inventory management and security related matters.  We’ll continue from where we stopped last time, with your price strategy.

12) General pricing strategy

Are you able to manage rates at the following levels:

  • per day
  • per channel
  • per room type
  • per rate level

A tremendously important related question is which rate strategies you can manage via the tool.

  • Is it for example mandatory to implement a rate parity strategy?
  • Can you possibly change settings for specific channels and deviate from your general strategy?
  • Do you have complete control over your price strategy? I can’t stress enough that it is paramount that you have 100% control of your pricing strategy, and that a system allows you to adapt to any market circumstance. For example, there has been a lot of turmoil around rate parity lately. Will you be able to adapt your pricing strategy if court rulings decide you must?

13) Rate patterns

Can you easily implement new rate patterns by day of week? Can you manage i.e. weekends only for a period of time? Can you rapidly load your BAR rates Tuesdays and Wednesdays for your corporate season? And how about your Mondays and Thursdays, slightly lower, using the same loading instruction? All of this in 1 shot for a specific period is especially very effective when implementing your pricing strategy for next year.Quick update tool - RateTiger

14) Rate supplements

Can you manage your rate supplements easily? What if you want to sell your family room for 3 persons including breakfast? Can the Channel Management tool apply both a room type supplement (from the best available rate for a double room to a suite) and a breakfast supplement per person?

Can you enter a rate supplement for 1 channel? Can you for example make 1 channel 5% or 10% more expensive than all other channels?

How about if you would like to make 1 room type/ rate type less expensive on one channel only, for promotional reasons? Or increase a supplement between a double room and a suite just for your top season?

15) Tax settings

Is there a capability to change tax settings in the channel management tool? You’re unlikely to use this on a regular basis, but how can you manage a change of city tax settings? This may impact the way you need to send net rates or sell rates to extranets.

And what if you decide to change the way you’re selling your rooms from excluding taxes to including taxes? This has implications on the way you send rates to your different extranets. Does your channel management system allow you to gradually change strategy and rate settings, channel by channel?

16) Inventory Management

Can you give certain channels more availability than other channels? Logically you’d like to ensure that your top sales channels get enough allotment at all times. Therefore, can you automatically distribute 10 additional rooms to those channels each time you decide to replenish all channels?

17) Room type groups

Can you create a group of all your suites on all sales channels combined, and add or reduce inventory for just this room type, on all sales channels simultaneously? Especially for hotels with multiple unique room types a feature as such can be tremendously helpful.

18) Inventory pool

The idea of pool management is that you put all of your rooms into 1 pool, and that all channels take rooms out of that pool. The moment the pool is empty all channels are automatically closed. Related to this matter, here are a couple of questions you may want to consider before putting all your rooms into 1 pool:

  • How does the system take different room types into consideration? What if your suites are sold out but you still have double rooms to sell? Do you in that case risk overbooking at suite level? In other words, when and how is each category being closed?
  • How does the pool take the different commissions into account when selling your (last) rooms? Will your most expensive channels always keep selling, or is there a way for you to overrule the pool settings for specific channels?
  • How does the system take sales channels into corporation that are not connected? Rooms sold via an offline channel, for example, can present an operational challenge. What if you sell your last available rooms over the phone? How can the pool take this into account?

The above list may rapidly lead to an infinite list of complex questions. Therefore there’s still a lot to be said for a manual control of your inventory that you set out across your channels.

19) Security and error reporting

Security error messageWhat happens if your rate changes are not accepted by an extranet? What if you load a BAR rate lower than your package rate and the extranet does not allow a rate change as such? Will you get an error message? And how fast will you get it? Hint: if you receive a change summary report one day after you made the changes, it’s too late.

Can you resend changed data easily if you get an error message due to a technical glitch either in my channel manager or on the extranet?

Can you set up bottom rate and ceiling rate restrictions? (to prevent rate loading below or above a certain level)

Is there a security back-up? What happens if you accidentally enter a rate of 2 Euros on a high demand day? You really meant to enter 2 rooms… The error is human, and any revenue manager making hundreds of changes per day has made them. Does the channel manager safeguard you for errors like these?

Security is clearly yet another core feature for a great Channel Management system. Channel Management directly influences incoming revenues, and errors do not come cheap.

It should be obvious that there is no such thing as flawless technology- especially not in a channel management environment. A flawless channel management technology will never exist, because it communicates with so many other evolving technologies.

Consider for a moment, when an OTA extranet is down, do you really think your channel manager will work for that channel?

And when any 3rd party makes changes to their extranet, channel management technology obviously needs to change accordingly. These changes don’t always go overnight, and errors are the result.

The big question is whether you’re notified immediately via an error report that your close out request or rate change did not reach the extranet.

20) Change history

Once your changes are through, can you check what changes you made? What if another user made them? Can I easily track when specific changes were made, for which channel, and for a specific future date? Being able to query the history of your rate and inventory changes is an important feature of a channel management system.

21) Core business

Is Channel Management the core business of your system provider, or is it an add-on tool via for example an interface?

Again, no matter how well built, interfaces are not flawless by nature. Interfaces are built between 2 systems. Logically if either system changes certain functionalities, the interface requires adaptation. Therefore you need to be aware upfront what to be expect of system stability.

You also may want to consider if your Channel Management provider at its roots is a distributor (like a CRS, or a booking engine). If so, does it offer connectivity to its biggest competitors at travel consumer level? Might there be a reason for them to cut out competitor systems now or in the near future? What if the cut-out distributor happens to be an important sales channel for your rooms?

To summarize, channel management remains complex. Even with developments progressing at a tremendous pace across the globe, new challenges appear on the horizon on a daily basis.

And no secrets here, channel management will always be complex. When we look at the history of the distribution industry, distribution has always been fragmented, and will probably always remain fragmented for numerous reasons. On top, with the progressing developments, the new buzzword is two-way connectivity, which brings along a completely different set of challenges, like for example the secure delivery of a reservation.

For now, this information is meant to provide a bit of insight into what you can expect from a channel management tool. I hope the list of 21 functionalities enables you to select a quality product that meets all your needs.

Cheers,

Remko West – Xotels

Posted in Blog, Syndicated

Channel Management: an ongoing challenge for hotels – part 1

Hotel channel managementAt Xotels we see a big shift in hotels looking to move to a high quality channel management tool in order to replace some of the tools they are currently working with. Channel management has become an understanding to every hotelier and it is becoming mature. 1000’s of hotels around the world have used channel management tools on a daily basis for years. Step by step the hotel industry is starting to realize that it requires best of breed tools as part of a solid hotel revenue management operation.

For years we have seen a race to the bottom in the rapidly developing world of channel management software. New channel management systems seem to pop up like mushrooms. There are at least 50 different providers active in the market space, and each system seems to come with a lower price. Many existing players in the field participated in the pricing war and nowadays there are certain standalone channel management solutions available practically for free.

Whilst many of these tools may seem incredibly cheap, most of them are performing far below hotelier expectations. Using the tools is cumbersome, and logically hoteliers continue the search for better channel management tools.  The hotel industry seems to be smartening up and is making a shift towards the tools that offer high-quality technology.

Nowadays a channel manager is a key component of hotel distribution and revenue management, and therefore it’s worth spending some time figuring out which is the best solution out there.

To help you find the best channel management tool out there, we’ll provide you with a list of functionalities that only best of breed solutions will be able to provide. The list is quite large and has been divided in two sections. We’ll have a second release coming out shortly, and combined we’ll cover a total of 21 features. Here is a start of the list of functionalities that you should look for when selecting a channel manager:

1) Number of connected channels:

Can a channel management tool manage your rates/ inventory across all of the channels you need to manage?

How many connected channels are there available in total? Not that you are looking to connect all distribution channels that exist around the globe, however this number does give you good insight in the dedication to develop connections based on hotelier demand.

In addition this will allow you to see how many channels that you are already working with you may still have to manage separately.

2) Number of simultaneously manageable channels

How many channels can you manage simultaneously via the channel management tool? And how many room types can you manage simultaneously on each of these channels?  

The more channels and the more room types you manage simultaneously, the more information will be transferred through a channel management system towards all kinds of extranets, each operating at a different speed. The more information is transferred, the higher the pressure on performance and speed.

There is a limit. There is always a limit. Ask for it.

3) Easiness to connect a new channel

Three questions to keep in mind here:

  • How long does it approximately take to add a channel to the set of channels that you are managing?
  • What if you want to add a new channel that’s not in the list of connected channels yet? This is more complex as building a new connection between a channel management tool and a distributor takes more technological effort and time for programming. 
  • On what basis does the channel management provider select channels that they will build connections to? Are there any requirements, for example a minimum number of hotels that requested the connection to be built?

4) Connection type

What type of connections does the channel management tool have with 3rd parties?

Please do realize that there are plenty of channels out there, and many of them are not capable of building XML links to send rates and inventory to channel management tools. So are the connections XML-based? Or is it maybe a spider technology (also known as screen scraping) that sends and/ or retrieves data from extranets?

5) Push vs. pull and push

  • Can the channel management system pull data from extranets easily and quickly?
  • If it does not pull data, how can you get an overview of your inventory and rates distributed over all extranets? 
  • Consider, that if you can’t see how many room you have left on your sales channels, how do you know whether you’re visible on the channel for sales? What if your top channel sold your rooms, and you forget that you need to replenish inventory?

If you use a push-only system, you will simply not be able to read what data you have loaded across different channels. Below an example screenshot of information pulled from different extranets.

channel manager pull extranet information

6) General Extranet functionalities

Can you manage the following information simultaneously and easily?

  • Rates
  • Inventory
  • Minimum Length of Stay (MLOS)
  • Stop sell (option that avoids cancelled rooms to be returned into inventory available for sales)
  • Closed to Departure/ Arrival

7) Advanced extranet functionalities

What if there are other restrictions available at extranet level, specific to 1 extranet only, how is that displayed in the Channel Management tool? Ideally the rules of each individual extranet are built in. Examples of this type of restrictions would be:

  • Closed to Departure (COD)
  • Closed to Arrival
  • Minimum stay through
  • Per person supplement
  • Free sale
  • Breakfast option
  • Etc.

8) Event management:

Can you mark event dates in the system, so that people that use the system are notified about the importance of certain dates they’re managing?

9) Managing periods of time

  • How far out can you manage your inventory? Can you manage inventory as far as you have loaded inventory? Can you load new inventory and new rates for extranets that allow this specifically?
  • How many days can you manage simultaneously? Is there a limit? 3 days? A week? A month? More? The more days are managed simultaneously, the bigger the challenge to maintain system stability.

There is a logic behind this stability challenge. First of all, the more dates you manage, the more data need to be sent out simultaneously. A quick calculation:

Rate changes for

  • 25 days
  • 15 channels
  • 3 room types per channel
  • 2 rateplans per room type

That’s a quick total of 2250 changes. That is a lot of information running through your internet connection to all these extranets.

Things get really tricky when passing the 30 day limit. Most extranets do not accept data for more than 1 month simultaneously. This obviously has a huge influence on system speed.

So beware when you’re told that you can manage an unlimited amount of days simultaneously through your channel manager.
 
10) Training and support

Is a systems training provided after you purchase the system? By whom? Can you get multiple trainings if required for your team?

And what kind of customer support is provided when you have technical challenges? How does support work? How can you report technical challenges? And how will you be notified about solutions? How fast?

11) User levels and access rights

Can you have multiple user levels for different people or departments?
Can you for example create a user level that allows access to inventory management only? For example for the front office if they need to close sales on a last minute basis?

Next week we’ll be back with more detailed insight in rate and inventory management via a channel management tool.

Click here to discover 10 more functionalities that will help you to select the best channelmanagement tool out there.

Cheers,

Remko West – Xotels

Posted in Blog, Syndicated

10 Reasons to lower your hotel internet marketing budget

stopI actually would like to rephrase this. I recommend to stop all online marketing spend. Just kick it out of your budget. Save some cost for a change. I simply would like to take back what I wrote in previous blog posts, and what I said during any of our seminars and workshops about hotel internet marketing and social media marketing. I now run a 100 room hotel and I have got it all figured out .

Here are 10 rock-solid reasons why you should never invest another Euro in online marketing:
  1. I am saving a lot of money by not spending on online marketing. Seriously, I am talking about tons of money! You can reduce cost by not investing in lonline marketing.
  2. suitcase_full_of_moneyInstead of investing upfront in online marketing, I figured out a solution. I am giving a bit more, actually all of my business to 3rd parties. My most important online provider only charges me about 300K a year. And my average commission percentage is only 19%. 560K a year…. Not bad for my 100 room hotel is it?
  3. Impossible to analyze. Web analytics are complex, and they are hard to analyze. Website functionality is impossible to understand. How would I know where people are willing to click? Who cares if I lose them on the 4th or the 5th click? On top, consumers keep changing anyhow, they’re always on the hunt for this new thing. Why put in the effort?
  4. Websites are hard to build, and I heard that you have to rebuild them every 2 years, because they get old-fashioned so fast. I have never been too much of a trend-follower anyhow. I can stick to what I know and do the same I’ve always done. It has always worked, there’s not a single reason why it wouldn’t work in the future.
  5. Websites are extremely hard to control. How would I know what type of website design works well?? And I will never be a programmer, so forget about me managing a website or a blog. I have enough on my plate.
  6. It’s fun to fill the pockets of big online players. Paying commission is good, and why try to do something myself what they can do so well already? They will be better in online marketing anyhow. And no way I can compete with these guys. At least I will pay them afterwards, not upfront. Less insecurity.
  7. I’d rather spend on paper brochures. Paper is the future. We should stick to a traditional hotel franchise model. The huge declines in sales that newspapers have seen for the past 5 to 10 years are temporary. The paper-business is rebounding one of these days.
  8. ROI

  9. I’d be taking a huge risk by spending online. I do not know what happens to my money spent online, I can’t measure the ROI, nothing. They say online business has spin-off to offline business. I am not buying it. I never get phone calls from people who found me online.
  10. Social Media are a fad. I don’t want to move where consumers are moving. And I also don’t want them to follow me all the time. I find that it scary idea that people can find and follow me whenever they decide. I should be in control, not the consumer. If I could stop them from opening their mouth on Tripadvisor, I would. I have always encouraged them fill in guest satisfaction surveys, and they can simply hand them back in to us. That way I’ll get a good understanding of how they experience my hotel.
  11. Social media have nothing to do with business. It’s just a bunch of people, that probably don’t even know each other ,talking together. The information they’re exchanging is not trustworthy, so there are plenty of good reasons not to get involved.
OK, OK, none of the above things said is true or close to correct. I am just giving you a heads-up on some serious challenges you might be facing. Things you’re stuck on. New developments that are heading your way, and you’re not so sure which direction to take.
I know, today’s hotel business environment is becoming increasingly complex.

Traditional hotel representation models no longer work.

join the dark side

The internet allows you to market to and interact with those people that are only waiting to find you. Even without a big representation brand on your front door.


Want to work on drastically improving your business? Have a chat with us.

Careful though! We just might ask you to change to way you look at things.

For more information click here: hotel internet marketing

Remko WestXotels

Posted in Blog, Syndicated

10 Reasons to lower your hotel internet marketing budget

stopI actually would like to rephrase this. I recommend to stop all online marketing spend. Just kick it out of your budget. Save some cost for a change. I simply would like to take back what I wrote in previous blog posts, and what I said during any of our seminars and workshops about hotel internet marketing and social media marketing. I now run a 100 room hotel and I have got it all figured out .

Here are 10 rock-solid reasons why you should never invest another Euro in online marketing:
  1. I am saving a lot of money by not spending on online marketing. Seriously, I am talking about tons of money! You can reduce cost by not investing in lonline marketing.
  2. suitcase_full_of_moneyInstead of investing upfront in online marketing, I figured out a solution. I am giving a bit more, actually all of my business to 3rd parties. My most important online provider only charges me about 300K a year. And my average commission percentage is only 19%. 560K a year…. Not bad for my 100 room hotel is it?
  3. Impossible to analyze. Web analytics are complex, and they are hard to analyze. Website functionality is impossible to understand. How would I know where people are willing to click? Who cares if I lose them on the 4th or the 5th click? On top, consumers keep changing anyhow, they’re always on the hunt for this new thing. Why put in the effort?
  4. Websites are hard to build, and I heard that you have to rebuild them every 2 years, because they get old-fashioned so fast. I have never been too much of a trend-follower anyhow. I can stick to what I know and do the same I’ve always done. It has always worked, there’s not a single reason why it wouldn’t work in the future.
  5. Websites are extremely hard to control. How would I know what type of website design works well?? And I will never be a programmer, so forget about me managing a website or a blog. I have enough on my plate.
  6. It’s fun to fill the pockets of big online players. Paying commission is good, and why try to do something myself what they can do so well already? They will be better in online marketing anyhow. And no way I can compete with these guys. At least I will pay them afterwards, not upfront. Less insecurity.
  7. I’d rather spend on paper brochures. Paper is the future. We should stick to a traditional hotel franchise model. The huge declines in sales that newspapers have seen for the past 5 to 10 years are temporary. The paper-business is rebounding one of these days.
  8. ROI

  9. I’d be taking a huge risk by spending online. I do not know what happens to my money spent online, I can’t measure the ROI, nothing. They say online business has spin-off to offline business. I am not buying it. I never get phone calls from people who found me online.
  10. Social Media are a fad. I don’t want to move where consumers are moving. And I also don’t want them to follow me all the time. I find that it scary idea that people can find and follow me whenever they decide. I should be in control, not the consumer. If I could stop them from opening their mouth on Tripadvisor, I would. I have always encouraged them fill in guest satisfaction surveys, and they can simply hand them back in to us. That way I’ll get a good understanding of how they experience my hotel.
  11. Social media have nothing to do with business. It’s just a bunch of people, that probably don’t even know each other ,talking together. The information they’re exchanging is not trustworthy, so there are plenty of good reasons not to get involved.
OK, OK, none of the above things said is true or close to correct. I am just giving you a heads-up on some serious challenges you might be facing. Things you’re stuck on. New developments that are heading your way, and you’re not so sure which direction to take.
I know, today’s hotel business environment is becoming increasingly complex.

Traditional hotel representation models no longer work.

join the dark side

The internet allows you to market to and interact with those people that are only waiting to find you. Even without a big representation brand on your front door.


Want to work on drastically improving your business? Have a chat with us.

Careful though! We just might ask you to change to way you look at things.

For more information click here: hotel internet marketing

Remko WestXotels

Posted in Blog, Syndicated

20 Questions to ask before redoing your website

StuckXotels Website Design www.thesignaturehotels.com on increasing the number of unique visitors to your website? Still facing conversion ratios below 1 percent on your own website? You r website needs a serious makeover? Looking to integrate a social media strategy and a blog into your website? Think before you start.
Here’s a list of 20 questions and tips that you should ask yourself before redoing your hotel website design:

  1. What is the goal of the site? Is the goal to generate revenue? Is it to maximize conversion? Is it to attract new customers, retain customers? Under ideal circumstances, what will the outcome be of your website? If your website has multiple goals, make sure you put them in the right order.
  2. Who are you trying to please? If it’s the boss, what does he want? Is it a designer? Or maybe your representation company that wants all hotels within the chain to be equal, and therefore all fantastic brochures (yes offline, and therefore also online) should look the same? Is impressing a certain kind of person important? Which kind?
  3. How many people on your team have to be involved? The GM, Director of Marketing, Sales Managers, F&B managers, C&B managers, all department heads?
  4. Who are you trying to reach? Is it everyone? Potential customers? Returning customers? Other businesses? Leisure customers? Business customers? Groups?
  5. That group that you’re trying to reach, are there other sites that they already enjoy visiting? Maybe there is something you can learn from these sites.
  6. Are you trying to sell something online? How easy should it be to buy for your visitors? Make sure the buying functionality (i.e; booking engine) is simple to use.
  7. Is there a story that you’d like to tell? Are you providing your customers the right experience with that story?
  8. Do you gain permission to follow up with your client?
  9. Do you hope that your customers will watch you, and keep watching (following) you?
  10. Do you need people to talk about you using certain social media? Do you need to be marketed virally?
  11. Do people find the site via word of mouth?Xotels Website Design: www.htelapartments.com
  12. Is there ongoing news and updates that need to be presented to people?
  13. Is the site part of a larger suite of places online where people can find out about us, or is there this website only?
  14. Do you want people to call you? Keep in mind that offline conversion is and will always be much higher than online conversion.
  15. How often would you like people to come by?
  16. Who needs to update this site? How often? How often can you afford to (fully) revise this site? Google is continuously looking for fresh content, so you should be able to generate new content, easily, yourself, on your website.
  17. Does showing up in the search engines matter? Is it maybe more important then some of the previous points? Are you willing to sacrifice any? If showing up in the search engines matters, which keywords matter? Are you aiming for short tail keywords, mid tail, or long tail? How much do we want to spend to be found on all these keywords? Calculate this carefully, and just for fun, compare your website SEO cost to the commission that you pay your 3rd party websites.
  18. Will the site need to be universally accessible? Do languages or browsers play a role?
  19. How much money do you have to spend? How much time can we afford to spend?
  20. How much revenue do you want to generate? What if you don’t make target? What if you go over, far over?


For more information on how to build hotel websites and how to market your hotel better, click here: hotel website design

Remko West- Xotels

Posted in Blog, Syndicated

When will hoteliers wake up?

Jean delivers my newspaper. He comes by on his bicycle early in the morning to drop off his papers. He’s a pleasant guy. He always waves at me in the morning when he sees me. Sometimes he even stops for a chat. I used to get ‘Le Soir’ and ‘De Standaard’. I stopped ‘Le Soir’ last year, trying to save some money.

I am going to do the same with ‘De Standaard’. I now subscribe electronically to various news platforms and receive my news directly into my Netvibes account. I only receive information about stuff that holds my interest. And it’s free.


I will admit that it was hard to stop ‘Le Soir’, I have been reading it for years. But I never read longer than 5 or 10 minutes, over breakfast. Internet, and thus my new way of getting the news, is always accessible. So in the end the conclusion was logical. When I cancelled they started a program of calling me with increasing discounts to get me back as a paying customer. No way am I ever going to pay for something that I can easily get for free.

A year later, I am now trying to screen their calls so that I can ignore them.

Now Jean is getting involved as well. Every now and then he drops ‘Le Soir’ off with a note, saying that it’s free. He doesn’t get it. His business is changing. A paper loaded with advertising is no longer welcome with me, electronic information is. Electronic delivery saves trees, it saves time, it’s more accessible and it works. I have exactly what I want. Someday Jean and I can meet early in the morning at my doorstep, and I’ll explain that to him, if he wants.

Unfortunately, he will eventually be one of the casualties of the digital age. Possibly ‘Le Soir’ will be too. Their management clearly doesn’t get it. They are trying a digital edition that as far as I am concerned turns out to be nothing. It has too much advertising, little valuable content, way too many annoying pop-ups, and therefore it is disfunctional.

It strikes me that only few people have a clear view of what is really going on. Are there really so few to understand that newspapers will disappear now that information, from trusted sources, is available for free? That customers are changing, that they have moved online? That this impacts businesses?
Brochures, paper advertising. It no longer works, it’s about to disappear.

For hoteliers the world is changing rapidly as well. Advertising in brochures and with offline travel agents is dying fast. Some hoteliers understand that downturn will hit them again if they do not change fast. They do the right thing to recover from 2009 and do not rely on traditional methods, steep price discounts to attract old business.

Instead they invest online in their website, in SEO and optimize new channels in order to find new customers. They rebuild a brand via social media strategies, and they are finding new ways to create and maintain relations with customers. These hoteliers are now in the middle of the upturn, and are turning into market leaders. These guys clearly get it.

The other managers? They’re a bit like Jean and the publishers of ‘Le Soir’. They’re trying to use price discounts and brochures in an attempt to bring back customers who are permanently gone. Using price discounts to stimulate customers who temporarily don’t need or want a product just reduces their perceptions of value and loyalty. When they come back, they’ll expect the same lower prices, and the sellers will wonder what hit them–where have all the profits gone? They just don’t get it.

For more information on how to market your hotel better during this new digital era click here: hotel marketing

Remko – Xotels

Posted in Blog, Syndicated

The Conference Bench

Scouting the industry for new solutions and technology that will help our clients to manage their hotels more efficiently and achieve better results, we came across The Conference Bench. A benchmarking tool to optimize revenue and performance of conference and function space.

The Conference Bench delivers benchmarking information for meeting spaces and conference rooms. With Revenue Management for meetings and events developing fast, the need for useful tools is also increasing rapidly. The Conference Bench is a specialist for conference and banqueting revenue management. The company has developed a comprehensive set of reports that contains information about occupancies, performance and revenues of conference space.


The conference bench works based upon key performance indicators such as:
  • Occcupancy percentage of meeting rooms
  • Total meeting space revenue and F&B revenue
  • Revenue per delegate (RevPD)
  • Revenue per available Square Meter (RevPAS or RevPAM)
  • Revenue per occupied space (RevPOS)
  • Delegate numbers, total number of unique delegates per day

conference_bench

These and other KPI’s are brought to you in a clear comparison, giving you valuable market data and market share information. This tool will do for conference and meeting space what The Bench did related to hotel room revenues and performance indexes. It shall not be a surprise that the Conference Bench came forth out of the Bench.


The conference Bench is an online reporting tool using a simple and easy to use method:
  • KPI’s are presented in a weekly performance report
  • Competitor information is immediately available in the report
  • Possibility of user generated reporting based on personal queries

conference_bench_graph

Currently the Conference Bench is operating in the following destinations: London, Dubai, Oslo, Brussels, Frankfurt and Stockholm. in adddition they are rolling out across major European and Middle East destinations of the course of 2009 and 2010.


Obviously there are plenty of reasons to start using this tool. The most obvious reason is that Revenue Management has proven its value to hoteliers in terms of Room Revenue Management, yet in Conference and Banquet Revenue Management this is a relatively unexplored area.


Other key reasons to consider this tool:
  • Get day by day information for better insight into trends, easier and more accurate analysis
  • Work with Key Performance Indicators, and gain control of your business
  • Get combined competitor information on their meeting space revenues
  • Become aware of your market share and get insight in true business potential of your conference rooms
  • Excel and/ or graphical flexible reporting based on your preferences and for the time frames that matter to you, like day of week reporting, yearly overviews, and time-scale reports to highlight market trends
  • ASP based, all data entries are done online and reports are accessible the moment you have access to the internet
  • Labor unintensive, data entry only takes a couple of minutes per day
  • High ROI. The investment (a yearly fee) is low compared to the revenue opportunity created when using the reports correctly
For more information, or to sign up, please contact


P.A. Perra Petterson
phone: +44 (0)207 953 7634

Posted in Blog, Syndicated