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May 15, 2014

PCMA: Three Tips For Filling The Room Block At Your Next Meeting

Are you worried about filling the rooms in your hotel contract at your next meeting? You’re not alone. As planners review room block pick-up reports, lagging numbers can cause some serious stress in the weeks and months leading up to the opening session. I caught up with Heidi Voorhees, MBA, CAE, Senior Vice President of Housing at Experient, to get her thoughts on how planners can take proactive steps to make sure everyone at their meeting understands where to stay.

1) Define attrition damages for your attendees.

Planners spend plenty of time talking about room nights, but the reality is that the average attendee has no idea what attrition means for the organization. Many attendees are accustomed to using online price comparison tools such as Priceline, Hotwire and Expedia to save on their personal travel. Without an in-your-face explanation of why they should book directly through the meeting’s housing and registration system, chances are they’ll just browse the Internet for affordable rates.

“Communication needs to begin at the front end of the housing process,” Voorhees says. “The event website needs to clearly articulate the benefits of booking within the block that will resonate with the group’s demographics.”

It’s never too early to begin talking about your room block, either.

“The education should start when they are announcing next year’s event and how booking in the block impacts the organization,” Voorhees adds.

Read more steps at PCMA.org... 

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