ROC ’22: Highlights for Revenue Leaders
Accelerate Recovery, indeed! The theme for ROC this year could not have been more on point. Sessions wisely focused on what we can influence (where we should go) as opposed to what we cannot (where we’ve been) – a metaphorical breath of fresh air after so much COVID rumination.
There was broad agreement that we’re living in a new era. One characterized by uncertainty. One that should be met with change – change being another important through line at the conference. In 2022, it’s abundantly clear that “business as usual” isn’t serving the business anymore and “status quo” has become persona non grata.
Drive Rate on Summer Demand
The incomparable Dave Roberts was the conference’s emcee this year, fresh off the launch of his latest book, aptly named “The Post-Pandemic Evolution to Revenue Strategy.”
During the session of the same name, distinguished panel members brought their A-game to discuss post-pandemic trends – what patterns they are seeing, and how they should inform strategy.
One of the strongest trends and biggest opportunities, the panel agreed, is robust summer demand, owing to pent-up leisure demand and international restrictions lifting.
This finding was echoed by Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics, in his general session looking at the broader economy and implications for travel and hospitality.
The advice here from the panel was crystal clear. “If you can drive rate, drive rate,” advised Jeff Garber, Vice President of Global Revenue Systems Transformation at IHG, providing my favorite quote of the conference.
Focus on Profit
During the roundtable discussion “Is RevPAR Enough? Creating a Profitability-Focused Commercial Strategy,” revenue leaders shared their profit optimization challenges and best practices.
Everyone agrees it’s important to have a profit-centered commercial strategy because not all revenue is created equal. Profitability varies by channel, and if you’re focused solely on maximizing revenue, you could end up in a ‘more money, more problems’ situation.
But unfortunately, technology has historically been a barrier. For years, all revenue management teams could do was talk about profit optimization because systems were disjointed, the necessary data isn’t captured cleanly, and it’s hard to action systematically. When profit optimization capabilities did emerge in RMSs, they were very bare bones – accounting for turn cost in pricing.
(This is why I am very excited about N2Pricing RMS’s new profit optimization feature. It goes much further than simple turn cost, capturing the profitability of each rate plan—whether $ or %, per day or per stay—and using that in the inventory optimization to make sure the demand accepted is optimal from a profit (not total revenue) perspective. If you want to learn more about this new and more comprehensive approach to profit optimization, book a demo with James Harris).
Don't Let Myopia Be the Next Pandemic
Revenue management rockstars Kelly McGuire, Roy Madhok, and Dave Collier led an outstanding session describing the bigger RM obstacles.
The key points:
- An excessive amount of time is spent on manual activities. Like the time-suck that is the budget “season” and rate overrides.
- Manual pricing is uniquely challenging: validating every decision, across multiple properties (while also attending to myriad other job responsibilities) means RMs are trapped in a world of only having enough time to even look at the next two-week window.
- It’s no surprise, then, that there is a desperate need for automation.
Unfortunately, it’s likely that teams haven’t leaned-in to automation because most systems take an “all or nothing” approach. And no system is right 100% of the time, so teams throw the baby out with the bath water.
(Revenue Analytics has the perfect answer to this as well. A chance to take the reins of automation and define your comfort level. Taking care of the low hanging fruit, but still flagging opportunities where a human eye is needed. Book time with James and he’ll show you exactly how this works).
Lightning rounds (20 slides, 20 seconds each) have become the signature way to end the conference.
Karen McWilliams of Concord Hospitality laid out an important message in “Vision – Values – Victory: Why Culture Matters.”
Karen reminded us that the pandemic changed a lot of things not just in Hospitality, but in our wider world, making empathy and connection in the workplace even more important.
She used a whole slide to illustrate how deafening silence can be – and how even just 20 seconds of disconnect is uncomfortable.
This theme of empathy and remaining connected with our teams resonates so strongly with me. At Revenue Analytics, our mission is “Creating Value and Enriching Lives.” And we strive to do that from all angles – for our customers and for our people. The commitment to that culture – which values me not just as a boss lady VP, but also as a woman, a mom, a daughter – is one of the things that has kept me here for over 10 years. We have an amazing team – and we’d love to work with you.
To wrap the day up, the amazing Dave Roberts reminded everyone that we learned something – but learning about it isn’t enough, we need to go ACT on what we’ve learned.
So, bearing that in mind, we’d love to show you a demo of N2Pricing RMS. Just grab some time with us to see it for yourself.