The PwC building in Toronto is a breathtaking place to gather. The city views stirred excitement as we eagerly took our seats, ready to listen to Michael Dominguez, Chairman of MPI’s International Board of Directors and Senior Vice-President of Sales with MGM Resorts, speak about Hotel Costs and the Future of Meetings. As event professionals know, our industry constantly shifts as trends move, transforms with technology, and changes as generations evolve.
The conversation began with a discussion on the current position of hotels. Unlike years past, hotels hold the most bargaining power as demand has increased and supply has become more limited. Planners have less leverage, but still have the opportunity to be strategic in the early stages of negotiation.
Elevate the Dialogue:
- Revenue per Occupied Group Room: Have an open conversation with your sales manager about what the room rate needs to be in order for the hotel to generate revenue. This is an area that can be negotiated, rather than pushing for food & beverage discounts, which is not only less flexible, but also causes the quality of the product to suffer.
- On Site Restaurants / Services: Find out what restaurants and services at the hotel are owned versus leased. If the hotel owns the facility, chances are you have a better opportunity to negotiate concessions.
- Date Flexibility Are your dates flexible? If so, inquire about open dates in the hotel calendar. There may be other openings that are less competitive and therefore have more budget flexibility.
Michael closed the conversation by addressing technological trends in the industry. More attention needs to be paid to the millennial generation and how they communicate with others. Planners can no longer choose to be content providers, but need to be context innovators. Millennials interact on an entirely different scale than previous generations. They are constantly connected to their devices, meaning planners need capture their attention by integrating technology at events. For example, event apps host agendas and sessions, profiles for speakers and attendees, documents, additional information about the event, and even the social media feeds that millennials love so much. Learning to embrace current and future trends will help inform and engage your attendees.
This is the first time in history that our industry has had four different generations all working together at the same time. Collaborating as planners and suppliers will not only keep lines of communication open, but we will also reap the most benefits for both the budget and the attendees. Embrace the opportunity to drive change and better the industry.
Account Manager, EventMobi