Even if you are planning the same conference every year, it is a little nerve racking to commit yourself to a certain block of rooms with your conference hotel.
In this day and age of so many third party booking engines and tight budgets for attendees’ education, we see delegates book outside of the block without consideration of how that may affect you as the meeting planner.
There are a few things you can do to increase the likelihood that your attendees book at your host hotel:
- Send out reminders – we are all busy and sometimes, people just forget. If you are sending them reminders regularly, they are less likely to forget. It doesn’t have to be harsh – you can send the reminder with other information about the conference. This just keeps you and the conference top of mind.
- Make it easy for them to book – if possible, offer phone and online hotel booking options. Talk to your Event Manager to organizer that.
- Cross check your registrations and your room bookings and send a personalize email to those that have registered for the conference, but not booked a hotel room reminding them that they need to book their hotel room. People appreciate the personal touch and if they aren’t planning to book at the conference hotel (maybe they are staying with their brother who happens to live there), they will tell you which will give you a good gauge on who still needs to book.
- Be honest – sometimes attendees do not understand that that the block of rooms you are committed to buys you discounts on room rental, complimentary items, and the ability to book as far out as you did. You can also put together a list of reasons why they should stay at the host hotel (shorter commute, more networking time, etc…)