Are your meeting dates flexible?
The answer is “yes,” even if they aren’t.

Posted by Patty Meister

May 24, 2016 2:30:08 PM

Supply and demand

It’s a fact. Hotel demand is far outpacing the supply right now. While hotels may want to accommodate your group over your preferred dates, it's more likely they can’t. They just don’t have the availability they had even a few years ago. Giving hotels the opportunity to find other dates for your meeting not only opens up more options but can also earn you generous savings in return for your flexibility.

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Topics: Meeting Planning, RFP Tips

5 “Must Have” New Year’s Resolutions
for Meeting Planners

Posted by Mike Mason

Jan 7, 2015 4:19:00 PM

It’s that time of the year when many of us reflect on the changes we would like to make in the new year. We consider changes to our personal lives, but it’s also a good time to look at changes to our professional lives. Here are five tips for meeting planners that will broaden your options, reduce risk, and increase your productivity!

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Topics: Meeting Planning

Legos 103: Cut-off Dates

Posted by Mike Mason

Dec 16, 2013 1:58:00 PM

(And no, it’s not a dinner-and-a-movie in jean shorts.) 

 

lego 

Negotiating your reservation
cut-off date is just the beginning. 

Managing to it is the real trick.


This is the final installment in our series on room block management, where we’ve pulled back the curtain to reveal how hotels work to manage your room block and their occupancy. (Here are the prior two posts:  Legos 101: General Block Management and Legos 102: Attrition.)

When it comes down to negotiating your hotel contract, few clauses have as much impact to the overall success of your event than your reservations clause and cut-off date. As a refresher, the cut-off date is the date when all of your room reservations must be made. By ”made,” I mean either the date your rooming list is due to the hotel or, if there’s no rooming list, the date when your attendees must have made their own reservations.

Any rooms left unused in your block after this date are returned to the hotel inventory and put up for general sale. And often these rooms are sold at a higher rate than your negotiated group rate. This becomes a real bummer for those who procrastinated in making their reservations (which I’m notorious for doing – ugh!).

Why Do Hotels Care about My Cut-off Date?

Before we dive into some key strategies you can use to better leverage the cut-off date, let’s quickly review why the date exists in the first place.

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Topics: Meeting Planning, Negotiations

Legos 102: Block Management and Attrition

Posted by Mike Mason

Sep 5, 2013 4:25:00 PM

 

Managing your room block successfully 
means understanding how the hotel thinks.

 

This is the second of three blog posts on managing your room block. Click here to read the first post about how hotels manage your block and the concept of “Blind Cuts."

I’m dedicating this post to the concept of attrition – the most scrambled, chewed-up term the hotel industry has in its contracts. Hotels have figured out as many ways to calculate attrition as there are Legos in Legoland. (I know – it’s the same metaphor used in my last post … but it works!)

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Topics: Meeting Planning, Negotiations

Legos 101: Block Management

Posted by Mike Mason

Aug 21, 2013 2:29:00 PM

Managing your room block successfully
means understanding how the hotel thinks. 

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Topics: Meeting Planning, Negotiations

History class is now in session, part 2 (Q&A)

Posted by Mike Mason

Jul 31, 2013 6:58:00 PM

Supercharge your RFP by sharing your meeting history.

In my last Zmail, I laid out the case for why your meeting history is so important to hotels and the secret strategies they employ to get your prior year’s meeting history. This week I’ll answer common questions about how hotels use your history and how you can get better deals from hotels because of it.

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Topics: Meeting Planning, RFP Tips, Negotiations

Class is in session. The subject: Meeting History.

Posted by Mike Mason

Jul 10, 2013 7:02:00 PM

(And I’m not talking about our forefathers’ Outlook calendars.)

This is part one of a two-part series on the importance of meeting history.

 

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Topics: Meeting Planning, RFP Tips, Negotiations

Rejection sucks.

Posted by Patty Meister

Jun 24, 2013 4:22:00 PM

 

But knowing why changes everything.

Let’s face it: The first time someone broke up with you was an earth-shattering moment. Life as you knew it was out the window, replaced by long, dark days in Algebra class where, it just so happened, you and your ex sat next to each other. The question I would always ask myself (and yes, it happened more than once), was simply, “Why? Why don't you like me? What did I do wrong? And why didn't I think of this when I was picking my seat in algebra class?


Me, circa 1982. To see how I look today, click here.
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Topics: Meeting Planning, RFP Tips

Love at First Site Inspection. Here's How.

Posted by Mike Mason

Jun 10, 2013 3:37:00 PM

Killer tips for effective hotel site inspections

This week I’m thrilled to present our first guest blogger, April Anderson. Besides being a Zentila rock star salesperson, she’s also a former member of the Gaylord Hotels Global Sales team, and queen of the yummiest caramels the world has ever tasted. (Wanna learn more about April? Here you go!)

So it’s with this high level of awe and sticky teeth that I bring to you April’s killer tips for effective hotel site inspections.

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Topics: Meeting Planning, RFP Tips

How do I love thee? Let me count the square feet.

Posted by Mike Mason

Feb 25, 2013 1:46:00 PM

Making hotels' Space-to-Rooms Ratio work for you

As a recovering salesperson, I have a love/hate relationship with math. Sure, I love numbers with dollar signs in front of them ... most of the time, at least. But the prospect of repeating high school trigonometry gives me cold sweats.

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Topics: Meeting Planning, RFP Tips, Negotiations