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Avoiding the RevMan Bottleneck: How to Efficiently Manage Your RFPs

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 19 October 2017
Bottlenecks are an inconvenient part of everyday life. We experience them in traffic, at the store checkout, and especially the DMV. Even though we have to tolerate them in our daily world, we shouldn’t have to put up with the inefficiencies that bottlenecks create when we’re trying to process group business requests for proposals (RFPs).
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Group Pricing: Why the Minimal Acceptable Rate is a Trap

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 12 October 2017
revmgmtebooks.png By now, we're all familiar with the challenges of forecasting and bidding for group business. While those are all crucial to group business, the most important aspect is, of course, price. As the goals behind group business shift from occupancy to revenue, the process of accurately pricing rooms has become infinitely more complicated. Revenue managers have to consider comp sets, sales incentives, availability, and impacts on transient business before determining a room rate. Due to a lack of technologically advanced tools and the multitude of considerations for group business, pricing rooms has primarily been a tedious, manual process.
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Hospitality Pricing Differentiators: How to Determine Hotel Room Prices

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 10 October 2017
In the hospitality realm, pricing is the revenue manager’s tool for exerting control over how and when rooms are sold to consumers. Every room on every booking date is an opportunity for managers to set unique prices that will maximize net revenue. Pricing should be holistic, comprising not only room pricing but the potential total spend of the visit.
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The Art of Forecasting for Group Business: An Overview

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 5 October 2017
Forecasting is a complicated and essential part of every property’s revenue management process. That’s especially true for group business. Group business can affect every segment of a property’s profits since it impacts both transient business and ancillary revenue generators. Until very recently, there’s not been much progress in developing a sophisticated revenue forecasting system for group business. Yield management, which is the process by which a property optimizes the profitability of their rooms, has typically only focused on transient business with group business as an afterthought.
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Understanding Group Segmentation for Profit Generation

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 28 September 2017
There are numerous factors that impact group business revenue. A well-designed platform of data and analytics is critical to ensure accurate forecasting and pricing. Before you can start building out your metrics, you have to have a thorough understanding of your property’s segmentation, and nowhere is that truer than when dealing with group business revenue.
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The Art of Hospitality Demand Forecasting

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 26 September 2017
The first step in creating a revenue management strategy is to forecast future demand. The value of a hotel room perishes, or is lost, for any given night they are not booked. Even if the goal is not full occupancy, there is a real need to understand upcoming demand in order to determine what prices various customers will be willing to pay on a given night. For example, a big event in the local area may create higher demand, which means customers will be willing to pay more for a room. But in lower-demand periods, it may be necessary to lower rates to remain competitive and raise occupancy. A good forecast allows managers to set a detailed strategy that takes all these fluctuations into account.
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Why Group Revenue Is Essential: Understanding the Importance of Group Business

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 21 September 2017
Group revenue is one of the most consistent and profitable segments of any property’s overall business. No other segment can be counted on, year over year, for both room and ancillary revenue. In fact, even with record setting occupancy rates, group revenue rates have nearly matched pace with overall growth from the transient sector. The global business travel market is booming, and our current stable global economy means that RevPAR and revenue for group business travel are expected to increase in 2018.
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Budgeting for Profit, Not Just Revenue: Webinar Recap

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 20 September 2017
In the second installment of Rainmaker's Webinar Series, VP of Hospitality Solutions Angie Dobney tackled the topic of how to budget for profit, not just revenue. With more than two decades of experience in revenue management and hospitality operations, Angie provides guidance and hands-on optimization of total resort profit to Rainmaker's industry-leading gaming and hospitality clients.
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How BI Optimized Software Will Enhance Your Budget Planning

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 14 September 2017
BP1.jpg The hospitality industry is a highly competitive, ever changing market. Consumers have more options today than ever before when choosing a property for business or leisure travel. With so much at stake, budgeting and forecasting methods must be accurate and efficient. However, given that most hospitality budgeting still lives in spreadsheets, there's plenty of room for human error.
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Charting Unknown Waters: Hospitality Risk Management In A Volatile Era

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 14 September 2017
One glance at the news and it’s obvious that the world is rapidly changing in unexpected ways. When the financial and political markets are turbulent, it’s harder than ever to avoid feeling anxious about the future. Global economic fluctuations, Brexit, a new presidential administration, oscillating transportation costs and oversaturation in the hotel industry have all contributed to the uncertainty that surrounds hospitality today.
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Winning the Numbers Game: The Rainmaker Guide to Hotel Revenue Management

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 12 September 2017
Hotel revenue management is a discipline that optimizes revenue by strategically managing a property or group’s room inventory and pricing based on predictions about consumer demand. In the hospitality industry, revenue management can be defined as selling the right room to the right customer at the right moment at the right price. Maximizing revenue during high-demand periods and stimulating demand during periods of lower demand are some of the basic strategies involved.
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5 Ways Your Software Can Optimize Budget Planning

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 7 September 2017
Your annual budget is a critical set of metrics that is influenced by a multitude of factors. With so many moving parts, it’s more important than ever to have the right technology. When your software is BI optimized and personalized for your specific brand or individual property, you’ll be able to have a firm grasp on your projections, profits, and spending. Here are five specific ways that your RMS will help you plan your budget efficiently and accurately.
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How to Have a Successful (and Sane!) Budget Season: Webinar Recap

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 24 August 2017
In the first episode of Rainmaker’s ongoing webinar series, Lydia Patterson, Sales Engineer with 15 years of experience in revenue management, operations, revenue training and leadership roles with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, shared her insights on how to get through the 2018 budget process (and survive!)
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Business Intelligence: The Total RevMan Solution

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 17 August 2017
Proving ROI for switching to a new system can be a challenge, especially when it comes to implementing new revenue management technology. Investing money and resources, not to mention time, can be difficult to justify when the results are either too small or too opaque to quantify. Even when your current software is sub-optimal, sometimes the devil you know is better than a new system that could be more trouble than it’s worth. However, upgrading to revenue management software that’s been equipped with business intelligence (BI) solutions is overwhelmingly beneficial to your operations and your bottom line.
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RFP Season is Coming: Is Your Data Ready?

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 9 August 2017
As a former member of a major hotel chains global sales team, I would spend the entire year building relationships, wining and dining customers, and conducting site inspections of some of the world’s top corporations. The goal was to shift market share, book group and meeting business, and ultimately be selected in early fall to receive the all-important request for approval (RFP) from the corporate travel manager so that my hotels were included in next year’s travel program.
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How the Guest Journey Can Help Your Hotel Hit the Revenue Bullseye

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 3 August 2017
If you’ve read an article about hotel technology in the last 6 months, you’ve probably heard about the guest journey. Typically, the journey describes three main phases: pre-stay (or search & booking), onsite, and post-stay. When building or iterating on your hotel tech stack, take a step back and think about how your technology and solutions fit in the guest journey. Are the processes and solutions you have in place setting you up for success during each phase? Much like a game of darts, if the two pieces are strategically aligned, there’s no way you’ll miss your mark.
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The Convergence of Hotel Marketing and Revenue Management

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 6 July 2017
At the start of my career, marketing was entirely different than what it is today. Without aging myself, I’ll just say that it was more my experience that marketing tested a lot of different programs, and we as sales members hoped for the best. But now, with so much data to rely on, the marketing game is no longer trial and error.

The Psychology of Pricing: Takeaways from HSMAI ROC 2017

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 28 June 2017
What does every revenue manager need to know about the psychology of pricing? Dan Skodol, Rainmaker's VP of Revenue, gave a 2020 Lightning Round Presentation at HSMAI's 2017 Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) in Toronto, sharing his research-based facts and tips on using psychology for insights into pricing strategy. Here are the key takeaways from his talk.

5 Ways to Master PMS/CRS/RO Integration

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 23 June 2017
When asked how you would assess the integration between your property management system (PMS), Central Reservation System (CRS) and Revenue Optimization (RO), over 75% of webinar attendees indicated that their systems are not integrated at all, their systems are not fully integrated, or that the integrated systems do not communicate well. To address this issue, here are the five key topics covered in the webinar.
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Five Key Takeaways from OPTIMIZE2017 for Hoteliers

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 10 April 2017
In the weeks following Rainmaker’s 5th annual OPTIMIZE user conference at the stunning Terranea Resort in Southern California, we have continued to reflect on the compelling content presented during that fast-paced three-day event. With thought provoking and informative sessions addressing such key industry topics as the convergence of revenue management and marketing, industry disruption, the evolution of the hotel landscape and much more, we uncovered several trends that are on top of everyone’s mind this year. Below are the top five conference takeaways for the gaming and hospitality industry.
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Hotel Patterns & Parsing: How to Use Data for Maximum Profitability

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 21 March 2017
Hotels and resorts collect massive amounts of data every day. From reservations to food and beverage, to parking and valet, each instance money is exchanged; a valuable hospitality data point is accrued. The use of a high-quality data management system can decipher and connect these data points to predict future results and maximize profitability.
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OPTIMIZE2017 Day 1: A Spotlight on the New Power Couple

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 9 March 2017
When I first arrived yesterday at Southern California’s spectacular Terranea Resort for Rainmaker’s 2017 OPTIMIZE user conference, I must admit that delving into the new dynamics of advanced data science and hotel revenue management strategies wasn’t exactly the first thing on my mind. After a grueling flight, I couldn’t wait to just grab a perfectly chilled glass of California chardonnay from a local vineyard and step out onto the verandah to take in the sweeping cliff-top views of the Pacific.
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Hospitality Revenue: 5 Things That Break a Demand Forecast

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 23 February 2017
In a previous blog post (“Revenue Management Forecasting: Outrun Your Pace Group”), I talked about the differences between Business Forecasts and Revenue Management Forecasts. This blog post digs a little deeper into Demand Forecasts, one of the cornerstones of revenue management. It is critical for revenue managers to understand future demand in order to project occupancy, revenue, and operational needs.
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Hotel Revenue Management: Collaboration is Key at Rainmaker OPTIMIZE2017

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 23 January 2017
This week I was interested to read an article in Hotel News Now entitled "Collaboration needed for revenue management in 2017". The article covered a recent "Connect with HSMAI" event that took place in my native London last week. The event - and hence the article - focused on an expert panel of hotel distribution of distribution and revenue management experts, covering a range of mostly marketing-related topics.
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5 Ways to Improve Revenue Management Analysis

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 27 December 2016
In order to stay competitive in an increasingly challenging market, hotels must be able to translate complex data to see what’s really profitable. A solid revenue management practice is the most effective way of finding out what’s working and what could use some help. Not having the right data, or using the right data for the wrong reasons, is basically leaving money on the table. It’s important to think of revenue management analysis as flexible to the ever-changing market instead of formulas that are carved in stone. By analyzing sales trends and forecasting results, pricing strategies can be adjusted to maximize profit. Below are five easy ways to get the most out of revenue management analysis.
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Three Steps to Revenue Management Performance Measurement

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog 29 November 2016
In the hospitality industry we have heard that “A revenue management program/system has the potential to increase revenue by 3 – 5%”. By revenue management system, we are talking about sophisticated and intelligent – and automated – software data analysis solutions. While there has been plenty written about revenue management best practices as a discipline, very little has been written about how to measure whether specific revenue management strategies and the software tools that support them are effective revenue increasers. Without this information and insight it becomes very difficult to identify precisely where improvements can be made and how.

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