New Year’s Eve is still three months away, but to make the most of the revenue opportunity it can bring, property teams need to jump into action now. Here’s where to start.

  1. Set goals at different levels. Maybe your team’s goal is to increase market share in Total RevPAR. Set specific goals for each revenue stream – Rooms, F&B, PR, Digital, etc. Put those goals in black and white for the team, and ensure everyone is one the same page. These will not only be your roadmap for marketing strategies, but will keep you from potentially getting sidetracked, wasting time and budget.
  2. Develop a marketing critical path. Many of the marketing tactics that will need to be implemented to promote this time period are contingent on knowing ticket price(s) for the event, different F&B offerings, overall theme (high energy rooftop party with the hottest DJs vs. low-key dinner from a Michelin-rated guest chef, etc.) as well as room package pricing. For rooms, know the amount of inventory you might want to sell as part of a package. How many rooms will you want to sell as part of a package with perhaps a discounted rate, and how many will you want to keep at your regular rate? Media outlets start looking for NYE packages now so before your PR agency can start pitching a package, you’ll need to have the above items nailed down. This is also the time to determine when to launch your digital media effort, particularly if you’re in a destination where people fly in for NYE. Many partygoers are looking for rooms in a particular destination, or they’re searching for party details months in advance when flights are cheaper. You want your package to be visible online when search is at its highest. Interdepartmental communication for the next three months is crucial to success, so make sure the team is absolutely aligned on critical path deliverables and deadlines now before planning begins.
  3. Establish ongoing bi-weekly meetings through end of December. These calls should be kept to a minimum of attendees. Use these calls as a check-in to hold each other accountable and to keep everyone on task. Use the above-mentioned critical path as the agenda. As NYE draws closer, you can also use these meetings to report results to-date, whether in rooms pick up, covers, any marketing wins, etc. (BONUS: These updates can then easily be shared with your asset manager/ownership proactively.)
  4. Establish the number of rooms to be held for VIPs + any special “ arrive early” rates/incentives. When there are no established guidelines, it’s easy for the number of rooms being held for VIPs and vendors to get out of control, hurting revenue opportunity over peak demand dates. Consider holding rooms for any owner VIPS, talent, media and social influencers, plus anyone you may hire to photo/video the event for “night of” accommodations. Also, this is a great opportunity to offer “friendly” rates at a discount to entice your VIPs to arrive early/stay later. Ensure those are clearly communicated to your team (F&B, PR firm, etc.) so they are aware of the limit for their allotted reserved rooms. These can then be worked into contract negotiations. Sometimes, special arrangements can be made if the PR opportunity is worth the lost revenue now.
  5. Determine marketing + PR resource allocation. Are your goals established? Great! Now consider all of your audiences and how and when to reach them. Remember, even if you sell out of rooms (way to go!), in order to maximize F&B opportunity, you’ll still need to sell event tickets to locals and out-of-towners who are staying elsewhere. Don’t drop the ball on budgeting and planning for these opportunities as well. You want everything perfectly in place when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve!

Click to see what can happen when a property puts 1-5 above into practice (along with a kick ass marketing plan).

New Years Eve at The Cape A Thompson Hotel