Room Blocks Are for Weddings, Not Business
by Elliott McNamee, on September 22, 2020
Hotel room blocks work really well for weddings. Room blocks offer a lot of flexibility, giving guests the ability to adjust their departure or arrival dates, or they can choose to stay elsewhere. Plus, guests can pay the hotel directly for their stay. While the room block is only available until a month or two before the wedding, the room rate sometimes includes a small discount off the best-available rate.
But you’re not a professional wedding host* and your travelers aren’t wedding guests. Whether you’re coordinating a meeting, a training session or a group project, the flexibility, decentralized payment and minimal planning that make room blocks a good fit for weddings create hassle for your business needs. You need something built specifically for your business needs: the AmTrav groups desk.
Just ask Melody from United for Respect: “Before, we did it all in house with our two or three meeting planners, blocking rooms, figuring out meeting space, and coordinating food and beverage -- that’s a lot of work even with two or three people!” Melody decided to work with AmTrav’s group desk to plan United For Respect’s big New York City National Leadership Conference.
To start, “We held planning meetings with AmTrav to talk about what we wanted” for the meeting, and throughout the process had “AmTrav as point of contact for planning the hotel bookings and meetings” on United for Respect’s behalf. AmTrav’s group desk is ready to help from start to finish with flights, hotels and transportation, including handling travelers’ last-minute hiccups so you’re not distracted from making your event or project successful. And since your event is booked through AmTrav’s one connected platform, you can see all your attendees’ travel plans in the Traveler Tracker, no spreadsheets required.
Comparing what she was able to negotiate with hotels on her own versus with AmTrav’s help, Melody says: “We got some discounts before, but not as deep as we get working with AmTrav, and we didn’t get the amenities -- AmTrav helped us get a lot of hotel amenities that we thought were only available for bigger groups.” On top of discounts and free breakfast, centralized booking and payment means your attendees don’t spend time shopping for their own hotel, and you don’t pay more for different hotel rates and extra transportation costs when attendees get creative on your dime. If you’re a veteran meeting planner, rest assured that you’ll get your meeting planner points, free nights and incentives when working with AmTrav.
Payment was easier too: “I liked the fact that AmTrav only authorized certain bookings with permission and set parameters for pricing, so that was also a plus -- that is quite difficult to do when you have folks in house doing that.” Central payment through AmTrav means you and your attendees don’t spend time submitting, approving and reconciling expenses, and helps you save money because travelers get one rate.
United for Respect’s meeting was an unforgettable opportunity for member leaders to meet each other, to learn and to strategize outside their busy day-to-day lives. And the United for Respect team had more time to plan such a wonderful event because their focus was on planning engaging meeting content, leaving the hotel details to AmTrav.
*Unless you are, in which case I sincerely apologize!