With Expedia, AirBnB and room block piracy distracting our delegates from the benefits of staying at the host hotel for your conference, meeting planners are facing attrition risks and financial penalties, as well as losing out on the ROI gained by having your delegates all in one central location. There are, however, ways to get your delegates to stay at your host property, thus increasing their ROI and yours.
Getting delegates to book inside the block
- Establish a strategic plan to minimize attrition as far in advance as possible; the plan should provide attendees incentives with monetary value to make a guest room reservation inside the contracted guest room block. You may wish to provide an early-bird prize like a room upgrade for those who book at the host hotel, or a spa gift certificate, etc. See additional ideas below.
- communicate any changes and/or updates in your policies and procedures (i.e. changes in registration procedures, enhanced technology enabling one-stop shopping for housing and registration, etc.) to your hotel.
- review your guest room pickup beginning with the date registration opens, something your HB associate can also assist you with
- Review all marketing opportunities for you to partner with the hotel to encourage attendees to secure a guest room at the hotel. Plan to communicate multiple messages to the attendees prior the reservation cut-off date.
Other incentive ideas for getting your delegates to book within the block:
- discount on next year’s conference registration
- spa gift certificate
- increased conference registration fee for those who DO NOT book within the block (this is a very popular, and effective method)
- waived resort fees
Battling Room Block Poachers
Room block pirates and poachers are businesses that actively seek to recruit or divert event participants away from official room blocks and into other hotel bookings.
Below are some ways to combat room block piracy, and protect your contractual obligations:
- Education to your delegates – conference website, email notifications and social media
- Cease and desist letters – to the offending companies
By employing a few of the above ideas, you’re on your way to meeting your hotel contractual obligations, and ensuring your delegates maximize their experience at your event!