A Path to Meeting Space Utilization and Revenue

Kristi White, President/CEO/President/CEO, KLW Consulting, HSMAI Sales Advisory Board Member 

In a recent HSMAI Sales Advisory Board meeting, I introduced the topic of meeting space utilization to the group for discussion. Read on for three takeaways from our dynamic discussion.  

1. Strategic benchmarking and KPIs are a necessity.  

We explored various approaches to manage meeting spaces better, with a focus on benchmarking and key performance indicator (KPI) measurement. Establishing a baseline of utilization can help owners understand which hotels are utilizing their space most effectively. By benchmarking against the most effective hotels, owners can hope to gain learnings to benefit hotels with lower utilization metrics.  

Additionally, it helps leadership understand which hotels might need the most attention in improving overall performance. After all, unutilized space is money left on the table for most hotels. Improving space utilization will benefit revenue and profit. 

2. Innovative metrics drive innovation.  

Calculating revenue based on square footage came up multiple times. It is core to measuring the efficacy of meeting space strategy. Measuring the metric against traditional meeting spaces, more creative, innovative options, and combined is also important. Post-COVID, companies are beginning to find untapped potential in all areas of a hotel, being able to track revenues in dedicated spaces as well as non-traditional spaces will help create even more effective strategies.  

Metrics can be used not just for meeting space. Individual sellers can be measured using the same metrics used. Tacking revenue per square foot by sales and catering managers is a great measure of individual performance to help with coaching in the future. It is also important to break down the revenue types at this level. So additional metrics such as room rental averages per group by seller. This level of granularity will help uncover which team members are driving the most revenue.  

3. Adaptability and regional insights. 

The group also delved into regional differences, particularly between European and North American hotels. European hotels were noted for their emphasis on day meetings, even without guest room bookings, demonstrating a different approach to event spaces. Understanding these nuances can offer alternate visions for pricing and inventory strategies. The conversation also highlighted structural disparities between US and European cities that could impact hotel inventory and pricing strategies.  

By addressing challenges such as data visibility, benchmarking, and regional disparities, hotels can enhance meeting space utilization and its associated revenue generation.  

Further Reading:   

Questions to take back to your team: 

  1. Are you measuring MSU? 
  2. If so, are they automated or manual? 
  3. What KPIs are you using beyond utilization? 

Categories: Sales
Insight Type: Articles