Government Connections - Summer 2012 - (Page 22)
GOOD TO KNOW
TO THE BEACH.
The room block audit is your friend
By Ann Koralewski, CMP, CGMP
AS MEETING PLANNERS, we have all done the “room block dance.” How many The Roland E. Powell Convention rooms should you block? You don’t want to Center in Ocean City, MD, overestimate the number and risk attrition has what you need. fees or damaged relationships. You don’t With our expanding exhibit space, want to underestimate the number and renovated grand ballroom, 25 meeting run into the scenario where your attendees rooms and beautiful panoramic bay views, you’ll ﬁnd yourself more have to stay at an alternate property. Once productive than ever. And after the you ﬁ nally decide on a number and secure meetings are over, enjoy 10 miles of your room block, the work isn’t over. free beach, a three-mile boardwalk, Meeting planners often forget to utilize 17 championship golf courses, 200+ restaurants and more! the power of the room block audit. Why audit your room block? Your job is to make sure you capture and are credited for all FOR BOOKING stays at the property that are a direct result INQUIRIES AND INFORMATION: of your meeting. There is always the pos1-800-OC-OCEAN ococean.com sibility that your attendees may be staying at the host hotel, but are not being counted in your room block, due to the following: 590365_OceanCity.indd 1 5/30/12 2:04:29 PM 1. Third party reservation systems – As technology advances and your attendees get more savvy about traveling, they will check the going rates in third party reservation systems and book through them. 2. Assistant booked it – If an assistant or a designated travel authority books the room for them without having received the room block information, they will very likely be booked inside your host hotel, but outside of your room block. 3. Booked after room block closed – For those that did not make their attendance decisions more than 30 days out and missed the reduced rate the group block was offering, they might 400,000 Square Feet Total not have mentioned when booking that of Event Space. they were part of your block. 9,441 Total Guest Rooms. 4. Government rate – Most hotels 40,000 Total HospitalityAssociates. maintain a small block of these rooms, 1 More Totally Relaxed Event Planner. which occasionally can be less than the group rate. Those who are able to obtain that rate will have booked outside the block. 5. Contractors – While not actual attend877-789-6904 ees of your event, their stays at the www.visitmontgomery .com hotel are still a direct result of your
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meeting or event a nd should be credited to you as such. So how do you make sure that you get credit for all rooms associated with your event? Here are best practices: 1. Make sure it is built into your contract that you will receive credit for all rooms booked outside of your room block regardless of the various reservation methods that are discovered during a room block audit. 2. Ensure in your contract that the hotel will honor any rooms that are booked by your attendees’ for an extended stay before or after your conference. 3. Send the hotel the final registration list for audit while you are onsite for your event. This will allow you to address any issues before you or the participants leave. An example of a room that would not show up in an audit is one booked in a name other than the registered meeting participant. If you audit while you are onsite, you can easily clarify these discrepancies with your attendees. A thorough and accurate room block is an important part of your meeting’s budget and success. If managed correctly, your room block dance doesn’t have to end on a sour note.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Summer 2012
10 Secrets to Winning the Business
Good to Know
Dieting on a Per Diem
2012 National Education Conference Summary
SGMP NEC gives back to the New Orleans Community
Is a mobile conference app your best foot forward?
Exercise on the road… are you kidding?
The Meeting Minute
Government Connections - Summer 2012