HOUSTON, Tex. – Benchmark, a global hospitality company, has officially launched its strategic recovery initiative for a post COVID-19 world.
In effect through March 2021, the far-reaching plan significantly mitigates the risk and uncertainty of committing to new meetings and events.
To provide reassurance to corporate planners, the plan includes flexible short-term bookings, relaxed attrition and cancellation fees, and 100 percent credit on re-bookings. Meeting spaces at Benchmark properties will be restructured, focusing on long-term safety to align with conscious distancing and optimizing healthy hygiene practices.
To support independent planners, Benchmark will increase commissions on new business from 10 to 12 percent , with seven percent distributed immediately upon booking.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the meetings industry and taken a severe toll on our confidence as well as commerce,” said Benchmark chief sales officer Eric Gavin. “We are aggressively addressing the monetary concerns and the need to reassure our partners it is safe and prudent to return to the conference room.”
Benchmark’s Meeting Accelerator Program encompasses elements the company sees as essential to the industry’s support and recovery, including:
Zero Risk Cause
Zero attrition or cancellation fees will apply to contracted room, food, and beverage revenue on new meetings scheduled through March 31, 2021, until 60 days in advance of arrival.
A full, one-time rebooking credit will be extended to new meetings scheduled between April 1 and Dec. 31, 2021, with a minimum cancellation notice requirement of 90 days in advance of arrival. Re-booked groups must be of equal or greater contracted revenue and be held by Dec. 31, 2021.
Transformative Meeting Environments
Committed to the welfare of all future meetings and events, Benchmark has embraced accommodations for safe distancing and elevated hygiene procedures and safety protocols, while providing distinctive meeting environments and mindfulness programming. These new and enhanced elements include:
- Safe social distance spacing, sanitizer stations, increased air purification and aroma therapies, and staggered breaks coordinating event entry and exit timing;
- Sustainable, nutritious, and enhanced food safety practices, complemented by local sourcing and cooperative partnerships, and skilled culinarians and mixologists;
- Staggered refreshment breaks featuring guided breathing exercises and yoga to brain teasers and flash mob dances to stimulate energy and engagement; and
- Unique and enriching physical, social, and creative experiences delivered in a safe and secure environment.