October 14, 2013

RSVP Media: latest technology trends for Digital Agencies

Let's talk about Marketing and Website environment, I am inviting you to read our Blogs at our sister property URL: http://rsvpmedia.blogspot.ae  where we share tips about website development, search engines optimization, latest trends and best practices as well.

RSVP Media has 2 offices, one in United Arab Emirates (Ras Al Khaimah) and one in India (New Delhi) and gather its own in-house developers, content writers, graphic and web designer.


RSVP Media brings confidence, enthusiasm and specialized expertise to web development / applications in UAE, India, Australia, Netherlands, France, Canada and African countries. Unlike many other companies in our field, we are completely focused on websites and development, search engine optimization, hosting and management services to put you and your company in the right place on the information superhighway.

With RSVP Media Consultancy, you have a cost effective resource that brings immeasurable value to your company's marketing and online visibility.

We do not make cut and paste websites. Each of our sites is original, designed for you to suit the needs of your business, the structure of your market and your customer's profile.

You concentrate on your business, and leave the technical details to us. At affordable prices, RSVP Media is your strategic web partner.

Contact Details:
www.rsvp-media.com

Email Contact:
info@rsvp-media.com

Telephone:
+971505893011

@ The Desk - Romain Saada - 

September 23, 2013

Revenue Manager job title feels outdated? Let's light this fire, shall we? This is all debatable, of course.

I met lots of General Managers from different part of the globe, and there are still confused of what does a Revenue Manager do? Back in 2005, some USA Hotel chains initiating a different reporting line to integrate revenue management part of their decisions, some others train their General Managers on Module 1/2/3/4 in dedicated Revenue Management Academy. Surely it may work for the companies that embrace revenue management for a decade already.

There are loads of possibility that may vary from a hotel chain to a group of hotels. The opinion may range from analyzing, understanding, reporting and recommending the business strategies for a particular business unit.

So should not it be the time to evolve the current revenue manager position into a Business Analyst Role title? Savvy business analysts know that they need to define SMART requirements, and they know how to do it! SMART, in this context, stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Testable.

Like in Bank or Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Industries, the Business Analyst use their problem solving skills to define the correct, statistics requirements for the business needs. The candidate performs his/her roles while building strong relationships with its Account Managers and / or Business Development managers.

Some current revenue manager job holders, may spend only less than 60 minutes a day analyzing data and making decisions, while the rest of the time is spread over long meetings, reports printing, data inputs, availability management, room allocation, rate restriction.

Since Revenue management is a business development area, which requires people to take initiative and research the right facts through data, a revenue manager should then dedicate his time to analyze not only the rooms, but other ancillary revenues across the hotel property or the business unit that lead to a revenue generation enhancement. The Revenue manager could then handover all of his price decision to the reservation manager or the e-commerce manager.



Dreaming of a Business Analyst Role

This job title is somewhat rare in the hotel industry...A business analyst is, in simple terms, a professional who will evaluate and analyze a business and the way that it runs. The Business Analyst role could be to improve the current business, find solutions to any problems and how to implement any new developments or changes. Their main objectives are to help companies improve their efficiency, productivity and profitability.

So let's link it tentatively to the Hotel Industry by asking those questions:

  1. Which hotels enjoy to develop relationships with 250 target accounts and see only 20% of them materialize 80% of the revenues?
  2. Which hotels enjoy that its corporate clients find cheaper rates through an Online Travel Agencies (Booking.com...) where the hotel will end up cutting a 20-30% commission per night?
  3. Which hotels invest in a direct marketing program but does not succeed collecting guest data upon checking (Email Address target)?
  4. Which Revenue Manager like to think that they prepare over 30 reports, and notice that no one come back to them every day?
Business Analyst and Team Player Role


To succeed as a business analyst, you need to be extroverted, friendly and self-confident. You should be able to work well in teams because working with operations or sales/marketing professionals will always require you to be a good team player.

If you are the kind of person who tends to think that your idea is the best idea, you may struggle as a business analyst.


Business Analyst must Lead by example

  • While other swirl, you focus - provide an agenda and stick to it,
  • While other rush to the middle, you start at the beginning,
  • It is NOT about being the smartest person in the room,
  • It IS about being the most ENGAGED person in the room,
  • Act like you own the analysis - because you do,

Too few Revenue Managers lead by example, either due to their business environment exposure, or the type of hotels there are working for. There is always best practices on many websites, to read, or the opportunity to participate to Professional Meetings.

The future of hotel industry should merge into Business Analyst with the following skills

Good listener, quick and continuous learner, analytical skills, problem solving approach, thinking beyond the box, tech savvy, distribution system savvy. Team or people management, lead by example (requires experience), solid communication, documenting skills, team player, new solutions, market research, and financial acumen.

Happy to read anyone in the fields, please provide your comments, but avoid placing a business URL links, because your comments will not be published.

Cheers,

Romain Saada
rs@rsvp-hospitality.com
ae.linkedin.com/in/romainsaada
Founder
RSVP Hospitality





June 23, 2013

Dubai distress room inventory: can Hotel Apartments understand Yield Management correctly?

I am regularly browsing some OTA websites to understand how some hoteliers, front office or general managers would price their hotels during shoulder or low season. As per the DTCM, Dubai Government entity, I thought it was not allowed to sell over the RACK rate to protect consumers, but it seems that this rule is not being respected in Dubai, where crazy and extreme rates applies.

I think Booking.com and other OTA's should cap those rates, in their extranet setup to protect clients/consumers, and to be in line with government tourism authority in the Emirates.

750% Rate Increase for Hotel Apartment - Dubai - Case Study:
A Dubai hotel apartment that sells its 1 Bedroom Apartment, eighteeen (18) times higher than its Studio, that might sounds crazy, but it happens in Dubai, and no one has placed any restrictions so far.

So what makes this hotel apartment so special: gold finishing, large indoor swimming pool, latest flat screen technology, complimentary airport pickup, massage vouchers, free food and beverage, helicopter ride, Burj Khalifa At The Top access....not at all, you will just be entitle for your rooms and a big smile.

Booking.com Hotel Search - June 27 for 1 Night, 1 Adult

















A quick review on their company website appears that there are sold out for that period. I can understand that it may be difficult for a hotel to claim back its inventory from an Online Travel Agency, however we recommend a courtesy call to Booking.com market manager should be sufficient enough to close off the room category.



Surprise enough by their rates strategy and decisions, I decided to venture through a Google search for their official website; once retrieved I could browse their online booking rates structure and on alternative days, a regular 1 Bedroom Apartment is generally sold at AED 400.00, and I could not reckon that Air Show, Gulf Food or a citywide event is happening in Dubai on those days.

To protect hotel consumers, I think hotels should by default expose their RACK rate through their online bookings, and this should be monitor by DTCM.

What is RACK rate?
RACK rate is the asking price for a room, the set price which nearly all discounts are calculated.

The hotel rack rate is the maximum that the hotel will charge a person that walk in the lobby without reservation. The rack rate is often printed on the sign of the hotel room door. Many travelers never pay the rack room rate. Some hotels have effectively made their "online rate" their hotel rack rate, but most of the time the internet rate is cheaper.

For Moon Valley Hotel Apartment, when accessing their room rates and availability on alternative days, you will reckon that the One Bedroom Apartment is priced at AED 400.00.

By performing a calculation, the advertise rates on Booking.com should indicate me that the regular price is hike with a 750% markup, that sounds quite harsh.....(not sure the DTCM will favor or approve those initiatives...).

Moon Valley Management should really be aware of those practices and place proper structure to control its pricing, and advertise its public rack rates instead of placing Raffles Dubai Hotel or The Armani rates for its 1 Bedroom Apartment.

Last point, they may want to report to google that a website is hijacking their brands with the following URL:
http://www.moonvalleyhotel-dubai.com/ppc/



This type of URL is illegal, see my previous post.

Yield Management  team have evolved tremendously in the last 10 years, and it's important there is a tactical strategy at the hotel or hotel apartment. Yield management should not be define by selling a room at the wrong price at the wrong time for the wrong people.




Let's get back to basics or this business will become too complex to want to be in, unless you are a wholesaler or intermediary that is.

Romain
@ www.rsvp-hospitality.com


May 16, 2013

Don't hijack my hotel brand online! roomswhiz.com practice should be banned...





We have to seriously tackle this issue with Hotel General Managers and all distribution players about brand protection online. We know for the last 8-10 years, that Online Travel Agencies (O.T.A) are purchasing keywords using a variety of hotel brand keywords.



That large investment in search engine resulted in traffic being diverted to competitive hotel properties costing billions of lost revenues and million of commission payment.



I seriously think it's time the hotel industry, at least the Middle East markets wakes up  and enter into a friendly dispute against these pirates who use unfair practices, to gain more traffic. One website is going ahead and setting up a totally illegal process, that is roomswhiz.com.


In the sample below, you will see how they mis-use a very popular corporate 4-star hotel brand in Dubai Deira.

Here are 3 rules I would recommend for hotels to work on asap:

Rule 1: Collect your OTA agreement and add a clause where they would not bid on your hotel brand name.  Needs to be applied to all your OTA agreement without exception. If they don't agree, don't work with them. iN booking.com, the option in their contract is available to thick a check box to stop them marketing on your official brand name.

Rule 2: Communicate to your customers about your Official Brand Website on your Social Media sites, corporate sales call and any type of internal marketing collaterals.

Rule 3: Make a test booking on http://www.roomswhiz.com, and see which rate plan there are using, and contact the leisure travel agents company behind.

For more information, contact us at info@rsvp-hospitality.com
+971505893011
@ Romain Saada








April 07, 2013

Moxy Hotels, the New Brand Design from Marriott & Ikea

Marriott unveils its design for Moxy, a European Budget Hotel Brand it is developing with its partner Inter Ikea Group.

The first location will open near Milan Malpensa airport in early 2014, and the plan is set for 150 hotels all over Europe, in the next 10 years. No properties have been announced in the booming GCC countries as yet.



The venture aims to build its hotels in or near office parks, airport and train and metro stations. They will range from 150 to 300 rooms each.

The privately held Swedish firm company, Inter Ikea is investing about $ 500 million in the partnership for around 50 hotels in the next 5 years.

The hotels won't use IKEA furnitures or its designers, but Inter IKEA devised what it calls novel construction techniques to trim construction costs. Many rooms will be prefabricated and then assembled like IKEA furniture, a modular type of construction that is new for Marriott. Accor has the leadership for prefabricated hotel concept with its Formula 1, Etap Hotels and Ibis success.

The rooms, with a price point around Eur 60 ($79) were designed by Nordic Hospitality which will operate the hotels. The rooms price will be dynamic and not fix prices like in a vast majority of budget hotels. Marriott is the franchiser, contributing its database of customers and reservations and purchasing systems, and would own the brand: Moxy. Marriott Revenue and Distribution systems are the best in class in the Hotel Industry with 70% of their bookings coming from their direct distribution channels (Best Available Rates, Corporate Rates, Online Marriott.com booking...). Nordic Hospitality is managing several Marriott brands in Scandinavia already.

Moxy hotels won't be check-in IDs or posting an age maximum or anything. Moxy was created for the generation traveler, not only Gen X and Y but people with a younger sensibility.



Guest room will be functional and well designed

To the culture of Marriott Hotels it always select a top location. Considering the first Moxy will open at Milan Malpensa Airport rather than a center city location, this will guarantee cheaper prices.

Marriott says its plan for 150 franchised Moxy Hotels in Europe, aiming for location in Germany, Austria, United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

You can visit the Moxy Website at: http://www.moxyhotels.com


RSVP Hospitality Team





March 27, 2013

Dubai Airport Passenger numbers up 11.4%: How does it relate to my hotel business?

Dubai is ranked the third busiest airport in the world in terms of international passengers at per the Airport Council International's latest figures. The Airport serves more than 145 airlines flying to more than 260 destinations across 6 continents.

Passenger traffic at Dubai's main airport surpassed 5 million people in February 2013, rising 11.4% from a year earlier, airport authorities said on Tuesday.

The airport, one of the world's busiest, handled 5.1 million passengers in February 2013. Year to date traffic was up 13% to 10.6 million passengers.



The traffic forecast for Dubai Airport in 2013, is set at 65.4 million passengers.  In the past, Dubai recorded 57.6 million passengers in 2012, up from 50.9 million passengers in 2011. Following the opening of of Concourse A in January 2013, the collective capacity of T1, T2 and T3 has increased from 60 million to 75 million passengers per annum.

An increase in travelers from Eastern Europe, Asia, C.I.S, Russia and the Gulf drive this increase that will then bring business for the hotels. This year we should also see a big increase of Australian / New Zealand customers. Under the partnership between Quantas and Emirates Airline, Quantas will use Dubai rather than Singapore as the stopover point for its flights to London. Quantas signed a 10-year partnership with Emirates in September 2012, ending a 17-year relationship with British Airways.

How does it relate to my hotel business?

As per the Government, you are maintaining a record of geographic statistics as per your check-in procedures per hotel. Despite sharing the information, how many time do you really spend time into those geographic statistics?

It is a time consuming job to extract from your PMS and report it into Excel, because you need to consolidate your markets.

They may constitute the strategic critics about your performance. As clients comes from different distribution sources (Direct booking, Corporate, Government, Wholesaler, Online Travel Agencies and Groups), you cannot generalize on a single distribution channels to bring you Russian or Brazilian clients. You may even want to think if a specific type of origin of clients comes from business or leisure channels.

You then need to breakdown your geographic statistics month by month and link it to your monthly market segmentation, and establish a deep knowledge of your market.

This information need to be share with your sales team and marketing team.

i.e: A Business Sales blitz made in Kazaksthan, 6 months earlier, along with 30 travel agents sales call meeting might give you results after some time. Not only your Key Account Management statistics can reveal that information (Travel Agent Key Account Management), but also your Geographical source too.

Watch out the demand from Australian markets this year, following the recent deals between Quantas and Emirates.

Analytics Regards,

RSVP Hospitality Team
info@rsvp-hospitality.com

February 26, 2013

RSVP Hospitality Tips: Developing your pricing understanding

Since the time we were all junior economists, we've have been told that the world is driven by supply and demand.

Of course most of this blog readers, works in hospitality industry, and they can assimilate the demand and offer patterns, through the hotel occupancy.

There are a lot of parameters needed prior to define your pricing structure.



1) Business Mix:
First of all you would need to determine, review and understand your business mix.
- When was the last time you concentrate and give a thought about your business segmentation (Public Rates, Corporate Rates, Wholesale Rates, Internet Rates, Group Rates)?
- Which is the market leader that drive your revenues?
- What is your comparison room nights versus last year?

History is very important, both long term and short term. When looking at historical data, make sure to adjust for any anomalies in that time frame. For example, Ramadan oftentimes fall on different dates and need to be taken in account when comparing year over year data.

There are always lots of explanations to comment about last year or last month business. Lots of hotels room nights shifted from Wholesale and Corporate into the Web segment in the last 2 years simply because they made clients are attracted by commercial from "Best Rate Guaranteed" message and also the hotelier  provide more inventory to OTAs and invest in online booking brand development.

How many of the hotel sell their Rack Rates less than 1% of their overall revenues per year? Do you consider you are then well price, if your public rates never sell. Or do you discount too heavily?

Any Business Hotel General Managers would aim to grow the Corporate Market, because it is a loyal market segment, and base on business relationships. As Corporate client stayed in different cities, they get to speak about their experience and promote your hotel. On top of this, you get to know the booker, that brings more business to your hotel.

2) Purchasing Behavior:
There are lots of metrics that are available in the hotel industry in order to understand our clients.

One of the most important one is to be able to determine when the client are making their booking for your hotel. The booking pace has helped hundreds of hotels to optimize their revenues. 

Clients know that if they reserve in advance (45-90 days), they may benefit from better prices, since they know the hotel will increase their rates towards last minute due to demand.

Length of stay is also something to consider, as a one night stay might block your weekly business and create a top down occupancy, so think of looking into your statistics by days of the week.



Someone that is price sensitive will look at multiple distribution channels prior booking your hotels.

Sometimes even for AED 5-10 difference, they will book your hotel on a dedicated website.
- Lots of clients are paying from their pockets, so price matter,
- Other clients are paying for their nights but are re-imbursed by their companies, so they prefer to select the hotel that the company assigned.

Pay attention to your customer loyalty factor, as you may have a customer that came to your hotel 10 times, but used 10 different hotel booking methods rather than booking direct.

3) Exterior Business Intelligence
The calendar of events is widely available in the industry. However do you use it properly to setup your prices? do you increase/decrease your prices looking at a specific period? However business seasons have changed and it's important you assigned high - mid - low season, but also integrate a flexibility and dynamic pricing factor.

Observe your competitor, not just as a regular visit, but understand their pricing points, their special offers (determine the market), their corporate pricing, their wholesale pricing. You have many  ways to observe their rates. If you see one of your competitors sold out at a certain date, when you are averaging 50% occupancy, try to give some calls to your colleagues and understand what business they have.

Compare your room category products with your competitors by attributes: room size, bed types, views, floors, away from elevators, facilities, service, tv size,

Most of you have access to the daily competition report (occupancy, average rate and revpar) of your competition. How many of you compare RevPAR metric with your competitors? You can also purchase market competition reports on daily / weekly / monthly to have a better understanding like this link Why not looking at a various element from the market?

Integrate in your pricing development, also the customer reviews collected from Trip Advisor or from their own websites or OTA websites.

The economic conditions, like the overflow demand of rooms resulting, observed in the Gulf cities like Dubai, Doha, Riyadh for last 2 years, is also a direct consequence to some un-rest and conflicts situations in Egypt, Syria and Levant areas.

The above seems to be a lot and are all included in the activities of the Revenue Management / Pricing development, and should be share with all your business organization associates. Revenue Management is not a software, neither a business tool that work without a team, or a complicated algorythm mathematical approach. It's rather a business approach that combine historical data and future demand.

If you have difficulty of getting the right pricing approach, contact us at info@rsvp-hospitality.com and we will establish a 30 minutes free session to assist you.

Cheers,

Romain Saada
RSVP Hospitality
Founder










February 13, 2013

Hotels - can we reach a 0% commission for hotels?

The last 5 years in the Gulf have brought a massive domination of Online Hotel Distribution players (Expedia.com, Booking.com, Lastminute.com, HRS, Agoda, Priceline...) over all types of hotels.


Those distribution players have setup their rules without worrying about the satisfaction and profitability for the hotels. Results hoteliers are totally dependent to those distribution channels, and don't really know how to do different.

The situation is becoming even worse with online players such as Expedia, TUI or GTA that consolidate / lock the market by buying all the smaller (Expedia + Hotels.com + Hotwire, Venere, while TUI with Laterooms.com + Hotelbeds + Hotelopia...).

Let's face it the traditional online travel agencies giant, have manipulated the hoteliers with their 15-25% commission per room night, because they hijacked the hotel brands (silly 4-5 pages hotel contract), and spent money on Search Engine Optimization, CRM, and Traffic Analyst, at a time where no one knew what "keywords" and "analytics" meant; healthy business models that brought billions of dollars, but erode the profitability of so many hotels, because it is not the hotel who own the client, but the client is loyal to its distribution online travel agencies.

When I see some General Managers that are happy to cut a check on USD 100,000 on a monthly basis for an O.T.A, I think something is wrong. On short term it might bring cash flow, but on a long run your clients is like the O.T.A brand, and your hotel become secondary choice.

Last year, I saw some positive news with the emerging new trends on online distribution with launch of GHX Treovi, roomkey and room77.

The "Direct Connect" Hotel Version
Technology providers such as Availpro, I-Hotelier, Synxis, Fastbooking, ResNet propose to offer booking engines turnkey where hotelier can integrate in their websites. In addition other meta-engines open their programs to independent hoteliers (Trip Advisor business listing, link to official websites of the hotel...). This is very promising for independent hoteliers and cleanses the market by offering an anlternative or additional online distribution agencies.

Thus the online platform Roomkey is a new marketplace that s born through the joint venture of six hotels chains (Choice Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt International, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Marriott International and Wyndham Hotel). This model is not new, attempt were made in 2002 (Travelweb). However the context seems to be more promising those days  and the site is good leverage to negotiate with online agencies.

Models without Commission
In the new platform, that emerge we can talk about Treovi and Global Hotel Exchange. Both starts ups have similar approach, as they offer marketplaces without commission or fees. Finally some websites that are positioned to the hoteliers side. There are no commissions, and it is the end user who will pay the fees.

GHX bill the customer USD 2.99 per booking. The amount is relative small and the practice is doing well in North America as the booking fee is well practice. In the early days of Expedia, Expedia use to charge a booking fee too.

Treovi is much more avant guarde and rely on the big data, customization and additional sales to support his model.

Other websites with niche target market
Room 77, which recently saw Expedia gaining a percentage of their shares, is a site that allows travelers to choose the location of his room in the hotel. Its implementation is brand new and require technological developments and it looking to be awesome when well established.

This new entrant will put a lot of pressure on existing infrastructure and will lead to great improvements, and might just be a new direction for yield management.

To ensure that those new entrants are working well, they need support of smart hoteliers, who are tired paying huge amounts of commissions to online travel agencies, that contribute to affect their brand experience.

Cheers,

RSVP Hospitality Team





January 21, 2013

Market segment pricing

When creating or developing a revenue management system, the first step to take is to understand who is using your products or services, and who could / would, and then segment the offer in order to meet these markets.

A market segment is a subgroup of people sharing one or more characteristics that cause them to have similar products needs.

Market segmentation is the process in marketing of dividing a market into distinct sub segments that behave in the same way or have similar needs. Because each segment is quite homogeneous in their needs and attitudes, they are likely to respond similarly to a given marketing strategy. That is why all businesses need to write a marketing plan focusing on their market segmentation.

Like this, they are likely to have similar feelings and ideas about a marketing mix comprised of a given product or service, sold at a given price, distributed in a certain way and promoted in a certain way; this process leads to targeting and positioning.

i.e: have a look to your business cost of distribution percentage, between:
- How much business do you generate, from your own internal department (Sales team, manager, your website, your marketing collaterals, your existing client word of mouth, your Facebook page...),
- How much business does any third party is bringing in revenues to your business?

If you consider your business too dependent from the third party distributors, or any other business that bring you clients through their platform (Global Distribution channels, Online Travel Agencies, Online Portal) but you estimate that you pay high marketing / distribution cost, then the only way to assess well the market, is to have a detail sub market segment that will tell you, perhaps on weekly basis, who is contributing to your success.


The intent is to identify groups of similar customers and potential customers, to prioritize the groups to address; to understand their behavior; and to respond with appropriate marketing strategies that satisfy the different preferences of each chosen segment, in order to improve revenues.

Once the different segments have been identified, you can design a method to attribute different segments at different prices. Our Revenue Management Training company can help you with the process, because once you have it right, you are on the right track to collect data and then analyze and draft your strategies.

The segmentation is not linked to profits. If segmentation is about choices and about the search for opportunities where resources such as sales and advertising can be applied to yield the greatest opportunity, then the segmentation must yield a way to evaluate the different opportunities. One segment may be more difficult and more expensive to reach, or may use products that have a higher cost and lower margins. Any segmentation should link not only to revenues but also to profits, so that the choices about which segment to address and how to address them, can be made in a mannner that boost the bottom line. 

No revenue management, business maximization can be well executed if the market segmentation has not been discussed, challenged and implemented.

The challenges of market segmentation in the future will definitely be a top topic. Consumers change, market shifts, distribution channels evolve, and products reach new generation. To avoid becoming obsolete, any segmentation must be updated over time to stay at edge from your competition.

Make it happen!

Contact us for more information

Cheers,
Romain Saada


January 18, 2013

How to prepare the weekly revenue management meetings at your hotel?

This post is providing answers to the regular emails I get from Revenue Managers, in U.A.E non chain hotels:  how to lead in my position and impose myself in my hotel environment?

In independent properties, revenue managers are still more assimilated as reservation managers with heavy combined duty tasks on printing reports, analyze and trying to guide the hotel on the yield strategies it should follow.

Let's focus on the U.A.E market; revenue managers effectively hold a title.  As per their job description and latest trends, they report to the General Manager who understand the processes of yielding rates and managing inventory. But in reality, the revenue managers are spending most of their times with the Director of Sales, feeding them with data and trends. Many times the D.O.S (Director of Sales) of the hotel property has a strong personality, great public relations skills and market/clients knowledge that allow them to impress. The D.O.S is then more keen to take decision with gut feelings as opposed to the Revenue Manager who lead by facts and analysis. Here come the first dilemma.

My Dear Revenue Managers,

One of the key aspects of leading your position in Revenue Management is that the strategies must be followed by all departments of the hotel. This is why the revenue management culture must be created throughout the property and a weekly (at least) revenue management meeting of all key departments should be held. This is your meeting, you need to arrive prepared and tackle your points vs. possible people who will disagree. In few words, you need to: "LEAD THE GROUP."

The main purpose of the meeting is to focus on maximizing revenue in high demand and push the occupancy on low dates, but you should also:

1) Communicate the performance facts:
- Actual overall room revenues vs. forecast vs. budget,
- Actual market segmentation room nights and revenues vs. forecast vs. budget,
- Find explanations: everybody can read figures, ratio, variances but not everyone can understand why your property is ahead or behind your forecast; whatever you lose in the period analysis, you should better come with solutions how to gain in the remaining days left.
- Discuss your market share performance and how do you plan to gain in position to be the market leader,
- Discuss the turn aways and cancellation statistics with the reservation and the front office to adjust your overbooking and inventory restrictions,

2) Adjust the forecast in occupancy, rate, RevPAR, market share and GOP:
- Evaluate trends with your pickup reports: it is always advisable to be the most details person during that person, so I would recommend to bring pickup reports by market segment,
- Review your On The Books for the week, the next 30-60-90 days,



3) Discuss and agree on strategies going forward:
- Prepare your pricing analysis for you vs. the competitors,
- Analyze your competitor room types positioning, as you may have a competitor selling a higher rate but you may not understand that this is their second room types categories, which may lead you in a different judgments (Competitor room types configuration is a must),

4) Ensure all departments are on the same page and understand their roles in achieving RevPAR and profit goals:
- You cannot push your revenue tactics to gain maximum in ADR, while you will have someone at the front office or in sales giving complimentary upgrade to clients,
- Sales need to be effective in the control of their performing vs. non performing key accounts management; I am sure you had a case of "Let's make an exception for this client, and give him a standard room, when standard rooms are not available". The sales manager will rather accept the bookings for his/her relationship (future big account?) rather than declining it.
- Reservation manager should think revenue rather than order taking,
- Many times the group draft a strategy but does not stick to it, bringing dozens of excuses,
- Monitor the deviation and report it to the next meeting session, bearing in mind that everyone can take some control risks,

Allocate sufficient time 60-90mn and prepare an Agenda for the meeting.

Attendees recommendation:
- Revenue manager to lead the meeting, provide analytics, challenge, confront, foster team decisions, draft revenue minutes and action plan,
- Director of Sales and Marketing provide overall sales direction (blitz, corporate meetings, groups status, future groups),
- E-distribution ensure that all the distribution campaigns are in place for the need periods and are not being run when not needed. Observe the needed periods as e-distribution have tendency to add inventory for OTA, in periods where it is better to sell Best Available Rates (BAR rates),
- Reservation Manager should ensure that reservation department understands the occupancy needs and have appropriate selling strategies in place,
- Front Office should ensure that up selling strategies are in place to avoid upgrade (revenue loss), they should communicate peak check-in/check-out,
- Financial Controller has to provide the overall profitability performance and impact of revenue management decisions,
- Event Manager has to monitor the groups after contracting (sign contract) so they can manage the block accurately,
- General Manager, when available and to push for the revenue culture,

Variances may be observed

Shall you need some assistance for the best revenue management strategies and strategic weekly revenue meetings, you can contact us at info@rsvp-hospitality.com and we would assist at one of your revenue meetings and would provide you our feedback, free of charge.

Cheers,

Romain Saada
Founder
RSVP Hospitality Dubai