“Be honest and open about what you want, what budget restrictions you have and aim for a win-win for both parties”
Mr. Kees Hogetoorn, Director of Sales & Marketing at Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam tells us what corporate planners should do to have an efficient working relationship with hotels. In his view, the best thing to do is to be precise, to take into account budget limits and to send requests only after a thorough research of the client.
What is the story of Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam?
A location with a story where world history goes hand in hand with French elegance and French luxury contemporary design. Successively a convent in the 15th century, a Royal Inn in the 16th century, headquarters of the Dutch Admiralty in Holland’s ‘Golden Age’, then Town Hall and in 1966 the setting for the wedding of H.M.Q. Beatrix of the Netherlands, The Grand has certainly left its mark on the history of Amsterdam. Nowadays, a key luxury hotel venue whereby the past meets the present and the future, with dedicated services and contacts available for the clients.
Which are the major changes that impacted your hotel?
The cost savings of the larger corporates on MICE spend. The biggest challenge that we are facing is the weak recovery of the MICE segment. Although growing minimal it falls behind versus the growth of other segments.
Can you explain some best practices when sending eRFPs?
Tailor make it per event. Use images and discuss the project with the organizer first to really be able to quote perfectly.
What is a main misconception event planners have regarding the hotel industry?
The psychological perception of value for money on luxury properties is highly misunderstood. Often that little extra spend will make all the difference.
If you could ask event planners to stop doing something, what would it be?
Sending unqualified leads whereby there is no client data known. Requesting 40 cities worldwide in various star-levels is a waste of time.
How do you think your hotel can stand out in a crowded market ?
By being flexible, listen well and be honest about the possibilities and having teams around that are consistent and are peoples persons.We combine a historical ambiance with modern high tech facilities in a very private and personal setting with focus on the “cousu main” service and strongly assisting the clients with offsite events also.Technology is also a very important matter as a lot depends on a slick and professional running of events. Good equipment and nowadays internet access is key!
Please give our readers one piece of advice on effectively negotiating with hotels?
Be honest and open about what you want, what budget restrictions you have and aim for a win-win for both parties.