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  • Lauralee Shapiro

Helping Your Bottom Line At Your Next Meeting / Conference

Before signing your next hotel contract, keep in mind that there are many negotiable items that you might not immediately think of.  The obvious items are your group rate, as well as terms for attrition and cancellation. However, there are many more that can help your bottom line.

Rate Spread

If the hotel has quoted separate rates for single and double occupancy rooms, review your group’s history and determine which occupancy you use more of.  If you use more doubles than singles, ask them to reduce the double occupancy rate and increase the single occupancy rate.

Complimentary Policy

Many hotels will offer one complimentary room for every 50 rooms sold based on the number of sleeping rooms you contract for on your main meeting days.  This can often be negotiated to a lower ratio such as one in 40 or even one in 25 in some cases.  Always try to get the complimentary rooms based on a cumulative basis as opposed to a daily basis and include any rooms your attendees use if they extend their stay prior to or post of the main meeting days.

Shipping and Receiving

If you have a lot of supplies that you ship ahead for the meeting, you can negotiate the fees to be waived anywhere from 24 to 48 hours prior to arrival.  Base it on the first night of any attendee arrival, not the first meeting day as you will probably arrive a day or two ahead of the group.

Beverage Service for Office

If your meeting or conference will require an office for the on-site staff members who are there to work the meeting, ask the hotel to provide complimentary beverages such as coffee, water and sodas.  It’s a small concession the hotel can provide to help keep the hardworking staff happy and save you some money.

Group Rate Extension

Most contracts will state that after the cutoff date or after the group room block has been filled the hotel will offer the best available room rate. This can often be negotiated to extend the group rate if they have rooms available.

I always recommend having a professional represent you when negotiating any contract.  The best executed contracts are not a “win-win agreement” but rather a “partnership agreement” between your company and the hotel.  The hotel sales manager is representing the hotel and their interests, but who is representing you and your company if you do not have a legal department to review the contract?

This first appeared on www.officearrow.com in January 2010.