Booking with one of the event’s official hotels helps to avoid future registration and exhibit pricing increases. Please read the following for important details on these advantages.
The following was published with permission from the Convention Industry Council:
It has been the customary practice of the events industry in the United States to secure a block of hotels rooms for the use of attendees to their events. Typically, the organizer of the event contracts with one or several hotels directly or through a third party. The event organizer enters into a contractual agreement with the hotel(s) or third-party provider and essentially guarantees a predetermined percentage of performance (occupancy) of the attendees.
To protect the value of the rooms that have been set aside for the event, hotels typically include a performance clause in the hotel contract that provides monetary damages if the event organizer’s attendees occupy fewer rooms than agreed upon. Hotels typically allow for some slippage from contracted room blocks so failure to meet performance thresholds can and often does result in a significant loss for the Association and hotel. The increased use of Internet-based travel portals such as Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity by many travelers has further eroded the integrity of many housing blocks.
Booking outside the block raises daunting and very serious financial and relationship issues for hoteliers and their customers. Event planners can face substantial financial damages in some cases, even if attendees have secured their housing at the designated hotel but have done so through alternative methods such as an Internet based portal. (Many hotels do not possess the advanced technology that is needed to recognize all guests who are attending an event; the event organizer may be penalized even though the requisite number of rooms occupied meets or even exceeds the agreed upon number). When attendees book outside the block both the planner and supplier can suffer significant financial losses.