Behind any successful room block, there’s an entire process operating behind the scenes, what Adam Briggs, senior vice president of operations for ConferenceDirect, calls an “event housing cycle.” Day four of Streampoint Solutions’ Event Technology Week was focused on achieving your room block goals. Here are some takeaways from the day.
Identify If You’re in the Right Place
Being in the right location is a key to a successful room block. Many event professionals run their events in rotation: some prefer to remain in the same city, while others rotate through a handful yearly. To maximize efficiency, look at where your attendees are coming from. Ask yourself a few questions.
- Where are my attendees?
- How far do they travel to get there?
- Is the trip worth their time?
Not only is the question of region important but also their financial sensitivity. Learning how cost conscious your attendees are will aid you in determining where to host your events.
Don’t Be Afraid to RFP
There are cost benefits in knowing your destination, but there are also benefits to taking the initiative to find a better deal. When rates begin to creep up and service starts to suffer, don’t fall into the trap of letting comfort keep you there. No matter how familiar you are with a city, it never hurts to RFP. A better deal may await.
The Only Protection is What’s in your Contract
According to Briggs, contracts may be the most important aspect of the housing process. Corporations aren’t prepared for every contingency and lack of preparation can potentially leave you with fewer rooms than agreed upon or maybe none at all. Unless you have protections built into your contract, there may be nothing you can do in the case of an emergency, leaving you at the mercy of the other party.
Attrition rates are one of the more important aspects of a contract. While many do put attrition clauses in their contract, there is one distinction that many do not make: cumulative calculation vs. night-by-night. A night-by-night attrition clause may leave you with fees, as you could fill all your rooms on peak nights, while having to pay fees to make up for the slower days. Cumulative calculation looks at the total pick-up, regardless of individual room nights.