Over the past two months, the Wizme team and I have been actively engaged with senior leadership teams owning Revenue Management responsibilities within hotel and conference venues of all sizes and geographies.
We have discussed many issues and opportunities, but there is one topic that has come up time and time again – I would regard it as the next frontier of revenue management.
Venues and hotels have been well served by some great property management systems out there. The innovation and progress made in this area, by the revenue management leaders we met, was called out as “enabling” their roles. Companies such as Protel (Planet), Apaleo, Mews and Cloudbeds, and Innroad were some of the most recognised by this group, for their market excellence in our discussions.
All have developed and refined their PMS propositions to a level that gives really effective management control and powerful insight to optimise their bedroom portfolio, and to a lesser extent, the meetings space that has residential components (24 hour meetings package). From this data mash up, the hotel and venue businesses then translate that data into forecasting from trends, and then pricing and yield optimisation strategies along with sales & marketing planning.
But “those boundaries need to be pushed” is the common call out from our revenue management leadership interviews. Without the full picture of day meetings, private hire and dinner revenues, there are significant opportunity gaps being left unaddressed and that’s the Next Frontier. One revenue manager described the current environment as walking around with an eye patch on – recognising the difficulty of making effective planning decisions, without valuable information to hand. The problem magnifies as the size of a property’s meetings mix grows compared to its total business.
Total Revenue Management, delivered by PMS’s, will have to push into this space through partnership or proprietary build if they are going to satisfy the needs of their evolving customer base. Plus they are required to fulfil the “must have” business needs of hotels and venues where the meetings segment of their business is significant and core to overall success.
Wizme, as a specialist meetings platform for venues and hotels, is recognising this opportunity. We are spurred on by such encouraging engagement with Revenue Management leaders, and by focusing on integration design and architecture aligned to industry standards, we can see a clear path to enable Total Revenue Management without compromise. This will be achieved through levels of integration with those leading Property Management Systems that have focused on the Bedroom component of a property but left behind effective solutions for the Meetings, Private Dining, Car Parking, Working Desk assets that make up a significant and growing part of the revenue picture at property level for many.