Contrary to any widespread belief, hotel meetings and events space does more than just sell guestrooms. In fact, for many hotels, the profit potential of this revenue stream is so significant that it can contribute 40-60% of their total profits. When it comes to leveraging this event space strategically, however, it’s often one of the most overlooked opportunities for substantial revenue generation. The industry has talked about folding revenue management strategies into sales and catering processes for quite some time (we even blogged about it here, here and here). But despite the damning evidence and encouraging conversations to support such an industry shift, there hasn’t been a strong call for technology that fully allows hotel teams to do so. Why does this matter so much? The answer is easy: this lack of integrated technology hurts hotels right where they feel it the most…their profit potential. Take the concept of “free sell,” for example. This prevalent sales strategy is commonly used throughout the hotel industry, most notably in upscale and 5-star markets, and it follows a fairly simple premise: If a meeting request for a date in the future comes in, and it has no guestrooms attached to its RFP, a catering or sales manager can’t book the business without approval. That is, unless the time frame falls in a designated “free-sell” period, which is a short-term booking window in which the hotel will take any business to fill open meeting rooms in the near future. Get the full story at IDeaS