Are Your Dates Flexible?

It has been a while since I addressed a personal pet peeve of mine relating to and with my supplier friends.  A first question of any hotel who is having trouble bidding on one my opportunities is whther my client’s dates are flexible.  And by all accounts this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask.  But the impulse to ask this question has become so robotic that the obvious answer which is in the details of the RFP itself, is so often overlooked.

For one, I actually list Date Flexibility as one of about eight things a I address in every RFP I send out.  Often this is a NO however in some cases I am able to list one, two or even a handful of alternate dates for my client.  It’s here when I’m aggravated by hotels who are still inclined to ask the question when they’ve rejected five dates I’ve proposed.  Let’s just walk away.  Even more aggravating is that hotel sales systems don’t seem to be adequately equipped to triage leads with enormous date flexibility.  Consider a group who is willing to meet over any week in the Summer with no one date preference.  Most hotel companies will arbitrary assign a specific date over which my client would like to see a bid and then hotels aren’t equipped to even understand that the group is considering a multitude of weeks.

And finally, what about the hotels who ask if the XYZ COMPANY SUMMER MEETING could consider the first quarter of the year?  Gosh, the summer meeting in January – I hadn’t thought of that?   Am I just in a bad mood today?

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