100 Years of Advancing Destinations

Relevant to Relevance: Shaping the Future of the DMO's Hotel Lead

"When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened."

- John M. Richardson, Jr.

Can you imagine a world in the not-so-distant future, where an abundant number of online RFP systems send planner RFPs directly to hotels, right into their sales and catering system where the hotel sales personnel live day to day and can respond to the planners’ RFPs immediately?

Then, can you also imagine a situation where DMOs continue to require their local hotels to retrieve the RFPs from a DMO member/partner extranet or receive the RFP via email? Hopefully, the fax machine will have been outlawed by then. In any case, the hotel would still have to manually re-enter the RFP into their own sales and catering system.

So, what’s the problem?

First, our DMO systems – people, processes, and tools – were never designed to monitor and deliver the fastest hotel responses to the planner. And isn’t facilitating hotel responses to our leads or RFPs one of our most important roles?

Second, the hotel industry is very concerned with the inefficiencies of receiving and responding to RFPs from all these channels and is working toward reducing that. The current process causes confusion, delay, errors and duplication, which negatively impact the hotel’s ability to respond quickly.

In 2011, DMOs influenced over 37.5 million group room nights for future periods and as a major sales channel, we must take an active role in being more efficient in distributing hotel responses to our RFPs. The result will only help us better serve our own DMO sales professionals, our local hotel stakeholders, and our meeting planner customers.

So, how do we make it happen?

It starts first with increasing our DMOs’ awareness about what progress that the hotel industry is already making on increasing efficiency in “Event RFP Submission.”

This work is spearheaded by Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), a non-profit association with a mission to foster, through collaboration and partnership, the development of next-generation systems and solutions that will enable hoteliers and their technology vendors to do business globally in the 21st century.

HTNG has been gracious to host a live webinar “Latest Trends in Hotel Lead Distribution: Issues and Opportunities for the DMO Sales Community,” created exclusively for the DMO industry.

Reserve your spot free, for an eye-opening dicussion on this industry-transforming initiative on February 7, 2013 from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST.