Micro-cizing Your Hotel’s Offerings…. Bigger Isn’t Always Better

In days past, it was always our goal to aim high.  Now, we are finding that we must fine-tune our offerings and create new opportunities by micro-cizing our products.  No, I am not talking about limiting or reducing services; on the contrary, I am suggesting that we offer more services to smaller numbers of people – think micro-cizing and encouraging smaller gatherings and groups, and set-ups with more hospitality services!

Last month, our Monday Matters calls focused on starting up our sales efforts again.  We spoke about setting yourselves up for success by creating packages, photos, flyers, and sales pitches that revolve around your hotel’s focus on cleanliness and safety, the ability to adapt set ups to smaller numbers, and focus on drive distance companies. Did you do this?  How did you feature your hotel and its offerings to suit new audiences?  Are you listening to what your customers are telling you and analyzing their comments?  (SNEAK PEEK:  This month, our Monday Matters calls will focus on listening to our customers and reacting to their tone of voice as they communicate with us.)

If you keep up with my business Facebook page, you may have read an article about the value of recreating your meetings/event offerings.  Or, you may recall any one of my previous blogs from the last quarter with similar topics.  Each of these blogs, all of my phone calls and email offerings, and many of my social media posts focus on some aspect of micro-cizing your individual products, who to reach out to, and why.  Here is one valid idea for you to recreate for your hotel meetings collateral:

Mistake :

“During the pandemic, something unfortunate has happened: sales and marketing teams are crystal clear when it comes to what guests cannot do, instead of being explicit about what guests might be able to do instead. Of course, we must abide by laws and rules. We must protect our team members, hotel guests, and our own reputation. But with all of the focus on what can no longer be done – what must be postponed, cancelled, and refunded – we haven’t given much thought to what is still possible.”  This statement was made in a recent article I read about 3 Ways to Rethink Your Group Sales Strategy.  What would happen if we sold our customers on the things we CAN do rather than constantly telling them what the CANNOT do?


As an example, we have a hotel in our portfolio that is running over 97% occupancy.  How is that possible?

They have exceeded their 2020 pre-COVID budget for 3 months in a row.  They are in a midwestern, suburban location.  So how did they do it?  “Simple,” noted the GM – “we focused on providing as many services and amenities as possible to our guest and making them happy.  We ran our hotel like normal, while following all the brand, state and local guidelines on running a business in a pandemic.  We didn’t scrimp on services.”  When they were able to bring back breakfast, open their pool, and fitness rooms – they did so.   Other hotels in their comp set continued to cut back on services and staff – bagged breakfast, no pool, no fitness room, etc.  This hotel focused on “providing services, not on “cutting services to save money”.  In other words, they micro-sized their hotel by providing the customer with as close to normal as possible, to a smaller number of clients.  ADR is slightly lower than last year, but their revenue and occupancy are through the roof!  They are leading the market by more than 60 percentage points!

So, what should you do?  Here are my suggestions:

  • Take what feels like a limitation and make it the opposite:
    • Offer a comprehensive meeting package that includes A/V technology, tools and connectivity.  Prepare a flyer and market the heck out of it.  Embed it in emails, post it on social media, and send it out with every prospecting communication!
      • Suggest smaller meetings over multiple days.  If you can only seat 20 people in your meeting room and the customer wants a meeting for 40 people, then suggest they run the meeting over 2 days or alternate half in the morning and half in the afternoon).  Charge them for one meeting room rental and comp the second day or second half.  Or,
      • Suggest that half the attendees attend in person and half the attendees attend virtually.  Provide remote Zoom backgrounds that look like your hotel.  “From gloom and doom to ZOOM!”  Or,
      • If you have multiple meeting rooms – set up half the attendees in one room and half in another room.  Connect rooms virtually to broadcast the keynote speaker or company head from another virtual location.  And,
      • Get access and set up accounts for the hotel for Google Meet, WebEx and Zoom.  Learn how to use them and be available to assist those who are not familiar.
    • Offer Work From Home options from your meeting room, board room, suites, or guest rooms.  People just need privacy sometimes.  They need space from the kids, pets, and daily life – they need an office when their office is closed!  Bonus:  swim, work out, eat breakfast, as well as work from the hotel.
    • Change your social offerings and prospect for “small or intimate weddings” and “winter weddings”.  You don’t have to offer “budget weddings” – just create an offer for the perfect, small wedding that includes all the bells and whistles.
      • Design a package for “close to home with the people who matter most” weddings
      • Design a package for “Winter Elopements”.
    • “Take another cue from transient business and what we know about the changing psyche of travelers today: make a fundamental change to the way you run meetings. Namely, move meetings and events to outdoor, open air settings when possible.
      • Move the marketing focus from conference room floor plans and capacity charts to team building. During the pandemic pause, take some time to build out team building and programming. Maybe you have unused outdoor spaces typically reserved for wedding receptions, or maybe you have space that’s used as informal, breakout space. Invest in, or rent an oversized tent complete with clear sides and heaters.
      • Hire a landscape designer or company to create an attractive garden for receptions, ceremonies.  Twinkle lights will turn outdoor corridors into courtyards.
      • Use existing patios as outdoor dining rooms.  Set them up and take pictures so guests can see and feel what their event would look like.  You may have to invest in a tent to protect the integrity of the invent in the case of inclement weather.
    • Convert your board room to a broadcast or recording studio for planners and presenters to host or record events.
    • Create new banquet/catering menus to feature all boxed food offerings:  Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Afternoon Break, Dinner, Late Night, Hospitality Room.  Anything you would sell in a meeting room to a group can be done in a box or bag!
    • Work with local companies and vendors to offer wellness break options such as:  Yoga Breaks, Dance Breaks, Biking Breaks, Walking Breaks.  Don’t forget about golf outings, and other outdoor activities that could be great additions to any meeting.

Go from pre-COVID selling to micro-sizing for every facet of group business. Get creative about offering hybrid events, and beef up virtual offerings. Lean on modern technologies and innovate to create one of a kind meetings and events that will surprise and delight planners. Instead of limiting your offerings, build them up. Think expansively about team building opportunities, programming, and partnerships to ensure gatherings are not just safe, but also memorable.

Happy micro-sizing!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.