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Hotel Tech Industry Launches $350k Ukraine Relief Initiative HospitalityforPeace.org

by
Hotel Tech Report
5 months ago

HospitalityforPeace.org launched through an alliance of hotel tech companies that came together to provide direct aid to those affected by the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis.   The group has raised $290,500 in commitments from hotel tech companies, venture capital firms and individuals in the broader hotel industry with a goal of reaching $350,000 in donations by April 15th. Over the next 30-days, founding members Mews, Tidemark, M3, SiteMinder, Duetto, Impala and Hotel Tech Report will match donations to the campaign when donors contribute to one of the certified causes at HospitalityforPeace.org. Leading hotel tech and venture firms have already joined as first mover corporate donors such as: Peakspan, Hotel Effectiveness, Oaky, ALICE, Transcendent, ProfitSword, ASG, INTELITY, Screen Pilot, Maestro, The Hotels Network, Karbon, Thynk and hotelkit. “We watched the humanitarian crisis unfold in Ukraine as a community and agreed that we couldn’t stand idly by.  Collectively we decided that we’d be able to make more of an impact together than through individual company initiatives,” says project organizer Adam Hollander, “The fact that within the first week of launching this initiative we’ve already raised more than $290k is a testament to the rapid impact we can have by working together as an industry.”   Members of the hospitality industry can contribute to the initiative by sharing the link with friends and colleagues as well as by donating directly to a cause that is certified by HospitalityforPeace.org and sharing their donation receipt with campaign organizers.  Individual donations will be matched by corporate partners to amplify the impact of each dollar raised. Global peace is central to travel demand and a broader European conflict could potentially damage the travel industry even more than COVID. Additionally, Ukraine is an innovation hub with hundreds of hotel and hotel tech companies employing engineers in the country. Each day that Ukrainian engineers are holding rifles instead of writing code – innovation slows down.   About HospitalityForPeace.org Hospitality for Peace is an industry wide pledge to donate funds towards verified Ukrainian humanitarian causes.  Donors simply select the certified 501(c)3 nonprofit of their choice and forward their donation receipt to the campaign email address for inclusion in the matching program.  The campaign has an overall goal to raise $350,000 in 30-days.  

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What Does SMERF Stand for in the Hotel Industry?

by
Hotel Tech Report
8 months ago

Sorry to disappoint, but little blue cartoon characters aren’t the stars of this article - hotel sales manager tactics are. SMERF (or the SMERF market) has a totally different meaning in a hospitality context - one that we’ll explore in the next few paragraphs. Trying to diversify your business mix? Looking to fill some rooms in the off-season? By the end of this article, you’ll have gained a thorough understanding of SMERF in the hospitality industry, what benefits SMERF business can bring to your hotel, and how your hotel can attract SMERF guests and functions.   What is SMERF (Social, Military, Educational, Religious, Fraternal)? Okay, let’s break down that acronym. SMERF stands for Social, Military, Educational, Religious, and Fraternal groups. Groups related to sports, entertainment, and recreation, like high school sports teams, fall into this category too. Common SMERF events include weddings, family reunions, religious seminars, and meetings for organizations like the Elks or Rotary Club.  Event planners at hotels like Marriott and Hilton near convention centers and CVBs (convention & visitors bureau) understand the power of SMERF business as much as anyone. These groups book event space, room blocks, and F&B like corporate groups do, but there are some key differences. Unlike corporate group travelers, SMERF guests generally foot their own bill (rather than charging the company credit card). However, the SMERF segment is known to be more price-sensitive than corporate travelers since guests pay out of pocket for their expenses. Another notable characteristic of SMERF is because these guests aren’t traveling or booking event space for business functions, SMERF bookings often fall outside normal working hours - either at night, on weekends, or over holiday periods.   Key Advantages of SMERF You might be wondering why to focus on SMERF meetings if guests are more price-conscious than your average high-rolling business traveler. Even if SMERF bookings aren’t going to fill your penthouse suites, this segment does present several compelling benefits.  Offering incentives to this market segment can be a great way to fill up lower tiered rooms and increase occupancy (even ADR on unsold rooms) at your property: Fill need periods outside of working hours: Since SMERF events typically happen outside of work hours, this segment can be a perfect complement to a hotel’s existing corporate business. Does your hotel restaurant fill up during the lunch period but sit empty in the evenings? Is your RevPAR generally lower on weekend nights? SMERF can help you fill these gaps with events held on nights and weekends. Fill off-season periods: In addition to booking outside of working hours, SMERF groups can also drive business during your off-season. Seeing as SMERF is a more price-sensitive segment, these groups are looking for the best deal. With students paying out of pocket, the local Model UN team probably won’t want to hold their summit on the busiest, most expensive weekend of the year. Instead, they’ll choose a less expensive date - which might be exactly when you need a little boost in occupancy. Reliable group segment: SMERF is a reliable segment in all market conditions. Travel and economic trends can vary from year to year, and city-wide conventions can come and go, but the Smith clan is still going to hold their annual family reunion and the local chess club is still going to host their yearly tournament. Weddings, in particular, are more “recession-proof” than business functions; when companies tighten their belts or scale down conferences, couples still go all-out on the big day with extravagant F&B, A/V, and decor.. Size, budgets, and needs vary: Although SMERF groups have many similar characteristics, no SMERF group is the same. They come in all sizes and with a vast variety of needs and budgets. Therefore, hotels of all sizes and price ranges can target SMERF groups. Even if your hotel has limited F&B offerings or basic event space, it might be perfect for a SMERF group. With these benefits, SMERF can be a strategic way to fill need periods and lock in repeat events that happen year after year.   How Can Your Hotel Attract More SMERF Business? The first step to launching a SMERF strategy is to understand your existing SMERF business. What kind of SMERF groups are booking your hotel already? What can you do to encourage repeat bookings from the same groups? Nurturing the relationships you already have is a great way to secure future bookings and to help you understand what drew those groups to your hotel in the first place. This knowledge will help you effectively market your property to new groups. Next, you can think about new leads to go after. Are there any local groups similar to groups who have stayed with you in the past? For example, if you’ve developed a strong relationship with a local chess club, maybe the local bridge club would be a good lead to investigate. Besides reaching out to organizations, clubs, or teams directly, you can sponsor or attend trade shows or work with the local destination marketing organization or convention and visitors bureau to spread the word about your hotel.  As you start the prospecting process, remember that your SMERF contacts are unlikely to be professional meeting planners; they’re often volunteering their time, and maybe they’ve never booked a room block or signed a BEO before. Taking a little extra time to explain the process, answer questions, and offer advice can go a long way in these relationships. Although, from a numbers perspective, SMERF events might seem like they’re less important than a major corporate event, these events can be incredibly important to the attendees. SMERF guests will be delighted to see the hotel staff treating their event with the same level of care and attention as any Fortune 500 company’s event. And any extras you can throw in, like free airport pickups or an upgrade for a guest of honor will help you secure repeat business.  There’s no perfect recipe to success with SMERF, so it’s crucial to learn as you go. After each event, make sure to ask for feedback from guests and employees to determine what you did right and where you can improve. Do you have any questions about SMERF? Let us know!

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MeetingPackage Achieves Level III Global Support Certification

by
Hotel Tech Report
8 months ago

This week, MeetingPackage earned Hotel Tech Report’s level III Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) for its investments into tools, processes and strategies to ensure the ongoing success of its customers across the four of the key pillars of the GCSC Rubric including: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching and customer validation. The Hotel Tech Report GCSC certification program analyzes software vendors along critical dimensions of customer support infrastructure in order to help hoteliers minimize risk and maximize positive outcomes when selecting technology partners.  In order to become certified, companies must open their internal systems to Hotel Tech Report for assessment along HTR’s rigorous 34-point GCSC Rubric. “As one of the few fully self-service products in the hotel tech landscape that you can literally sign up and start using without ever speaking to someone at MeetingPackage, the team has honed their customer experience from quite literally the first click in the product.  Right when you signup you have an engaging interactive digital assistant guiding you through every step of the process and as hotels scale their use of the product the team is there as a true partner delivering in-depth quarterly business reviews (QBRs), closely monitoring contract SLAs and is available at the click of a button through live chat.  The combination of investments in self service tools and processes in tandem with high touch accessible service from the MeetingPackage team makes them a true long term partner that hoteliers can count on,” Hotel Tech Report co-founder Adam Hollander. "MeetingPackage along with our customers and prospects are building the best product in the global market to sell and distribute meeting room inventory for venues and hotels. We put our customers and prospects at the very heart of our customer support. We are constantly looking for feedback on all interactions we have with not only our clients but also our prospects.  Our aim is to have the best product in the market and therefore feedback coming from our customers and prospects form a large part of our day to day discussions around how we can improve the experience and feedback frequently impacts the product development roadmap." Joonas Ahola - CEO & Founder, CEO @ MeetingPackage The below GCSC assessment outlines the verified systems and processes that MeetingPackage has in place to educate, train, retain and support customers. MeetingPackage's GCSC Assessment Summary  Rubric Score: 27/34 Certification Level: III Customer Orientation: Customer Centric Recommendation: Highly recommended Support Team Size: 6 Support Team Leaders: Abbie Michaelson, COO Certification Period: December 2021 - December 2022 Support Stack: Hubspot, Jira, UserFlow, Loom, Pingdom, Google Docs   GCSC Support Rubric Section I: Pre-Emptive Support  The Pre-Emptive support pillar of the GSCG Scoring Rubric audits the tools and processes the vendor has in place to provide customers with easy access to self-help resources.  These self-help resources serve as a basis to offer easy troubleshooting as well as to preempt answers to product related questions before they arise providing a more intuitive and seamless experience for clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that MeetingPackage has in place for clients: 1.1 Online knowledge base/help center: Vendor offers a searchable help center for customers to easily find answers to common customer questions. 2.1 Online training videos: Vendor offers pre-recorded videos that clients can access 24/7 for self-teaching and deeper product knowledge. 3.1 In-app guided tours: Vendor offers in-app guided tours that are embedded within their interface to provide coaching and education for users to organically discover and easily access while using the product. 3.2 Tooltips: Vendor offers helpful tips and hints presented when users hover over buttons and UI elements in the interface. (min of 10 in-app tooltips) 4.1 Implementation documentation/roadmap: Vendor offers clients a visual map of the steps, processes and stakeholders upon onboarding to ensure that all stakeholders are aligned to make the implementation process more seamless. GCSC Support Rubric Section II: Reactive Support  The Reactive Support Pillar assesses the company's responsiveness to clients and their ability to resolve issues quickly when they arise ensuring prompt response and service to clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that MeetingPackage has in place for clients: 1.2 Transparent process: Vendor has opened up their systems to Hotel Tech Report via screen share to verify their tools and processes in place to deliver customer support. 1.3 Email support or phone support: Vendor at least one of the traditional methods of customer support channels, email or phone support (additional channels: phone, chat, email) 1.4 Multi-lingual support: Vendor offers support in the languages where they have active clients (English, Finnish, Swedish, Spanish, French, German, Italian) 1.5 Purpose built support and ticket management tool: Vendor utilizes professional customer support software that has functionality to effectively manage support tickets, followup, escalations and analytics. 2.2 Live Chat support: Vendor offers website or in-app live chat as an alternative customer support channel. 3.3 Contract SLAs: Vendor has service level agreement (SLA) terms in place in client contracts to guarantee that service levels are upheld. 3.5 Feature request tracking: Vendor offers the ability for clients to easily submit feature requests and has a methodology in place for escalating high priority features. 4.5 Verified Contract SLA monitoring: Vendor has SLA terms fully integrated into their customer support software that has automatic notifications ensuring that SLA's are monitored and upheld.   GCSC Support Rubric Section III: Customer Success & Coaching While keeping customers happy is commonly thought of by software companies as the top priority, keeping them well informed is of equal importance. The third pillar of the GCSC Rubric identifies the key ways that vendors inform, educate and train their customers to realize successful outcomes with their products.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that MeetingPackage has in place for clients: 1.7 Customer satisfaction monitoring (ex. NPS surveys, CSAT): Vendor has processes in place to regularly monitor customer satisfaction. 2.3 Product updates/changes (release notes/changelog): Vendor offers easily accessible robust documentation of feature updates and product improvements to educate clients on new ways to maximize usage of the product. 2.4 Quarterly success check ins: Vendor offers [at least] quarterly customer success check ins to review progress, share best practices and ensure that clients are successful and happy with the product or service. 3.6 Performance reporting: Vendor offers reporting and analytics to show clients the value of the product or service. 3.4 Managed Services: Vendor offers additional consulting and managed services to help clients maximize their usage of the product. 4.9 Dedicated customer success monitoring software: Vendor utilizes dedicated customer success software to monitor product usage and coach users to succeed with the product.   GCSC Support Rubric Section IV: Customer Validation The GCSC’s 34-point rubric and Hotel Tech Report’s verification of internal tools and processes validate the vendor's systems in place; however, the validation of the success of these tools and processes can most significantly be validated by the unbiased perspectives of real hotelier customers.  This pillar looks at unbiased verified client reviews and satisfaction scores to validate that the processes in place are working in the eyes of customers based on their satisfaction ratings.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that MeetingPackage has in place for clients: 3.7 Public Feedback Validation: Vendor shows exemplary client relationships and is a top performer on Hotel Tech Report with more than 50 verified client reviews. 4.12 4.5+ avg. customer support rating: Vendor has outstanding customer support ratings averaging more than 4.5/5 across all client reviews. 4.13 Vendor Confidence: The vendor has revealed their private internal customer satisfaction scores to Hotel Tech Report showing high degrees of confidence in their support infrastructure and outcomes which can be a strong indicator of transparency and positive vendor-client relationships.   About the Hotel Tech Report Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) Support is one of the most critical aspects of the vendor selection process and yet historically there has never been a way to know the quality of a company’s support, until now. Using Hotel Tech Report’s proprietary framework, companies are assessed along four key dimensions: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching/success and client validation to provide hoteliers unprecedented levels of transparency to more easily identify top technology partners. For more information please visit: https://partners.hoteltechreport.com/global-support-certification/

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Event Temple Achieves Level III Global Support Certification

by
Hotel Tech Report
8 months ago

This week, Event Temple earned Hotel Tech Report’s level III Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) for its investments into tools, processes and strategies to ensure the ongoing success of its customers across the four of the key pillars of the GCSC Rubric including: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching and customer validation. The Hotel Tech Report GCSC certification program analyzes software vendors along critical dimensions of customer support infrastructure in order to help hoteliers minimize risk and maximize positive outcomes when selecting technology partners.  In order to become certified, companies must open their internal systems to Hotel Tech Report for assessment along HTR’s rigorous 34-point GCSC Rubric. “Event Temple’s customer success operation is focused on what their team refers to as creating an ‘effortless experience’ of which their primary goal is to strip away any and all friction in the customer experience.  Delivering on that promise requires a substantial investment of time, money and energy and to that end it's clear that the Event Temple team has executed flawlessly.  Everything from their continuous approach to knowledge management of which their department head  is KCS Certified, to their ongoing satisfaction monitoring process, to their regimented intake and prioritization of customer feedback is evidence that hotels who choose to work with Event Temple will find themselves in the hands of a true long term partner that has their interests at the center of the organization, product and processes.,” Hotel Tech Report co-founder Adam Hollander. “We are constantly releasing new features and iterations of our software based on client feedback and industry trends. We want to make sure all our longest standing clients are aware of all the changes that have happened in our system since they were initially onboarded,” said Perry. “We’ve developed a retraining bootcamp for our legacy clients to ensure they have the tools necessary to leverage the software to its fullest potential.” "Our goal is to empower our clients with the tools and education necessary so they can be sales leaders in their respective markets. We take a customer-centric approach with multiple touch points throughout their time with Event Temple. Ultimately, we see our customers as an extension of our company - we are successful when they are successful." Bob Graham, Event Temple CEO. The below GCSC assessment outlines the verified systems and processes that Event Temple has in place to educate, train, retain and support customers. Event Temple's GCSC Assessment Summary  Rubric Score: 27/34 Certification Level: III Customer Orientation: Customer Centric Recommendation: Highly recommended Support Team Size: 6 Support Team Leaders: David Perry, Head of Customer Success Certification Period: November 2021 - November 2022 Support Stack: Intercom, Hubspot, Freshstatus, Teachable, InMoment, Canny.io   GCSC Support Rubric Section I: Pre-Emptive Support  The Pre-Emptive support pillar of the GSCG Scoring Rubric audits the tools and processes the vendor has in place to provide customers with easy access to self-help resources.  These self-help resources serve as a basis to offer easy troubleshooting as well as to preempt answers to product related questions before they arise providing a more intuitive and seamless experience for clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Event Temple has in place for clients: 1.1 Online knowledge base/help center: Vendor offers a searchable help center for customers to easily find answers to common customer questions. 2.1 Online training videos: Vendor offers pre-recorded videos that clients can access 24/7 for self-teaching and deeper product knowledge. 3.1 In-app guided tours: Vendor offers in-app guided tours that are embedded within their interface to provide coaching and education for users to organically discover and easily access while using the product. 3.2 Tooltips: Vendor offers helpful tips and hints presented when users hover over buttons and UI elements in the interface. (min of 10 in-app tooltips) 4.1 Implementation documentation/roadmap: Vendor offers clients a visual map of the steps, processes and stakeholders upon onboarding to ensure that all stakeholders are aligned to make the implementation process more seamless. GCSC Support Rubric Section II: Reactive Support  The Reactive Support Pillar assesses the company's responsiveness to clients and their ability to resolve issues quickly when they arise ensuring prompt response and service to clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Event Temple has in place for clients: 1.2 Transparent process: Vendor has opened up their systems to Hotel Tech Report via screen share to verify their tools and processes in place to deliver customer support. 1.3 Email support or phone support: Vendor at least one of the traditional methods of customer support channels, email or phone support (additional channels: phone, chat, email) 1.4 Multi-lingual support: Vendor offers support in the languages where they have active clients (English, French, Spanish)  1.5 Purpose built support and ticket management tool: Vendor utilizes professional customer support software that has functionality to effectively manage support tickets, followup, escalations and analytics. 2.2 Live Chat support: Vendor offers website or in-app live chat as an alternative customer support channel. 3.3 Contract SLAs: Vendor has service level agreement (SLA) terms in place in client contracts to guarantee that service levels are upheld. 3.5 Feature request tracking: Vendor offers the ability for clients to easily submit feature requests and has a methodology in place for escalating high priority features. 4.5 Verified Contract SLA monitoring: Vendor has SLA terms fully integrated into their customer support software that has automatic notifications ensuring that SLA's are monitored and upheld.   GCSC Support Rubric Section III: Customer Success & Coaching While keeping customers happy is commonly thought of by software companies as the top priority, keeping them well informed is of equal importance. The third pillar of the GCSC Rubric identifies the key ways that vendors inform, educate and train their customers to realize successful outcomes with their products.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Event Temple has in place for clients: 1.7 Customer satisfaction monitoring (ex. NPS surveys, CSAT): Vendor has processes in place to regularly monitor customer satisfaction. 2.3 Product updates/changes (release notes/changelog): Vendor offers easily accessible robust documentation of feature updates and product improvements to educate clients on new ways to maximize usage of the product. 2.4 Quarterly success check ins: Vendor offers [at least] quarterly customer success check ins to review progress, share best practices and ensure that clients are successful and happy with the product or service. 3.6 Performance reporting: Vendor offers reporting and analytics to show clients the value of the product or service. 3.4 Managed Services: Vendor offers additional consulting and managed services to help clients maximize their usage of the product. 4.6 Learning Management System (LMS): Vendo has a Learning Management System in place that offers videos, guided trainings and assessments for customers to be able to expand product knowledge in a structured way over time. GCSC Support Rubric Section IV: Customer Validation The GCSC’s 34-point rubric and Hotel Tech Report’s verification of internal tools and processes validate the vendor's systems in place; however, the validation of the success of these tools and processes can most significantly be validated by the unbiased perspectives of real hotelier customers.  This pillar looks at unbiased verified client reviews and satisfaction scores to validate that the processes in place are working in the eyes of customers based on their satisfaction ratings.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Event Temple has in place for clients: 3.7 Public Feedback Validation: Vendor shows exemplary client relationships and is a top performer on Hotel Tech Report with more than 87 verified client reviews. 4.12 4.9 avg. customer support rating: Vendor has outstanding customer support ratings averaging more than 4.5/5 across all client reviews. 4.13 Vendor Confidence: The vendor has revealed their private internal customer satisfaction scores to Hotel Tech Report showing high degrees of confidence in their support infrastructure and outcomes which can be a strong indicator of transparency and positive vendor-client relationships.   About the Hotel Tech Report Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) Support is one of the most critical aspects of the vendor selection process and yet historically there has never been a way to know the quality of a company’s support, until now. Using Hotel Tech Report’s proprietary framework, companies are assessed along four key dimensions: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching/success and client validation to provide hoteliers unprecedented levels of transparency to more easily identify top technology partners. For more information please visit: https://partners.hoteltechreport.com/glob

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Meetings & Events Category Press Releases

Hotel Tech Industry Launches $350k Ukraine Relief Initiative HospitalityforPeace.org

Hotel Tech Report
5 months ago

HospitalityforPeace.org launched through an alliance of hotel tech companies that came together to provide direct aid to those affected by the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis.   The group has raised $290,500 in commitments from hotel tech companies, venture capital firms and individuals in the broader hotel industry with a goal of reaching $350,000 in donations by April 15th. Over the next 30-days, founding members Mews, Tidemark, M3, SiteMinder, Duetto, Impala and Hotel Tech Report will match donations to the campaign when donors contribute to one of the certified causes at HospitalityforPeace.org. Leading hotel tech and venture firms have already joined as first mover corporate donors such as: Peakspan, Hotel Effectiveness, Oaky, ALICE, Transcendent, ProfitSword, ASG, INTELITY, Screen Pilot, Maestro, The Hotels Network, Karbon, Thynk and hotelkit. “We watched the humanitarian crisis unfold in Ukraine as a community and agreed that we couldn’t stand idly by.  Collectively we decided that we’d be able to make more of an impact together than through individual company initiatives,” says project organizer Adam Hollander, “The fact that within the first week of launching this initiative we’ve already raised more than $290k is a testament to the rapid impact we can have by working together as an industry.”   Members of the hospitality industry can contribute to the initiative by sharing the link with friends and colleagues as well as by donating directly to a cause that is certified by HospitalityforPeace.org and sharing their donation receipt with campaign organizers.  Individual donations will be matched by corporate partners to amplify the impact of each dollar raised. Global peace is central to travel demand and a broader European conflict could potentially damage the travel industry even more than COVID. Additionally, Ukraine is an innovation hub with hundreds of hotel and hotel tech companies employing engineers in the country. Each day that Ukrainian engineers are holding rifles instead of writing code – innovation slows down.   About HospitalityForPeace.org Hospitality for Peace is an industry wide pledge to donate funds towards verified Ukrainian humanitarian causes.  Donors simply select the certified 501(c)3 nonprofit of their choice and forward their donation receipt to the campaign email address for inclusion in the matching program.  The campaign has an overall goal to raise $350,000 in 30-days.  

MeetingPackage Achieves Level III Global Support Certification

Hotel Tech Report
8 months ago

This week, MeetingPackage earned Hotel Tech Report’s level III Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) for its investments into tools, processes and strategies to ensure the ongoing success of its customers across the four of the key pillars of the GCSC Rubric including: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching and customer validation. The Hotel Tech Report GCSC certification program analyzes software vendors along critical dimensions of customer support infrastructure in order to help hoteliers minimize risk and maximize positive outcomes when selecting technology partners.  In order to become certified, companies must open their internal systems to Hotel Tech Report for assessment along HTR’s rigorous 34-point GCSC Rubric. “As one of the few fully self-service products in the hotel tech landscape that you can literally sign up and start using without ever speaking to someone at MeetingPackage, the team has honed their customer experience from quite literally the first click in the product.  Right when you signup you have an engaging interactive digital assistant guiding you through every step of the process and as hotels scale their use of the product the team is there as a true partner delivering in-depth quarterly business reviews (QBRs), closely monitoring contract SLAs and is available at the click of a button through live chat.  The combination of investments in self service tools and processes in tandem with high touch accessible service from the MeetingPackage team makes them a true long term partner that hoteliers can count on,” Hotel Tech Report co-founder Adam Hollander. "MeetingPackage along with our customers and prospects are building the best product in the global market to sell and distribute meeting room inventory for venues and hotels. We put our customers and prospects at the very heart of our customer support. We are constantly looking for feedback on all interactions we have with not only our clients but also our prospects.  Our aim is to have the best product in the market and therefore feedback coming from our customers and prospects form a large part of our day to day discussions around how we can improve the experience and feedback frequently impacts the product development roadmap." Joonas Ahola - CEO & Founder, CEO @ MeetingPackage The below GCSC assessment outlines the verified systems and processes that MeetingPackage has in place to educate, train, retain and support customers. MeetingPackage's GCSC Assessment Summary  Rubric Score: 27/34 Certification Level: III Customer Orientation: Customer Centric Recommendation: Highly recommended Support Team Size: 6 Support Team Leaders: Abbie Michaelson, COO Certification Period: December 2021 - December 2022 Support Stack: Hubspot, Jira, UserFlow, Loom, Pingdom, Google Docs   GCSC Support Rubric Section I: Pre-Emptive Support  The Pre-Emptive support pillar of the GSCG Scoring Rubric audits the tools and processes the vendor has in place to provide customers with easy access to self-help resources.  These self-help resources serve as a basis to offer easy troubleshooting as well as to preempt answers to product related questions before they arise providing a more intuitive and seamless experience for clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that MeetingPackage has in place for clients: 1.1 Online knowledge base/help center: Vendor offers a searchable help center for customers to easily find answers to common customer questions. 2.1 Online training videos: Vendor offers pre-recorded videos that clients can access 24/7 for self-teaching and deeper product knowledge. 3.1 In-app guided tours: Vendor offers in-app guided tours that are embedded within their interface to provide coaching and education for users to organically discover and easily access while using the product. 3.2 Tooltips: Vendor offers helpful tips and hints presented when users hover over buttons and UI elements in the interface. (min of 10 in-app tooltips) 4.1 Implementation documentation/roadmap: Vendor offers clients a visual map of the steps, processes and stakeholders upon onboarding to ensure that all stakeholders are aligned to make the implementation process more seamless. GCSC Support Rubric Section II: Reactive Support  The Reactive Support Pillar assesses the company's responsiveness to clients and their ability to resolve issues quickly when they arise ensuring prompt response and service to clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that MeetingPackage has in place for clients: 1.2 Transparent process: Vendor has opened up their systems to Hotel Tech Report via screen share to verify their tools and processes in place to deliver customer support. 1.3 Email support or phone support: Vendor at least one of the traditional methods of customer support channels, email or phone support (additional channels: phone, chat, email) 1.4 Multi-lingual support: Vendor offers support in the languages where they have active clients (English, Finnish, Swedish, Spanish, French, German, Italian) 1.5 Purpose built support and ticket management tool: Vendor utilizes professional customer support software that has functionality to effectively manage support tickets, followup, escalations and analytics. 2.2 Live Chat support: Vendor offers website or in-app live chat as an alternative customer support channel. 3.3 Contract SLAs: Vendor has service level agreement (SLA) terms in place in client contracts to guarantee that service levels are upheld. 3.5 Feature request tracking: Vendor offers the ability for clients to easily submit feature requests and has a methodology in place for escalating high priority features. 4.5 Verified Contract SLA monitoring: Vendor has SLA terms fully integrated into their customer support software that has automatic notifications ensuring that SLA's are monitored and upheld.   GCSC Support Rubric Section III: Customer Success & Coaching While keeping customers happy is commonly thought of by software companies as the top priority, keeping them well informed is of equal importance. The third pillar of the GCSC Rubric identifies the key ways that vendors inform, educate and train their customers to realize successful outcomes with their products.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that MeetingPackage has in place for clients: 1.7 Customer satisfaction monitoring (ex. NPS surveys, CSAT): Vendor has processes in place to regularly monitor customer satisfaction. 2.3 Product updates/changes (release notes/changelog): Vendor offers easily accessible robust documentation of feature updates and product improvements to educate clients on new ways to maximize usage of the product. 2.4 Quarterly success check ins: Vendor offers [at least] quarterly customer success check ins to review progress, share best practices and ensure that clients are successful and happy with the product or service. 3.6 Performance reporting: Vendor offers reporting and analytics to show clients the value of the product or service. 3.4 Managed Services: Vendor offers additional consulting and managed services to help clients maximize their usage of the product. 4.9 Dedicated customer success monitoring software: Vendor utilizes dedicated customer success software to monitor product usage and coach users to succeed with the product.   GCSC Support Rubric Section IV: Customer Validation The GCSC’s 34-point rubric and Hotel Tech Report’s verification of internal tools and processes validate the vendor's systems in place; however, the validation of the success of these tools and processes can most significantly be validated by the unbiased perspectives of real hotelier customers.  This pillar looks at unbiased verified client reviews and satisfaction scores to validate that the processes in place are working in the eyes of customers based on their satisfaction ratings.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that MeetingPackage has in place for clients: 3.7 Public Feedback Validation: Vendor shows exemplary client relationships and is a top performer on Hotel Tech Report with more than 50 verified client reviews. 4.12 4.5+ avg. customer support rating: Vendor has outstanding customer support ratings averaging more than 4.5/5 across all client reviews. 4.13 Vendor Confidence: The vendor has revealed their private internal customer satisfaction scores to Hotel Tech Report showing high degrees of confidence in their support infrastructure and outcomes which can be a strong indicator of transparency and positive vendor-client relationships.   About the Hotel Tech Report Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) Support is one of the most critical aspects of the vendor selection process and yet historically there has never been a way to know the quality of a company’s support, until now. Using Hotel Tech Report’s proprietary framework, companies are assessed along four key dimensions: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching/success and client validation to provide hoteliers unprecedented levels of transparency to more easily identify top technology partners. For more information please visit: https://partners.hoteltechreport.com/global-support-certification/

Event Temple Achieves Level III Global Support Certification

Hotel Tech Report
8 months ago

This week, Event Temple earned Hotel Tech Report’s level III Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) for its investments into tools, processes and strategies to ensure the ongoing success of its customers across the four of the key pillars of the GCSC Rubric including: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching and customer validation. The Hotel Tech Report GCSC certification program analyzes software vendors along critical dimensions of customer support infrastructure in order to help hoteliers minimize risk and maximize positive outcomes when selecting technology partners.  In order to become certified, companies must open their internal systems to Hotel Tech Report for assessment along HTR’s rigorous 34-point GCSC Rubric. “Event Temple’s customer success operation is focused on what their team refers to as creating an ‘effortless experience’ of which their primary goal is to strip away any and all friction in the customer experience.  Delivering on that promise requires a substantial investment of time, money and energy and to that end it's clear that the Event Temple team has executed flawlessly.  Everything from their continuous approach to knowledge management of which their department head  is KCS Certified, to their ongoing satisfaction monitoring process, to their regimented intake and prioritization of customer feedback is evidence that hotels who choose to work with Event Temple will find themselves in the hands of a true long term partner that has their interests at the center of the organization, product and processes.,” Hotel Tech Report co-founder Adam Hollander. “We are constantly releasing new features and iterations of our software based on client feedback and industry trends. We want to make sure all our longest standing clients are aware of all the changes that have happened in our system since they were initially onboarded,” said Perry. “We’ve developed a retraining bootcamp for our legacy clients to ensure they have the tools necessary to leverage the software to its fullest potential.” "Our goal is to empower our clients with the tools and education necessary so they can be sales leaders in their respective markets. We take a customer-centric approach with multiple touch points throughout their time with Event Temple. Ultimately, we see our customers as an extension of our company - we are successful when they are successful." Bob Graham, Event Temple CEO. The below GCSC assessment outlines the verified systems and processes that Event Temple has in place to educate, train, retain and support customers. Event Temple's GCSC Assessment Summary  Rubric Score: 27/34 Certification Level: III Customer Orientation: Customer Centric Recommendation: Highly recommended Support Team Size: 6 Support Team Leaders: David Perry, Head of Customer Success Certification Period: November 2021 - November 2022 Support Stack: Intercom, Hubspot, Freshstatus, Teachable, InMoment, Canny.io   GCSC Support Rubric Section I: Pre-Emptive Support  The Pre-Emptive support pillar of the GSCG Scoring Rubric audits the tools and processes the vendor has in place to provide customers with easy access to self-help resources.  These self-help resources serve as a basis to offer easy troubleshooting as well as to preempt answers to product related questions before they arise providing a more intuitive and seamless experience for clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Event Temple has in place for clients: 1.1 Online knowledge base/help center: Vendor offers a searchable help center for customers to easily find answers to common customer questions. 2.1 Online training videos: Vendor offers pre-recorded videos that clients can access 24/7 for self-teaching and deeper product knowledge. 3.1 In-app guided tours: Vendor offers in-app guided tours that are embedded within their interface to provide coaching and education for users to organically discover and easily access while using the product. 3.2 Tooltips: Vendor offers helpful tips and hints presented when users hover over buttons and UI elements in the interface. (min of 10 in-app tooltips) 4.1 Implementation documentation/roadmap: Vendor offers clients a visual map of the steps, processes and stakeholders upon onboarding to ensure that all stakeholders are aligned to make the implementation process more seamless. GCSC Support Rubric Section II: Reactive Support  The Reactive Support Pillar assesses the company's responsiveness to clients and their ability to resolve issues quickly when they arise ensuring prompt response and service to clients.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Event Temple has in place for clients: 1.2 Transparent process: Vendor has opened up their systems to Hotel Tech Report via screen share to verify their tools and processes in place to deliver customer support. 1.3 Email support or phone support: Vendor at least one of the traditional methods of customer support channels, email or phone support (additional channels: phone, chat, email) 1.4 Multi-lingual support: Vendor offers support in the languages where they have active clients (English, French, Spanish)  1.5 Purpose built support and ticket management tool: Vendor utilizes professional customer support software that has functionality to effectively manage support tickets, followup, escalations and analytics. 2.2 Live Chat support: Vendor offers website or in-app live chat as an alternative customer support channel. 3.3 Contract SLAs: Vendor has service level agreement (SLA) terms in place in client contracts to guarantee that service levels are upheld. 3.5 Feature request tracking: Vendor offers the ability for clients to easily submit feature requests and has a methodology in place for escalating high priority features. 4.5 Verified Contract SLA monitoring: Vendor has SLA terms fully integrated into their customer support software that has automatic notifications ensuring that SLA's are monitored and upheld.   GCSC Support Rubric Section III: Customer Success & Coaching While keeping customers happy is commonly thought of by software companies as the top priority, keeping them well informed is of equal importance. The third pillar of the GCSC Rubric identifies the key ways that vendors inform, educate and train their customers to realize successful outcomes with their products.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Event Temple has in place for clients: 1.7 Customer satisfaction monitoring (ex. NPS surveys, CSAT): Vendor has processes in place to regularly monitor customer satisfaction. 2.3 Product updates/changes (release notes/changelog): Vendor offers easily accessible robust documentation of feature updates and product improvements to educate clients on new ways to maximize usage of the product. 2.4 Quarterly success check ins: Vendor offers [at least] quarterly customer success check ins to review progress, share best practices and ensure that clients are successful and happy with the product or service. 3.6 Performance reporting: Vendor offers reporting and analytics to show clients the value of the product or service. 3.4 Managed Services: Vendor offers additional consulting and managed services to help clients maximize their usage of the product. 4.6 Learning Management System (LMS): Vendo has a Learning Management System in place that offers videos, guided trainings and assessments for customers to be able to expand product knowledge in a structured way over time. GCSC Support Rubric Section IV: Customer Validation The GCSC’s 34-point rubric and Hotel Tech Report’s verification of internal tools and processes validate the vendor's systems in place; however, the validation of the success of these tools and processes can most significantly be validated by the unbiased perspectives of real hotelier customers.  This pillar looks at unbiased verified client reviews and satisfaction scores to validate that the processes in place are working in the eyes of customers based on their satisfaction ratings.  The following are the rubric items that Hotel Tech Report has verified that Event Temple has in place for clients: 3.7 Public Feedback Validation: Vendor shows exemplary client relationships and is a top performer on Hotel Tech Report with more than 87 verified client reviews. 4.12 4.9 avg. customer support rating: Vendor has outstanding customer support ratings averaging more than 4.5/5 across all client reviews. 4.13 Vendor Confidence: The vendor has revealed their private internal customer satisfaction scores to Hotel Tech Report showing high degrees of confidence in their support infrastructure and outcomes which can be a strong indicator of transparency and positive vendor-client relationships.   About the Hotel Tech Report Global Customer Support Certification (GCSC) Support is one of the most critical aspects of the vendor selection process and yet historically there has never been a way to know the quality of a company’s support, until now. Using Hotel Tech Report’s proprietary framework, companies are assessed along four key dimensions: pre-emptive support, reactive support, coaching/success and client validation to provide hoteliers unprecedented levels of transparency to more easily identify top technology partners. For more information please visit: https://partners.hoteltechreport.com/glob

Amadeus and Cvent Expand Partnership to Increase Bookings for Small Meetings & Events

Amadeus
8 months ago

Historically, booking a small meeting or event can be time-consuming and inefficient, often requiring a lengthy request for proposal (RFP) and negotiation process. In today’s digital-first environment, planners expect to search, source, and book small meetings and events online, and hoteliers want to automate their processes and grow this important segment of their group business revenue.  This is why Amadeus and Cvent are expanding their partnership to further support and expand Cvent’s small meetings solutions. With Cvent Instant Book, currently available as an Early Adopter pilot, planners can easily book small meetings directly through the Cvent platform. The agreement allows hotels that use Amadeus Sales & Event Management to expose their function space to Cvent planners, enabling them to seamlessly book any available inventory, at any time, without requiring the traditional RFP process.   Key benefits include: · Meeting Planners: Direct access to a robust global database of hotel meeting space to easily source and instantly book their small or simple meetings and events. · Organizations: Better compliance with corporate policies and enhanced visibility into small meetings spend with clear audit trail. · Hoteliers:  Improved efficiency and revenue opportunities with reduced effort from sales teams to focus on more complex opportunities.   Pete Floros, Senior Vice President of Product, Cvent says, “More than 88,000 corporate planners rely on Cvent solutions to manage events of all kinds and sizes. Our partnership with Amadeus further expands our online venue sourcing capabilities by enabling our users to instantly book their small meetings and events. We’re proud to connect our meeting planner customers with Amadeus hotel customers through this partnership which offers substantial business benefits for both buyers and suppliers.”  Katja Bohnet, Director of Hotel Distribution, Hospitality, Amadeus adds, “Group business is critical for the recovery of the hospitality industry. Our support of Cvent Instant Book, powered by function room inventory in Amadeus Sales & Event Management, will be the first step to help equip hoteliers and planners with the solutions they need to quickly book space. It is the start of a shift in our industry where booking a small meeting or event can be done as easily as booking air, rail, car or overnight accommodation and we’re very excited about our expanded partnership with Cvent to bring this to the market.” Amadeus Sales & Event Management solutions help hospitality teams of all sizes and service levels to more efficiently sell, service, and manage their group business and events. Cvent is a leading meetings, events and hospitality technology provider. Its comprehensive suite of solutions automates and simplifies the entire event marketing and management process to maximize the impact of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events.   ABOUT CVENT Cvent is a leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider with nearly 4,000 employees and more than 200,000 users worldwide. Founded in 1999, the company delivers a comprehensive event marketing and management platform and offers a global marketplace where event professionals collaborate with venues to create engaging, impactful experiences. Cvent is headquartered in Tysons, Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C., and has additional offices around the world to support its growing global customer base. The comprehensive Cvent event marketing and management platform offers software solutions to event organizers and marketers for online event registration, venue selection, event marketing and management, virtual and onsite solutions, and attendee engagement. Cvent’s suite of products automate and simplify the entire event management process and maximize the impact of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events.  Hotels and venues use Cvent’s supplier and venue solutions to win more group and corporate travel business through Cvent’s sourcing platforms. Cvent solutions optimize the entire event management value chain and have enabled clients around the world to manage millions of meetings and events. For more information, please visit Cvent.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.  

Registration Officially Opens for the 2022 HotelTechAwards

Hotel Tech Report
8 months ago

Registration is now open for the 2022 HotelTechAwards (hoteltechawards.com), the industry's only data-driven awards platform that recognizes best-of-breed hotel technology companies who win in the eyes of the judges that matter most - their customers. Last year's 2021 HotelTechAwards Winners included top hotel technology companies such as Cloudbeds (PMS), ALICE (Guest App), Revinate (Hotel CRM), IDeaS Revenue Solutions (RMS), OTA Insight (Rate Shopper), and ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions (Mobile Key). "We at SiteMinder believe strongly in the essence of openness; it is what underpins the very core of what we stand for, and the HotelTechAwards, through the program's data-driven and transparent process, aligns firmly with this value," says SiteMinder CEO Sankar Narayan. Narayan's sentiments are mirrored by ALICE co-founder Alex Shashou, "The HotelTechAwards are a powerful stamp of approval for any company to possess and for hoteliers to trust. We value the HotelTechAwards process, which collects thousands of verified reviews from around the world each year." Companies will compete for category leadership across marketing, revenue management, guest experience, operations and sales technology. Hotel technology companies ranging from hardware to software and service businesses like digital marketing agencies are eligible for nomination. Dozens of companies around the world have already pre-registered for the competition. Registration closes on September 1st. Voting will take place through December 15, 2021, and winners of the 2022 HotelTechAwards will be announced on January 15, 2022. "As a former hotelier there was ultimately one thing my team wanted to know about prospective technology partners," says Jordan Hollander, co-founder of Hotel Tech Report, "We wanted to know what other hoteliers like us thought about the service providers, that they were tried and true and that the company could deliver on their sales promises. The HotelTechAwards were designed to do exactly that - they help hoteliers see what people like them honestly think about products and services to help them make better decisions for their properties."

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