BigHospitality has reported recently on an expected growth in corporate guests at hotels as businesses have more money to spend in 2014, with even well-known holiday resorts such as Centre Parcs reaching out to corporate clients. Hotel group Jurys Inn has seen a deal of growth in this area as a result of some new initiatives.
Last year Jurys Inn published results from its study into whether we are at risk of stopping communicating face-to-face, which concluded that business leaders should take steps to ensure future generations still carry out meetings in person or over the phone, as this should ensure a better outcome.
Since releasing these results Jurys Inn has attempted to ‘practice what it preaches’. The company’s head of sales Marc Webster believes that this is responsible for the significant increase Jurys Inn has seen in its corporate bookings. The company has placed a large investment in its sales team and has emphasised face-to-face meetings with clients as well as tried to attend more trade shows. Since this new focus bookings have doubled from local businesses alone.
Webster said: “Over the last two years we have been looking at how best to structure our sales function and we have invested considerably in ramping up the team at grass roots level and improving efficiencies and productivity.
“As a direct result we saw our sales team improve client activity by 30 per cent which resulted in a 17 per cent year on year increase in direct and managed corporate business which now accounts for 50 per cent of room sales across the Jurys Inn Group. We are very pleased with this positive growth and we attribute much of this success to our teams getting out and meeting our existing and new clients face-to-face.”
Jurys Business Booker
Jurys Inn clients have also been encouraged to use their Business Booker, an online tool which makes it easier to manage corporate hotel requirements. The system has been updated and is rolling out a new look this month which will permit corporates to access negotiated rates and promotional rates that crop up in real time. The company has had a 13 per cent rise in revenue since 2013 when the product was first launched.
Webster said: “We’re immensely proud of our meeting product and we’re keen to take every opportunity to shout about it. Seeing the direct results from making these small changes in the way we work just goes to show the importance of meeting people face-to-face.
“We are now a far stronger team and our aim is to continue to build on the successes of 2013 and look to grow our corporate and meetings business by a further 14 per cent over the next year.”