Groups - What is Groups Add-on and How to Get Started

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What is Groups?

  • Cloudbeds’ new module Groups gives hoteliers the functionality to grow and manage their Group Business and contracted Corporate business from within Cloudbeds’ hospitality management system.
  • The new feature will allow Cloudbeds customers to easily book corporate groups, weddings, travel agents, wholesalers, and meetings. In addition, hoteliers can track how much revenue these segments bring them and easily manage payments for various companies.
Groups Overview and Definitions

Groups module refers to the ability to nest guests and reservations underneath a single company profile, as well as block out availability for a group or corporate guests looking to stay at a future date (occasionally at a negotiated rate or entirely custom rate). 

A group will typically be created for five or more guests who are traveling together and have some features in common, such as working at the same company or belonging to the same organized tour group. These groups would include individual groups, corporations, travel agents and wholesalers.

Many properties receive a significant portion of their business from groups or travel agencies. Thus, they need to know which reservations belong to a group, an easy way to track how much revenue the groups bring them, an easy way to manage payments for the group, and of course the ability to block out availability.

Group Profile

This is the master profile under which all reservations are created. It could be a company, a wedding party, or a travel agent. A group can have one or more contacts associated with it. A contact would be similar to a guest on a reservation. For each contact, the following fields are filled in: name, email, phone number, and some additional data. These contacts would be used for communication; to negotiate rates, how availability should be handled, send invoices, agree on deposit policies and payment preferences.

Group Allotment Block

A Group Allotment Block is an availability block for specified dates. Within a group such as a wedding party, a property may choose to create allotment blocks to reserve availability. The wedding party already knows the dates of the wedding and approximately how many rooms are needed, but each guest attending the wedding would need to reserve their own rooms. In this case, an allotment block would be created (sometimes with base rates, sometimes with pre-negotiated rates on an existing rate plan, and other times at completely custom rates).

When creating a Group Allotment Block, a property may decide to block availability for the number of rooms agreed upon or may decide to have a special group rate without blocking availability.

An Allotment Block is not required. A Group Profile can exist without one. Group Profile’s main functionality is being able to track business from a specific company and being able to route charges from reservations to a group folio. Essentially, this is Accounts Receivable/Account Management functionality that doesn’t have to be directly related to Groups and Allotment Blocks and can be used independently.

Examples of Using "Groups"

1) Wedding Party

A wedding party of 20 people staying at the property for a single weekend.

  • The bride and groom will pay for 10 of these people, but the other 10 will need to pay on their own.
  • These guests will need a way to create their own reservations (typically by either navigating to a URL or calling the property with a group ID or group name).
  • Each reservation could likewise have its own arrival and departure dates (not all of them will stay and leave on the same date).
  • Since the wedding party is reserving 20 rooms, they may be eligible for a discount. Therefore each guest will need to indicate that they belong to this group in order to receive the special rate.

2) Company Group Training

Dewey corporation frequently sends its employees to the North Pole for training.

  • The company has a special deal with North Pole Hotel with pre-negotiated rates.
  • Whenever an employee travels to the North Pole, the employee creates a reservation at this hotel for the dates that the employee is traveling. The company covers all room costs, but the employee is responsible for all the entertainment costs.

3) Tour Agents

A travel agent resells rooms at my property at a markup price.

  • This travel agent sends me guests very frequently, so I agreed to give this travel agent 2 guaranteed rooms for every day over the next 2 years.
  • The travel agent is responsible for paying for these rooms regardless of whether there is a reservation or not unless the travel agent tells me a minimum of  7 days ahead of time that he does not need this room inventory.

4) Company Corporate Party

Scrooge Co. has an annual New Year’s Eve party at the property and reserves rooms for the employees to stay in.

  • They do this every year, and all the employees can only stay one night.
  • The availability is blocked before any reservations are added.
How to Get Started
1. Create a Group Profile

Group Profile is the master profile under which certain groups of reservations are created or added. This could be a company, a wedding party, or a travel agent.

When created, a Group Profile page has several tabs from which you can manage the group activity:

  • Reservations
  • Allotment Blocks
  • Folios
  • Group Profile
  • Pickup
  • Credit Cards
  • Notes

Learn how to create a group profile in this guide: Groups - Creating a Group Profile. Group Profile Overview.

2. Create a Contact for Group Profile

You can add contact details for your group to quickly navigate through necessary information: contact name, role, phone, email.

See how to add contact details of the group in the section of the article "Editing Group Profile and Creating Contact for Group Profile".

3. Add a Credit Card to a Group Profile

Under the "Credit Card" tab the user can add the credit card and then select this card as a payment method when adding a charge or refund to the group folio.

If you have Payment Processing enabled, you can add the credit card and process authorization, charge, or refund under the "Credit Card" tab. The transactions will be then displayed in the group folio.

Learn how to add Credit Cards to Group Profile in this article: Groups - Adding a Credit Card to a Group Profile

4. Create Allotment Block within a Group Profile

A Group Allotment Block is an availability block for specified dates. Within a group, such as a wedding party, a property will need to create an allotment block or blocks to reserve availability at special or base price.

When creating a Group Allotment Block, a property may decide to block availability for the number of rooms agreed upon or may decide to have a special group rate without blocking availability.

One group profile may have several allotment blocks.

Learn how to create allotment block here: Groups - Creating and Editing Allotment Blocks

5. Share Allotment Block Booking Engine URL with the Group Contact

Generate a unique URL for each Allotment Block to allow guests to book the allocated rooms directly from mybookings! You can share the generated URL with a group of guests, travel agent, or a wholesaler and start receiving reservations which will be automatically booked within the Group Profile/Allotment Block.

Click here to learn how to create Allotment Block URL: Groups - Guest access to Allotment Blocks availability in mybookings

7. Add Notes to Group/Allotment Block/Reservations

Add a note to the group profile to track important information, contact details, policies, etc.

On the Notes tab, you can review, add and print the notes submitted to:

  • Guests in the group
  • Reservations in the group
  • Group profile
  • Allotment blocks

Learn how to do this in our Knowledge Base: Groups - Adding Notes to Group Profile, Allotment Block or Reservations

8. Review Pickup of the Allotment Blocks

On the "Pickup" tab you can see what inventory has been allocated and how many rooms have been picked up from the block so far. You can also check the rates set for the dates in the allotment block and release the inventory which wasn't booked.

In this article you can learn how to check Pickup page: Groups - Reviewing Pickup of the Allotment Blocks

9. View transactions routed from Reservations and manage Group Folio  

In the Group Folio, you can easily manage transactions that the Company is responsible for.

The folio looks similar to reservation folio: from here you can add payment or refund; add a charge or item. You can also route transactions from existing reservations to the group folio which will recalculate the balance, or set up automatic routing of transactions to the group folio once a reservation in the group is created.

In this article, you can learn how to manage Group Folio: Groups - Group Folios. Adding and Routing Transactions to Group Folio 

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