Tips courtesy of Emily Gabriele, Christina Richardson, and Laura Ferraro
Whether traveling for business or for pleasure, busy travelers know a comfortable, affordable, and expectation-exceeding hotel can be all the difference in their experience away from home. Finding that perfect option in the right location at the right price can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience - exasperated even more when you’re an event concierge team booking hundreds of rooms for a multi-million dollar event!
A key point in searching for hotels is to utilize technology and the human touch to stretch your money further. But we want you to have an even easier time booking your next personal hotel stay or corralling guests, contest winners, executives, and VIPs at your next branded event.
If you’re booking for a business event:
1. Build a relationship: The guest concierge managers that you speak to about booking a room are the ones that are in charge of the rate you receive, what rates are being offered, and how much attention they give you on-site. If you create a pleasant first-impression, you are guaranteed a great experience.
2. Negotiate: Whether it is getting a bigger room or better deal, it doesn’t hurt to negotiate. To maintain a successful partnership, stress that your main goal is to create a contract that is mutually satisfying. When negotiating a preferential rate given by the hotel, always request for more. For example, ask the hotel if they will give you VIP welcome amenities or limo service to/from the airport. In addition - if the hotel offers a 90% attrition, which is the amount of people on the entire contract, but you want 85%, ask for 80% so they meet you in the middle. Now, you’re getting exactly what you wanted from the start!
3. Pre-event meetings: Have a pre-convention meeting with the hotel to go over all of the outstanding items and review the program. Ask for a rooming list from the hotels system and double check reservations. In addition, make sure if your client is arriving early, book them the night before to guarantee an early arrival.
If you’re booking for leisure:
4. Time your booking: This may be risky, but if you book 24 hours within your stay, you might get the best deal. Apps, such as HotelTonight, will give you amazing last minute deals by booking wherever, whenever on your mobile device. Hotels want to avoid vacant rooms, so they give last minute rooms at a lower rate. Also, if you time it right when you check in, it is possible to get a better room for the same price. This is because once your hotel has checked is majority of guests for the night, they can better evaluate their vacancies.
5. Use your resources: Websites such as The Suitest predicts the best price without leaving you without a room. Services like Yapta track if prices of the drop and Tingo actually rebooks the room for you and credits the difference to your account. Join a hotel loyalty program to get the hotel’s perks and search for as many coupons as possible.
6. Utilize your rewards: Utilize your cash back and credit card rewards. Cards such as Discover and Capital One Venture offers travelers everything from cash back to bonus points to miles. Value all of the organizations that you may be apart of and always check if you would be considered for a discount. The more typical organizations that receive discounts are AARP, AAA, etc. You could possibly get a discount for being in the Professional Disc Golf Association - now that’s a stretch.
Members of the Pop2Life Event Concierge team at the 2016 American Red Cross Gala