by Megan Gilligan
• Tips from Booking Events at a newly opened hotel
Opening a hotel is an experience! From announcing the hotel, itself, and new dining concepts to showcasing meeting and event space before the hotel is even open, hoteliers and meeting planners need the following assets and insights when selling and booking a new build hotel.
Vision with a dash of courage – You must be able to walk into an empty space that is only framed out and envision an event. There may not be a wall or ceiling, so you need to have the vision to be creative about a space. This is a unique ability that not everyone has. Looking at color boards and renderings will help paint the picture of the finished product, but until the space is finished with carpet, ceiling fixtures, and wall coverings, it can be difficult to picture the end result. A planner has to have a bit of an adventurous side to take the leap into the unknown.
Talented and experienced team – Whether on the planner side or hotel side, having experienced and talented support ready to execute every detail of the meeting or event is important. Planners and hotel banquet and event teams work in tandem to create a truly unique experience for each attendee. They are the backbone of the functions making sure each component is executed flawlessly.
While these abilities are critical for selling and booking a new build property, they also translate for any hotelier or planner. Having vision in any space can push creative boundaries to ensure meeting and event guests have a remarkable experience. Flexibility and open communication, without a doubt, is imperative. While it likely won’t be the dimensions of an event space, details change. If hotel and meeting planners are transparent and flexible, planning an event in a new hotel will become much smoother. And, having a talented and experienced team will always help make sure an event runs well.
Challenge yourself to reflect on how you manage planning meetings and events. Whether from the meeting planner side or the hotel side, are you challenging yourself to be creative in an event space? Are you clearly and regularly sharing updates? Are you surrounding yourself with a strong, experienced team? These questions and abilities will help you.
Megan Gilligan is the Director of Sales and Marketing for the new Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District located in Omaha, NE. The 333-room, 12-story hotel is expected opened this month. When combined with the hotel’s 17,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space, outdoor event areas, roof-top swimming pool, full-service restaurant and bar, and additional luxury amenities, the Omaha Marriott Downtown’s modern chic rooms and exceptional service will make the hotel a premier location for business meetings, weekend getaways, and much more.