4 Tips for Event Management!
It’s “Event Week” for the RevGEN RM team, meaning that we are spending some extra time with clients this week focusing on upcoming Events, and making sure our inventory is protected for events next year. Why do we do this in September? The reason is that it gives many of us one last major chance to review our Football calendars! Yes, NFL and College football games are that big of a deal for some of our hotels! In this blog we’re going to give you 4 tips on how you can better manage major events at your hotel. Helping with the blog this week is Hudson, who is a Revenue Analyst here at RevGEN who manages several event-heavy markets, so he’s had to learn a lot about event management in a short time!
Let’s talk through what some of the major events might be that we as revenue management consultants look at on our strategy calls:
One example might be: Football games (both NFL and College)many of the markets that we manage hotels in are affected by college and NFL football. These are heavy demand drivers in the fall. They really can make or break the year for many hotels.
*Remember we have written a whole case study on managing NFL games, and how RM’s can maximize their performance on NFL games, down to how to handle the different days of week and kickoff times so be sure to check that out by following the link here!
Another major kind of event that we keep an eye out for are trade-shows and conferences – with covid further in the rear-view mirror, group corporate travel will continue to increase. These kinds of events can offer significant, sustained demand across multiple days, and can affect your hotel if you host these sorts of events, or are within the proximity of a venue that hosts them.
Another kind of event would be those “miscellaneous”, or act-of-god of events. For example the major eclipse coming in 2024! Also, we should also consider Hurricanes, Tornadoes, floods – we obviously don’t want to see those things happen but they are events in the sense that they can be major drivers of hotel demand. And you should note how they affected your property.
So let’s get into those 4 tips that we as revenue managers can utilize to better manage our events:
- Tip #1 (Hudson): Shop the comp set! This will give us a good indication of where to price, if a hotel need to add a LOS restriction, and what cancellation policies need to be applied. Doing a small shop of the compset can really tell you how serious, and in depth you will need to be for this event. Some events may need more attention and heavier restrictions than other weekends. Think about how well the competing teams are doing. The better the team is performing, the more demand you are likely to see in the market, also think about how well the opponent’s fans travel!
- Tip #2 (Daniel): Historical Performance can give you key insights – if you have a big concert coming up, and you have historical performance for other, similar events, use it! Most events have distinct, and somewhat predictable demand patterns – an example I use is AT & T stadium here in the DFW metro. If a big Taylor Swift concert gets announced, not only has she only performed here in past years, but we can look at Beyonce concerts, George Strait concerts, and really get a feel for roughly how it will perform. Use this historical data to price and yield, and push for better performance this time around!
- Tip #3 (Hudson): If you are a Branded hotel, use the free brand resources! Most brands offer Standard Operating Procedures, and other guides that act as “how tos” for building out events. You may learn that there are certain inventory controls and procedures you can use to better yield and manage discounts and things like points stays, and friends and family and employee rates. Also some brands have specific guides for how to better manage your OTA presence over events which can be valuable if you are looking to add more, or remove that piece of business from your market mix!
- Tip #4 (Daniel): One of my biggest secrets with event management is to always watch rate evolution – and learn how the compset moves. One of my favorite tools ever is the 30-day rate evolution tool in Rate Insight – once you realize how the compset prices leading up to arrival, you begin to understand that most compsets move price in highly predictable, but ultimately inefficient ways. Remember that we wrote a case study on this which looked at how the NYC market manages New Years Eve, and the results were actually quite shocking. Knowing how your market prices for events can give you the confidence to hold firm on rate when you know it’s appropriate, or to drop a bit to build more base.
We hope this helps you knock your next big event date out of the park! Thanks for reading!