Let’s just say you’re an event planner who just upgraded from using a traditional manual RFP process to using a venue sourcing software solution. You’re excited to use a platform to streamline and automate the entire venue sourcing process, as well as score the best deals and reduce your overall meeting spend.
But while your new software will do a lot of the hard work for you, it doesn’t mean that you can just sit back and relax while it finds you the perfect venue for your event. To get the most out of your venue sourcing solution, there are a few things you need to do when you start using it to truly reap the benefits.
First and foremost, flexibility
Usually, event dates are set in stone, but if there’s a little wiggle room, don’t forget to add it to your eRFPs. Venues are constantly working to complete their occupancy puzzle and a minor adjustment to your dates may fit your group perfectly into one of the venue’s holes. As an added bonus for you, the right hotel will often incentivize you by offering some special pricing and cost savings in return for your flexibility.
Create standard concessions
To avoid leaving money on the table, a set of standard venue concessions is a must. Technology makes that easy. Some platforms even auto-populate company concessions, applying them universally to every RFP in the system. You’ll be amazed at what you can save.
Check savings-to-spend ratios
See what your company spends with each brand for every dollar it saves. Savings is the trickier part of the equation to handle. Start by seeing what your company saves through concessions. Then, open a dialogue with brands that don’t offer enough value. Shift-share around to maximize brand leverage from the company’s total spend.
Set compliance goals for your preferred brands
Develop a policy to ensure you can maximize buying power with preferred brands. No preferred brands? Pick the two brands you use most and work to get as much meeting volume to them as possible. This will help you tee up a conversation with them to get preferred pricing and possibly GSO/NSO representation.
Create a core set of contract clauses
And don’t forget to lock them into every eRFP created in your platform. Make sure cancelation and attrition penalties are reasonable and applied consistently on each contract.
Redeem canceled meeting penalties
Companies lose hundreds of thousands of dollars annually from meeting cancellations alone. Develop a canceled meeting redemption process to recoup lost deposits.