Tip Tuesday: Hot Rates & Hot Dates
We are often asked how we get our clients the lowest group hotel room rates. The answer can be broken down by a few factors.
BOOK EARLY WHEN POSSIBLE
If you have larger space or room night needs, stay ahead of the buying curve. For groups of 500 or more on peak we recommend contracting your group at least 18 months in advance to guarantee the destinations, hotels, and rates you want.
Hotels are in the business of trying to fill their hotel rooms every night for the highest rates possible. But, hotels have need dates that they need to fill. If you can move your program by a day or two or can give them a few sets of dates, your group rates can be significantly lower.
CITY & HOTEL DEALS
Hotel chains, hotel groups, and independent hotels all offer incentives and specials throughout the year. When we receive any of these incentive offers we review our client database and send them to any of our clients looking at those destinations in the next 18 months. This way we can help you stay in the know!
Just like leisure travel, destinations have high seasons and low seasons. If your dates are flexible ask your Convention and Visitor's Bureau (CVB) about low season or shoulder seasons to identify when you can get better rates in the entire destination.
DATA DRIVEN RFPs
When sending your RFP out it is important to know your historical rooms pickup, food and beverage spend, audio visual spend and and concessions that are key to meeting your needs. This allow the sales managers and CVB partners to get lower rates and stronger proposals.
It never hurts to check on what your hotel is selling online across the web over your preferred dates. Check booking sites, and any membership programs like AAA to see what deals they are offering to get an idea of what they are selling to the leisure or business travelers.
THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER FOR NEGOTIATIONS
When possible narrow down your top hotels to three before you get into final negotiations. Even if you have a top choice, you always want to have a backup plan so you can negotiate to get what is most important for your meeting or conference.
Depending on your goals, you can always use the concessions that you are originally quoted by the hotel as leverage to swap out for a lower rate. Concessions should be used to enhance your program and goals, but if you don't need them, use them towards lowering your rates or getting money back to your master bill!
GREAT CONTRACTUAL CLAUSES TO USE:
LOWEST GROUP RATE
The Hotel shall not advertise or otherwise offer to the public by any means, including the Internet, any room rate lower than Group’s negotiated rate. Should lower internet rates be extended at any time after the execution of this agreement, all room rates for the Group meeting attendees shall be reduced to match these lower rates.
Hotel agrees that the confirmed Group rate will be competitive with the economic climate, and will be reviewed in (6 months out). If between the contract signature date and (6 months out), economic conditions dictate an adjustment due to a declining economy, based upon CPI, the confirmed rate shall be renegotiated between the Group and the Hotel.
JW Meeting Solutions is a full service meeting and event management company.
We specialize in the management of conferences and events of all shapes and sizes, across a broad spectrum of arenas; from medical, educational, business and scientific to government and association.
We’re practiced in finding solutions to any challenge to create an event experience with a difference.
Our passion is to create exceptional educational programs and meetings that engage, educate, and foster attendee affinity with the mission and vision of our partner organizations.