5 Event Housing Strategy Essentials You May Be Overlooking
Since 2002, we’ve been managing event housing for tournaments and events of all shapes and sizes. Over the years we’ve become extremely familiar with the challenges facing our partners when it comes to housing, as well as some of the most common (yet important) things that tend get overlooked when hotel blocks are being set up for an event.
Regardless of who you’re working with to set up your event’s housing, whether it’s the hotels directly, your local CVB, or a housing company, here are 5 essentials you should make sure to include in the housing strategy for your next tournament or event:
- Clearly Defined Housing Requirements: Signed agreements from all parties involved, clearly outlining their roles and responsibilities (i.e. each participating hotel, tournament directors, etc.) to ensure hotel rooms will be held at the lowest possible group rates, comp rooms and / or rebates will be honored, etc.
- Affordable Rates at Customer Desired Hotels: Do the hotels you choose meet your customers’ needs and wants regarding location and amenities? Do you have a wide variety of different brands available for brand loyalists looking to get their hotel points? Do the hotels offer breakfast or have a pool for families to use? All of these things and more are elements you should consider when setting up blocks.
- Hotel Marketing & Communication Strategy: Is the hotel information easily available on all the most-visited pages of your tournament website? Does the menu bar have a dedicated “hotel” label? Are you utilizing other communication channels to push the hotel information to your attendees, such as confirmation emails, newsletters, etc.?
- Reservation Convenience for Attendees: Have you provided a simple, seamless booking experience for your guests? Have you done a test drive of this system so you have first-hand knowledge? Is the booking system mobile-friendly?
- Actively Managed Housing: Is there a plan in place to oversee hotel room management before, during, and after the event? How will you work to ensure sufficient room inventory, that teams are booking the rooms in their blocks, and follow up with hotels afterwards to keep track of any rebates or comp rooms owed?
Download our Playbook here to read more about these essential elements to great housing performance, including 5 more not included above.
How & When To Get Started:
Now that you know what to include in your strategy, you can set your new housing plan into action. Because hotels can often sell out quicker than one might think, especially if it’s a busy time in the area, we recommend getting started on pulling together the hotels for your event as soon as you know your event dates and locations (ideally a year before or even earlier, if you can).
While you can certainly tackle your event housing on your own, it is generally a good idea to at least start with a conversation with a third-party housing provider or your local CVB simply because of all the time and resources required with getting blocks set up for your event. As mentioned previously, the majority of these services are free to use (like all of our services here at Pse!), and they have the infrastructure set up to more readily and easily get you and your attendees what you need.
If you have any further questions about how to get started on setting up housing for your event or facility and making sure you don’t miss out on these 5 essential event housing strategies, please feel free to contact us by using the form below and we will be happy to help!