Staff Shortages - How Planners Can Manage Guest Expectations

No doubt, staff shortages have impacted meetings and events. So how does your staff create a noteworthy experience? The best way to manage guest expectations is to not only meet them but to communicate your services clearly when booking the event. Below we address the (3) most common areas of guest dissatisfaction and what your team can do to stay on top:


Guests have higher expectations about cleanliness than ever before. Yet, due to staff shortages, hotel venues often no longer offer daily housekeeping visits. Reduce complaints and increase attendee satisfaction by streamlining your housekeeping and/or cleaning service. Whether your space and/or rooms are serviced daily or less frequently, make sure you have a system in place that helps you stay on top of housekeeping schedules, tasks and room status. Most importantly, set clear expectations with your guests about your housekeeping commitments well in advance of the event.

Dining Choices

Many meeting and hotel venues closed restaurants, cafes and breakfast bars during the pandemic and have not re-opened them due to lack of staffing. The biggest pain point for guests is lack of breakfast, especially if they are used to a free one. If your onsite restaurant is no longer open, try opening a self-service breakfast bar with simple menu items like muffins, eggs, breakfast sausage or bacon, yogurt, fruit and cereal. If this isn’t an option consider room service, or simply pre-packaged pastries and breakfast sandwiches available by request at the front desk with a microwave and self-service coffee in the lobby, or a curated printed list of recommended nearly restaurants including the distance from the event venue or hotel. And once again, be sure to communicate and set the expectation well in advance of the event.

Customer Service

Last, but certainly not least, great customer service has an enormous impact on guest satisfaction. Helpful staff can create a delightful experience and stressed-out staff can result in a negative one. Celebrate good reviews and hold contests for staff that generate the most positive ones. Streamline your booking process with automated booking confirmation and pre-arrival emails and offer online registration to eliminate front desk lines. Empower guests to take responsibility for their own comfort by inviting them to register online in advance of arrival, asking them whether they need a room refresh during their stay, and by being proactive, reaching out via email or SMS during the stay giving the guest an opportunity to say something before it becomes a negative review.

Casey Romano, Publisher | meetingpages |

Creator of digital platform meetingpages complete event planning directory and resource delivering leads and national, regional and local exposure for event venues, suppliers and destinations in MN, WI, IA & CO markets. In her free time, this 19 year industry veteran enjoys dance, group fitness, and training her young golden retriever dog in competition obedience and confirmation.