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Ways to Grow Your Group Event Business – Straight from Hospitality Veterans

Many members of the Sertifi team have been in hospitality long before joining – so they understand first-hand the challenges and opportunities our community faces. Sometimes gaining momentum behind growing group event sales can be tricky, so I decided to chat with some of the team to get their best tips for creatively generating new business.

Before diving in, I want to thank our industry veterans who shared ideas. Be sure to connect with them on LinkedIn to continue swapping insights and stories:

What are some ways to grow group event business?

Find Your Audience (They May Not Find You)

  • Stay in-the-know on all the events – including conferences and conventions, sporting events, and concerts – happening in and around your city.

  • Research new companies so you can be the first property to offer them room rate contracts. Stopping by the front desk to learn more about a traveler’s reason for visiting can help, too. You may learn they’re in town for business and identify their company as a potential client.

  • Many associations are required to hold quarterly board meetings and/or a large annual meeting for their members. It’s easy to find event calendars online and do some research on what the association may need.

  • For social events like weddings, increase awareness of your property using social media.

Build Relationships and Create Goodwill

  • Brainstorm promotions that are focused on a specific segment. For example, what works for a pharmaceutical group may not work for an association, so you want to tailor your approach and show that you care about their unique needs. In particular, any promotion that creates monetary value for your customers’ customer – such as special concession lists, discounts, or comped rooms – will be enticing.

  • Build a close relationship with your city’s CVB (Convention and Visitor Bureau) team to stay on top of what’s happening in your local market.

  • Follow up with your groups post-event to get feedback and create more goodwill for potential return business.

  • Offer a referral program to incentive customers to recommend you. Partnering with local vendors is another great way to build a network for referrals.

  • Pay attention to company trends. For example, most companies travel during the same time every year, so you can get ahead of earning return business.

  • Celebrate your existing customers year-round. For example, drop off cookies or another specially prepared chef treat to local customers.

Showcase Your Brand and Stay Competitive

  • Host a happy hour or social event at your property for the top clients you want to target, and have some of your best event spaces and suites available with food and drinks. This way, they can experience your venue and service firsthand.

  • Host a branded event in a different city, so you can network and bring your experience to those clients. Meeting planners love being invited to events, too – whether it’s a happy hour, dinner, or reception.

  • Host events around the holidays, including rarer or creative ones like “Christmas in July” or a summer kickoff.

  • Get to know your neighbors so you can see how your property compares to competitors and find your niche.

  • Find ways to automate your contracting and payment processes so you’re easy to work with and give customers a good impression early on (Sertifi can help with that!).


Gain more insights and stay connected with Sertifi experts.

About the author

Amy King

Amy King is the director of brand and content marketing at Sertifi. In collaboration with teams across and outside of Sertifi, she guides brand and creative marketing, content strategy, public relations, and community engagement.