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5 ways to optimize your Cvent presence and increase RFPs

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.

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From the Hooray Lab: ReEngage Platform

A visitor has reached your website.  Maybe they’ve looked over the events calendar, browsed your photo gallery, or window shopped your spa menu. They like what they see, so they enter potential stay dates.

And then, just like that, without any warning…they click that dreaded “X” and they’re gone. They dive back into a sea of websites, possibly checking around to see what your competitors are offering. 

Things were going so well, but your marketing mind is left wondering – what could we have done differently? 

Enter, the Hooray ReEngage Platform. 

The ReEngage Platform retains and converts guests who would have otherwise abandoned your website. As a consumer begins to exit your site, they are served a customized offer via a pop-up BEFORE they leave - potentially converting them into a sale that you would have missed. 

Let’s get into the detail, shall we? 

Offers Based on Interests = More Bookings

Gone are the days of the ‘one message fits all’ approach. ReEngage will allow you to dynamically suggest offers based on a visitor’s website behavior. Checking spa appointments?  Offer a resort credit for treatments.  Looking into tee-time availability?  Include a pro-shop voucher with a two-night stay.  

ReEngage can also be used to help guide consumers to book during need periods.  Triggers can be programmed to encourage midweek bookings by, for example, showcasing a special incentive to visitors who are looking to check in on a Tuesday or Wednesday.  Or, visitors who spend time on the meetings page could be served a pop-up with group “Hot Dates.”  This is a tool that allows the property Revenue and Marketing teams to work synergistically and speak directly to the consumer – and with a message they actually want to hear

Greater personalization leads to better retention and strong conversion rates. 

Image of offer served on website

Simple, Yet Powerful 

In developing the ReEngage platform, the goal was to create something user-friendly and easy to update. The result is a flexible, tactical tool that can be changed as needed to correspond with the property’s revenue or performance targets. Once logged in, users will enjoy real-time editing of offers, copy, photos, and trigger parameters. Start and stop dates are also included, eliminating the need to log back in and remove an offer that has expired. 

Measure & Report

In addition to full on-property control, ReEngage also includes a real-time reporting dashboard. Dive on into the data and gain insights into user behavior, see which offers are turning into bookings, and track clicks, impressions, and revenue. With this data, you can make real-time optimizations to your pop-up offers – ensuring even stronger conversion rates. 

Re-Engage expands the guest communication opportunities and empowers the marketing and revenue teams to be nimble in their offerings and respond to prospective guest behavior. Show your customer you’re listening, and they just might give you another chance – to the tune of up to a 29:1 ROI. 

Want to learn more? Get in touch! 

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Sin City? We're All In.

Hooray Agency Announced as Agency of Record for Resorts World Las Vegas 

If you’re going to Vegas, you might as well go all in – and that’s just what we’ve done as the Advertising Agency of Record for Resorts World Las Vegas. As the AOR, Hooray will be responsible for establishing the brand's identity from the ground up. Through world-class branding, integrated advertising and customer-centric experiences, we will deliver a grand opening vision that is bold, unique and establishes Resorts World’s position as a truly one-of-a-kind destination in Las Vegas.

Because bigger is always better in a city like Vegas, Resorts World Las Vegas will boast 3,500 guest rooms, a 5,000 seat theater, and 100,000 square feet of LED screens for displaying entertainment on the outside of the building. The property will offer an abundance of entertainment spread across various “experience zones”, so consumers can custom tailor their visit. In the mood for authentic street food? They’ve got it. How about Michelin-starred dining? They’ve got that too. And, of course - the largest pool deck in all of Las Vegas. Dive on in, everybody.

“After a rigorous selection process, we are honored to be the agency selected for Resorts World Las Vegas,” said Steven Seghers, President of Hooray. “From the very beginning, there was an electric synergy between our two teams. Resorts World wanted a partner who would reject traditional marketing approaches in favor of work that cuts through the clutter, and Hooray has a proven record of producing disruptive, compelling ideas that span the creative gamut.”

Hooray will work closely with Resorts World leadership to establish a truly unique and ownable value proposition, including the creation of a proprietary brand platform, an overarching tag line, a new, leading-edge website, and a comprehensive advertising campaign aimed at establishing Resorts World Las Vegas as the preeminent luxury, lifestyle and entertainment hospitality experience on the Strip.

“We are excited to partner with Hooray to solidify our brand position and create authentic stories that showcase Resorts World’s service-first philosophy and commitment to providing remarkable experiences for its guests,” said Scott Sibella, president of Resorts World Las Vegas. “We’re introducing something completely new to the Las Vegas Strip and feel confident Hooray’s impressive hospitality pedigree, unique strategic approach and fearless creativity will help bring our story to life.”

In this case, everything that happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas. So follow along on our social channels as we provide updates on this exciting new project.

Disclaimer: We apologize for any selfies taken after 11 pm on The Strip.

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A Note from Our President

Leading purposeful reactions in the time of COVID-19

To our clients, colleagues and friends – Like you, we are actively monitoring the latest news about the Coronavirus and taking precautions to ensure the safety of our team and business continuity for our clients. In the midst of these uncertain times, we find ourselves looking to the future and evaluating what is on the horizon for hospitality marketing.

The landscape has changed – and we must adapt. How we react to this new landscape as marketers will define our future. Those of us that embrace the new playing field will be rewarded; those of us that attempt to play a new game with the same rules will find that their challenges last much longer than the situation at hand. It’s impossible to fight something with your back turned – now is the time to respond and react with purpose.

As we take this season to pause and reflect, know that our teams are working diligently behind the scenes. We are learning, tracking, measuring and planning. We are holding brainstorming sessions via FaceTime and using our home offices as war rooms. We are preparing for the next season – in which we will all come back from this stronger than ever. We are here.

We are engaged. And we believe that the best is yet to come.

Steven Seghers & the Hooray Team

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Social Media Marketing During Coronavirus

How should hotel brands proceed?

Well, cautiously to start. Very cautiously. In the midst of world-wide uncertainty, marketers find themselves adjusting to a new normal. As we all try to find our footing in the changing social media landscape, Hooray Agency is providing the following best practices to guide hotel brands on social media marketing in the time of COVID-19. The world is changing fast, and clever marketers will learn to quickly adjust.

1. Adjust Your Expectations.

That fact is the world is behaving differently now, and as a result, social media trends have changed. While overall social media usage is expected to rise over the next few months, actual engagement rates have dropped as consumer behavior has shifted. As reported by RivalIQ, hotels & resorts began seeing their engagement drop by half or more on social media in the month of March 2020.* That means your hotel’s social media results will change too. If you see a drop in engagement over this period, do not respond too drastically. Many will be tempted to post more frequently but that’s not what the world needs right now. Maintain a steady course and focus on quality content that feels right for your audience at this time. If you stay true to this, your numbers will bounce back as consumer focus eventually returns to a travel mindset.

2. Flex Your Plan. Then Flex it Again.

There is no amount of marketing that will affect change in the middle of a pandemic – plain and simple. It is an unarguable fact that at least in the short-term, the travel industry will take a hit. But does that mean we have to take in lying down? No. Not even lying down on 5,000 thread count sheets at a luxury resort…though that does sound nice right about now. This is the time to be nimble and to adjust your content strategy to meet your followers where they are. If you have content developed that does not feel like the right tone for the current climate, put it on pause. Add it back to your library so that you have even more content in your arsenal when the mood is right. It’s best to be conservative in this time of crisis, rather than risk posting something that comes across as insensitive or tone deaf.

3. Remember Quality over Quantity.

At a time where engagement rates are dropping for hotels on social media, remember that you are not expected to be as active as you once were. This might feel uncomfortable for hotels with a previously robust social media presence, but the landscape has changed. Right now it’s best to focus on quality over quantity. Make sure the content strikes the right tone and is relevant, as opposed to an emphasis on posting constant updates.

4. Build Your Brand

The hospitality industry has overcome our fair share of catastrophes in the recent past (is anyone else having flashbacks to 2008?). Regardless of the type of disaster, when the dust settles, the results are generally the same: the hotel brands that went dark suffered the most. The properties that reacted to the crisis by building their brands – focusing on loyalty, giving back to the community, supporting their guests - recovered more quickly and laid a strong foundation for their futures. Use this time to highlight what your team, ownership, or brand are doing well, or share resources and information that will benefit your local community. This may seem like a soft approach at a time where occupancy and room rates are taking a hit, but it’s proven time and again to be the best long-term strategy during a crisis.

5. Empathize, Empathize, Empathize.

When creating your content, keep a sense of empathy in mind. The person on the other side of your Instagram feed may be going through something life changing, and as a whole we are all feeling more sensitive as consumers right now. Avoid topics that may be seen as boastful, self-serving or shallow. Also be cautious in using humor; there’s a fine line between a moment of levity and not taking the situation seriously. Try to think outside the box when planning your next posts – your hotel’s typical social content may not apply for a while. If you’re looking for ideas, check out our list of ways to connect with hotel guests through social media content.

In a time where the world is loud with uncertainty, the last thing a hospitality brand wants is to add to the noise with their social media content. During times of crisis, we must maintain our composure as marketers and always apply a common-sense logic. While it’s important to focus on positive ways your brand can engage consumers, it’s equally important to maintain a sense of reason. Follow these simple best practices and check back with us as we continue to provide insights on this ever-evolving situation.

 

*RivalIQ, The Impact of Coronavirus on Social Media Engagement for Brands

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