Attrition and cancellation
When reviewing the contract to block off a group of rooms at a hotel for a conference or event, meeting planners have undoubtedly encountered an attrition clause. The hotel room contract stipulates what to do in the event the group is not able to fill all the rooms they had asked the hotel to reserve. This part of the contract outlines room reduction dates and rates as well as hold the organization liable for a percentage of the room rate. Meeting planners are responsible for negotiating hotel room reduction dates as well as the terms for decreasing the number of group reservations in the event their conference doesn’t book to capacity; typically planners can adjust the number of rooms 60, 45, and 30 days before the event.
In order for the hotel to guarantee a group a certain number of rooms, they must remove them from their
inventory for the requested dates. Should an organization be unable to fill the space as promised, they are still held liable and must pay a good portion of the listed rate—typically about 75%--though it should be noted that every hotel cancellation contract is different.
In the past, meeting planners have negotiated using a variety of tactics to avoid hotel charges. One trick is moving off-site events and meals to the hotel to generate another stream of revenue. The planner may also suggest a clause that allows the hotel to resale the group rooms after the final reduction date.
But no matter how you look at it, leaving empty hotel rooms is wasteful: it's wasted space the hotel could have occupied, and it's money wasted that could have been spent elsewhere in the meeting budget. When it comes to event planning, anticipating hotel attrition penalties is not enough. With travel costs rising coupled with meeting budget cuts, meeting planners often feel like blocking off group rooms is similar to playing roulette. Instead of playing a guessing game trying to determine the right number to book, meeting planners can sell unused hotel rooms on Roomer to avoid unnecessary charges. Posting on Roomer is free, and you only pay if it sells
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