Procedure for Handling Conference and Group Bookings
Handling conference and group bookings can be a challenging task for any sales and marketing team. However, having a well-defined standard operating procedure (SOP) in place can make the process much smoother and efficient.
The first step in the SOP should be to identify the requirements and preferences of the client. This includes the number of attendees, preferred dates, budget, and special requests. Once this is done, the sales team can create a customized proposal that meets the client’s needs.
The next step is to negotiate the terms of the contract, including the pricing, cancellation policies, and payment terms. It is important to ensure that both parties are clear on the terms and conditions to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes down the line.
Once the contract is signed, the sales team can start promoting the event and handling logistics such as accommodations, transportation, and catering. They should also provide regular updates to the client on the progress of the event and be available to address any concerns or issues that may arise.
Overall, handling conference and group bookings requires a high level of organization, communication, and attention to detail. By following a clear SOP and working closely with the client, the sales and marketing team can ensure a successful and memorable event for all attendees.
Conference and Group Bookings Standard procedure:
- This procedure should help to focus the attention of the Sales Department on volume bookings or business.
- A Group Room Booking will consist of a minimum of 7 or more sleeping rooms a night. (Depending upon the hotel policy)
- Bookings for rooms less than 7 will be handled through the Reservation Department or Front Desk Team.
- The sales team and Event Coordinator should ensure a highly focused approach to handling the conference/group booking requests.
- The sales associate / Sales Manager will handle and process all groups, and conferences and co-ordinate with other departments.
- Group booking will be handled efficiently and accurately to ensure smooth operation for all departments conceded.
- Special benefits are to be given to the tour guide or organizer as per the hotel policy.
- The correct use of group booking form will result in high efficiency and convenience for group handling.
Below information should be updated on the Property Management Systems (PMS) related to group bookings:
- Group / Conference name.
- Company or Travel Agent Name.
- Allotment / Allocation Code in case the bookings are part of an allotment.
- Booker Name and Contact Details.
- Arrival and Departure date.
- Arrival time and departure time.
- Number of Rooms required.
- Type of room required, i.e. single, double, or twin, etc.
- Correct Group Rate code or Special Negotiated Rate code attached to the bookings.
- Pick up / Drop Details or Transport with time and flight or train or bus details.
- Billing Instructions or Payment Details.
- Any Special request.
- Attach all correspondence like vouchers or email confirmation to the Group Reservation.
- The Director of Sales or Sales Manager should follow up on all contract deadlines including deposits.
- Group VIP rooms will be checked by the General Manager or Front Office Manager and should receive VIP treatment from the Hotel.
- Complimentary policy, cancellation attrition policy, deposit payment policy, and rooming list deadlines will all be negotiated to meet both client and hotel needs and objectives.
- Where relevant, third-party partners or service providers should be copied in on all correspondence and their support sought to close the business.
- The General Manager and the Sales Director should recognize the group’s organizers/decision-makers during their stay.
- If required, a meeting with clients and key staff members will be held before arrival to go over the group’s details.
- The sales associate will inform all departments concerned with the group’s arrival and their package details.
- The Group file along with the rooming list needs to be handed over to the front office team at least one or two days before the group’s arrival.
- Based on time, the group should be met at the door upon arrival by the appropriate sales/catering personnel.
- The Director of Sales or Sales Manager should hold an exit interview with the Group Leader / Tour Leader/organizer / Decision-Maker for billing-related queries and future business opportunities.
- The Sales manager or Front desk manager should collect feedback (GSTS) from the Group Leader / Tour Leader/organizer to evaluate the Hotel’s performance for the current business.
Training Summary questions:
Q1. How will we handle the group reservation process?
Q2. List the details that need to be updated on the PMS for Group bookings.
Q3. Who is responsible for the follow-up of contract deadlines and deposit payments?
Q4. What is the special care given to group or tour leaders?
Q5. Why it is important to interview the group leader before departure?
SOP Number: Sales and Marketing SOP – 07 Department: Sales and Marketing – Sales Date Issued: 14-Jun-2017 Time to Train: 30 Minutes