To the modern hotelier, Cvent is a primary channel for sourcing new group business. This industry giant is the place to be when it comes to attracting meeting planners to your property – and as expected, it’s where every one of your competitors is hanging out as well. So what can you do to make sure you’re visible, and getting your fair share of RFPs? With a wide variety of technology and tools available to members, it’s not uncommon to find that hotels have not fully optimized their presence on the Cvent platform – unintentionally excluding themselves from valuable requests.
With a little time and attention, though, your Cvent marketing dollars will prove to be a valuable investment.
We’re here to help you wade through the “Dos and Don’ts” of Cvent with these 5 tips to help simplify the supplier experience.
1. Know what you have: Understanding the deliverables on each product you’ve purchased is the first step to optimizing your marketing dollars. For example, did you know that the 3-Diamond profile includes a sidebar, image-based callout on the Cvent Supplier Search page for your area? When was the last time you reviewed the copy and image being displayed there? Take the time to assemble a list of each included feature on your profile and the products you’ve purchased, then check off each as you add and optimize content. There’s nothing worse than a pricey product being under-utilized and not bringing you the group leads you were hoping to capture.
2. Fully Optimize Your Profile: Your profile is a sales kit - use it to sell the entire experience and convince planners that this is an event venue they can’t afford to ignore. Spend time building a profile with quality content, beautiful imagery and descriptive, experiential copy.
- Add experiential copy. What does it look like to attend an event in your meeting spaces? How does it feel? Could you capture the essence of an upbeat team building experience, or an engaging post-conference discussion taking place over drinks and dinner? Avoid just listing your awards in the copy. These are important, but they are already displayed in their own section of your profile. Get creative with authentic, descriptive copy and earn that RFP.
- Complete your Meeting Spaces charts with lots of detail and many different photos. This is where you can help your planners envision hosting their event with you, as well as understanding the capacity and layout of available spaces. This section is vital, yet many people neglect to complete their Meeting Spaces charts. If you were a planner, would you take the time to ask for additional space information from one venue, when the other hotels you were considering had made it immediately available? Be one of the properties offering tons of information and pay attention to curb appeal. Hack: this is a great way to add a lot of extra content and imagery to your profile without having to spend money to upgrade your profile. You can even upload different room configurations, each with their own description and photo:
- It’s undeniable: a picture is worth a thousand words. Use modern, recent professional photography of your meeting spaces, hotel rooms, property and amenities. It should go without saying, but do not use photos from the 80’s or grainy cell phone images. Your photo gallery allows you to visually sell the experience, so it’s worth an investment. Prior to any photoshoots, ensure that everything is clean and photo-ready: stage your meeting spaces, add a few props or even schedule a shoot to take place while a group event is happening. Don’t just post empty conference rooms and your run-of-the-mill room images - there are better ways to set a visual tone.
Images and profiles we like: Imagery: Rancho Bernardo Inn Profile as a whole: Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
3. Promotions: Did you know that using promotions will DOUBLE your visibility on the Cvent Supplier Network? They’re included on all 2-Diamond and above profiles at no cost, and tie your profile into the Promotions Hub area of Cvent. This is a separate search engine from the Venue search, designed to list only special offers and promotions by region. Cvent estimates that 70% of planners click through this search engine as part of the sourcing process. The offer does not have to be “big” to be included. Keep in mind the Promotions tool is very flexible. You can list many things within the promotion itself – from Need Dates with special rates to less-specific perks and seasonal promotions. If you don’t have a live promotion, you are not listed on the Promotions Hub and are therefore missing out on a lot of visibility. Why limit yourself to only the regional Venue search tool, when creating a group offer will not only increase visibility, but could even help fill need periods?
4. Need Dates: The “Need Dates” tool is another opportunity to boost your presence in the regular Supplier Network Search. When a planner types in a city name and their event dates, any property who has matching need dates gets an attention-grabbing icon added to their listing on the search results. If you don’t use the Need Dates tool, you can’t take advantage of this little trick to get noticed in the search.
5. Measure Demand, Response, Conversion: Understanding where you sit with group RFPs and the data behind converting those leads to booked business will help you set benchmarks for improvement. Cvent offers many free tools built in to your profile and the proposal management technology that you are already using. Invest a little time in learning how to measure Demand, Response and Conversion.
Demand: Several features, including the Comp Set Dashboard (Business Intelligence Tool) and the simple Venue Reporting tab allow you to visualize, download and deep-dive into the leads being submitted to you - and even to your competitors. Simply running the Proposal Status Report (available under the Reports tab) will give you a comprehensive list of all submitted RFPs, the RFP type, planner information, dates, meeting space and sleeping room requirements, their location and how they found your venue. You can even compile a list of planner emails for future email campaigns. It’s extremely useful information, and it’s available to you at no cost.
Response:There are also a number of tools to understand how the RFPs you’ve received are being handled. On your Venue Dashboard, the Response Rate Graph gives you a snapshot of your RFPs by response status – a great quick check on the overall efficiency of your RFP management. You can further dive into RFP responses on the Reports tab.
Conversion: Use Cvent’s reporting features to understand how received RFPs are converting to actual business. You can pull an RFPs Won and Lost report, RFPs by Category report or even a list of Turned Down RFPsdirectly in the Reports tab of your Cvent profile. Use the decline insights columns (ie. the “Reason” and “Reason Comments” columns) to understand why you weren’t able to book that lead, allowing you to compile conversion trends over time and maybe convert that lead the next time around!
When in doubt, schedule a quick call with Hooray to walk through the ins-and-outs of your current suite of Cvent products. At Hooray, we have certified Cvent experts on our team ready to double-check that you’re getting the most of what’s available to you on this valuable group business platform.
We will ensure you are making the most of your marketing dollars, appeal to new planners, and help boost the number of group RFPs coming your way.