Being a meeting or event planner is a big responsibility. You’re in charge of programs that represent a significant commitment of your organization’s resources,both in terms of people and money. It’s essential that the entire process is carefully managed through every stage of planning and implementation to assure the program’s success and a return on investment. One of the most important aspects of this is budgeting – or more precisely, analyzing and accounting for all variables that can impact your total program budget. The good news is that almost all potential problems that can scuttle your budget can be addressed and resolved before you contract for a specific hotel or venue, if you ask the right questions to uncover the myriad of “oops,” extras which could blow your budget. Negotiating with hotels for your meetings and events is a complex, highly variable process, that suffers from to a lack of transparency related to fees, taxes, additional costs in the RFP review process on most booking platforms.
Does this situation sound familiar?
You’ve created and circulated a precise RFP tht outlines all of the meeting and accommodations needs for your group. You researched the venues and have received bids on your RFP from some very similar properties (same star ratings, same amenities, same room type, positive reviews from previous guests). The next step seems obvious; compare the hotel proposals “apples-to-apples.” But that may not be as easy as it sounds.
Hotel #1 is charging a $150/night for sleeping rooms. They are also offering to waive meeting rooms rental if you pickup your full room block commitment. They include a free breakfast, but you have to pay for parking. You can get a 10% discount on F&B, but no Attrition Allowance.
Hotel #2 is asking for $160/night for sleeping rooms. They are also offering complimentary rooms for your group at a rate of 1 per 30 and suite upgrades for your VIPs. Both breakfast and parking are free. The meeting room rental is waived and you’ll get a 20% Attrition Allowance.
Hotel #3 is only proposing $120/night for sleeping rooms, but there are no concessions offered. There is a charge for meeting room rental, breakfast and parking … and a $20 per night Resort Fee.
Can you quickly and confidently spot the Best Deal for your group?
If you’re unsure of final attendance, a generous Attrition Allowance can save you a lot of money. Is breakfast important to your group? Is free parking? If you’re serving all-day meals, maybe an F&B discount is the right choice? Free meeting rental is always nice, but what if you miss your sleeping room pickup? Will you save more from comp rooms or suite upgrades? There are so many variables!
Fortunately, there is an easy solution that eliminates the need for these confusing, time-consuming “what if?” scenarios completely: Vindow is the only cloud-based, SaaS platform that offers a centralized, full lifecycle management of the procurement process – from RFP generation through contract management. Vindow’s platform was developed based upon the company’s mission of complete transactional transparency, as greater transparency between buyers and suppliers leads to improved trust and better outcomes for all.
Vindow makes it possible for buyers to calculate the “True Cost” for your group’s entire program in one platform, upfront. There’s no need to for spreadsheets or manual calculations; Vindow’s True Cost Calculator helps buyers make informed decisions based on a complete cost analysis – including any additional costs, concessions, discounts, room rental costs, fees, taxes, etc. – and can save buyers up to 15% on their entire program.
Our built-in Data Analytics tools harness machine learning algorithms that analyze pricing patterns and predict hotel rates trends. Vindow tracks Average Daily Rates (ADR), and occupancy rates to accurately forecast the best travel window to achieve optimal savings.
The platform also provides specific, detailed information about each hotel, enabling you to compare bids based both on price and the other factors that are necessary for your specific event, including:
- Hotel amenities, star rating and customer reviews, compiled from online booking and hotel review sites.
- Hotel location, including neighborhood scores, safety rankings, etc.
- Market intelligence and real-time rate trends, which help identify new, data-backed opportunities as the market evolves.
Unlike RFP “look & book” tools, Vindow is truly revolutionary because the platform enables completely transparent interactions between buyers and suppliers, leveling the playing field, to ensure that every planner gets the right property at the right deal, every time – and help you avoid the dreaded room block roadblock.