How does the Society decide how many hotel rooms to book?
Room estimates are just that, estimates. The estimation process is not an exact science. We take into consideration registration counts from previous events, expected popularity of the meeting site, and our best projections for attendance when projecting the number of needed rooms. Hotel selection is based on the best rates for the event dates and program success.
Why should I book with the hotel that the Society has chosen for the annual event?
The Society is contractually bound to fill a certain number of rooms for its annual event. Rooms that are not filled create an expense for the Society in the form of financial penalties, also known as attrition fees. Each person booking outside of the hotel room block places the Society at risk of incurring attrition fees. The success of our event depends on participants and exhibitors booking rooms in the hotel block. Registrants who book with the event hotel through a third-party travel provider such as Travelocity and Orbitz should contact the National Office. In turn we can contact the hotel to make sure the Society receives “credit” for your stay.
Why might the Society be charged attrition fees?
Groups like ours often book three or more years in advance to secure enough hotel rooms for conference attendees. Attrition fees are compensation to the hotel for the rooms that might have been sold had they not been held in our room block inventory. Attrition fees are a common industry standard and are charged when a conference group cannot fill approximately 80% of the contracted number of rooms.
Has the Society ever paid attrition fees?
The Society has been liable for thousands of dollars in attrition penalties in the past. This is money that could have been better spent developing member benefits. Although we have often been able to negotiate, there is no guarantee that the Society will always be able to negotiate a settlement rather than pay the fees in full.
Why not avoid contracting with hotels?
Contracting with hotels is a must and guarantees a set number of rooms available for event participants and protects the Society from future rate increases. If another event were to take place in the same vicinity and at the same time as our event, hotel rooms in addition to meeting and exhibit space would be limited and quite possibly more expensive.
Why not reduce the contracted room block to avoid attrition penalties?
The Society has revisited all future contracts and has been successful in both reducing the contracted number of rooms and re-negotiating rates. The Society will not receive sufficient meeting and exhibit space to support the annual event if we do not guarantee that a certain number of hotel rooms will be filled.
What if I find a less expensive hotel?
Although the Society has done its due diligence and negotiated the lowest possible group rate, we cannot predict future specials hosted by competing hotels. If you find a less expensive hotel rate, take care to compare it to the Society’s contracted hotel to make certain that your expectations are met. Many hotels are located farther from the conference site (thus a taxi ride to the event is required), lack certain amenities, or are not in the best or safest locations. Please let the National Office know if you find a hotel at a reduced rate.