Each year Hotel Tech Report surveys thousands of industry insiders to find the best hotel tech jobs and employers globally. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the hotel industry. The World Travel and Tourism Council predicts that 121 million of the 330 million jobs tied to tourism around the world will be lost in 2020. Despite existential challenges, hotels and their vendors have proven resilient in the face of the biggest challenge ever posed to the hospitality industry by working together. But there’s always opportunity in crisis. The pandemic has advanced digitization in the global economy by at least 5 years according to most experts. Hotels that already had adopted technology like contactless check-in and guest messaging software have had a massive advantage since the pandemic broke out and the importance of technology for running a successful hotel business will continue to rise over the coming years meaning that demand for hotel technology talent will grow with it. Here at Hotel Tech Report, we’ve interviewed countless hoteliers about their journeys from being hoteliers into lucrative technology careers like Del Ross, Marco Benvenuti, Sameer Umar, and Kevin Brown. For hoteliers furloughed on the sidelines, there is an unprecedented opportunity to pivot into a technology career leveraging skills and knowledge from hospitality experience. But which hotel tech companies should you apply to? Every year we do the hard work for you and survey thousands of hotel tech professionals to find the best companies to work for in the hospitality industry. We ask respondents to rate their employers from 1-10 on these key variables: Work-life balance Personal development opportunities Gender equality Confidence in company direction Values alignment 2021 Bonus Question: Rate your firm’s COVD-19 crisis response Hotel Tech Report creates this list each year for two reasons: (1) to help industry professionals find the best hospitality tech jobs and (2) to help hotel tech buyers understand that it’s just as important to partner with great organizations as it is to find great software tools and products. Vendor culture is important to every aspect of a vendor relationship: Product: Great workplaces attract the best talent who make the best products Customer Support: Happy client reps give better service and stay around longer developing deeper relationships. Sales: When a sales team has high turnover, innovation gets strangled because there isn’t enough cash coming in the door to invest in innovation. Our 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech list features companies who foster wonderful work environments for employees. In return, those employees deliver incredible products and services to clients. Without further adieu here are 2021’s 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech… 10. Siteminder (TIE) Right before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, industry leader Siteminder reached an incredible milestone earning itself unicorn status. Under the stewardship of CEO Sankar Narayan the firm quickly composed itself when the pandemic broke out and began rolling out initiatives to support both employees and customers like its World Hotel Index sharing real-time data with the industry when historical data just wouldn’t cut it. Siteminder has an internal slack channel called #stayingsocial dedicated strictly to team members having a social communal space in the age of remote work. This is pretty typical for a small startup but much rarer in the world of 700 employee behemoths. The great part about working at a large startup-like Siteminder is that there’s almost limitless upward mobility according to one employee working in operations at the firm, “They allow me opportunities to take on more responsibilities that are even beyond my scope to develop my skills and prep me up for bigger roles. They also give leadership training to enhance to continue developing my capabilities.” If you’re looking for a fast-paced global startup on a world domination path - then you should absolutely be dropping a resume at Siteminder. The best part is that they’ve got offices all around the world so even if you prefer the WFH life your colleagues shouldn’t be too far away no matter where you call home. 10. Atomize (TIE) This is Atomize’s first time making Hotel Tech Report’s annual Best Places to Work list but we doubt it will be their last. In true Swedish fashion Atomize rates amongst the highest on the list for gender equality with a 50% ratio of men to women on its leadership team. Atomize also rates very highly for culture alignment with a score of 97.8%. Perhaps the biggest standout for Atomize was how highly employees rated the firm’s COVID-19 response and support for clients during a crisis. “Everyone from finance to product development has chipped in to try to support clients. We have for instance developed a relief-program for those that are hurting really bad, we have updated the product to amend for the large drop in occupancy for hotels, etc,” one Atomize executive told Hotel Tech Report. Atomize made it through COVID-19 without a single layoff which is a testament to the longevity of the business and its and commitment to team members. During the crisis Atomize stayed calm, launched the 2.0 version of their core RMS product, and even found time to bring the team together for a BBQ this summer during a slow down in transmission rates. 9. Hotel Effectiveness Georgia (the U.S. state not the country) based Hotel Effectiveness is in the business of helping hotel owners more efficiently manage labor but the question is: how well do they manage their own labor? It turns out they do a pretty darned good job at fostering internal culture. Prior to the pandemic labor costs were the biggest focus area for most hotel ownership and management groups - despite the shift in focus Hotel Effectiveness managed to grow through the pandemic all while placing a heavy emphasis on quality of life for employees. Team members cite a high percentage of employees being groomed from junior roles into leadership positions, flexible PTO programs, and strong opportunities for women. PTO is great but Hotel Effectiveness management goes one step further where they encourage team members to completely unplug and not even check email during their vacation. Adding icing to the cake, employees raved about the firm’s response to COVID-19 where it was able to grow without any layoffs needed. One engineer raved about the Company’s COVID-19 response, “Hotel Effectiveness immediately shifted priorities specifically to address the changing needs of our clients. Hotel Effectiveness provided new guidance materials, payment options, and built new features (such as Daily Wellness Check-In) under tight deadlines to meet the new needs of our customers.” 8. EasyWay Big congrats to the first-ever Israeli startup to make this list! If you’ve ever been to Tel Aviv or the Start-up Nation (Israel), perhaps a job interview with EasyWay is the excuse you needed to visit one of the most amazing cities in the world packed with beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a foodie scene that’s truly in a league of its own. EasyWay is the quintessential startup with a mentality that so long as you hit your KPIs - the rest of your life is totally flexible. An EasyWay executive’s quote to Hotel Tech Report about the last 12-months at the company says it all, “The work around the clock in the COVID-19 time was crazy. We have developed so much stuff, that I almost miss this period. We've learned a lot from that, and staid on our feet! The rest of the team was great and it really gave me confidence in my own abilities. If you're the kind of person who likes to work hard and play hard - you’d be wise to check out EasyWay’s open positions. 7. Asksuite This is Asksuite’s second year making the list and true to their commercial team’s motto “rockets don’t have reverse”, even a pandemic couldn’t slow down this high flying Brazilian startup. Florianopolis may not be a hotel tech hub (yet) but the Asksuite team has access to lessons in language, hospitality and other training to upskill their way into global domination. During the pandemic, leaders have made themselves available for 1:1 meetings to support all colleagues and perhaps it’s this close communication that leads Asksuite employees to rate 98% confidence in the future success of the firm. Asksuite employees frequently cite an onboarding process that makes all team members feel like a part of the family in short order. 6. RoomRaccoon Despite the pandemic RoomRaccoon doubled the firm’s headcount in 2020 and achieved a major milestone in reaching 1,000 clients. Employees frequently cite similar aspects of the culture as differentiators like their annual international week at the Netherlands headquarters and an inclusive onboarding program. One employee within the marketing department told Hotel Tech Report, “This year RoomRaccoon decided to start hiring more new colleagues against the market trend of furlough and letting people go. To smoothen the onboarding process of our new hires we've created an E-learning program and two intensive onboarding weeks. So far we've onboarded 15 new hires since July 2020 that immediately are getting results. Something I'm really proud of!” If you’re looking for an ambitious organization with a strong remote culture and complementary annual trips to the Netherlands - don’t hesitate and check out open listings at RoomRaccoon. 5. Alliants The Alliants story is the cure to the common venture funded business gone wrong story. Alliants built the business developing custom software for ultra luxury hotel brands like Four Season and Jumeirah before ever dipping their toes into the SaaS world. That means they’ve got killer products, an eye for design and engineering to back it up. Starting in a consultative role for luxury brands has afforded Alliants a luxury not many early stage SaaS products have - cash flow. How would this impact you when you apply for a role there? Alliants employees are given a $5,000 stipend to invest in their own education and training. Whether it’s a paid marketing course or intro to Ruby on Rails - at Alliants you will be able to create your own journey and take control of your destiny. Have you ever had a boss block your calendar so people can’t book meetings with you? Well, Alliants employees have. During winter months with less daylight, CEO Tristan Gadsby blocked the entire team’s calendars from 11:30am - 1:30pm to encourage team members to get outside, walk or simply catch some rays. If that doesn’t sell you I don’t know what will. 4. ALICE This ain’t ALICE’s first rodeo, well it’s their fourth if we want to be precise about it. ALICE has made Hotel Tech Report’s Best Places to Work list 4 years in a row (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021). ALICE is an incredible place to work for former hoteliers because employees truly act as a strategic extension of their partner properties. During the pandemic, ALICE quickly pivoted to rollout closure checklists and other free assets to help partners quickly reconfigure their operations for the new normal. “The most memorable achievement while working at ALICE this past year was being able to provide support for our employees during the pandemic. The pandemic-related fatigue and anxiety impacted everyone and in different ways. We were able to provide support to our employees through group therapy sessions, health and wellness initiatives, increased one-on-one check-ins regarding fatigue, increased opportunities for learning and connection with one another virtually. I am so proud of how the leadership at ALICE has led us through the most difficult time in our industry's history, and with such care for both our customers, our industry as a whole, and our employees,” says one ALICE team member in an HR role. Just as important as supporting clients through COVID-19 is supporting colleagues. ALICE team members were constantly comforted that management understood the stress and challenges they were facing during this historic yet tragic year, encouraging an environment of transparency and honesty about how to cope with natural distractions from work in times of stress. 3. hotelkit Austria-based hotelkit is another repeat visitor on this list moving up from 4th to 3rd place. Founded in 2012 by hotelier Marius Donhauser, hotelkit is a majority female-run business that’s growing rapidly but responsibly throughout Europe. hotelkit’s team motto is “one team one dream” and while the team had to work remotely for a good portion of the year, colleagues are hopeful that 2021 will bring back the annual hotelkit Christmas party famous for great eats and poker. Under Marius’ leadership, hotelkit has fostered a culture that feels like family so it’s no wonder that employees rate the culture so highly across every single vector. 2. Cloudbeds Cloudbeds may be the fastest-growing hotel tech company right now so while their headquarters are in sunny San Diego the Company has got Silicon Valley energy pumping through its veins. Not to mention, Cloudbeds is extremely global with local managers in 40 countries. On March 11th (yes that’s right when COVID-19 took the world by storm) Cloudbeds announced the closing of an $80M funding round. Cloudbeds employees tend to share two main things in common: (1) they are extremely performance-driven and (2) they LOVE to travel. One Cloudbeds employee within the operations department told Hotel Tech Report, “I managed to get promoted on my 1 anniversary day at Cloudbeds, I was so happy and everyone was so attentive to me during this process. Cloudbeds is an amazing company, full of amazing individuals, it's so nice to see the owners in our calls and engaged with us all at all times. I used to think I had worked at good companies, till I met Cloudbeds. This is where I want to stay and grow. It will be hard for any other company to take me from here.” Cloudbeds has TONS of openings so make sure to browse their career page if you’re in the market. 1. Mews This is Mews’ 3rd year making the list ranking #2 in 2019 and #3 in 2020 - but this is their first year topping the list which is a testament to the strong culture at the firm. Like most fast-growing companies, the pandemic wreaked havoc on projections and business plans for Mews leading to some difficult decisions needing to be made. Mews not only came through what was maybe the darkest moment in the history of the hotel industry but came out stronger than ever before. Mews leadership set a strong course for the business cutting expenses, reorganizing the team, rebranding, focusing on remote deployments, and even making an acquisition. Quite a busy year - even if things had been normal. Mews management has created one of those infectious startup cultures that can almost feel cult-like at times often intoxicating entire trade show floors (pre-COVID). It’s not often that employees at an aggressive high-performance tier 1 venture-backed business get to see their founder dancing through a town hall (affectionately named Mews Con) in a silly costume. Mews pivoted from hyper-growth mode into a sharp focus on profitability right-sizing the business and is poised to come out of the pandemic far stronger than it went in. Lots of open roles to check out and we’re sure that list will continue to grow over the coming months.
Hotel Meetings & Events Software Articles
Each year along with individual awards for the top-rated hotel software in each category, Hotel Tech Report recognizes the Top 10 most customer-centric global companies in the annual People's Choice Awards. The People's Choice Awards serve to honor and recognize companies who have balanced strong growth with a relentless focus on customer-centricity. The HotelTechAwards platform (by Hotel Tech Report) leverages real customer data to determine best of breed products and companies that help hoteliers grow their bottom lines. “The People’s Choice Award goes to a single company across all categories who demonstrates the strongest customer relationships during the HotelTechAwards. Cloudbeds had more than 550 hotelier customers come out to share overwhelmingly positive feedback about Cloudbeds products in the midst of a global pandemic. To have that kind of support from clients during the most challenging market in hotel history says all you need to know about Cloudbeds’ commitment to their partner properties,” says Hotel Tech Report CEO Jordan Hollander. Here’s the Official 2021 People’s Choice List: Cloudbeds SiteMinder RoomRaccoon Bookassist OTA Insight ALICE IDeaS Avvio Hoteltime hotelkit The key factors used to determine the annual People’s Choice Award include total verified customer reviews, geographic reach of reviews, and overall review sentiment and ratings. The best companies know that the most effective way to communicate their value proposition is to empower and amplify the voices of their happy customers. The People’s Choice Award recognizes companies whose customers really value the relationship and partnership. “Twenty years ago we lived in a world where hoteliers just used one of the three or four technology systems out there and typically just ended up using whatever system they had heard of before. Today there are thousands of SaaS choices in the market and dozens of great options available for most use cases but the market is moving so quickly that it’s hard for hoteliers to identify and keep track of the best products and companies. This award honors the companies whose hotel customers are the most vocal advocates of their products to make that process easy,” says Hollander. About the 2021 People's Choice Award The People's Choice Awards serve to honor and recognize companies who have balanced strong growth with a relentless focus on customer-centricity. Early on as a startup, it’s easier for companies to maintain strong customer relationships with a limited customer base. But as a company grows its install base and scales globally, maintaining high customer satisfaction becomes increasingly more challenging. Each year along with individual awards for the top-rated product in each category, Hotel Tech Report recognizes the top 10 most customer-centric global companies in the annual People's Choice Awards acknowledging the achievements of top innovators across all categories who embody the values, transparency, and customer-centricity that lie at the core of truly great companies. View Ranking Methodology>>
Hotel Tech Report has announced winners in the 2021 HotelTechAwards, based on more than 10,000 hotel software product reviews contributed by verified hoteliers during the competition. Winners are selected based on key performance metrics including product popularity, customer satisfaction, integration compatibility, customer support quality, and more. Winning a HotelTechAward is the highest achievement in the hotel technology industry. “In the midst of a global pandemic, 318,466 hoteliers visited Hotel Tech Report from every corner of the globe contributing 10,227 verified new product reviews during the 3-month awards period to share insights about their favorite tech products to run and grow their businesses. It has been inspiring to see this massive wave of hoteliers sharing technology insights and product recommendations,” says Jordan Hollander, CEO of Hotel Tech Report. “This is the most comprehensive dataset around hotelier preferences ever developed and it gives unprecedented insights into tech trends for hotels during a pivotal moment in history. Winning a HotelTechAward is a huge feat with the 2021 competition being the most competitive year ever. Every company on this list should be extremely proud of what they've contributed to the growth of the hotel industry.” During the HotelTechAwards, hoteliers from the world's leading hotel companies review the top tech products used at their hotels to increase operating efficiency, drive revenue, and improve the guest experience. This data is used to identify the best hotel tech products and organizations. "The HotelTechAwards are the only prize in the industry that is completely and transparently customer-driven — it's the hoteliers that decide who is best, and it's their opinion that matters most." Gautam Lulla, CEO at Pegasus. "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.” - Sankar Narayan, CEO at SiteMinder “This honor has deep, personal meaning as it is decided upon by our clients and represents our passion and focus for providing the most sophisticated revenue technology and comprehensive support.” Dr. Ravi Mehrotra Founder at IDeaS “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.” Alex Shashou, Co-Founder at ALICE “HotelTechReport is the leading platform for technology in the hotel industry, and its meticulous and impartial verification process makes this one of the most prestigious awards.” Moritz von Petersdorff-Campen, Co-Founder at SuitePad The competition spans core areas of hotel software & technology: marketing, revenue, operations, and guest experience. 2021 Voting included participation from major hotel groups including Four Seasons, Hilton, Marriott, Accor Hotels, Hyatt, Intercontinental, Rosewood, and thousands of independents. "We originally created the HotelTechAwards as a democratized way to help our fellow hoteliers quickly determine best of breed vendors based on data they can trust and the scope of the competition this year is a testament to how far the industry has come in the last decade. The HotelTechAwards rating process is simple, transparent, and unbiased--judging is based on time tested ranking factors, publicly available data, and crowdsourced insights from verified hoteliers who have hands-on experience with each product.” The HotelTechAwards are often referred to as "the Grammys of Hotel Tech" and winners were selected from the top technology products around the world. The HotelTechAwards are the industry's only data-driven awards platform with winners determined not by a handful of judges or popularity votes but by a global community comprised of thousands of verified hotel technology users across more than 127 countries. Best Hotel Software Companies List >>
Hotel Tech Report has announced finalists in the 2021 HotelTechAwards, based on more than 10,000 hotel software product reviews from verified hoteliers during the competition. Finalists are selected based on key performance metrics like product popularity, customer satisfaction, integration compatibility, customer support quality, and more. Winning a HotelTechAward is the highest achievement in the hotel technology industry. “In the midst of a global pandemic, 318,466 hoteliers visited Hotel Tech Report from every corner of the globe contributing over 10,000 verified new product reviews during the 3-month awards period to share insights about their favorite software products. It has been inspiring to see this massive wave of hoteliers sharing technology insights and product recommendations,” says Jordan Hollander, CEO of Hotel Tech Report. “This is the most comprehensive dataset around hotelier preferences ever developed and it gives unprecedented insights into tech trends for hotels during a pivotal moment in history. Finaling in the HotelTechAwards is a reflection of quality every company on this list should be extremely proud of what they've contributed to the growth of the hotel industry.” Hotel Tech Report authenticates reviews through a strict verification process. Further, companies are ranked based on pre-defined objective data variables to avoid the biases present in other human judged competitions. "Based on real and honest customer feedback, the HotelTechAwards really do provide the most transparent view on how technology is perceived and used across the industry,” says Sean Fitzpatrick, CEO at OTA Insight. The HotelTechAwards are often referred to as "the Grammys of Hotel Tech" and finalists are selected from more than 1,000 of the top technology products around the world. The HotelTechAwards are the industry's only data-driven awards platform with winners determined not by a handful of judges or popularity votes but by a global community comprised of thousands of verified hotel technology users across more than 120 countries. -- Competition winners will be publicly announced on January 12th -- Best Guest Experience Technology Finalists Guest Messaging Software: Whistle, EasyWay, Monscierge Guest Room Tablets: SuitePad, INTELITY Guest Survey Software: TrustYou, Guestrevu, Revinate Hospitality TV Providers: Monscierge (Apple TV) Mobile Key: ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, FLEXIPASS Mobile Ordering: Bbot, RoomOrders Hotel Guest Apps: ALICE, INTELITY, Wishbox Best Operations Software Finalists Property Management Systems: Cloudbeds, Mews, Clock PMS+, HotelTime Staff Collaboration: hotelkit, Monscierge, ALICE Hotel Management Systems: RoomRaccoon, Cloudbeds Concierge Software: ALICE Cyber Security & Fraud Prevention: Canary Technologies, Sertifi Digital Signage: Monscierge Housekeeping Software: hotelkit, ALICE, Optii Marketplaces & Integrators: Hapi, Dailypoint Preventive Maintenance: hotelkit, ALICE, Transcendent Restaurant Management: HotelTime, Oracle MICROS POS Employee Engagement Software: hotelkit, Hotel Effectiveness, Beekeeper Contactless Check-in: EasyWay, Canary Technologies, Wishbox Spa Management: HotelTime Best Revenue Management & Finance Software Finalists Revenue Management Systems: IDeaS, Duetto, Atomize Business Intelligence: OTA Insight, Duetto, ProfitSword Central Reservations Systems: Pegasus Channel Managers: SiteMinder, Cloudbeds, D-EDGE Parity Management: OTA Insight, RateGain Rate Shopping & Market Intelligence: OTA Insight, SiteMinder, RateGain Reporting & Accounting: M3, MyDigitalOffice Upselling Software: Oaky, GuestJoy, EasyWay Best Marketing Tech Finalists Booking Engines: Cloudbeds, Bookassist, SiteMinder Hotel CRM & Email Marketing: Revinate, Profitroom, Dailypoint Digital Marketing Agencies: Bookassist, Avvio, Net Affinity Direct Booking Tools: Triptease, Hotelchamp Website Live Chat and Chatbot: Asksuite, Whistle Independent Loyalty Programs: The GuestBook Metasearch & Ad Tech: Bookassist, Avvio, Koddi Reputation Management: TrustYou, Guestrevu, Revinate Hotel Website Design: Bookassist, Avvio, Profitroom Best Meetings & Events Tech Finalists Event Management Software: Event Temple Group Sourcing & RFP Software: MeetingPackage, Venuesuite Meetings Intelligence Software: Duetto, IDeaS Sales CRM: Event Temple, MeetingPackage
From ticket revenue to customer retention and more effective sales prospecting, event management and corporate events can be extraordinarily lucrative for hospitality venues like hotels and restaurants. From tradeshows to nonprofit fundraising galas, events are the lifeblood of many hotel businesses but they can also be quite stressful. They drain attention and resources from your organization in ways that can be counterproductive if you don't plan properly. Weddings are the most stressful type of event since they're so high pressure - but with big risk comes big rewards. To avoid the downfalls of a poorly-produced event, you must be organized and thorough, using all the tools at your disposal to deliver a successful event. In our Event Planning 101 guide, we’ll walk you through a framework for throwing an amazing event. It may seem intimidating at first, but the comforting truth of event planning is that organizational skills go a long way. We'll walk you through everything from hiring an event manager to leveraging event management software, planning for special events, and even how to approach large events. Define Your Goals and Objectives Your event’s goals may seem obvious to you -- but those goals may actually be quite different among your stakeholders. Before you begin planning, you need to get everyone in one room and on the same page. Questions to ask: Why are we organizing this event? What are our expectations from the event? How will we measure its success? Where are there overlaps or conflicts when it comes to expectations and measurements of success? Is there anyone else not in this room that should be? Is there anyone in this room that shouldn’t be? By gathering stakeholders and taking the time to identify your main goals and objectives, you’ll have a strong foundation that leads to a more successful event. Otherwise, you risk a muddled event that tries to be too many things to too many people -- and ends up pleasing no one. Once you establish your goals, write them down for clarity. Then, when you face the inevitable conflict down the line, you can refer back to your agreed-upon objectives. They become your ally to prevent the event from drifting too far away from its intended purposes. Also, each goal should have a quantifiable metric that you can use to evaluate success during the post-event debrief. Now, with goals in hand, you can work backward to ensure the event is structured to deliver for attendees and corporate stakeholders. Assign Roles and Responsibilities Once goals are defined, it’s time to assign roles and responsibilities. Clarity is one of the most valuable things an event planner can provide. In fact, everything you do should be centered around reducing ambiguity! You want everyone to be on the same page, with clear expectations and tasks so that there’s no confusion about who’s doing what and when. Ideally, these will be hashed out during the same kickoff meeting so that everyone is aligned around their tasks moving forward. As the event planning lead, it’s beneficial to have these assignments so that you can spread the workaround and continue to engage stakeholders in the event’s success. Depending on the event type, and available internal resources, you may want to consider creating subcommittees, each with their own lead. This structures the event planning process and clarifies roles: Vendor management: This team handles everything related to third parties, such as securing a venue, finding a caterer, and handling A/V, among others. Programming: This group is responsible for building out the agenda for the event, including creating sessions and panels, securing speakers, finding entertainment, and anything else related to the event’s schedule. Marketing: This team tackles marketing and PR for the event, which includes press outreach, managing media on-site, social media, and more. Sponsorships: This group will bring on external sponsors that can help reduce the costs of the event. Set Your Budget Once you have the parameters of the event and a rough outline of everyone’s roles and responsibilities, you’ll be in a better position to establish the event’s budget. You’ll be able to identify opportunities for sponsorship, as well as other revenue streams that can help cover the costs of the event. Some may be monetary and others may be “in-kind” contributions that trade publicity for donating goods and services. Some expenses to include in your budget: Venue. Include all related costs here, not just the venue rental fee: any required insurance, A/V costs...everything that has to do with the venue. If you’re doing an exhibition, also break out those costs. Design. Each venue comes with associated design costs: chairs, tables, flowers, etc. This is where you set aside money to spruce up the venue to create an atmosphere that matches your event. Programming. Will you be paying keynote speakers? What about a band for the evening entertainment? Factor in all costs related to executing your desired programming schedule. F&B. Attendees must be fed and appropriately boozed up! You’ll want to align your spending here with the style and vibe of the event so that you aren’t overdoing it (or worse, underdelivering on expectations). Of course, if you’re doing a virtual event, one benefit is that you can delete this line item. Branding and Marketing. Every event requires attendees. What will you do to build buzz and sell tickets? Your investment here may also include a publicist, paid marketing, and organic marketing on your owned media channels. Staff Costs. Whether it's bartenders and servers or the cost of travel and accommodations for your support staff, you have to budget for all your staffing costs. You may want to include the relative cost of your own internal staff as well; that just depends on if you want to have a true cost accounting of the event. Contingency. Go ahead and add a 5-10% buffer to your budget for those unexpected costs that always pop up... You may also want to include any expected income so that you can evaluate profitability (or, for a company event, your break-even point). Even if you’re offering free tickets, put a price on those tickets to put a price on the event’s value to attendees. This provides a full accounting of the event so you know where you stand. Consider Virtual Options As we all know, the global pandemic upended the events industry. But there’s been a silver lining: event organizers became focused on improving the virtual experience, something that most events had left on the backburner. Today, event organizers must consider if (and then how) to integrate a virtual component into their events. So, whether it’s a virtual-only event or a hybrid event that blends in-person and online, you have a variety of tools at your disposal. Here are two to consider, each of which allows you to seamlessly integrate a virtual component into your event strategy: Cvent. Virtual events are now a major part of the Cvent hospitality portfolio. The Virtual Events platform includes an attendee hub for enhanced networking, scheduling meetings, video breakout rooms, and downloadable content. Bizzaboo. This platform supports virtual, hybrid, and in-person events, which means that you can develop a broad slate of event types without having to splash out for new tools. Bizzaboo also has many integrations so that you can customize your experience. Attendify. With full browser-based streaming capabilities built right in, Attendify’s platform makes the virtual part of your event just as engaging as the in-person. There’s a branded community homepage, interactive sessions, and robust networking -- all of which make a virtual event come to life. Lockdown the Logistics Even the most accomplished event planner needs time to plan a successful event. Give yourself at least 3 months' lead time, with an ideal window of around 6 months. When setting your date, don’t rush. Carefully consider public holidays (both in your host country and those that attendees may come from), look at competing industry events, and also take a look at school calendars. You’ll also want to reach out to your programming pillars, such as speakers and entertainment at the center of your event. Then, once you have a few dates in mind (one target and two backups), reach out to your venue shortlist. You may find that the date actually helps you narrow down your choices. If you find that your top venue can’t accommodate your preferred dates, then you can either look elsewhere or circle back with your stakeholders to see if there’s flexibility. While you have to decide this for yourself, it’s often better to go with the ideal date than the ideal venue, as getting schedules to line up perfectly is nearly impossible! Make Your Master Plan This is your “bible.” It’s the go-to document that should answer everyone’s questions. It’s the single source of truth. It can be updated over time, so be sure file names reflect the latest update and you have periodic reminders out for people to access the latest version Your master plan will build out all parts of your event: Venue, catering and vendor logistics Speaker and entertainment management, including contracts, travel and other logistics Estimated timeline, broken down by deliverable and task owner Registration management (both pre-show and on-site) Printing and signage Marketing and PR plan Programing, activities and entertainment Contact information for external vendors Think of this as your “save me time answering emails about every last detail” document. Not that there won’t be lots of emails! It’s just that you want to offer as much “self serve” information as possible so that you can focus on the important stuff. Build Your Brand Branding helps you define what the event stands for, who it speaks to, and what attendees can expect from it. Make sure that you reflect all of those things in your event’s brand! You want to have something that is both unique and relevant, a brand that resonates with your audience and ladders up to your company’s overarching brand voice and mission. When doing well, an event’s branding can withstand the test of time and become an institution. Think of Dreamforce in San Francisco or SXSW in Austin. A conference can become a pillar of your company’s entire marketing, branding, and retention strategy. Of course, even smaller events benefit from branding, which can make events seem more premium, exclusive, and intimate. Wield the power of the brand wisely! Identify Partners to Amplify Success Once you’ve branded your event, you can go out to partners and sponsors that can make it even more successful. This approach depends on your event type. With for-profit events, sponsors may be revenue-generators. Or, with corporate customer conferences, they could simply help the event break even. For event planners that work with multiple companies, local partnerships with other small businesses can improve your margins, make your marketing more effective and/or improve the overall quality of your event offerings. Keep in mind that the right partnerships can amplify your success in other ways. Partners can also become advocates for your event within other communities. For instance, you could partner with one of your biggest customers to participate in your annual marquee event, which amplifies the cross-marketing opportunities. The main criteria when selecting partners for your event is alignment: Make sure any brand you choose matches your own brand’s voice and aligns with your event’s purpose and tone. Craft Your PR and Marketing Plans Once your event has a defined purpose, a clear master plan, a solid brand, and a slate of co-partners and/or sponsors, you’re ready to craft your PR and marketing plans. Here are the core elements to include: Earned media. This is your media and public relations plan. How will you reach out to the media and get them engaged with your event? Will you host the media on-site? What relevant stories can you use as story hooks? How can you engage speakers to amplify your PR efforts? Owned media. This is your company blog, social media handles, email newsletters, customer lists, and any internal employee networks. What content will you create before, during, and after the event? How will you leverage this content into earned and paid media? Paid media. This is all paid marketing activities. Which channels do your target attendees use most? Where can you find the best bang for your buck? Who will be managing the creative, copy, and ad placements? Increase Meeting Frequency Closer to Event Meetings are the most effective way to convene the team and work through last-minute issues. Increase the frequency of your meetings as the event approaches so that you don’t have any nasty surprises. See the next point. Define Your Day of Processes and Run-of-Show As you increase the frequency of meetings, you’ll also want to clearly define your day-of processes. This advance planning reduces surprises, increases clarity, and lowers stress (kind of). When in doubt, refer to the run-of-show! Your run-of-show should outline all relevant details, putting all essential information in a single spot so that you can focus less on conveying information and more on managing the event. Things can and will go wrong; you need to automate everything you can to give you the time and headspace to tackle the inevitable curveball. A run-of-show has a few must-haves: Contact info. Use the front page to highlight the contact information of the team leads. Clearly identify who is in charge of what so that the right person gets the query first, without having to chase someone else down. Schedule. An hourly breakdown of what’s happening where, who’s in charge, and what needs to be done by when. This is a project manager’s organizational dream! Breakdown. The end of the event rarely marks the end of the work. Outline everything that happens after the show ends to make sure that breakdown happens in an orderly and timely manner. Depending on the complexity of your event, you might want to have a run-of-show for each room/stage that includes a breakdown of everything happening each day. Then, pull those individual documents into a master run-of-show that makes the day of the event go smoothly. Don’t Brush Off the Post-Mortem Pulling off a successful event is stressful -- and rewarding! Even so, no event is without its flaws. Don't brush off the post-event team meeting to discuss what went well and what could be improved. You must do this while it's fresh; otherwise, people will forget and the insights will fade. Questions to ask your team: What went well? What went poorly? If we were going to do this again, what would change and what wouldn’t? A proper post-mortem also includes attendee feedback. You may discover some areas that you hadn’t considered before or some issues that were overlooked. You also will get plenty of valuable insight into making the next event even better!
Whether you’re planning a single event or running multiple event experiences per day at a conference hotel, you can’t do it alone. In addition to your own team and your vendors, there’s another partner to help event organizers pull off another five-star function: event technology (and specifically SaaS solutions). A growing segment of event management solutions offer efficient organizational tools, automated marketing strategies, digital space planning systems, engagement solutions, and more - all with the aim of helping your events run more smoothly. Or maybe you’re grappling with the challenge of shifting an in-person event to a virtual setting; guess what, there’s an app for that! In this article, we’ll introduce you to over 50 event management systems and apps that can make a positive impact on your event, your attendees, your vendors, and even your own sanity during the entire event planning process. Let’s dive in! Event Planning and Event Management Software Event professionals know that the secret to pulling off a great function is nailing the details - and those details are too much for your brain to handle! Event planning and management software organizes each component of the planning process in a streamlined system that lets multiple team members, vendors, and sometimes even clients collaborate. All-in-one Event Management Platforms Need a tool that does it all? Let one of these all-in-one event planning platforms do the heavy lifting. They’re ideal for sales managers or event staff at large hotels, venues, restaurants, or casinos. Cvent: As one of the most popular award winning and preferred event management systems, Cvent offers solutions for the full event process from start to finish. Cvent’s cloud-based platform includes modules for planning, event websites, email marketing, registration CRM and lifecycle marketing, event marketing surveys, and more, which make it a favorite of hoteliers and event planners who want maximum functionality in one system. Event Temple: This system is another favorite of hoteliers and sales teams who want to stream prospecting, contracting, and reporting processes in addition to creating BEOs and invoicing clients. Event Temple’s cloud-based software houses all the tools you need from the initial quote to the final invoice. Tripleseat: Designed not only for hotels, but also for restaurants and venues, Tripleseat offers solutions for capturing leads, building quotes and contracts, and managing events. Tripleseat offers integrations with apps like Constant Contact and Fishbowl to increase functionality. Amadeus Sales & Catering: This cloud-based powerhouse offers a full suite of features for event planning, contracting, diagramming, billing, and reporting. Amadeus offers three tiers of functionality (essentials, standard, and advanced) so any organization from restaurants to casino hotels can find the perfect fit. Fonteva: Integrating directly with Salesforce, Fonteva makes use of the data you already have in Salesforce to seamlessly plan, promote, and execute events. The software works with virtual and in-person events, and it offers a mobile app for deeper engagement with attendees. Planning Pod: Tailored specifically for virtual events and remote teams, this event planning tool includes modules for event planning, registration, venue booking, billing, and floor plan design. Event Planning and Marketing Tools Perfect for smaller events or organizations with smaller budgets, these flexible event planning and marketing tools pack a lot of functionality into user-friendly software. Bizzabo: This all-in-one planning tool offers a jam-packed list of features with a focus on making data-driven decisions and increasing your event ROI. Features include a website builder, marketing automation, polls, and a mobile app, and Bizzabo offers special tools for sponsors, reporting, and customization. Splash: This event planning system offers powerful functionality that’s easy on the eyes. In a suite of pretty dashboards, Splash gives event planners tools to design attractive collateral, send marketing blasts, keep track of tasks, handle registration, and engage with attendees during the event, plus reporting tools to quantify the event’s impact. Wild Apricot: This membership management app also includes a module for event planning and management, in which planners can manage a calendar of events, sell tickets, build registration forms, and record attendance. Gruupmeet: Looking for event planning software without any extra features you aren’t going to use? Gruupmeet is a streamlined tool that only offers the essentials, including dashboards for event scheduling, attendee information, and marketing. Whova: This feature-packed app offers virtually every tool necessary to execute a conference or social function, from attendee registration to lead gathering. It even offers a built-in, customizable event app to house maps, agendas, and notes. Momice: Who says event registration needs to be boring? Momice’s beautiful interface helps you craft eye-catching websites, marketing materials, registration forms, surveys, and more. But it’s not just pretty; Momice allows you to gather and analyze meaningful data from attendees or participants. rsvpBOOK: Specializing in ticketing and registration, rsvpBOOK’s online platform helps you promote your event through a customizable website and social media, then manage on-site or digital registration and check-in. Topi: Topi provides equally powerful solutions for planners and attendees; the planner portion of the software allows for effortless ticket sales and registration, while the networking and lead gathering modules help to increase event ROI for attendees and exhibitors. Eventbrite: A favorite of social organizations and schools, Eventbrite makes it easy for anyone to publicize an event and sell tickets. Catering Management Software Looking for software specifically for the catering industry? These apps offer features tailored to the needs of catering businesses and restaurants. Caterease: This event planning and management software is customized for the catering industry with special features like an order pick-up and delivery dashboard. Caterease lets you book events, manage details via task reminders, and compile reports on one cloud-based platform. BetterCater: BetterCater offers proposal templates, packing lists, calendar tools, recipes, reports, and more in a cloud-based web app suitable for any type of catering or event business from food trucks to venues. Foodstorm: This catering and event management tool helps you increase sales, streamline internal processes, and automate tasks to free up valuable time. Catering-specific features in Foodstorm include online ordering, order tracking, invoicing, and reporting. PerfectTablePlan: If the only thing your event planning tech stack is missing is a great table planning tool, then PerfectTablePlan will fill that void. This simple, straightforward app allows you to manage floor plans and seating charts with ease for just one flat fee. Social Tables: For sales teams who work closely with event planners, Social Tables offers seamless collaborative tools that allow both parties to provide input on floor plans and diagrams and guest lists. Project Management Tools Wondering how to track who’s responsible for what task? How do you hold everyone accountable? These project management tools make collaboration a breeze. Monday.com: Designed to help teams work better together, Monday.com offers tools for creating, planning, and tracking tasks on a variety of customizable “workspace” templates. Monday.com integrates with apps like Stripe, Mailchimp, and Twitter for even more powerful collaboration. Trello: Essentially a digital Kanban board, Trello allows you to create tasks, assign task owners, add comments, upload files, and more while keeping the tasks organized by category or stage. Trello also has a mobile app and integrates with other tools like Slack and Dropbox. Event Marketing Software Planning the event is just one piece of the process; you also need to get the word out! These marketing tools help you promote your event, stay in contact with attendees, distribute tickets, and house event information. Social Media and Promotional Tools One of the most efficient and engaging ways to promote your event is via social media. But mastering social media doesn’t need to be challenging or time-consuming if you use one of these apps. Hootsuite: Use this social media dashboard to view all of your feeds in one place, schedule and automate posts, collaborate with teammates, and analyze your engagement. MeetEdgar: This social media scheduling tool helps you save time by automating and recycling posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Everwall: Display your social media feeds in real-time to encourage engagement at your event, including not only Twitter and Instagram posts, but also Slack, email, and SMS messages. Other Marketing Tools Sometimes software doesn’t fit nicely into one category, but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful! Ticketbud: Planning a ticketed event? Ticketbud is ideal for conferences or festivals with features for promoting the event, selling tickets, scanning or selling tickets at the event, and reconciling and reporting revenue. Avochato: If your attendees, vendors, or exhibitors are overburdened by too many emails, text messaging may be a better way to stay in contact. Avochato’s text message platform lets you automate text message campaigns and keep track of it all through Salesforce, Slack, or Zapier. Event Operations and Engagement Software It’s showtime! These systems and apps help you execute a great event from registration to fundraising to surveys. Registration Forget the pens and paper; digital registration systems make sign-ups or sign-ins easier than ever. Regpack: This organizational solution includes a form builder, payment processing, coupon and discount capability, and customizable registration pages for any type of event or function. Member Solutions: Ideal for recurring events or events that attract the same attendees again and again, Member Solutions offers a registration form tool, email marketing features, a payment processor, promo codes, and integration with your website and social media feeds. Attendify: Attendify enables you to build customized registration pages and mobile apps for any type of event, plus an attendee database and reporting functionality. Brushfire: This event management software allows you to manage and customize the entire online event registration and check-in process, including support for kiosks and seat assignments, in one central place. Brushfire also offers a mobile app and a platform for digital streaming. Smartwaiver: Do away with the clipboards and paper forms and use Smartwaiver to digitize any waivers that attendees need to complete. Smartwaiver offers a tablet app and integration with your website. Conference Tracker: This cloud-based registration makes sign-in seamless, with functionality for badge printing, online registration, attendance certificates, and a variety of reporting features. Attendee Interaction Tools Want to boost attendee engagement? Ask them what they’re thinking! These interactive polling apps are fun and easy to use. Kahoot: Create your own interactive quizzes or polls with this cloud-based tool. Participants can access the session via any web browser, and an impressive variety of customization options are available. Slido: Suitable for polls and live Q&A, Slido integrates nicely into in-person or virtual presentations. Audiences can engage by opening a link in any web browser, and the presenter can display results in real-time. Event App Builders Centralize your event information in a mobile app that attendees can access on the go with no coding required! CrowdCompass: As part of the Cvent family, CrowdCompass is a nice complement to Cvent’s event planning and management software. CrowdCompass’ app builder offers a template library, lots of customization options, a dynamic event guide, engagement and networking tools, and integrations with registration and ticketing tools like Eventbrite. EventMobi: This customizable event app tool lets you build an app to house all the information attendees need to know, from maps to agendas. EventMobi offers digital registration solutions and support for virtual events too. AppInstitute Event App Builder: Choose from one of AppInstitute’s templates to efficiently design your custom event app, upload and edit your content, and get it into the hands of your attendees. The app even supports ticket sales and automated alerts. Guidebook: Guidebook’s straightforward app building platform works for virtual or in-person events with plenty of customization and branding options, engagement tools like polls and maps, and integrations with tools like Salesforce and Mailchimp. Fundraising Planning a silent auction or charity event? Use these tools to easily and securely manage fundraising activities. GiveSmart: This fundraising app is ideal for virtual and in-person events, with functionality that includes support for silent auctions, mobile bidding, ticketing, and donations. OneCause: With a full suite of event planning tools, OneCause has everything you need to plan a fundraiser, from promotional tools to ticketing. You can manage auctions, online bidding, peer-to-peer fundraising, and more on the same platform. Lead gathering Leave the business cards in the previous decade; these lead gathering apps will help you collect and take action on contact information for potential clients or partners. Akkroo: Designed for B2B trade shows and conferences, Akkroo helps you capture leads, convert sales, and calculate event ROI through its integrations with Salesforce, HubSpot, and more. QuickTap Survey: Think of this app as your personal assistant during a trade show or networking event. Easily note down contact information for leads you meet, then export the data to Salesforce, Mailchimp, and more to take action. Virtual Event Platforms If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of planning a fully virtual event, you’re not alone! As events switch to socially distant formats, a growing segment of virtual event software works with you to make digital events as powerful and meaningful as those in real life. Boomset: Ideal for hybrid or virtual events, Boomset offers registration page templates, a digital business card tool, network functionality, and support for live streaming, Q&A, breakout sessions, and more. Highfive: This video conferencing software works equally well for internal meetings and large virtual events. Highfive lets presenters share their screens, stream a live event or presentation, or just use audio conferencing. The app integrates with Slack, Google Calendar, and more. Hubb: Hubb enables you to produce wow-worthy virtual events with just as much sparkle as in-person functions through its virtual event lobby. The app includes a plethora of customization options, task automation, reporting, and support for live-streamed and on-demand content. Accelevents: Focused more on virtual “experiences” than uninspired traditional events, Accelevents’ virtual event solution supports both live streaming and on-demand content, plus offers a website builder, ticket sales, marketing strategies, fundraising tools, seat assignments, reporting, and more. Big Marker: This web-based virtual conferencing app makes webinars easy to host and attend. Big Marker’s engagement tools also help attendees stay engaged through live Q&A, polls, and comments, plus the system’s automation tools allow you to run the same webinar many times. WorkCast: Suitable for webinars, webcasts, and any other virtual conference or event you can think of, WorkCast’s solution offers a virtual content platform for up to 50,000 attendees. Engagement tools include polls and surveys, and WorkCast includes reporting functionality to help you maximize the event ROI. On24: As one of the most interactive virtual event systems in the market, On24 offers more than 20 engagement options to keep attendees interested and high-tech analytics that help you understand their thoughts and behavior. vFairs: If you want your attendees to have as close to an in-person conference or trade show experience as possible, vFairs offers the perfect solution. The software offers a Sims-like virtual event space where attendee avatars can mingle and network. Vendors can even set up custom virtual booths and host engaging webinars. Do you have a favorite event management app that we didn’t mention here? Let us know!
From canapes to chiavari chairs, banquets and event planning requires an incredible amount of detail and the best event planners are perfectionists. Whether you’re planning a wedding, a conference, or a meeting, you’ll likely use a Banquet Event Order to keep track of the intricacies of the event. If you’ve never used a BEO before or you’re looking to brush up on your knowledge, this article will explain how to create and use a BEO and what information it includes. We’ll even give you a free BEO template to get started. With a good handle on BEOs, you can exceed your clients’ expectations and produce extraordinary events that are memorable for all the right reasons. What is a Banquet Event Order (BEO)? BEO stands for Banquet Event Order, which is the contract that holds all of the details for an event as agreed upon by the client and the sales or catering team. The team at the hotel or event space, including the kitchen staff, catering managers, production crews, front desk agents, and security guards, rely on the BEO as the source of truth for all information that pertains to the event. Each event or function has its own BEO, and some events can have multiple BEOs. For example, a wedding might include a rehearsal dinner, a ceremony, a reception, and a day-after brunch, all of which would require separate BEOs. Similarly, a conference might include a keynote presentation and 8 different breakout sessions, all of which would need their own BEOs. Generally speaking, one BEO per event per function space is required. The catering staff compile a BEO packet that contains all of the BEOs for a given event or date, then they distribute it to various departments a few days in advance. What Information Does a BEO contain? We’ve established that a BEO contains all the important details about an event, but what exactly are those details? What specific information can you find on a BEO? Basic event management details. On the top of the BEO, you can find the most important information about the event: event name, event venue, the date, the setup time/event date, the start time, the end time, the location (usually the name of the function space or meeting room), the expected number of guests, and the name and contact info for the catering manager responsible for coordinating the event. Food and beverage requirements. If the event offers any refreshment, from an urn of coffee to a gourmet buffet or 5-course menu items, it will be listed on the BEO - in detail. The F&B section of the BEO will describe exactly which dishes and beverages the client has chosen, as well as the method of service (buffet, passed hors d’oeuvres, etc.). Room setup. Another important section on the BEO is the room setup, which outlines the furniture and equipment needed for the event and how it must be configured. For example, a wedding might require several round tables with 8 seats each, a head table with 6 seats, a dance floor, buffet tables, a table for the DJ, a speaker system, microphones, and more. A seminar, on the other hand, might simply require a few tables set up classroom style. Technology needs are also noted here, including all audio and visual requirements. It’s crucial that the BEO contains a lot of detail in this section, including the exact number of chairs, types of linens, or positioning of equipment, so the event staff can configure the room to the client’s specifications. Parking requirements. If attendees drive to the event, where will they park? The BEO will note whether the event includes self-parking or valet and whether parking is free or at a fee. The BEO should also specify an estimated number of vehicles so the valet and security departments can plan accordingly. Staffing needs and headcounts. The event isn’t going to run itself! The BEO outlines how many staff members are needed from various departments. Event staff can include cocktail or dining servers, bartenders, parking attendants, security staff, and public area attendants. Contact information for vendors. If the client has hired any external vendors, such as a florist and centerpieces, a band, or even an outside caterer, the BEO should include contact information for the vendors in case event staff need to coordinate with them. The event schedule and order of events. With so many moving parts, it’s essential that an event run according to schedule, and the BEO usually details the event agenda down to the minute. The schedule will help the event run smoothly and ensure each step, like starting the music or cutting the wedding cake, happens on time and in the right order. Pricing and billing information. A BEO is a contract, after all, and contracts contain the relevant pricing and billing details that both parties agree to. Prices on the BEO might be displayed as per-person fees, for a buffet, for example, or flat fees for A/V or function space rental. The BEO will also mention how payment will be handled - did the client pay upfront or will payment be collected at the end of the event? Any relevant attachments and planning process. When it comes to specific information about an event, more is more! The client or catering manager may provide additional documents like floorplans, printed menus, agendas, gratuity expectations, special requests, outside vendors, binding contract details and photos of VIPs. Who Creates a BEO? When and How is it Created? In most cases, the catering or sales manager in charge of the event creates the BEO. Together with the client, the catering manager organizes the specifics of the event and prepares a quote. At this point, the event is considered tentative. The catering manager might start a draft of the BEO at this point to store information about the event in one central place. After the client agrees and signs off on the quote, the event is considered confirmed. Some events are confirmed many months (or even years!) in advance, while others can be last-minute. In either case, the catering manager usually finalizes the BEO just a few days before the event. When the BEO is complete, the catering manager will send it to the client for a final approval, then he or she will distribute it to the relevant departments in the hotel. It’s important to note that the catering manager is usually not handwriting these BEOs; instead, sales offices often use technology to make the BEO process more efficient and error-free. Sales and catering software makes it easy to enter event-specific information into banquet event order templates that already contain static details that don’t vary between events. These systems can also store menus, pricing, and room setup information, making it easy to plug in preset menus and room configurations to receive an updated quote automatically. Beyond just creating BEOs, sales and catering software also enable sales staff to easily manage a client database, update pricing, and share information with other hotel departments and clients themselves. Want to try making a BEO yourself? Check out these free BEO templates!
The transition from in-person events to virtual events has been quick -- and transformational. While event management and event planning will likely remain a core part of your hotel’s business, it likely will have morphed into a hybrid model that includes smaller onsite events with fewer people, augmented by remote options. On its face, this seems like a threat to the event-driven business model of many hotels. Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll see an opportunity for your hotel to position itself as a knowledgeable advisor to event managers navigating this new reality. Things are definitely different -- and those changes bring opportunities as well. Here’s how Cvent’s hospitality product suite can enable your pivot and position you for success as you sell a new type of hybrid event model to event planners with its full end to end event management platform and marketing solutions. Capture Leads with Group Marketing Solutions In an environment with fewer events, leads are even more precious. There’s less business floating around, so it’s essential to give your team the tools and features to capture and nurture leads. And it’s not just filling the top of the funnel with leads for your sales team; you also want quality leads. Your group business can only grow by attracting quality leads that are well-suited for your venue -- and thus primed to convert. Group Marketing Solutions helps you identify, acquire, and convert leads with three core offerings: Sourcing network. The Cvent Supplier Network reaches over 92,000 event planners representing more than $19 billion in RFP value. The global reach of its venue sourcing platform means that you have more opportunities to find the ideal events for your venue. Planners turn to Cvent as the pathway to secure venues and so your presence on this platform is critical for driving new leads. Increased visibility. To make your venue stand out, your team benefits from a multimedia-rich marketing environment that puts your venue front and center. With tools to showcase what makes your venue unique, you can do a better job at differentiating your offering and landing the right leads. To further engage with the planners using Cvent, you have a few other tools: the Cvent Audience Network, where you can reach event planners all over the web; self-serve, multimedia custom microsites to showcase your property to event planners searching for venues; and Search Ads so you can advertise to event planners researching venues like yours to augment email marketing to your existing database. These value-added visibility tools maximize engagement and give you targeted ways to speak directly to the right planners -- and increase your odds of success. It’s all about capturing quality leads for your sales team to work their magic. Your team can create custom microsites to engage planners with images, videos and content about your venues and the surrounding destination. Streamlined RFPs. Turn your website into a lead generation machine by streamlining how event planners submit RFPs. Event planners are busy; so it’s especially important to make it easy for them to submit their group requests. If you make it difficult, they will simply go elsewhere! The SpeedRFP White Label solution streamlines this workflow, enabling planners to submit complete requests right from your website so that you can quickly respond with a winning proposal. Speed, convenience, and accuracy increase the quantity and quality of RFPs. Planners will love it -- and so will your sales team, as they can manage leads from a centralized portal, spend less time chasing down details. and leverage integrations with sales and catering software. Streamline your RFPs and make it easier for everyone by embedding RFP submissions in your website. Boost Profitability with Group Operations Solutions Once you've captured the leads and turned them into closed business, the next step is to effectively deliver a top-notch experience. By providing planners and attendees the tools and platforms to make life easier, you’ll increase the odds of future business. Cvent’s solutions for Group Operations focus on collaboration, transparency, and incremental revenue, plugged right into your CRS, PMS, revenue management, distribution, sales, and catering systems: Custom event websites. Promote and manage your group hotel reservations with Passkey, a centralized system that integrates sensible upsells right into the booking flow so attendees can easily personalize their experience from prearrival to check-in. This is one of those win-win situations: the guest enjoys more control over their experience, which makes the event planner and their client/organization look better -- and gives everyone an opportunity to capture more incremental revenue that makes the event more financially successful. Dynamic reporting tools also keep everyone informed with the latest event registrations and hotel bookings. Planning tools. Event planners have a lot on their plate. It all comes down to managing the smallest details to deliver an exceptional event experience. Cvent event management makes their jobs easier with a drag-and-drop event diagramming tool. With this easy and self-serve solution, planners can diagram tables, seating and trade show floors, as well as plan food and beverage, stage, audio/visual, and entertainment. The tool enables enhanced collaboration between planner and client as well, so there’s less back-and-forth via emails and attachments. Fewer surprises and greater control make for a better experience -- and a more successful event for planners and their clients. Detailed reports. Out-of-block room bookings are stressful. These castaways could potentially mean that the group is on the hook for added expenses. Reduce out of block castaways with detailed reporting around room reservations to identify rogue reservations and bring them back into the room block. Reports also show real-time pick-up, pace, and room list data. Reports also include analysis of event data around attendee engagement, event marketing efficiency, and other key data points throughout the life-cycle of an event. Close More Business with Group Sales Solutions In addition to marketing and operations, sales can benefit greatly from tools to help them work smarter and close deals more quickly. Manual data entry is a drain on sales team morale and effectiveness. For your group sales team, Cvent offers: RFP prioritization. An abundance of RFPs is a great problem to have. But it can also be overwhelming, leading sales teams to respond in a haphazard way. Cvent’s Lead Scoring eliminates doubt and sorts all incoming leads by score so sales managers focus on the right opportunities first. These machine-assisted intelligent lead scoring tools align timeframe, season, business mix and profitability to make your events business as lucrative as possible. The tool even evaluates planners’ alternative dates to find the best match for your property! RFP operations. Sales managers spend a lot of time responding to requests. Manually managing this process is not just a headache but it drastically limits productivity. Reduce the burden on sales (and make their lives easier) with RFP management software that automates manual tasks and improves the quality of responses. For instance, you can easily see scheduled events across the property to avoid wasting precious response time on internal coordination. Sales teams can also generate custom contracts and banquet event orders so they can push less paper and close more business. Real-time dashboard. Chasing group business is a daily battle. So you need up-to-date analytics to shape your day-to-day. Cvent’s analytics dashboard simplifies your workflow so you can provide the most accurate proposals quickly, and monitor your progress. Integrated metrics, such as response time, decline rate, and insights into declined bids, align property, regional, and national sales teams around the current state of affairs. The CSN business intelligence tool can also benchmark performance and expand on market-level insights to strengthen your hotel's competitive positioning. Grow Your Corporate Business with Transient Sales Solutions Especially in the current climate, scaling your corporate travel business is a challenge. Securing more business means that you must discover transient demand and then move quickly and efficiently to close the best customers for your property. You'll also want to leverage market intelligence so that you outsmart the competition. To boost your transient business, Cvent keeps your property visible and nimble, so that you’re well-positioned to find and respond to corporate RFPs. Here’s how: Enhanced visibility. Thanks to Cvent’s global sourcing network, you'll learn when new accounts are soliciting hotels in your area so that you can pitch for their business. Coupled with the ability to quickly respond to inbound market leads, this enhanced visibility gives your property a leg up when it comes to transient business. Digital tools. Marketing to corporate buyers requires consistency. You’ll also benefit from RFP scoring and lead visibility to keep your team on track when pursuing transient demand. Market intelligence. With GDS access and comp set benchmarking, you’ll have a direct line to transient pricing trends -- and see your rejection metrics compared to others for detailed bid loss analysis. Armed with these insights, you can create quality responses that convert more often. Bringing it All Together Trust and transparency. Control and collaboration. These are the blocks of success when it comes to group business. Your chosen event management software and group sales software solutions should make it easy for meeting planners engaging in venue selection and attendees who only engage with event technology upon arrival, which positions your property for repeat business as a valuable partner. And, with full real-time sync to your property’s core systems, you'll avoid tedious data entry and costly availability errors. There are many moving parts, changing conditions, and competing priorities when it comes to group sales; your technology should harness that energy and help your property live up to its full group potential!
Innovation is alive and well in hospitality. Don't believe us? Check out the 47 new hospitality innovations that we cover in this report. In the age of coronavirus we all catch ourselves thinking that the world is coming to an end from time to time. Don't worry, this article has nothing to do with coronavirus (but it's hard not to address the elephant in the room these days). In order to keep this article COVID free, let's run a scenario analysis using Hotel Tech Report's Innovation Wager™. The wager considers four alternate universes based on two axes. On our X axis we consider two worlds: Scenario A considers optimal decision making if the hotel industry does not recover, Scenario B considers what to do if you believe that it will. On our Y axis we consider what happens if we improve the way we do business with new technology and processes. The wager shows us that in any potential outcome, it's always in our interest to improve the way we operate our businesses. The only unacceptable outcome is the one where the world does not come to an end and we do not improve our tech and hotel operations processes. So the next question is how did we choose our Y axis (i.e. update my hotel's tech and operations)? The math is simple, if your hotel group's breakeven is at 25-30% occupancy and you're currently running at 0% you are essentially racing against time to hit that occupancy. Global travel demand is unfortunately out of your control, so what can you do to get there as quickly as possible? You can improve your margins to lower your breakeven occupancy by getting more efficient at your property. For this you may explore technology like keyless entry or staff collaboration tools to help your slimmed down team do more with less. You can sell long term group business today to bring deposit revenue in ahead of those bookings and for that you'll need airtight sales tech and processes. You could also get more efficient at acquiring guests to hit that 25-30% occupancy rate faster. In this article, we showcase 47 hospitality innovations that have been launched in the crisis. As you explore ways to improve your margins, get smarter at guest acquisition and more - this list can put you on the cutting edge. We've divided the article into five categories: Revenue Management Innovations Marketing Innovations Operational Innovations Guest Experience Innovations Sales and Meetings Innovations BONUS: Look for the contactless badge next to products in the innovation report to identify technologies that will help your hotel go contactless, boost your recovery efforts and prepare now for the inevitable changes that are coming. The tools have functionality that will enable you limit human physical contact to pre-emptively prepare for new government regulations and even more importantly, guest expectations. Q2 Innovations in Revenue Management 1. OTA Insight Market Insight Tool OTA Insight’s Market Insight tool offers a smarter way to predict demand and price your rooms accordingly. Market Insight gathers and analyzes data from hotel web searches, flight data, events, holidays, online reviews, weather forecasts, and alternative lodging inventory to give your revenue team location-specific insights segmented into different customer groups. Learn more about your target guest’s booking intent and use real-time market trends to capitalize on revenue opportunities before your competition. 2. SiteMinder Insights SiteMinder Insights allows hotels to be smarter about their sales and marketing strategies while maintaining their brand integrity. This tool has monitoring and reporting capabilities that provide hoteliers a single place to access clear and actionable data on their local market, business performance and guests. This integration can help hoteliers make more informed decisions about hotel pricing and distribution, based on impartial data, as well as reveal insights that help get ahead of the competition. 3. Infor Price Optimizator Infor Hospitality Price Optimizer (HPO) is a mobile-first app that helps hotels price their rooms in a more accurate and timely manner. The algorithms that drive the app replicate the approach the guest takes to book a room: the system data from star ratings, location, pricing, and reviews to select which hotels are the valid competitors that should influence the pricing decision. he system automatically detects seasons and events for a dynamic pricing solution that updates throughout the day as needed. 4. HotelIQ Monthly Forecasting HotelIQ has been working on a Monthly Forecasting & Budgeting Tool that can generate forecasts and budgets for up to 12 months at a time. The platform pulls your real-time PMS data to use as a baseline, automating the burdensome task of maintaining spreadsheets and forecasting by hand. Easily edit figures, track performance, and generate market segment level forecasts and budgets. 5. IDeaS RevPlan IDeaS RevPlan is a total revenue forecasting, planning and enterprise consolidation tool. RevPlan can automate scientific forecasting, budgeting and financial submission for your entire property – from rooms to food & beverage and other income revenue streams. Save time and manual effort while driving greater profitability: RevPlan provides hotels the ability to forecast accurately and precisely. 6. RateGain MarketDRONE RateGain is launching MarketDRONE, a new feature for its rate intelligence platform OPTIMA. MarketDRONE tracks intra-day rates and rate-plan changes by hotels in real-time. Whenever a competitive hotel makes a rate change, your revenue manager receives an alert. Hotels are constantly changing rates for existing plans and introducing new rate plans close to check-in-date to sell off their unsold inventory and maximize revenue. As such, a revenue manager, on an average, may lose $1,000 or more per day by not acting on these intra-day market changes in real-time. With MarketDRONE, revenue managers do not have to pull out rate shopping reports on a daily basis to make the strategic decisions. The instant alerts provide them the market insights on the fly and basis that they can take the recommended actions on the go. 7. HotelTime Instant Reporting HotelTime Solutions is debuting Instant Reporting, a reporting and forecasting tool that helps revenue managers working at multi-location properties get a clear picture on their distribution. It aggregates data on key metrics across different properties. This tool makes it easy to get accurate reports, merging revenue center statistics at the chain level. 8. Hotelchamp Demand Tracker Hotelchamp’s new demand tracker will give revenue managers insight into how much demand there is predicted for future stay dates in their hotel. Set up automatic alerts to be notified when demand increases for a specific stay date. Get insights for a specific demand period to better predict trends in revenue. 9. HotelPartner Synergy Model HotelPartner’s synergy model is a new service offering for individual hoteliers that combines manpower, technology, and expertise in one package. The firm will offer a revenue management tool as well as the team to use it; the synergy model offers a blend of consulting, technology, and a revenue management solution tailored to your property. 10. 5stelle Business Intelligence 5stelle* is introducing a new business intelligence tool that provides 18 interactive dashboards. Get reporting on your reservation lead time, month-to-date revenue and occupancy, RevPAR analysis, and more all in one place. 11. Fairmas Advanced Revenue Planner Fairmas Advanced Revenue Planner simplifies the planning and controlling of all hotel revenues, either by market segment or by account line item, on a daily or monthly basis. The platform is built for different user groups – from department managers who need to plan on the operational level, to revenue managers for a detailed view of the total hotel, and to the general managers who can refer to its consolidated view. The Pickup Planning feature allows a different way of planning that may be a more realistic approach depending on the day-to-day situation (e.g., How many more rooms do I still need to pick up to achieve my goal?). Q2 Innovations in Hotel Marketing 12. Revinate Guest Data Platform Revinate’s Guest Data Platform is another take on consolidating guest information to deliver the insights hotel managers can use to drive direct bookings, provide a great guest experience, and increase profit. The Guest Data Platform combines guest data into rich, unified profiles that can inform your sales and marketing campaigns. 13. SHR Maverick CRM SHR Maverick™ CRM by Sceptre Hospitality Resources LLC is a new CRM system that unlocks information from third-party providers. This CRM shows your hotel data about customers no matter where they booked: direct, or through an OTA. Maverick gives hoteliers access to clean, consolidated guest data, including user behavior and booking habits. The platform includes a loyalty and rewards platform and integrates with Windsurfer CRS, Windsurfer CRO, Windsurfer IBE, and a built-in Campaign Management Platform. 14. D-EDGE CRM D-EDGE launched Guest Management, a CRM tool that integrates with the brand’s existing CRS product. Guest Management offers hoteliers a way to centralize data from your PMS, CRS, website, and other sources into one guest profile. By consolidating all data about each guest in one place, your team can more easily send specific, customized offers to guests, driving guest satisfaction and loyalty. 15. Dailypoint Content Bot The dailypoint Content Bot is a tool which pushes email communication finally to an individual experience with each guest. The bot pulls data from guest profiles in dailypoint to select content pieces from a library, offering individualized, concierge-style recommendations based on each individual’s unique needs. Content Bot allows your marketing team to get hyper-focused with messaging. Send a newsletter customized per person, rather than per target group. 16. Suiteness OTA Distribution Suiteness launched a partnership with Booking.com for travelers to book connecting hotel rooms and suites through Booking.com. When connecting rooms are available, they are booked 3.3x more often than multi-bedroom suites in the same hotel. Customer segments like families and groups are heading to AirBnB in droves because they demand more space and don’t want to risk showing up at your property only to find out they can’t get connecting rooms. Give them peace of mind and you’re more likely to win their booking. 17. RoomRacoon Integrated Upselling RoomRaccoon is developing an integrated upselling tool for its hotel management system. This will allow clients of its HMS to offer add-ons like breakfast or room upgrades prior to arrival. While there are quite a few standalone upselling tools on the market, RoomRaccoon is one of the first HMS players to offer this functionality. 18. AskSuite Booking Engine Chatbot AskSuite’s latest integration syncs your booking engine with their chatbot to recapture a guest who may be having trouble booking directly. For instance, if a traveler tries to book a room on an unavailable date, the chatbot will automatically respond with a message that there are no rooms available and suggest the next earliest date with availability. Or, the chatbot can be set up to suggest a nearby property from the same chain that does have availability. This integration helps your reservation team work more productively, captures more direct bookings, and standardizes customer service messaging on your site. Asksuite is also in the process of building a Smart Chat Distribution tool that can matches a reservation agent to an open chat, helping large reservation teams coordinate their responses to individual customers. Your property defines specific rules – using triggers such as language, communication channel, type of inquiry, and more – and the algorithm uses these qualifiers to send an open request to the right customer service representative. The goal is to improve your property’s customer service and make it easier for your team to work efficiently. 19. Profitroom WebAssistant Profitroom’s WebAssistant is a new tool for creating and maintaining your hotel website. The tool is built specifically for the hotel industry, with templates designed to set up booking pages that drive direct bookings as well as unlimited data transfer and automated free updates. This website builder is an option for hotel properties that do not have the budget to work with a digital marketing agency to set up their site. 20. Quicktext Lead Generation Quicktext’s chatbot aims to improve your sales cycle by generating new leads for your sales team. When a customer engages with this chatbot, the program checks your CRM to see if this user exists; if they do, the tool will add any missing contact details and customer interests as determined through the chat interaction. If this is a new customer, the bot will upload insights into your CRM that can be used by your sales and marketing team to send more personalized offers and marketing messages. The Quicktext bot interacts with 9% of online visitors each month; if you have 3,000 visitors every month, Quicktext will create 270 new leads to whom your team can market. 21. myhotelshop GmbH Link Travel Ads myhotelshop GmbH recently launched Link Travel Ads, a metasearch marketing platform for hotel chains, booking engines, and hotel marketing agencies. This tool is built specifically for properties that have struggled to run, manage and report metasearch marketing campaigns. Link Travel Ads will take you through the process from start to finish. With this tool, one account manager can manage campaigns for more than 500 different properties, with reporting and invoicing all in one place. 22. Experience Hotel Dedupe Experience Hotel, like D-EDGE, is trying to solve the problem many hotels have: multiple entries for the same guest. Hotel brands that have multiple properties with multiple data sources (the restaurant, spa, reservation system, etc.) tend to have duplicate profiles for the same guest in their PMS. Experience Hotel’s approach is Unified Customer Repository (UCR), a system that can identify all the duplicates in your guest list and combine every guest's details in one single profile. This allows your team to see an entire guest history in one place, and use insights from multiple sources to deliver personalized messages and offers. Q2 Hotel Operations Innovations 23. hotelkit Facility Management Hotelkit debuted a new Facility Management platform that enables maintenance teams to plan, schedule, and track corrective and preventive maintenance tasks. The tool help maintenance managers allocate resources such as time, money, and employees more effectively, and can automate and oversee daily maintenance routines. Get data and reporting on energy consumption or wear and tear of equipment to predict future expenses. 24. Mews Online Check-Out Mews Systems now offers an online check out feature aimed at reducing lines at the front desk and streamlining your property’s operations. Guests can checkout online without having to stand in a queue before departure; the platform sends housekeeping an alert once the guest has left, and your revenue managers can start upselling early check ins. Mews Online Checkout gives time back to guests and hoteliers alike with essential automation to guests who are in a hurry and hotels who are trying to turn around rooms. 25. HelloShift Inventory Management HelloShift is introducing Inventory Management to systemize the process of ordering and maintaining your stock of hotel supplies – parts, tools, equipment, linen, guest amenities, and more. Store detailed information about your supplies (warranty, brand, model, etc.), automate reordering, and reconcile inventory levels with regular checks. Reduce error that can lead to over and under-stocking, and reduce costs associated with ordering the wrong amount of supplies. 26. Bookboost Multi-Property Inbox Bookboost Guest Messaging added an all-in-one inbox with multi-property function that integrates messages from a number of channels into one inbox. Manage messages from your website, email, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and more in one platform. This allows one team member to oversee one unified inbox – a big gain in efficiency, especially for multi-property hotels. 27. Sertifi eConfirmations Sertifi eConfirmations allows travel companies to send payment digitally to travel suppliers (e.g., your hotel). Receive corporate credit card payments, virtual card payments along with the corresponding payment instructions, and guest information, such as check-in time and room preference, all at once – quickly and securely. All payment data is tokenized and transferred in a PCI compliant manner. Offer a smooth, hassle-free payment experience for corporate travelers. 28. Beekeeper Task Management Beekeeper’s Whispr Partnership will help frontline workers learn their job duties more quickly and help add consistency to your operations. Whispr transmits “motivational audio messages”, as well as work instructions in your employee’s preferred language through Beekeeper’s operational communication platform. Facilitate communication between your housekeeping team and management in an innovative and authentic way. 29. Telkonet Ecoinput Telkonet introduces EcoInput, a simple way to save energy and reduce your costs. EcoInput turns any light switch into an energy management device. Using the Zigbee wireless protocol, lighting can be controlled locally – e.g., guests can use the light switch as normal – or remotely via software or mobile control. Add sustainability and energy savings to your property without sacrificing guest experience. 30. Hoxell Quality Operations Hoxell has a new tool called Quality Operations. With Quality Operations, members of your team can send messages, create and assign tasks, and digitize workflows to improve productivity. The platform aims to streamline housekeeping activities, create direct communication channels, and improve reporting by reducing friction in communication and knocking down siloed reporting structures. 31. Mister Booking Payment Automation Mister Booking’s Payment Automation feature offers a simple way to process payment from your Hotel Management System. All credit cards collected as guarantee from OTA or booking engine can be verified and pre-authorized directly from the PMS. Automate advanced payments for all non-cancellable and non-refundable reservations, according to their payment conditions. It will save your team time by automating the administrative burden of payment verification. Q2 Guest Experience Innovations 32. Crave AppLess Mobile Crave unveiled AppLess™ Mobile, a tool that gives guests access to guest services through location-specific QR codes. Guests simply scan a QR code and choose from the services you offer. Create multiple custom QR codes and post them at different points throughout your property: for instance, a QR code for ordering drinks at the bar, a QR code for catering in a meeting room, a QR code for more towels by the pool. AppLess™ enables frictionless digital experiences for consumers to access services on their own devices, without the need to download a mobile app. Includes payment technologies such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. 33. SuitePad Premium Docking Station SuitePad has two new products to share, the SuitePad Premium Docking Station and the SuitePad 10" Tablet. The SuitPad 10 is a premium version of their previous model, featuring a 1920 x 1200px resolution screen, larger battery for longer use, and 2GB of RAM for smoother content delivery. The docking station includes new features such as a bluetooth speaker, in-room presence sensor, and telephone handset. These features increase your property’s ability to send offers to guests at the right moment, and provide a premium in-room technology experience. 34. Volara Google Interpreter Volara introduced Google Assistant Interpreter Mode for Hospitality, a partnership with Google that facilitates real-time conversations with guests through instant translation. The tool translates between 29 different languages to help your staff welcome guests from diverse language backgrounds. Improve the guest experience and solicit reviews in multiple languages with this quick and easy translation platform. 39. TrustYou On-Site QR Feedback TrustYou’s On-Site Solutions Beta is a new product that solicits feedback during the guest stay using a QR code or short URL. This survey tool proactively asks each guest about their stay, escalating any issues occurring at your hotel for immediate attention. One hotel property that tested this product was able to increase their post-stay review scores by 3.8 points by asking for feedback in real-time. 35. Travel Appeal Destination Report Travel Appeal’s On-demand Destination Reports are tailor made for independent and chain hotels, DMOs, and tour operators looking for deeper information about their territory. These reports are available for any city, region, or territory within a few days, and can be used to analyze visitor groups, sentiment scores, trends, competitors, online channels, seasonality, and more. Compare different time periods (up to three years back) and learn about the reputation of the destination, individual sectors (F&B, retail, experiences, and more), and what topics are most discussed in relation to your specific area. Know what to highlight in your marketing campaign and help your concierge team craft the perfect experience for your guests. 36. LoungUp WhatsApp Messaging LoungeUp debuted its new WhatsApp Messaging function, adding a new way to communicate with guests. Use this tool to initiate contact with each customer before they arrive over WhatsApp. Send guests a way to check-in in advance, pay their deposit, book a shuttle to the hotel, or offer an upgrade. Automate some of the time-consuming administrative process and offer real, conversational exchanges with guests. With 1.5 billion worldwide users per month (as of January, 2019) worldwide, WhatsApp is the number one messaging platform, ahead of Facebook Messenger (1.3), Wechat (1.1), Skype (0.3), Snapchat, Viber and Line. 37. Zaplox Mobile Check-in Zaplox Premium iterates on Zaplox’s original product with new mobile-check in and mobile key functionality. This app integrates with most leading PMS and lock systems to streamline check-in. The custom-branded app allows your property to connect with guests before, during, and after their stay. Guests can use the Zaplox app to check-in, preauthorize their credit card, and complete the guest registration before they arrive at the hotel. Includes mobile keys with integration with lock vendors ASSA ABLOY, dormakaba and SALTO systems as well as large PMS providers, such as Oracle, Agilysys, protel, StayNTouch, Maestro, and more. 38. MyStay Mobile Check-in MyStay Check-in Agent is a tablet-based software solution that can make your check-in process 100% digital at the front desk and anywhere at your hotel. The tablet scans guest documents, and then prompts the guest to add missing information, agree to house rules, and sign the check-in card. This increases the accuracy of your guest data, streamlines the check-in process, and allows your team to focus on the guest experience rather than data entry. Q2 Sales & Group Travel Innovations 39. OPERA Sales & Event Management Oracle’s OPERA Sales and Event Management Cloud (OSEM) helps hotels reduce the extra time spent managing data entry related to events. OSEM provides a single view of all a hotel’s event booking details and revenue across rooms and event spaces for easier audit and analysis. Properties can increase their event revenue by optimizing inventory, bookings, streamlining logistics and providing smooth event logistics. The tool helps streamline operations, increase communication and cooperation across departments, and respond faster to customers. 40. Atomize Group Booking Pricing Module Atomize announced fresh updates to its Group Booking Pricing Module with a tool that helps revenue managers to instantly calculate the optimal rate for groups. This module now presents both the total recommended price and displaced transient revenue for the group, along with details such as prices per room type and date. A separate module introduces the ability to email yourself the group pricing recommendation for future reference. 41. MeetingPackage Analytics MeetingPackage has a new analytics extension for meetings and events bookings that allows you to advertise your meetings and events the same way you would advertise your hotel rooms. The analytics extension allows Google Analytics to track the full customer journey, capturing the total revenue of the meeting/event. Measure the booking process from the very first ad click until the event date, and make smarter marketing decisions on Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn to drive valuable direct traffic. 42. SABA Hospitality Digital Conference Tool SABA Hospitality’s SABA Conference is a digital conference tool that provides automatic answers to the questions and requests of conference hosts and attendees directly to their mobile devices. From conference information, directions and amenities, and information on the surrounding area, all information is easily accessible in multiple languages, and can be presented in any format (e.g. links, videos, text, maps and images). Users don’t need to download a thing, making it easier for conference organizers to ensure all relevant information is received by attendees. Hosts and property operators simply enter the relevant information, and the platform presents it in a branded and engaging way. 43. EVENTMACHINE Instant Quote EVENTMACHINE IQ Instant Quote automatically plans and quotes events based on a few simple inputs, like date or event type. Rather than tasking an event manager to manually select and calculate event spaces, catering and equipment. Eventmachine IQ can reduce that manual effort. Get instant, custom quotes emailed in a professional PDF proposal. 44. Get Into MoRe Strategy Dashboard Get Into MoRe has built a new Strategy Dashboard advises whether or not you should allow an inquiry to proceed with booking your events space. One small event could easily reserve a space and prevent a more profitable, large event. Strategy Dashboard uses a red light/green light system to tell you if an inquiry is worth accepting – or if you should hold out for another booking request. 45. THYNK Meetings Management THYNK has a new product, MYCE, a customer-centric meeting events and venue management system. The flexible, cloud-based system uses Salesforce to automate the sales process follow-up with task automation and two-way integration with your PMS, POS, and other applications. Assign tasks across departments and add the group booking module to make it easier to manage event bookings. Q2 New Innovations in Food & Beverage 46. Bbot Smart Ordering System Bbot Smart Ordering system allows guests to order room service on their phone from their room without downloading an app or signing up for a new service and integrates with popular hotel PMS and POS systems. Guests order and pay for food + drinks right from their room without having to call down, which means you save on labor and menu management. Bbot recently rolled out new PMS integrations including Mews & Opera. 47. Apicbase's Production Planning Tool Apicbase’s Production Planning tool streamlines kitchen operations at your property by making food production reliable and repeatable. Save money and reduce food waste by up to 30% with automated to-do lists, real-time inventory updates, and a function that allows your team to predict how many quantities will be needed at each meal. Prep only what you need and make the most of ingredients in your pantry to lower your food budget.
As you evaluate potential hotel tech vendors for your hotel, you’ve likely found yourself comparing smaller point solutions to those from a larger enterprise player, such as Amadeus for Hospitality. It's not an easy comparison to make: big companies have sizable technology teams supporting their clients but you can feel like a small fish in a big pond when you're just one customer of thousands. On the other hand, smaller startups can move faster and often give your hotel more attention. The hope is to find a solution that’s on the budget, available on your timeline and eliminates data silos. For hotels evaluating software for managing operations, service optimization, or group sales, Amadeus has a robust software suite that can be customized according to different budget, timeline, and needs. You can take one solution or all of them, according to whichever problem you need Amadeus to solve. The portfolio is wide-reaching and comprehensive, and Amadeus’ size and global scope makes it a formidable technology partner. But is it right for your hotel? Here’s what you need to know about the complete Amadeus portfolio so you can decide which products fit your hotel’s needs. What Amadeus Does: Tools For Managing All Aspects Of Hotel Operations Amadeus offers a comprehensive software suite to manage all aspects of a hotel's operations. From managing reservations, distributing rates, supporting sales and catering, improving staff communication, and operating the property, the software works across nearly every touchpoint between guest, staff, and hotel management. On the marketing side, Amadeus also owns TravelClick, a complete marketing solution for hotels. For a more in-depth look at how this fits into the Amadeus portfolio of products for hotels, tab over to our recent deep dive into TravelClick suite of marketing tools. Who Amadeus Is For: Mostly Larger Properties With Bigger Budgets And More Complex Needs In general, Amadeus builds technology for larger properties and portfolios with bigger budgets and more complex needs. However, that doesn't mean but certain products aren't oriented towards smaller independents and boutiques. Many Amadeus products can be purchased a la carte, which means that you can pick the products that fit their needs without having to commit to the entire portfolio. Certain products, such as HotSOS Mild, were built specifically with limited functionality to support select-service hotels. In addition to hotels, Amadeus also supports the efforts of casinos, stadiums, and restaurants to improve their communications with groups and optimize event spaces with profitable groups and meetings. Manage Groups More Profitably To With Amadeus Sales and Catering Solutions With business travel set to rise around 4% each year until 2026, group business from meetings, events, and conferences will continue to be a massive revenue driver for many hotels. To ensure that your hotel captures as much business as possible, and then delivers those events profitably, Amadeus has several sales and catering solutions that connect event sales, operations, and management to maximize usage and optimize pricing for event spaces. These tools also work well in concert, seamlessly sharing data across them so that a proposal moves fluidly from proposal stage to accepted deal to the event execution process. Sales CRM. Your hotel’s group sales success requires an organized team that tracks the pipeline, engages prospects over time, and maintains relationships with past event planners who may bring repeat business. Here are the Amadeus products to enhance productivity in your sales staff: Amadeus Sales & Event Management puts powerful reporting and data-rich dashboards in front of your sales and catering teams so they can make data-driven decisions around where to focus next. The software is mobile-optimized, can work across multiple properties, and supports automated workflows Central Sales solves the visibility issue so you can instantly see your sales team’s current pipeline. It’s a module that tracks leads and opportunities, and then translates those into an accurate forecast to assess progress towards sales targets. Group sourcing and RFP management. Amadeus has several tools to enhance your proposals by making them interactive, with rich media and personalized content. MeetingBroker is a tool that generates more leads for your hotel by allowing planners to submit their request for proposal directly to your venues. Event planners prefer self-service and this tool gives them what they want! eProposal enhances your proposals by better aligning them with each prospect’s unique needs. Proposals can be easily and quickly customized, so your team can make better proposals and get them in the hands of event planners more quickly. The fastest response often wins the business! Central Sales is above-property management’s view into sales team effectiveness. It’s also the main collaboration channel between above- and on-property teams, improving the distribution of RFPs to a portfolio of properties. Event planning software. These tools help everyone stay on top of details while remaining responsive to event planners, both before and during events. By empowering staff with tools to enhance their own productivity, you ensure that events can be delivered on time, on budget, and with the highest satisfaction possible. PlannerPortal is an add-on to the Delphi CRM tool. It’s a Salesforce extension that allows planners to see the same information as staff. This becomes a critical collaboration tool, where you can store documents and track change requests, keeping everyone on the same page -- and on track for a successful event and a satisfied planner experience. Amadeus PlannerPortal becomes a centralized hub for planner/staff interactions. Hospitality Diagramming is an interactive tool that works on any device and lets event planners create diagrams and envision their event in your space. As planners turn their vision into reality, the visual helps your hotel win more business. The software also becomes a central repository for staff to design and organize floorplans for any event. Planners can diagram events and visualize their events -- bringing them closer to contract. Streamline Your Operations with Amadeus PMS and CRS Choosing a new property management system is a major decision, as is selecting a central reservation system to manage your hotel’s bookings. Once implemented, these technologies are fused to a property, rarely to be undone. That relative permanence makes this one of the toughest decisions to make. You need certainty that rates, availability, reservations, guest information, and other date flow across systems without fail, whether via Universal API integration or direct connect. The Amadeus central reservation system is a central hub for managing distribution and pricing among channels and allows your hotel to tailor offers to specific customer segments. With a single real-time view of the entire business, you can manage your guest experience while generating additional revenue by reacting quickly to changing market dynamics. The Amadeus property management system is an on-premise or hosted technology for single/multiple properties that combine channel and rate management into a single distribution solution with robust analytics and reporting. It also integrates sales and catering activities and retail/restaurant point-of-sale systems. Optimize Service and Staff Productivity with Amadeus HotSOS Service optimization is a perfect use case for tech. It eliminates a manual and inflexible system that is rarely optimized for speed, efficiency, and staff experience. With all requests, communications, and other issues routed immediately to the relevant department, staff and guests are happier. And, with automated optimization, maintenance requests and housekeeping schedules automatically adjust to the changing needs of our property in real-time. Amadeus’ service optimization products are quite popular, in use at over 70% of global hotel brands, which the company says saved hotels over $150 million in 2016. That savings came from reducing issues that affect guest satisfaction, responding to requests more quickly, and improving overall resource allocation. Housekeeping management is ideally suited for automation: using intelligent routing based on check-ins, stayovers, and check-outs, housekeeper schedules can be prioritized for efficiency. This means that you can reduce wait times for incoming guests and increase overall cleanliness. It also makes your staff happier as they are less rushed with last-minute requests and feel more in control throughout the day. Staff collaboration tools bring your staff together in a single communications channel to manage their daily tasks. Amadeus has two staff task management tools: HotSOS Mild, designed specifically to meet the limited needs of select-service hotels, and HotSOS, a full-featured enterprise product to automate daily operations, schedule preventative maintenance, improve intra-hotel communication and improve the quality of guest engagement. Thanks to its automated workflows, HotSOS minimizes the amount of time it takes to complete tasks. That not only reduces labor costs but speeds responses and reduces bad reviews around slow service. Most notably, you can build profiles and personalized experiences based on a guest’s history of requests and preferences. Amadeus Pros and Cons According to its Customers Amadeus has dozens of reviews across its many products. We’ve pulled out some of the highlights; we recommend checking reviews for specific products as part of your research process. Pros: An engineer from a resort in Anaheim says that HotSOS Mild is “Making life a lot easier” for monitoring maintenance and repair work. Direct of Sales and Marketing in Washington liked Amadeus Delphi’s “ immediate data sharing” with the PMS” as well as the fact that it “interfaces with Outlook so communications are easily viewed.” A group sales manager in Chicago liked Delphi’s “ease of use” when compared to other products that were “difficult to learn/update/adjust to an individual property’s needs.” Cons: One City Center hotelier in the Netherlands using the PMS reported “6 years of problems now and no real solution” with “overselling rooms daily due to software problems.” One Delphi user at a Branded Hotel in Cambridge reported poor knowledge of support team, saying “ Almost every time I call support, the tech says let me check Google.” Getting Started with Amadeus Amadeus is definitely not a self-serve player, where you can simply put in your credit card information and get started with set up. Pricing also varies. It ultimately depends on the basket of products that you choose to implement. For certain products, such as the CRS, there’s utility pricing that offers low upfront cost and minimal transaction fees. Again, the actual pricing is property/portfolio dependent and will require engaging with sales. It all starts with a demo: select your Amadeus product and click “Get Demo” to get a live look at how the product can help your hotel solve its current challenges.