Ignite June July 2017

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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Page 45 of 77

business meetings + events Booking strategies So how do you get attendees to book within the block? Make sure the block is ready to be booked at the time of registration and make it easy for them to do so through your registration platform. Incentives can also be useful. Kelly says some groups have offered a raffle for a two-night stay at the hotel for those who book by a certain date. Some conferences have charged higher registration fees or enforced penal- ties to those who don't book within the block, but that can obviously create some animosity. Stay connected Calvert says that she monitors her room blocks frequently and speaks with the hotel weekly. "The hotel can help you manage your room block if you keep them in the loop and demonstrate that you're doing your bit to fill the block." Kelly agrees that open communication is key. "If the block is not selling as hoped, we need to have the conversation and work together. We don't want people in attrition and we want a full hotel." They may choose to release some rooms from the block so the hotel can sell them elsewhere. The risk here, of course, is that late bookers will be out of luck. This is a case where knowing the group and past behaviour is useful: some groups are prone to last-minute decisions. Ultimately, says Calvert. "This is a business relationship. When all the part- ners are at the table, you can usually come up with a solution." The hotel can help you manage your room block if you keep them in the loop. EASY ACCESS Fly non-stop from these cities.

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