5 Mistakes That Are Costing Your Tournament Room Nights
The venues are booked, your hotel blocks are set up, and you’ve got a line of out of town teams just waiting to sign up for your tournament – it looks like the stars have aligned and all your out of town teams should be booking in your event blocks soon, right?
While these are all important aspects of the foundation of your tournament’s housing strategy, it’s usually not enough to just have the blocks set up – teams actually need to book them!
Here are the top 5 mistakes that can cost you your valuable room nights and how you can avoid them:
1. Not having the hotel booking information ready for teams as soon as (or even before) registration opens
Before your event’s registration opens, you should have all of your hotel blocks set up and ready to go, so that as soon as attendees register, they can book their rooms in your blocks and are less likely to go out on their own to find rooms.
The best way to ensure all your blocks are ready is to get an early start – we recommend getting your event dates and locations to your housing provider as soon as possible so they can get you enough rooms at a good mix of hotels, with the best blocks, and closest to the venue(s). Even a year before is not too early to start getting your blocks set up!
2. Not having a specific “hotels” section or easily visible “hotels” area on tournament homepage
In addition to having the hotel booking information ready to go when registration opens, it should be very easy for attendees to find on your tournament or event webpage. Ideally, the information is right on the homepage or there’s a menu item for “hotels” in the navigation for the site. Wherever you put the hotel information, it should include the link to the booking site and language about applicable stay-to-play policies.
If the hotels are not yet set up, it’s still best practice to include language about the fact that hotel information will be coming soon, as well as contact information for your housing provider, if you’re using one.
3. Not following up with teams once they register
As soon as a team registers, they should be sent the hotel information directly and immediately via email and / or text so they have the opportunity to book while they’re still thinking about it, and are also made aware of the available rooms as soon as possible.
For example, here at PSE we have an “Out of Town Team” Management system that automatically emails registered teams with their booking information so you never miss a beat.
4. Not keeping track of what teams have / haven’t booked
Once your attendees have registered, you should also be making note of where they’ve booked. The best way to do this is to work with a housing provider like PSE that has an automated system that can keep track of all of this for you. However, if you don’t have access to an automated system, you can also keep track of this the “old-fashioned” way by checking in with the teams and hotels to see where they’ve booked.
For teams that have not yet booked, you should be following up with them at least once a week until they book their rooms. An exception to this would be if it’s 2 months or less until the tournament – then you may want to check in a little more frequently.
5. Not enforcing your stay to play policy
One of the best ways to make sure your room blocks get utilized is by making your event a “stay to play.”
But more than that, you’ll want to make sure you’re actually enforcing the policy once you’ve set it. By keeping track of what teams have / haven’t booked, and sending reminders to teams with the stay-to-play language in them, you will greatly increase the likelihood that your blocks will be used.
If you have any questions about how you can maximize the room pick up for your next event and are looking to get started, drop us a line below and we’ll be happy to help!