“Luxury hotels tend to be smaller and have less meeting
space, so you often need to book them much further out,” she
says. “A larger hotel with more meeting space might not be as
desirable to the client, especially if they want to be a big ;ish in
a small pond, but it will be much easier to get in.”
Of course, the most challenging scenario is trying to book
a short-term meeting at an upscale hotel in a popular desti-
nation. Here, again, being willing to consider alternatives is
“I try to bring in additional location choices that are not too
far off in climate or location from the ;irst choice,” Adams says.
“In one case, a client who wanted Arizona, Las Vegas or Southern California was also receptive to Los Cabos, Mexico, which
really opened up the possibilities.” ■
The client who
is ready to move
will have an edge
over the one who
is primarily shop-
ping around. In
market, your value
goes up if you can
make a timely
“Electronic communication is great, but
sometimes it’s not enough. Being able to talk to
the client can move things along more quickly
and make a big difference.”
Benchmark’s Finn adds that planners
should not be overly reliant on third-party
sourcing tools when they’re faced with a short
“Use [those tools] initially, but then pick up
the phone and call your hotel partner,” he says.
“Tell them what you’re thinking. Nothing takes
the place of personal interaction.”
Having some ;lexibility in at least one or two of the key areas—
dates, destination and space—is perhaps the most crucial factor in short-term situations.
“When it comes to dates, even just one day can make a huge
difference,” Adams says.
With meeting space in high demand at many hotels, Finn
urges planners to carefully consider the amount of space they
actually need and to be open to con;igurations such as the-ater-style seating that make the best use of it.
“Don’t be a space hog,” he says.
Flexibility is also crucial when it comes to choosing the type
and size of hotel. With luxury hotels in particularly high demand
these days, Adams says organizations need to realize that these
properties, which also tend to do very strong leisure business,
will be especially dif;icult to come by without suf;icient notice.