It can be confusing to know where to start when you’re planning an event. Catering first? Hotels? Technology? There’s so much to be done, so when there are organizations that can help make your job easier, you might as well take advantage of them!
Work with the CVB
When planning your conference or event, utilize that area’s Convention and Visitors Bureau to assist in securing hotel blocks for your event attendees at area hotels. The CVB will either request availability and rates from several properties and then narrow it down to those that you think will work best for your event attendees or put a block of rooms at each hotel property. This is a decision that is made by the planner.
Once a hotel is chosen to host a block of rooms for your event, the block will typically be put under the conference name. As a planner, you can then share with attendees all hotel information and let them know that to receive the room block rate, they must reference the conference by name. Ask your CVB if direct links to block registration are available, which make it even easier for your attendees to get the block rate at the right hotel.
Double-check the fine print
Often times, hotels have a deadline in which all rooms in the block need to be reserved, otherwise they will be released for the public to book. In St. Cloud, Minnesota for example, all hotels will host a block of rooms up to 30 days prior to the event. Any rooms left in the block that have not been reserved will go back into the hotel’s inventory of general rooms. The CVB you are working with should communicate to you when the blocks are released to the public so that you can relay that information to your attendees.
Make sure to ask about attrition where you’ve booked your event. Attrition means that individuals or organizations that have a block of rooms that doesn’t sell out will be liable to pay for the remaining rooms in the block. For example, St. Cloud offers no attrition – therefore, the organization/planner is not obligated to pay for any rooms that remain in the block that haven’t been reserved. It should be the role of your CVB to keep you informed of how many hotels have sold out.
Here to help!
Convention and Visitors Bureaus exist to make your job of planning the perfect event easier, at no cost to you. Tasks that are part of planning any event – like room blocks – can fall largely on the CVB’s plate, freeing up your time as a planner to get other things done. The St. Cloud Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is happy to assist you with any other questions you might have when it comes to planning your next event – reach out to our team anytime!