Are you planning an event and wondering if you should block hotel rooms? Hotel room blocks can offer significant advantages for event planners and attendees. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore what a hotel room block is and outline the top benefits of booking blocks for your next event.
If you’re short on time, here’s the key benefit of a hotel room block: It allows you to reserve a large number of rooms at a discounted group rate for your event attendees. This makes booking lodging simpler and more affordable for your guests.
What is a Hotel Room Block?
A hotel room block is a reservation of a group of hotel rooms that are set aside for a specific event or group. It is a convenient way to ensure that a large number of attendees have access to accommodations in close proximity to the event venue.
Definition of a room block
A room block is a pre-arranged agreement between a hotel and an event planner or organizer. The hotel sets aside a certain number of rooms specifically for the event attendees, often at a discounted rate.
This allows the event attendees to have guaranteed access to rooms and simplifies the booking process.
How do room blocks work?
When organizing an event, the event planner or organizer will negotiate with a hotel to secure a room block. The agreed-upon number of rooms will be reserved exclusively for the event attendees for a specified period of time.
The event attendees then have the option to book their rooms within the room block at the negotiated rate.
Typically, a unique booking code or a dedicated booking link is provided to the event attendees to access the room block. This ensures that the attendees can easily make their reservations and receive the discounted rate.
It also allows the event organizer to track the number of rooms booked within the block.
Room blocks are particularly beneficial for events where attendees are traveling from out of town. By reserving a block of rooms, the event organizer can guarantee that attendees have access to accommodations without the hassle of searching and comparing different hotels.
In addition to convenience, room blocks often come with added benefits such as complimentary amenities, early check-in or late check-out options, and special group rates. These perks can enhance the overall experience for event attendees and make their stay more enjoyable.
Top Benefits of Room Blocks
1. Group rates mean savings for attendees
One of the biggest advantages of blocking hotel rooms for events is the opportunity to secure group rates. By reserving a block of rooms, event organizers can negotiate discounted rates with the hotel, resulting in significant savings for attendees.
This can be especially beneficial for large events where attendees may be traveling from different locations and require overnight accommodations. By providing discounted rates, event organizers can make attending the event more affordable and attractive for participants.
2. Simplified booking process
Blocking hotel rooms for events streamlines the booking process for attendees. Instead of each participant having to individually search and book their own accommodations, they can simply reserve a room within the designated block.
This eliminates the hassle of finding a suitable hotel, comparing prices, and making separate reservations. By centralizing the booking process, event organizers can ensure a smoother experience for attendees and save them time and effort.
3. Room availability guarantee
Another benefit of room blocks is the guarantee of room availability. When attendees book within the reserved block, they are guaranteed a room at the event hotel. This is particularly important for events held in popular destinations or during peak travel seasons when hotels may quickly reach maximum occupancy.
By securing a block of rooms, event organizers can ensure that participants have a convenient and reliable place to stay.
4. Complimentary perks and amenities
Hotels often offer complimentary perks and amenities to groups that block rooms for events. These can include things like complimentary breakfast, shuttle services, or access to hotel facilities. By taking advantage of these additional benefits, event organizers can enhance the overall experience for attendees and provide added value for their registration fees.
It’s important to check with the hotel about any available perks or amenities that can be offered to event participants.
5. Easier event management logistics
Blocking hotel rooms for events also simplifies event management logistics. With a designated block of rooms, event organizers can easily keep track of the number of attendees staying at the hotel, making it easier to plan transportation, meals, and other event-related activities.
Additionally, having participants stay at the same hotel can foster a sense of community and networking opportunities among attendees. It creates a central hub for the event and makes it easier for participants to connect and engage with each other.
How to Organize a Room Block
Choosing the right hotel
When organizing a room block for an event, it’s essential to choose the right hotel that can accommodate your attendees’ needs. Look for hotels that are conveniently located near the event venue or have easy access to transportation options.
Consider the hotel’s amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, parking, and complimentary breakfast, as these can enhance the overall experience for your guests.
Additionally, read reviews and check ratings of potential hotels to ensure they have a good reputation for cleanliness, customer service, and overall satisfaction. Websites like TripAdvisor can provide valuable insights from previous guests.
Determining room numbers
Before blocking hotel rooms, it’s important to estimate the number of rooms you’ll need for your event. Consider factors such as the expected attendance, the duration of the event, and the potential need for additional rooms for speakers or VIP guests.
It’s better to overestimate slightly to ensure you have enough rooms available.
Take into account any special requests or requirements from your attendees, such as accessible rooms or room preferences. This will help you provide a better experience for everyone.
Negotiating group rates and perks
Once you have selected a hotel and determined the number of rooms needed, it’s time to negotiate group rates and perks. Contact the hotel’s sales department and explain that you are organizing an event and would like to block a certain number of rooms.
Ask for discounted group rates and inquire about any additional perks that can be offered to your attendees, such as complimentary upgrades, discounted parking, or access to hotel amenities. Don’t be afraid to negotiate and compare offers from different hotels to ensure you get the best deal for your event.
Booking and managing the block
Once you have reached an agreement with the hotel, it’s time to book and manage the room block. Provide the hotel with the necessary information, such as the dates of the event, the number of rooms needed, and any special requests or requirements.
Keep a close eye on the reservation process to ensure that all attendees are able to book their rooms without any issues. Stay in touch with the hotel’s sales department throughout the process to address any concerns or make any necessary adjustments.
Promoting the block to attendees
To ensure the success of your room block, it’s important to promote it to your event attendees. Include information about the room block in your event invitations, website, and promotional materials. Highlight the benefits of booking within the block, such as the discounted rates and perks.
Make it easy for attendees to book their rooms by providing a direct link or contact information for the hotel’s reservation department. Consider offering incentives, such as a welcome gift or exclusive access to event-related activities, for those who book within the block.
Remember to communicate the importance of booking within the block to your attendees, as it helps you fulfill your commitment to the hotel and ensures that everyone is conveniently located together during the event.
Organizing a room block for your event can provide numerous benefits for both you and your attendees. By following these steps and considering the needs and preferences of your guests, you can create a seamless and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
Room Block Considerations
When blocking hotel rooms for events, it is important to consider the attrition clauses. These clauses specify the minimum number of rooms that must be booked in order to avoid penalties. Attrition clauses protect hotels from lost revenue in case the event organizer fails to fill the reserved rooms.
It is crucial to carefully review and negotiate attrition clauses to ensure that they align with the expected number of attendees. This can help event organizers avoid unnecessary financial burdens.
Cutoff dates play a significant role when blocking hotel rooms for events. These dates determine the deadline for attendees to make reservations within the room block. It is important to establish a reasonable cutoff date that allows attendees enough time to make their reservations.
Setting the cutoff date too early may result in attendees missing out on the room block rates, while setting it too late may leave the event organizer uncertain about the final number of rooms needed. Striking the right balance is essential.
Event organizers should be aware of any additional fees associated with blocking hotel rooms for events. These fees can include service charges, resort fees, or other surcharges. It is important to carefully review the terms and conditions provided by the hotel to avoid any surprises.
Negotiating these fees beforehand can help event organizers save money and ensure a smooth booking process for attendees.
According to a study conducted by Event Manager Blog, 78% of event planners consider room block management as one of the most challenging aspects of event planning. By understanding and considering the attrition clauses, cutoff dates, and additional fees associated with blocking hotel rooms, event organizers can navigate this process more effectively and ensure a successful event experience for all attendees.
Alternatives to Room Blocks
While blocking hotel rooms for events is a popular choice, there are also alternatives that event planners can consider. These alternatives offer flexibility and convenience, allowing attendees to find accommodations that best suit their needs. Here are three alternatives to room blocks:
Online travel agencies
One alternative to room blocks is using online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia, Booking.com, or Airbnb. These platforms allow attendees to search for and book accommodations based on their preferences and budget.
The advantage of using OTAs is that they offer a wide range of options, from budget-friendly hotels to luxury resorts. Additionally, OTAs often have user reviews and ratings, helping attendees make informed decisions about their accommodations.
However, it’s important to note that some hotels may not be listed on OTAs, so attendees should explore other options as well.
Another alternative is working with housing bureaus or convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs). These organizations specialize in helping event planners secure accommodations for their attendees. Housing bureaus have established relationships with hotels in the area and can negotiate discounted rates for event participants.
They can also provide personalized assistance to attendees, answering any questions or concerns they may have. By working with a housing bureau, event planners can ensure that attendees have access to a variety of hotel options at competitive rates.
Home sharing services
Home sharing services like Airbnb or HomeAway have gained popularity in recent years, providing an alternative to traditional hotel accommodations. These platforms allow homeowners to rent out their properties to travelers, offering a unique and often more affordable lodging experience.
For event planners, home sharing services can be a great option, especially for attendees who prefer a homier atmosphere or are traveling with a group. Home sharing services typically offer a range of options, from single rooms to entire homes, giving attendees more flexibility in choosing accommodations that meet their specific needs.
When considering these alternatives, event planners should weigh the pros and cons of each option based on their event’s specific requirements and attendee preferences. Additionally, it’s important to communicate the available alternatives to attendees and provide them with the necessary information to make informed decisions about their accommodations.
In summary, hotel room blocks provide significant benefits for planners and attendees of events of all sizes. They make booking accommodations simple and affordable through discounted group rates and simplified reservation processes.
By negotiating a room block with the right hotel, you can create a more seamless and successful event experience. Careful planning is key to organizing a block that meets your needs. Consider the tips in this guide as you book rooms for your next conference, wedding, reunion or other event.