November 23, 2012

How important are online hotel reviews for meeting managers?

You put a lot of time and effort into finding the right property at the right rate for your meetings' goals and objectives. Could all your hard work be undermined by some bad reviews on TripAdvisor or any of the other myriad hotel review sites? And just how accurate are those reviews, anyway?

Some takeaways for meeting managers, provided by MeetingsNet based on data from PhoCusWright and Market Metrix:

- Check to see that your headquarters hotel (and ancillaries, if you have a multi-property meeting) have reviews, preferably before you reserve your block.

- If they have reviews, are most them positive? Are the negatives easy to dismiss as outliers, or does it look like there are real problems?

- If there are negative reviews, how has the property management responded—defensively or constructively and respectfully?

- If there are a lot of negatives and your contract has already been signed, do you have a plan to handle how you'll approach this with your attendees? Do you get proactive and ask the hotel to respond positively on the site (if they haven't already) so attendees will get that warm fuzzy from knowing any concerns will be handled?

Read also "TripAdvisor study touts TripAdvisor" and "Social media provides inaccurate measure of hotel customer satisfaction"