Selling the Corporate Meetings MarketSample Lesson PlanPowerPoints:PowerPoint 1: Competencies for Selling the Corporate Meetings MarketCompetency 1: Identify factors that corporate meeting planners consider when making a site selection. (pp. 149-155)Key Concepts:Quality food serviceAdequate meeting spaceServiceEnough guestroomsConvenient locationAttractive locationSecurityText Exhibits:Exhibit 1: Comparison of Association and Corporate Meeting GroupsExhibit 2: Factors Considered Important to Corporate Meeting Planners in the Selection of a Facility/HotelPowerPoints:PowerPoint 2: Corporate Meeting TrendsPowerPoint 3: What Corporate Meeting Planners Look ForCompetency 2: Describe the different types of corporate meetings. (pp. 155-161)Key Concepts:National and regional sales meetingsNew product introduction/dealer meetingsProfessional/technical meetingsManagement meetingsTraining meetingsStockholder/public meetingsIncentive meetingsText Exhibits:Exhibit 3: Summary of Types of Corporate MeetingsExhibit 4: Attracting the Corporate Retreat MarketPowerPoints:PowerPoint 4: Types of Corporate MeetingsPowerPoint 5: Sales and New Product Introduction/Dealer MeetingsPowerPoint 6: Professional/Technical and Management MeetingsPowerPoint 7: Training and Stockholder/Public MeetingsPowerPoint 8: Incentive MeetingsCompetency 3: Identify characteristics of corporate meetings that are important for selling to the corporate market. (pp. 161-169)Key Concepts:Small meetingsTime cycle: meet irregularly throughout the year as needed—usually midweekLead timeShorter than for association meetingsCrisis meetingsGeography: no general patternKinds of sites: depends on purpose of meeting and positions of attendeesAttendance: mandatory; highly predictableRooming listsVIP listsDuration: Average three daysExhibitsMeeting room requirements: breakout roomsOne meeting, one checkMultiple-booking potentialMeetings business brings other businessText Exhibits:Exhibit 5: Booking Small Meetings Online with Hilton’s e-EventsExhibit 6: When Corporate Meetings Are HeldExhibit 7: Types of Facilities Used by Corporate Meeting PlannersPowerPoints:PowerPoint 9: Characteristics of Corporate MeetingsPowerPoint 10: Corporate Meetings—Cycle/Pattern and Lead TimePowerPoint 11: Corporate Meetings—Geography and Kinds of SitesPowerPoint 12: Corporate Meetings—Repeat Business and Multibooking PotentialCompetency 4: Identify who typically decides where to hold a corporate meeting. (pp. 169-176)Key Concepts:TechniquesSell decision-maker, not a go-betweenStart at the top of the organization chartFull-time meeting plannerCompany presidentMarketing and sales executivesAdvertising and sales promotion managersOther corporate executives: corporate relations, public relations, industrial relations, communicationsPassenger traffic/corporate travel managersProcurement (purchasing) managersTraining directorMeeting specialists/third-party plannersText Exhibits:Exhibit 8: Meeting Planners’ Corporate PositionsExhibit 9: Advertising to Planners of Small MeetingsPowerPoints:PowerPoint 13: Techniques for Selling Corporate MeetingsPowerPoint 14: Corporate Meeting Decision-MakersCompetency 5: Describe the tools salespeople use to locate corporations and to find information about the meetings they hold. (pp. 176-181)Key Concepts:Special meetings and business publications: mailing lists, ad space, sales-lead servicesTrade directories and publicationsTrade associationsInternet sitesConvention and visitors bureausLateral referral and account penetration: suppliers, divisions of large companies, property employeesPowerPoints:PowerPoint 15: Tools for Finding Corporate Meeting Planners Class ActivitiesSuggested Guest Speakers
- Consider inviting a guest speaker to this class session. An appropriate speaker would be a local corporate meeting planner. Ask the speaker to bring an organization chart of the corporation. Help the speaker prepare by providing him or her with a copy of the competencies for this chapter. Have the speaker focus the presentation on the following points:
- Kinds of corporate meetings
- Requirements for the various types of meetings
- What corporate meeting planners look for in a property
- The growth potential of the corporate meetings market
Objective: This speaker would give students practical knowledge of the corporate meetings market, and students would have the opportunity to ask questions of an industry representative.
- Another appropriate speaker would be a corporate sales manager from a local property. Ask the speaker to bring an organization chart of the hotel. Help the speaker prepare by providing him or her with a copy of the competencies for this chapter. Have the speaker focus the presentation on the following points:
- The corporate/association sales mix ratio
- Selling techniques for the corporate meetings market
- Potential sources of corporate meetings
- The focus on food and beverage quality
- Who typically chooses meeting sites in a company
Objective: This speaker would give students an understanding of how important it is to identify the specific requirements corporations have and of how corporations differ from other important markets. Students would also learn how to present hotel features as benefits that match the specific needs of the meeting planner.Optional TestA ready-to-use test containing questions related to the competencies covered by this chapter is included in this session. These questions are similar in format and content to the questions on the Final Exam that the Educational Institute provides and grades for students who are enrolled in this course with the Institute. (If your students are not enrolled in the Institute’s course, they will not receive this Final Exam.)The answers to this session’s optional test are:1-a-C1, 2-d-C2, 3-b-C2, 4-a-C2, 5-c-C3, 6-c-C3, 7-a-C4, 8-c-C5Each question is linked to a competency. Competencies are listed on the first page of the chapter. An answer reading 3-b-C4 translates to:3: the question numberb: the correct answerC4: the competency numberThe pages in the text that are associated with this chapter’s competencies are as follows:C1: 149-155C2: 155-161C3: 161-169C4: 169-176C5: 176-181Note that the answers to test questions may not appear verbatim on the referenced pages. Test questions may assess the examinees’ ability to apply a concept, not just their knowledge of the concept.These questions can also be found on the CD-ROM in a rich text format. You can use these questions as a starter to create your own tests.Video SupplementAn EI video supplement to material covered in this session is:Sales Tips for Small & Economy Properties. Simple techniques help anyone learn to book more rooms. Discover how to: organize your sales plan to turn leads into dollars; conduct a successful sales call; target sales calls to the most profitable prospects; and use front desk “down time” to generate more income. 20 minutes. Includes Video Guide.Individual/Group ActivitiesActivity 1: Case Study: “Overcoming Rate Resistance—Among the Sales Staff”Instructor’s points for guiding discussion on this case study can be found later in this session. This case study examines issues that can come up when selling to the corporate meetings market. The case can be found in the Appendix at the end of the textbook.Activity 2: Discussion: Comparison of Association and Corporate MarketsHold a class discussion on the comparison of association/corporate meeting group factors (see textbook). Ask for class input on how sales/service function would differ with each.Activity 3: Corporate Meetings ResearchAssign students a local corporation to contact to obtain a meetings profile (when, where, frequency, room requirements, attendance, decision-maker, etc.).Selling the Corporate Meetings Market NAME: ________________________________________ DATE: ____________________
- All other factors being equal, which of the following properties is likely to get the most corporate meeting business?
- the property with the best food service
- the property that offers special preregistration service for groups
- the brand-new hotel
- the hotel that is closest to a major shopping area
- Which of the following types of meetings is designed as a reward for excellent performance in a company?
- stockholder/public meetings
- professional/technical meetings
- new product introduction meetings
- incentive meetings
- Which of the following types of corporate meetings is held to safeguard a company’s work force against obsolescence?
- national sales meetings
- professional/technical meetings
- management meetings
- stockholder meetings
- Perry is a part-time salesperson at the 85-room Sun and Surf Hotel. The Sun and Surf Hotel is a beachfront hotel in a warm region. It has a single large meeting room, which has a capacity of about forty people and has high-tech audiovisual equipment. There are four smaller meeting rooms connected to the large one. Perry has been researching a nearby company that has 2,000 employees nationwide (10% are salespeople), and Perry has found a list of meetings it typically holds each year. All of the following sound like meetings for which Perry could solicit business from this corporation except:
- the national sales meeting.
- the quarterly management meetings.
- line-level training seminars.
- management training seminars.
- Many corporate meeting planners submit rooming lists to hotel salespeople before the meetings that will be held at that property. Properties that serve the corporate meetings market can expect:
- far more attendees than the rooming list indicates.
- far less attendees than the rooming list indicates.
- very nearly the number of attendees the rooming list indicates, barring emergencies.
- more attendees than the rooming list indicates, because it usually does not include attendees’ spouses.
- Which of the following statements about the corporate meetings market is false?
- Most corporations pay for most meeting services and products in a single payment.
- Corporate meeting attendees are sometimes required to pay for certain optional hospitality products and services.
- Independent hotels can never compete with hotel chains when a corporation wants to repeat a meeting in several cities.
- The average duration of a corporate meeting is about three days.
- It can be difficult to locate the site selector for a particular corporate meeting. Once a salesperson has found that person, however, it is easy to solicit business for that meeting, since the decision-making responsibility in the corporate meetings market is typically:
- evenly distributed throughout the decision-maker’s department.
- shared among the top five employees in that department.
- reassigned regularly.
- Meeting News, Meetings, Conventions, and Successful Meetings are all examples of which of the following sources of information about corporations?
- electronic databases of corporations
- directories that list corporations
- specialized periodicals
- textbooks on convention and meeting sales
Case Study: “Overcoming Rate Resistance—Among the Sales Staff”Points for Instructors
- What are some of the criteria the sales staff could use to evaluate whether a corporate contract account should be retained or dropped?
- Keep accounts that are providing business year-round on both high-demand dates and low-demand dates. Eliminate accounts that only come into the hotel during busy time periods when demand is high.
- Tally what each account produces in terms of room nights monthly and annually. Are they booking the number of rooms specified by their contract, or do they fall short?
- Set a new figure for the minimum number of room nights per month that will qualify a business for the corporate preferred rate.
- Determine which accounts have the potential to manage an increased rate.
- What factors should the staff consider when determining new sources of business to replace the displaced contract business?
- After making a list of possible sources and market segments, the staff should estimate the potential ADR and rate range for each one.
- Determine what it would take to obtain business from the most desirable of these sources.
- Determine how long it would take to get business from these sources.
- Develop a plan so that new business begins to come in as the less desirable contracted accounts are eliminated.
- What would the scripts look like that the sales staff could use when talking to clients about the rate change?
Sample A:“Ms. Davis, as we go into a new year we usually review our rate structure. As I’m sure you probably experience in your business, our expenses continue to increase, so we need to evaluate our rates. I think you’ll find the new preferred rate of $89 is still a great value when compared to our regular rate of $95. It’s also still a very competitive rate when you look at other similar hotels in the area.”Sample B:“Each year we have to evaluate our rate structure. We certainly appreciate the business you have given us. We are still able to offer your company a discounted rate from our normal rate of $89. We tallied the number of rooms you did last year. As you may recall, we had discussed the potential for 1,000 room nights. By the end of the year, we received 575 from your company. Even though it was not quite what we anticipated, we can still extend a special rate of $85. This rate is a very competitive rate when you consider all the services and amenities your guests will receive.”Sample C:“Debra, I wanted to review your new rate for next year. We certainly appreciate you allowing us the opportunity to submit a preferred rate for this year. As you know, we track the room nights for all our preferred accounts throughout the year. While we had anticipated around 30 room nights a month from Digital, we actually had an average of one to 10 rooms each month. I realize it is difficult to anticipate the volume, especially with so many different people booking rooms. For next year, what we can do is extend our corporate rate to your guests. This $99 rate is still a discount off our regular $105 published rate. I think you’ll find this corporate rate is a good value—especially when compared to other similar hotels in the area.”
- How can Fran help her staff become comfortable with the changes in the hotel’s rate structure?
- Train the staff to present the changes in the rate structure in an effective manner.
- Use the sample scripts to help them become confident in presenting the new rates.
- Role-play encounters with clients.
- Have staff “shop” the competition for the rates they are quoting corporate clients, so they can see that the Park View’s rate increase is still a good value compared to what the other hotels in the area are doing.
Competencies forSelling the Corporate Meetings Market
- Identify factors that corporate meeting planners consider when making a site selection.
- Describe the different types of corporate meetings.
- Identify characteristics of corporate meetings that are important for selling to the corporate market.
- Identify who typically decides where to hold a corporate meeting.
- Describe the tools salespeople use to locate corporations and to find information about the meetings they hold.
PowerPoint 1 Corporate Meeting Trends
- More regional rather than national meetings
- Looking to second-tier cities
- Using telepresence or webinars to save on travel costs
- Less flamboyant and more strategic and practical
- Corporate meetings offer the greatest potential for growth
- A majority of corporate meetings have fewer than 50 attendees, making it an ideal market for small properties
PowerPoint 2 What Corporate Meeting Planners Look For
- Quality food service
- F&B functions are major contributors to success of an event
- Very important to planners and attendees
- Adequate meeting space
- Business centers
- Most important element in repeat business
- Enough guestrooms
- Prefer to use only one host property
- Convenient location
- Downtown, airport, certain suburban properties, and conference centers
- Boutique/lifestyle hotels
- Attractive location
- Consistent with image of the corporation
- Especially true for incentive meetings
- Prefer to meet away from busy areas
- Often prefer to be the only group in the hotel
PowerPoint 3 Types of Corporate Meetings
- National and regional sales meetings
- New product introduction/dealer meetings
- Professional/technical meetings
- Management meetings
- Training meetings
- Stockholder/public meetings
- Incentive meetings
PowerPoint 4 Sales and New Product Introduction/Dealer Meetings Sales Meetings
- One of the largest sectors of the corporate meetings market
- National attendance about 150, duration 3-4 days
- Regional attendance about 65, duration 2-3 days
- Meetings may involve new product introductions, sales training, or morale building
- Good source of repeat business for hotels
- Generally staged by the sales and marketing department of each division of a company
New Product Introduction/Dealer Meetings
- National and regional in scope
- Method of creating enthusiasm
- Vary greatly in size and duration
- Attract top company management, stockholders, and the press
- Excellent chance to “show off” the property and attract new business
PowerPoint 5 Professional/Technical and Management Meetings Professional/Technical Meetings
- Often take seminar and workshop formats
- Lecture and demonstration by consultants, educators, and/or vendors
- May be regular events, or in response to specific situations
- Usually small in size, but premier facilities are required
- Attendees are prospects for divisional or company meetings
- Geographical location varies greatly
- Commonly last two days
PowerPoint 6 Training and Stockholder/Public Meetings Training Meetings
- All levels of corporate personnel require training
- Training meetings in hotels account for the largest number of corporate meetings
- Attendance is usually less than 50
- Duration is usually 3 days
- Special requirements: A/V capability, minimal distractions, adequate light, prompt service
- Rarely require prestigious locations
- Trainers tend to return to hotels where everything worked out well
- Meetings for nonemployees
- Public relations and industrial relations hold exhibits and meetings
PowerPoint 7 Incentive Meetings
- 85 percent of all incentive trips include a meeting
- Attendees and planners look for first-class service and accommodations
- Bookings usually guaranteed
- Participants use all of the facilities of the hotel
- Usually indicates high revenue
- Group incentive travel averages 130 attendees for a 5-day trip
- Individual incentives are growing in importance
PowerPoint 8 Characteristics of Corporate Meetings Small meetingsTime cycleLead timeGeographyKinds of sitesAttendance
- Highly predictable
- Use of rooming lists and VIP lists common
Duration: average 3 daysExhibitsMeeting room requirements
- Especially need breakout rooms near larger rooms
One meeting, one checkMultiple-booking potentialMeetings business brings other business PowerPoint 9 Corporate Meetings—Cycle/Patternand Lead Time Cycle/Pattern
- As-needed basis
- Usually midweek
- Short compared to associations
- Incentive meetings: 8–12 months to 2 years
- Annual sales meeting: 8–12 months
- Most others: 3–6 months
- Crisis meetings: virtually no lead time
PowerPoint 10 Corporate Meetings—Geography and Kindsof Sites Geography
- No pattern
- No reason to vary site to attract attendees, since attendance is mandatory
- Convenience is most important geographic criterion
Kinds of Sites
- Variety; depends on purpose of meeting and position of attendees
- Each property has the right features to host some kind of corporate meeting
PowerPoint 11 Corporate Meetings—Repeat Business and Multibooking Potential Repeat Business
- Training meetings
- Crisis meetings
- Same meeting program may be repeated in several locations
- Good for
- hotels with cooperative agreements with hotels in other cities, and
- hotels that use independent hotel representatives
- More difficult for independent hotels to attract corporations that repeat meetings
PowerPoint 12 Techniques for Selling Corporate Meetings
- Sell the decision-maker, not a go-between
- Start at the top of the organization chart
- Pay attention to tomorrow’s decision-maker
PowerPoint 13 Corporate Meeting Decision-Makers
- Full-time meeting planner
- Company president
- Marketing and sales executives
- Advertising and sales promotion managers
- Other corporate executives: corporate relations; public relations; industrial relations; communications
- Passenger traffic/corporate travel managers
- Procurement (purchasing) managers
- Training director
- Meeting specialists/third-party planners
PowerPoint 14 Tools for Finding Corporate Meeting Planners Special Meetings Publications
- These publications offer advertisement space, sales-lead services, and rental lists for direct mail
- Successful Meetings
- Meetings & Conventions
- Meeting News
- Reach some important prospects
- Readership is much broader than target market(s)
Trade Directories and Publications
- Research the industries of past clients
- Dun & Bradstreet’s Million Dollar Directory
- Standard and Poor’s Net Advantage
- Meeting Professionals International Membership Directory
- Best Insurance Reports
- Corporate Meeting and Event Planners Directory
Tools for Finding Corporate Meeting Planners(continued) Trade Associations
- Their executive directors can give you important leads
Internet SitesConvention and Visitors BureausLateral Referral and Account Penetration
- Local suppliers could recommend the property
- Large companies have many divisions to penetrate
- Hotel employees may have leads for meetings business