A woman sitting in a hotel lobby

Tips for Hotel Sourcing During a Corporate Event

Whether you’re a first-time planner or know your way around a corporate event, booking the right hotel for your company meeting comes with some challenges. Chasing down and negotiating with vendors and venues can be frustrating.

To get better results, you’ll have to make some changes to your hotel sourcing process. We’ll show you several strategies, our best tips, and some best practices to follow—let’s get started!

Related: Hotel Sourcing: What Is it and Why Is it Important?

The Path to Get Competitive Offers

Here’s a progressive path that you can take when hotel sourcing for a corporate event to drive competitive offers:

  1. Search Broadly and Then Narrow Your List Down

Start with a list of 8-10 hotels and send them a message inquiring about room rates, room rentals, F&B minimums, and the availability of meeting space and sleeping rooms available on the dates of your event.

Based on their answers about the rates and availability, you can eliminate the hotels that are out of your budget or don’t have the space you need available.

  1. Talk to the Hotels Who Made the List—And the Ones That Didn’t

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of venues a bit, inform each one that made the cut and let them know which other hotels are on your shortlist. You should also notify the venues that didn’t make your list.

Next, you’ll want to put the hotels you’re considering to work—start talking more with them, and inform them about your meeting, and include any addendums, concession requests, etc.

  1. Decide on Your Top Three Venues

Now, you’ll want to cut down your hotel list to your top three choices. When you send your request for proposal (RFP), you want to send it to more than one hotel to create competition. Sending your RFP to numerous venues tells their sales manager that they don’t have very good chances of booking your meeting. However, sending your RFP to around three hotels can motivate the sales managers to get you the best rates—less competition means they have a higher chance of closing, meaning they’ll have the motivation to respond to your RFP.

  1. Time to Negotiate

After the hotels have made your shortlist is the best time to start negotiating with the sales managers. This is the time when they’ll be the most eager to book your event, meaning that they’ll likely be more receptive to special requests. They may offer up concessions that they wouldn’t have included if they were one of a large number of hotels you were considering.

Follow these four steps, and you’ll have the recipe for creating a competitive bid process, helping ensure that you get stronger proposals when sending your RFPs.

Hotel Sourcing Tips & Best Practices

A hotel receptionist answering the phone

Here are some of the best tips when it comes to hotel sourcing that can make or break your plan:

Establish as much as you can about the event ahead of time and check availability and dates far in advance.

● Source for options that meet and exceed the client’s expectations.

Research! Look for hotels not in our database, read reviews, get referrals. Make sure your hotel is easily accessible and near transportation

Never tell the venue they won the business until the best rates and contract terms/concessions have been negotiated.

Use established industry relationships to ask for recommendations, understand trends and seek out unique opportunities.

● Talk to venues over the phone, ask for virtual site visits, photos, menus, etc., all ahead of time.

● Engage National Sales Offices for the brands you’re sourcing to get an extra layer of support.

Best Practices for Sourcing a Hotel

Some best practices for sourcing include the following:

Narrow your search to 3 locations that have great access to transportation and areas of interest. 

Be flexible and provide as much information as possible to hotels, so they know how to accommodate your needs best. 

Make precise requests for what you will need when it comes to meeting room space, how many people will share sleeping rooms, and other considerations.

Know your budget well and account for all costs.

Related: 2021 Event Budgeting Guide

Ask the hotel to hold the space while you consider your options

Stay ahead of the game by knowing when you need to have certain things reserved and plugging them into your calendar. 

In today’s market, hotel sourcing for corporate events demands a strategic approach. If you want to ensure success, you need to apply comprehensive strategies to help overcome the challenges of planning.

Need Help Comparing Your Final Options?

Various hotel options for corporate events

At the DUNAJ AGENCY, we use Cvent as our tool for sourcing and planning events. Everyone on the sourcing team is a Cvent-certified sourcing agent. We know and understand the best way to use this tool to get you proposals for your event that are customized for your event. Though other agencies utilize only platforms such as Cvent, the DUNAJ AGENCY is no stranger to calling our contacts directly to ensure our clients receive the best deal. 

Event technology allows planners to handle more meetings without the need for additional staffing and expenses. It helps empower planners to do more with their time and allows them to focus their resources on hotel sourcing planning and strategy.Want to secure the best venue for your next corporate event? Get in touch with the DUNAJ AGENCY today—make your meeting unforgettable!

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