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The Know How On Rooming Lists - Tips and Tricks


By: Kristina Tarantino, CMP | Aug 17, 2018

The Rooming List: A roster of guests and their lodging needs presented to a hotel by a group prior to a meeting.

Knowing how to manage this may seem like an easy thing to do, however, the complexity of details and issues that are involved can be quite intricate. A solid strategy for a room list starts with the hotel contract. There are a few key considerations that must be spelled out contractually in order to alleviate any potential issue that may arise either onsite or prior to arrival.

Here are 7 key tips for successful room list management:

#1 Communication
The key to a successful rooming list is communication with your hotel partner and attendees. Regular contact with the venue will keep the list up to date, reduce any attrition and prevent any onsite rooming issues. Keeping in touch with your attendees will mean that there are no surprises or unhappy customers upon arrival.

#2 Name Changes Allowed
During the contract negotiations phase, it is wise to the add the following verbiage “Name changes on reservations can be made up to the date of arrival”. This will come in handy in many situations including acting as a placeholder for the latecomers, last minute changes and cancels and an added layer of flexibility to assign rooms need be.

#3 Room Block Reviews
A room block review is a great tool to gain some flexibility. It allows adjustments that can be made to the room block. The review will allow you to increase or decrease your block on a certain date for a negotiated percentage of room nights at the group rate. This allows you to adjust your room block as you asses your room pick up and rooming needs. This is another valuable tool that can save you from attrition or save you from adding rooms at a higher rate than contracted.

#4 Hotel Inventory Room Audits
Room audits are the most effective way to find rooms outside the block (ROB), and they can help you establish history, avoid attrition fees and capture any pre and post nights. Finding these rooms that may have been booked outside your block are very important. Adding an Audit clause in your contract will enable you enforce this so you can request a hotel occupancy report to verify how many rooms were picked up and credited to your block.

#5 Filling Your Room List/Block
Focus on filling the room block takes top priority once all the other details are in place. There are so many new ideas to fill your room blocks! We can now communicate with mobile apps, social media, email, webinars, communities & groups. Keep in touch with attendees by sending registration reminders, videos, relevant content, conference updates, offer contests and giveaways, call to action and anything that entices attendees to make a room reservation in the official block.

#6 Room/Reservation cutoff date
The rooming list cutoff date is the most important date in your contract. This date should be as close to your major arrival date as possible. The more time you have to fill your block, remind attendees to make a hotel reservation and hold on to your group rate, the better! Remember to include a sentence in your contract that will allow you to reserve rooms at the group rate after the cut off if the hotel has rooms available.

#7 Attrition
Attrition is really about managing the room block vs. the rooming list but they are intertwined and one greatly affects the other. We, as meeting professionals, are always trying to avoid the dreaded attrition situation. The best tip for managing attrition is to implement all the above strategies so that you know you are doing everything possible to combat any slippage. You have done your best when all risk prevention and financial protection clauses have been put in place, utilized and managed to the best of your ability.

As meeting professionals managing many moving parts, the room list can be one that is controllable and works in your favor to keep you ultra-organized and on track for a successful meeting. Great room list management and organization can be the key and the launch pad for a perfect meeting!

Follow me on linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristinatarantino/  twitter @katarantino for more tips on sourcing & contracts.
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