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March Members' Meeting Update

We have a members’ meeting this evening in London. There will be a panel discussion focussing on revenue management lead by Michael Heyward with expert speakers from Right Revenue, Infor and Criton. The three systems providers will jointly sponsor the meeting.

We are expecting a good turnout but yesterday morning, we took time out as a team to discuss if the event should go ahead, given current concerns over the coronavirus. There were so many reasons why we decided we should proceed. Firstly, we were not seeing a slowing in demand from our loyal, hardworking members. Secondly, we felt that as we are all in the hospitality industry we should take a lead – we cannot bemoan low occupancies and yet not carry on as normal ourselves. We are not expecting hundreds this evening (more like 40 – 50 attendees) so not a great risk, plus many attendees are already in London so we are just convening for a couple of hours in the evening. And, finally, we are going to discuss how best to handle the current lack of demand and increase in cancellations – if we postponed, then we kind of miss the point!

I look forward to our discussions. What should hotels be doing with rate? General advice seems to be to hold firm, but I suspect the science in the revenue management systems will suggest dropping rate in an attempt to generate demand. If people aren’t travelling then they aren’t travelling, and even a complimentary room won’t appeal. It’s time to approach this from other angles. Should hoteliers and restaurateurs be shouting about the extra cleaning and sanitising they are doing? Should they reduce the number of tables in the restaurant to create more space between diners? How best to communicate this?

If anyone was contemplating coming, but is yet to confirm, perhaps the lure of sponsored drinks and canapes might entice you? But please let us know by emailing so that we can be sure there’s enough to go round!

Of course, and it probably goes without saying, but if you have visited any of the high-risk areas in the past couple of weeks, please do get in touch before arriving at The Strand Palace this evening.

Looking forward to seeing many of you later….with freshly washed hands, of course!


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