Room block management may not be the most fun step in event planning, but it doesn’t have to be the most dreaded either. With some clever maneuvering and proactive thinking, you can turn this task into a more automated undertaking.
1. Make Registration and Hotel Reservation the New “It” Couple
When registrations and hotel reservations go hand-in-hand, you’re on your way to defying attrition woes and simplifying the hotel reservation process. Presenting registrants with hotel options during reservation
means one less step for them to worry about later on. Combining these steps also enables you to track more attendee information in one place.
2. Take Credit for Every Room — Even Wayward Reservers
Let’s face it: not all attendees will follow your rules. Some may be inclined to book on their own to rack up hotel loyalty points or take advantage of a special discount. However, it’s always in your best interest to make sure all rooms within your block receive credit no matter how they were booked. Discuss this with your hotel early and get the details into your contract — so you receive credit for all your hotel guests even if they booked through another channel.
3. Get Your Attendees Amped Up
Everyone loves getting something out of the ordinary to feel special; attendees are no exception. Any perks or giveaways you can offer make for a great way to incentivize your attendees to book within your room block:
- Discounted registration
- Hotel offers including room service, restaurant credits or spa services
- Giveaways for local tours, suite upgrades and airport transportation
- Special perks like event swag and VIP invites to networking events
4. Excite Your Exhibitors
Why should attendees get all the love? Exhibitors will also buy into your process if you show them additional value. By offering exhibitor-specific incentives, like exclusive access to special events, complimentary meals, or prime exhibitor space at a future event, you can get your exhibitors to book within your room block.
5. Leave No Room Unturned
Experienced planners who’ve seen it all can vouch that conducting room audits may be a planner’s secret weapon. Not only are audits another way to avoid attrition fees, but they can also help build a historical view of your room blocks. Whatever channel your attendees go through, you want to account for every room — The details for rooms outside of your block or even outside of your contracted hotels still provide vital data to show your actual room block pickup, and can provide further bargaining power in the future.
6. Save Yourself Time
Working with technology rescues event and meeting planners from the manual processes that suck up too much of their time. Technology can automatically track and report on the data behind registration and room blocks — far easier than manually emailing individual attendees to collect their information or printing out comparison reports.
Using the same technology year-over-year provides you with a historical reference of your data, which increases your leverage in hotel and vendor negotiations.
7. Save Your Attendees Time
Attendees are your customers — providing them with the best services in the quickest possible way will ultimately create happy, returning customers. Technology doesn’t just save you time; it creates countless time-saving benefits for your attendees as well. Combining registration and hotel reservation in one system gives attendees real-time access to available hotels in just a few clicks, and keeps all their data in one convenient location.
8. Think Outside the Room for Attendees
Getting attendees to your room block is all about making it worth their while. Remind them through email and the event website of the perks that may not always be top of mind:
- Networking — whether it’s in a hotel lobby, elevator ride or dining area, there are numerous opportunities for attendees to connect with each other by staying at the same hotel.
- Easily accessible — staying in the host hotel means less travel time, since attendees are already where they’re supposed to be each morning.
- Customer service — with a well-managed room block system in place, attendees will feel supported and have a point of contact for their reservations.
No more sweating room blocks — with these tips, you’re ready to take control over yet another tricky detail make it exceptional for your attendees.
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