In this Event Temple series, we highlight members of our team who are the drivers to our success. Find out about the people behind the desk, what they do inside and outside of work, and their take on Event Temple’s journey, from their unique perspective.
In this week’s feature, we meet with Trevor Maclean. He’s been with us since the beginning and has seen the ins and outs of the industry along with helping us scale our sales department. Tune in to see his thoughts on the biggest challenges were facing as an industry and how we’re managing those challenges during the pandemic and beyond.
Q: Hi Trevor! Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do at Event Temple?
I am our Sales Manager here at Event Temple. You can find me on the front lines chatting with hoteliers looking to learn more about what we can do for them and working with the team to find the best fit for our customers.
Q: Describe your journey on how you got to where you are today.
I have always worked in some version of sales or customer service. My first job was as a ski teacher at the local Vancouver mountain Grouse where I taught kids how to ski. Later on in my life, I worked at a major events restaurant in Vancouver which is where I first cut my teeth learning about BEO’s, events and banquet sales.
After graduating university I was a realtor for 3 years. It was a “family business” so to speak in that my dad and uncle were both realtors before me. I found that I loved working with people to find them the best possible fit for their housing needs, but totally missed the joys of teamwork and collaboration that I used to have in previous jobs. This led me to Event Temple where I started on as employee number 5! The moment I met the team I knew I was home and it was meant to be. Since then I have worn a variety of hats on the sales team, and loved every minute of it.
Q: What are your favourite things about what you do?
I am a hard extrovert, and love to chat, so I would say one of my favourite things about what I do is getting to talk with people all over the world and learn about their unique jobs, properties, cities, and cultures. With the rise of video conferencing software, the world feels so much smaller. I get to meet people all over the globe every day, and I really do think we have the best customers. Hospitality professionals are the best in the world and really understand the guest first approach more than anyone.
I also love to work with my prospects to find creative solutions to the problems they face. I think there is nothing better than getting to connect with someone and understand their needs, then consult with someone to find the best outcomes for their needs. I love to creatively solve problems and find the best outcomes to tough situations with our clients.
The third thing I love about what I do is getting to work with an innovative and fun team. The whole Event Temple team is a blast to work with, and I truly feel lucky to get to work with such smart and talented people.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges hoteliers are facing right now on the sales front?
No one can deny the challenge that COVID has presented to hospitality. It has been a complete disaster for all of the travel industry and will be remembered forever. This has been the first and foremost challenge to any hotel currently. Whether the property is open or not; busy or slow; COVID has changed the way everyone has viewed travel. I do believe that the one saving grace of this challenge is that it will be over eventually and we are seeing signs of optimism that recovery is on the horizon.
COVID has changed the way that sales is being done though. A lot of hospitality sales professionals got used to being order takers and managing inbound deals. It seems that the properties that are out there prospecting, and maintaining relationships are holding strong. I think that the people who are proactive will see a greater recovery as 2021 closes out.
A third place where hoteliers are facing challenges is by accepting that overly expensive and dated legacy systems are the only way to go. A lot of sales professionals have sales solutions that don’t speak with anything, and cost way too much money. This is leading to either a poor ROI on those systems, or alternatively leads to a property choosing to go with no system at all. I talk to so many people who use spreadsheets to manage their sales nowadays, and who are feeling super overwhelmed. New innovative cost effective software exists and it can help you sell!
Q: What are the top hotel sales trends for 2021 in your opinion?
2021 is all about creativity in my opinion. COVID is a big disrupter and accelerator of trends that were starting to emerge in the world.
First and foremost I think as vaccinations roll out we are going to see a ton of revenge travel and events. People are cooped up and it is not natural. There are a lot of weddings that got postponed, and celebrations that have been denied. I think all us hard extroverts of the world are going to be booking tons of events to reconnect and get back in the world.
I think that there is also a major change to the way we work. With COVID, we are starting to see properties starting using their event spaces, meeting rooms and guest rooms as co-working spaces and flexible work environments. People need places to work and escape from home, and they want a good experience while doing it. Hotels are well positioned to take advantage of a workforce that needs to book meetings flexibly, or just find a desk to be at for the day.
The last trend that I believe will be big is who is making up so much of the workforce now. Millennials and Gen Z make up a majority of the workforce lately, and the way they interact with sales teams is much different than previous generations. The younger workforce want things online, want to make their own choices, and want things quickly. Having more of an online presence is huge for any property. Not only that, but offering information transparently and limiting gatekeepers will benefit properties. A final thing that will benefit a lot of properties is to be able to respond quickly and remove limitations on conversions. Most millennials don’t own printers, so having things like e-signatures and digital payments will maximize conversion.
Q: Any final thoughts to share?
I think we have all been through a brutal year, but hospitality especially. That being said, I cannot help but marvel at the resiliency I see every day from the wonderful people I talk with. I believe that travel will bounce back and then some because the industry employs some of the most resilient people I have ever met. The dedication to the guest that I see is inspiring. I just want to thank you all for holding strong and can’t wait to visit all of your properties!