Part 3/3-Event Room Block: 5 Should Ask Questions Surrounding Your Room Block
Welcome back to my final video post in this series. In my previous two posts, I introduced a simple room block framework and discussed why you need a room block in the first place. In addition, I touched upon how the value of your event and market conditions can impact your room block.
If you missed the first two videos, I have provided links below:
In this short video post, I will address the last two questions beginning with your attendees’ behavior in booking their guest room.
Question #4: To what degree are your attendees booking rooms inside or outside of your contracted room block?
- First level of demand is defined as all the guest rooms your event drives and not just the ones we can count and end up in your contracted room block. It represents the value of your event.
- Second level of demand refers to the rooms booked INSIDE your contracted hotel, but outside the contracted room block. Often these rooms are accounted for if you conduct a very time intensive “audit”.
- Your attendees who book hotel rooms OUTSIDE your contracted room block create the third level of demand.
- New methodology for determining your event room demand: 2015 industry wide study conducted by Tourism Economics, analyzed 174 events and over 880,000 zip codes.
- Findings showed 1 out of every three rooms are booked outside the contracted room block, which is significant.
- The more rooms that get booked outside the block, will impact the rooms per meeting space ratio—thus affecting your leverage in your future negotiations.
Question #5: What do you want to specifically accomplish with your room block?
- Increasing your room block and thus your negotiating leverage
- Gain a better understanding of three things:
- How many attendees and exhibitors are booking outside the room block—what’s your current benchmark?
- Attendee experience—Why are they booking where they are booking and is this a problem?
- What changes in room block management strategies should you consider to get you the results you’re looking for?
3. How to obtain an analysis?
Since the completion of the ERD study in July, DMAI has been working on a tool for CVBs that replicates the study’s methodology. With this tool, CVBs will be to conduct this analysis for you.
4. Your event’s performance data and attendee experiences will lead you to consider changes in your room block practices.
5. Recommendations extracted and adapted from CIC’s Project Attrition.
- Educating attendees and exhibitor about the importance of booking inside the block
- Link registration and housing processes together-deny registration without housing
- Provide registration discount of $100-200 for each guest utilizing event housing
- Provide exhibitor with “priority location” points
- Partnering with hotels to incentivize attendees, e.g. tiers, early-bird specials
- Consider offering reservation tiered pricing, first come receives lower rates
As I wrap up this third and final video-post in my series, I hope you have found the information helpful as you manage this very important area of your responsibilities.