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Saving Money

The Correct Way to Peel a Banana

I am sorry to break the news to you, but you have been peeling bananas the wrong way, your entire life.  But don’t worry, I am going to help you.

There are videos floating around the internet which all feature chimpanzee’s and other monkey species peeling bananas, and they do it differently than we do.  Now, I can imagine the objections, “But Dan, we also clean our hair differently than monkeys, and I for one prefer the shower method.”  That would be a valid counter point, if not for the fact that from childhood on up, we have positioned monkeys as “the authority” on banana eating.

Monkey with banana

Look up one of these videos and you will learn that monkeys instinctively pinch the bottom of the banana (the end opposite the stem where YOU begin to peel) until it splits open, and then they simply peel back the skin from that end.  There are two major advantages…1.) They never get a finger tip smooshed into soft banana, and 2.) The strings peel right off with the skin in one step.

That’s it.  Now you know.  Peeling a banana from the other end does not change how delicious a banana tastes, nor does it detract from the many health benefits of eating bananas.  But it is cleaner, easier, and more efficient.

Kind of reminds me of the difference between your way of booking hotels for meetings:

  • Looking up hotel locations online
  • Calling or emailing several different hotel offices
  • Waiting for inquiries to be returned
  • Crunching all the different proposals into meaningful comparisons
  • Doing it all over again when your boss changes the date

…versus the same process when you call VenueQuest:

  • One point of contact with a VQ Hotel Specialist
  • We send you easy to read side-by-side comparisons
  • We revise the comparison if specs change
  • We can compare multiple cities, and multiple dates in one effort

Best of all, just like improving your banana peeling experience, booking a hotel through VenueQuest COSTS NOTHING but delivers a much higher quality experience.

 We work with groups visiting any destination, and requiring 10 or more rooms per night.

Intercontinental Hotels Group Announces Free Internet For All Loyalty Members

IHG Logo for free internet post

Free Internet now offered to loyalty club members at all global IHG hotels

Perhaps eclipsing the news that they have revamped and renamed their guest loyalty program, Intercontinental Hotels Group also announced today that the newly named IHG Rewards Club will grant free internet access to all members, at every hotel worldwide by 2014.

This change will affect 71 million loyalty members and give them all free internet access at IHG family hotels which include Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Candlewood Suites, Staybridge Suites, Hotel Indigo, EVEN Hotels and HUALUXE.

An IHG press release cited a survey commissioned by the global lodging company which revealed 43% of adults would choose not to stay in a hotel because it charged for internet access.

At VenueQuest we have seen not just an increase in the demand for free internet but also the demand for the ability to connect multiple devices to free WiFi.  We feel that the debate over the pricing of internet and WiFi should be over, and the new battle is how to provide the bandwidth travelers need for connecting smartphones, tablets and computers.

To learn more about the new program, please visit IHG Rewards Club.

How To Save Money When Planning a Meeting Series

Consider alternate patterns

Most groups try to schedule their meetings to take place in the middle of the week. However, if your meeting is only a few days long, try to schedule it towards either in the beginning or the end of the week so that the hotel could possibly book two groups during that week instead of one. This allows the hotel to maximize revenue for the week, and therefore your group will not be looked upon to pay the higher rates needed to meet their revenue goals.

Find great hotels in Second Tier Cities

Love to go to Phoenix in the winter for the incredible weather, but can’t find reasonable rates or availability? Try Tucson! Wish you could afford San Francisco… how about Oakland instead? It is close to all three major airports in the area and they have a great train that can get you to downtown San Francisco in minutes!

Hot dates

Many hotels send us their “hot dates” regularly, letting us know the dates they need to fill and usually offer incredible incentives to clients for booking over those needed dates.

Ensure guests are checked in under your room block to avoid attrition penalties

Organizations are going as far as penalizing attendees for not checking in under the group room block. If an association gets hit with a high bill for attrition, it could force them to lose a substantial amount of money and possibly increase membership rates to compensate for it. This is a good incentive for attendees to book rooms properly.

Allow use of your meeting room after hours

If you only need your meeting room during daytime hours, allow the hotel to book an evening reception. You can substantially reduce meeting room rental this way.

Negotiate important concessions into your contract

Some examples of important concessions are late check-outs or upgrades, it is best to negotiate them prior to the contract. Typically hotels will not accommodate those requests after the contract has been signed.

Share staging materials with other groups before or after your meeting

If you have extensive audio visual or staging requirements, ask about the groups meeting before or after your group, if they have similar needs, you may be able to save on set up or breakdown costs.

Hold meal functions in meeting room

Seek sponsorships

Obtain quotes from outside vendors

Hotels will typically not allow you to bring in food and beverage for your group, but sometimes you can find better prices on audio visual equipment by getting a few quotes.

Consider international destinations

There are fantastic international destinations that are inexpensive to fly to and have extraordinary hotels at fair prices. Call VenueQuest to help you locate a great international hotel for your next meeting!