iVvy, the Online Group Bookings and Hotel Sales Management Software Gets Ready to Dazzle at ROC Americas 2019
iVvy, the Online Group Bookings and Hotel Sales Management Software Gets Ready to Dazzle at ROC Americas 2019

iVvy · 10 Jun

iVvy Inc., the leading Venue Management Software company, today announced they will be exhibiting their award-winning technology at the 2019 Revenue

Shaking Up Your Marketing Strategy: How Millennials Are Shaping the Way Hotels Operate
Shaking Up Your Marketing Strategy: How Millennials Are Shaping the Way Hotels Operate — By Lauren Hall

iVvy · 25 Feb

As a hotelier, the process of (effectively) marketing to millennials might have initially presented itself as a rather daunting task. Just how much buying power and influence do millennials have? And how does that impact the hospitality industry? What are their travel behaviors and preferences?

iVvy Expands Global Presence to Drive Continued Market Demand and Growth
iVvy Expands Global Presence to Drive Continued Market Demand and Growth

iVvy · 11 Feb

iVvy Inc., the award-winning global Venue Management Software company, today announced the addition of two new executives to their executive team. Da

Solving the Broken Group Booking Process to Grow your Sales in 2019
Solving the Broken Group Booking Process to Grow your Sales in 2019 — By Lauren Hall

iVvy · 28 Jan

There's no denying it — 2019 is projected to be an exciting and, better yet, profitable year for the hospitality industry. With the consumer-driven evolution of personalization, the widespread embrace of emerging technology and a promising rise in travel spend, industry leaders are predicting exciting momentum and growth as we look to the future. In fact, in 2016 global online travel sales totaled 564.87 billion U.S. dollars, and this figure is projected to grow to 755.94 billion U.S. dollars this year. PwC also predicts a supply growth of 1.9% and a RevPAR growth of 2.8%. Statistics like these are music to hotelier's ears, as the industry appears on pace to generate more profit and guest experiences than ever before. However, the question becomes — is your hotel in a position to capitalize on this momentum? Do you have the tools in place to truly identify and maximize the revenue potential of your property? Alternatively, is your hotel is merely picking up what's left behind by more progressive competition? In order to identify the true profit potential of your hotel, it's important to consider each revenue stream and its prospective value. We have transient business, which hotels have notoriously prioritized over the years, as well as ancillary revenue and group/events business. Moreover, while each revenue stream earns its respective place within a hotelier's revenue management strategy, the group business segment has been notoriously (and wrongfully), neglected. You might even wonder — why have transient business and ancillary revenue traditionally occupied a higher position than group business in the eyes of hoteliers, despite its strong revenue potential? The answer is actually quite simple. It's not due to the group segment itself; in fact, hospitality executives predict that group may represent their strongest segment in 2019. Rather, group business has suffered due in large part to the on-going realization that the group process has been broken. For both the hotel and the planner/organizer responsible for securing a group reservation, the traditional booking process was commonly time-consuming and rife with frustrations. Most of these setbacks could be attributed to the painstakingly manual format, a byproduct of lacking management technology at that time. There was often no connection between S&C and existing revenue management systems and no connection between the website and S&C, either. Further, a manual process meant an influx of manual touch-points, participants and steps in the booking process. From leads to sales managers, to coordinators and revenue managers, the process of responding to RFPs and confirming group bookings was often unable to keep pace with the speed at which prospective reservations were being generated. The time lag from inquiry to response was taking several days (or not happing at all), which not only wasted valuable resources but also accumulated missed revenue opportunity. For any hotel hoping to optimize their group business segment profitably, this became especially problematic. Think of it this way — if a shopper sets out on a Sunday morning at 8:30 AM with a grocery list of things they need to buy for that evening, but the first store they arrive at doesn't open until 11 AM, while a neighbouring store opens a 9 AM, which store will they likely shop at? Even if the first store was the location they wanted to shop at, their need to complete their purchase(s) in a timely manner will likely take precedent. When it comes to group business, much of the same logic applies. If a hotel takes too long to answer the demand of a prospective traveler/planner, they will surely take their business elsewhere to a hotel which is quicker/better equipped to respond (i.e., The first 'store' to open). More often than not, a hotel's ability to reply to RFPs in a fast, thorough manner represents the critical factor in securing group bookings. We also have to address the issue of unqualified leads. In respect to group business, RFPs represent a massive accumulation of work to be done on behalf of the hotel. Expending valuable resources and time on said work only makes sense if it translates to profit; however, this cannot be the case when a large majority of those RFPs are entirely unqualified. In other words, until now, many RFPs were (in a sense) a shot in the dark. Planners simply didn't have access to the information they needed to vet prospective venue spaces effectively, so they were forced to cast a large net across various hotels and hope they landed a property that could fit their needs/availability. Without an efficient (and ideally automated) process in place to deter/filter through unqualified RFPs and streamline the vetting and booking process, the cost of sale becomes too high, and conversion rates are much too low. Once again, this was largely in part to lacking technology. The level of work associated with the group business sector can be directly rooted in the capabilities offered by a hotel's management technology and booking platform(s). Fortunately, modern revenue management systems and booking platforms effectively automate the group booking process while ensuring the group segment can reach its true revenue potential. Hotels can finally accelerate the RFP process, publish live availability and promote last-minute venue space, streamline communications with prospective planners, view reports/analytics and forecasts at a glance and confirm bookings and receive payments all within a comprehensive online portal. Not only that but for the first time ever, planners can finally block bookings. In other words, they can book nine rooms or more at once. Considering the often complex nature of a group booking (so many moving parts to oversee), having to manually input detail-heavy data repeatedly not only eats up time but creates opportunity for mistakes. In fact, a Sabre Twitter poll revealed that it takes a third of travel agents more than three hours to complete a group booking, due to exiting and re-entering the system several times with the associated disruption to concentration. Consolidating parts of the booking process, such as being able to book blocks of rooms at a time rather than individual rooms, is a critical — and exciting — step in the right direction. Gone are the days of spreadsheets and manual set-backs, 2019 welcomes a new (and better) way to approach group business. Finally, hotels and planners alike are equipped with the tools they have always needed to overcome the challenges of group business, and truly embrace (and profit from) the revenue opportunity that the group segment represents.

Future-Proofing Your Hotel’s Group & Event Business
Future-Proofing Your Hotel’s Group & Event Business — By Lauren Hall

iVvy · 11 Dec

In almost any industry today, failure to keep up with future trends represents a failure to evolve your product or service according to robust and changing consumer expectations. In the case of hospitality, especially, this can be the make or break moment for properties looking to thrive in an ever-competitive market. As technology continues to advance to transform and improve the guest experience from start to finish, hoteliers realize mounting pressure to future-proof their property with the right technology, staff, amenities and unique experience(s). From the mobile journey to data-driven guest personalization, boutique amenities, smart hotels, advanced booking tools and so much more, the future of hospitality looks brighter than ever before. However — in the past, the gradual adoption of guest-centric, mobile-optimized technology seemed to focus mainly on the transient business segment. The booking process was aptly streamlined and digitalized for seamless direct booking via website or app, catering to individual travelers or small groups looking to book their next trip. While this was a much-needed industry update, it left some of us wondering — what about group business? After all, optimizing revenue requires attention to each revenue stream, so why was the group and events segment seemingly under-utilized and left behind? Considering that in the past year, as many as 1 out of every 3 group rooms were being booked outside of the hotel, the need for an industry-wide update in group booking technology and offerings became indisputable. As with most aspects of the hospitality experience, the key for properties to differentiate their venue space from the competition lies in their ability to be highly responsive, personalized and provide the best value. To do this, hotels have to cater to the evolving demands of modern events and meetings, and the subsequent needs and expectations of savvy planners. Recognizing the Demand Opportunity A recent study noted that the number of business meetings only increased 5.4% from 2009 to 2017 — at a glance, this may be interpreted as a detriment to the growth of group business. However, while the number of meetings increased in a limited capacity, the number of attendees increased by 22.7%. Of course, bigger meetings and events represents an exciting revenue opportunity with higher-scope demands and, in turn, increased revenue. When we consider the generational emphasis on experiences (we have entered the 'Experience Economy' after all), we also realize the opportunity for meetings and events to become so much more than they once were. As millennials become a dominant force in the travel industry, they're demanding more opportunities for unique engagement, entertainment, and genuine connection. The ability to personalize group packages with unique amenities and experiences will, without a doubt, establish hotel properties as sought-after venue options both now and in the future. Not only that, but attendees are showing a demand for local experience. While they may arrive at your property for the scheduled meeting or event, they're more invested than ever before in taking the time to enjoy an authentic city experience. The venue goes beyond the hotel property to include the city around it. Once again, this presents an exciting opportunity for hotels with robust, customizable packages for groups and strong local partnerships. The Digital Difference So, we've addressed the demand and opportunity for group business — now the question becomes, how can hotels meet that demand and exceed expectations? As aforementioned, the previous group booking process was notoriously outdated and manual. This often resulted in an unfathomable influx of unqualified RFPs for hotels, while planners were left unanswered and grasping at the first property which addressed their requests. As you can imagine, this made for a flawed sales process, as hotels were without the necessary tools to remain ahead of the curve and effectively market their venue space to qualified events and meetings. With new and improved online group booking tools, planners are finally equipped with the platform they need to search for unique venues, compare prices and book online, instantaneously. With live-availability and a comprehensive platform of critical venue details, hotels can achieve global visibility for their venue and streamline the RFP funnel to those which are vetted and qualified. By relieving the workload associated with sorting through a daily barrage of unqualified RFPs, hotel sales teams are finally able to generate leads and establish long-term relationships with prospective planners. Not only that, but both parties will benefit from instant quotes and contracts, 3D virtual tours, easy booking management, resource management (to allow for customized menus, packages, amenities, etc.), online payments and invoicing and more. A process which was once manual and cumbersome has finally received the technological makeover it so badly needed, reinforcing the group business segment with seamless interactions and data-backed insights. Even better? The ability to advertise live availability grants hotels complete efficacy over their space and able to secure last-minute bookings — in other words, hotels never have to miss a lead again. Ultimately, this is the digital difference, and we do not doubt that those hotels which embrace this shift will reap the rewards within their group business segment, and beyond. In a world where the digital experience and process of personalization is seemingly taking over, aligning your hotel with the right technology to remain ahead of industry trends is paramount. Consumers in the hospitality realm are now represented by digitally savvy travelers and planners, who expect a unique and genuine experience with those properties they favour. Both now and in the future, collaborating with planners and connecting with guests should be seamless. Rather than passing documents and updates through laborious rounds of approvals for every change and update, hoteliers are empowered with the ability to be attentive, responsive and just as digitally savvy as their customers. Ultimately, with the help of new technology, hospitality leaders can create an exciting competitive advantage that not only represents revenue opportunity, but also future-proofs an integral segment of their business.

ONE Newsletter
MANY Sources
Brought to you by HFTP
How Hotels Can Leverage Online Sales & Catering Solutions to Drive Direct Bookings, Increase Conversions, and Help Your Sales Staff Focus on Higher Value Business
How Hotels Can Leverage Online Sales & Catering Solutions to Drive Direct Bookings, Increase Conversions, and Help Your Sales Staff Focus on Higher Value Business — By Lauren Hall

iVvy · 26 Nov

In the hospitality realm, a propertys success can more or less be defined by two primary identifiers. First, the revenue generated from bookings and on-property during each stay or event and second, the ability to curate a seamless and personalized guest experience. Hoteliers have to maximize booking potential across each segment (group business, transient business, extended stays, etc.) against the cost to acquire those bookings, while also encouraging on-property spend and continued guest satisfaction. Group bookings, in particular, represents an exciting yet often under-maximized revenue stream for hotels. In 2016 alone, the US saw 1.9 million meetings with 251 million meeting participants. In fact, hotel meetings and events represent $130 billion per year in revenue. When we consider this increasing demand for meeting space, along with venue space for events, trade shows and more, you might wonder how this segment could often be overshadowed by transient business. The answer can be attributed to a lapse in the associated processes for each segment. While hoteliers and technology vendors are quick to remedy the common pain points found within the booking process for transient business, group business hasnt quite received its due diligence.

Hotel Buyouts, Online Bookings and Other Trends Redefining Groups, Meetings and Events Industry
Hotel Buyouts, Online Bookings and Other Trends Redefining Groups, Meetings and Events Industry — By Lauren Hall

iVvy · 12 Nov

Our world and the technology which shapes our experiences is always changing. In a perpetual forward motion, companies across all industries are fervently working to stay ahead of the curve and avoid playing a game of catch-up in the eyes of modern consumers. Automating business processes, incorporating new methods of digital connection and integration, enhancing customer service and personalization. These are all integral components to the staying power and success of companies in a predominantly digital age. As I like to say — If you're not keeping up with the trends of future buyers, if you're not visible, you're invisible. Consumers want to give their business to those companies which respond to their needs quickly (or better yet, anticipate them) and employees want to work in an environment that is both user-friendly and highly efficient. This is where the adoption of new technology comes into play, as we witness the way in which new platforms and tools are continuously shaping and re-defining industries across the globe. To bridge the gap between the current offerings and customer expectations, companies need to rethink their business models, making them digital-ready. The hospitality industry is no exception, especially when we look at the multibillion-dollar meeting and events industry. Attendee expectations are continually evolving to demand events and meetings that are more experiential and robust in nature. In fact, recent reports show that hoteliers are rapidly embracing digital transformation to forge more efficient and personalized relationships with meeting planners, create unique and tech-forward experiences, expedite the booking process, optimize group sales and lower the overall cost of group acquisition. So, what are the trends currently shaping the groups, meetings and events industry, you might wonder? We're here to tell you. Hotel Buyouts Much of what constitutes a successful meeting or event in the modern age is the creation of a memorable or otherwise meaningful experience for attendees. Studies show that 80% of planners report their role involves more experience creation and 75% of respondents report experience creation will become more important. Especially in the case of luxury programs or events, the trend of doing a "complete hotel takeover" has become predominant over the last two years. Why? Because this is often the best way for an event planner to entirely customize a meeting or event. With no obstacles to arranging special things (in other words, having complete planning freedom) along with complete dedication from property staff, it's much easier to create a 'one-of-a-kind' experience for attendees. Think — free reign of the property, complete privacy and exclusivity, customized signage and food and beverage spreads, and event highlights and total flexibility, opening up so many possibilities to planners.

CEO of iVvy Lauren Hall Talks Groups and Event Technology and Making the RFP a Thing of the Past
CEO of iVvy Lauren Hall Talks Groups and Event Technology and Making the RFP a Thing of the Past — By Lauren Hall

iVvy · 16 Oct

The events and meeting segment of the hospitality industry has come a long way in the last few years. With the rapid progression and disruption of mobile and consumer-centric technology changing the way in which hotels approach their business, the rise of group booking technology appears to be the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place. And if there is anyone who knows a thing (or many) about the long-awaited revolution of the events booking process, it's Lauren Hall, the CEO of iVvy. Hall began her journey into entrepreneurship with a background in programming, accounting, marketing and business management with expertise spanning manufacturing, retail, advertising and technology across multiple industries. With accolades such as 'Innovator of the Year 2016', 'Silver Stevie Awards for Entrepreneur of the Year Globally 2016' attached to her name, it's no surprise that she has become a widely respected voice of innovation and technological reform amongst hospitality leaders and technology vendors alike. Hall co-founded iVvy in 2009 with the intention to finally empower a process that, despite offering a wealth of revenue opportunity for hotels, had been largely neglected and restricted within broken, manual legacy systems. After identifying the problem, Hall and her co-founder James Greig had a clear vision for the solution. A solution which allowed hotels and event planners alike to ditch the spreadsheets and manual processes, for something efficient and concurrent with industry demand. "When I started iVvy, I did not have a background in events or in IT. However, what I had was an awful experience trying to book an events space, a process that took six weeks, only to be later told it wasn't available." Making RFPs a Thing of the Past Through iVvy, Hall has created the world's only fully integrated platform to help manage, search, compare, book and pay for your events in real time, from anywhere, on any device.

iVvy Partners with IDeaS to Help Meetings and Event Venues Maximize Revenue
iVvy Partners with IDeaS to Help Meetings and Event Venues Maximize Revenue

iVvy · 8 Oct

iVvy Inc., the award-winning global Venue Management software company, has joined forces with IDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenu

Groups and Events: Disruption is on the Agenda for Hotels in 2019
Groups and Events: Disruption is on the Agenda for Hotels in 2019 — By Lauren Hall

iVvy · 25 Sep

The emergence and subsequent evolution of transformative, industry-shaping technology cannot happen without some disruption. It's a now-familiar scenario, when we reference the likes of Uber and Airbnb, in which a brave new player comes into the mix to offer a service or product that does things in a way that no one else has (successfully) attempted. Disruptive innovation within industries is often what keeps them alive, bringing forth new ideas and processes that allow companies to continuously cater to modern consumers. The hospitality realm is admittedly notorious for lagging behind other industries in terms of adopting new technology and is, at times, in need of a disruption. This becomes especially apparent as we look to the group and venues segment, specifically. Years previous, the Internet Booking Engine and Online Travel Agencies revolutionized our industry. The process of booking a trip and hotel transitioned from one which was owned primarily by travel agents and uninformed inquiries to one which was independent, convenient and efficient. Booking an upcoming trip was no longer a chore; rather, it was an opportunity to effectively vet viable options online and book a room with the guest's desired attributes (high floor, away from elevator etc.). While this disruption proved to have staying power to become the new industry norm, the group booking segment has failed to catch up… until now. As any hotel sales manager can likely contest, the group and venue segment often represents an under maximized revenue stream — but why? Is it due to lack of leads? Not at all. In fact, a recent survey (Groupize stat) showed that hotel sales teams are managing an average of 25 leads per day. That's 750 leads per month; 9,000 leads per year. As you can imagine, the problem that exists within this process has nothing to do with the number of leads but rather, the number of qualified leads and the tools available to managers to effectively address those leads. Interested parties are knocking at hotels' doors, but what if staff can't get the door open?

How Catering to the Constantly Connected Digital Planner Can Increase Hotel Group and Event Business
How Catering to the Constantly Connected Digital Planner Can Increase Hotel Group and Event Business — By Lauren Hall

iVvy · 12 Sep

We are living in a digital era — a realization which directly affects the way we approach our life, work and leisure. Across generations we witness the prioritization of a digital experience, a large-scale appreciation (and in most cases, demand) for the ability to remain connected 24/7, without interruption. This expectation for a modernized, refined digital experience has evolved the way we work, and the ways in which businesses connect with consumers and third parties. Within the hospitality realm specifically, prospective travelers and agents have long-since expressed a need for a seamless, time-conscious booking process. While this solution has long existed for individual flights and hotel reservations, industry professionals have been faced with a notorious gap in the booking process for groups and events.

iVvy to Showcase New Generation Sales and Catering Technology at Hotel Data Conference
iVvy to Showcase New Generation Sales and Catering Technology at Hotel Data Conference

iVvy · 13 Aug

iVvy Inc., the award-winning global Venue Management Software company, will be showcasing their new generation sales and catering solution for meetin

IVvy Expands Executive Team to Support Global Growth
IVvy Expands Executive Team to Support Global Growth

iVvy · 3 Oct

IVvy Inc., a global events and hospitality technology company, today announced the promotion and hiring of three key executives to help oversee its g