HOW TO NEGOTIATE THE BEST DEAL ON THE HOTEL ROOM
It's important to talk to the right person when trying to get a
great deal, that means someone who has the authority to
negotiate with you. You can ask to speak to the Sales Manager or
if they have a dedicated staff for meeting and event
coordinating, speak to the manager of that department. Remember
to research comparable room prices in the area online so that
you'll have a good point of reference to bring to the
negotiation table. It does take some advanced planning to get
the best deals, but hotel room prices are more flexible than the
average person realizes.
Be aware of the seasons and try to schedule your seminar during
a time when the hotel's business is typically slow. Getting a
great room at a great price will always be easier when the hotel
isn't full. If you're booking a block of rooms for seminar
guests and speakers in addition to the meeting room, you're also
more likely to get a better price for both. Several popular
hotel chains have extensive planning tools available online so
be sure to take advantage of the wealth of information made
Once you've got a list of possible venues together, you can
start contacting the sales department of each hotel and sending
them your request for proposal or RFP. Make sure your RFP
includes preferred dates, number and type of sleeping rooms you
require, food and beverage requirements, a tentative agenda and
the amount of meeting space that is needed. Based on the hotels'
responses to your RFP, you should be able to narrow down the
field of possibilities and schedule some site inspections. To
save both money and time, you can substitute an actual site
inspection with a detailed questionnaire, virtual tour or both!
When you start negotiations, always remember that everything is
negotiable. If the group generates sufficient guestroom and food
and beverage revenue, the meeting room rental fees can and
should be waived. If you're planning a reoccurring event, you
can also use your loyalty as leverage.
Once you've weighed your options and made your decision, make
sure everything, big and small, is outlined in explicit detail
in the written contract. Deposit procedures and acceptable
methods of payment are two things that should be agreed upon
before you sign anything.
After the event, take your time going over the invoice with a
fine-toothed comb. The first draft of the invoice from the hotel
is almost never correct so be sure to point out anything that
needs to be corrected. Get feedback about the hotel from the
seminar attendees. If there are complaints, politely let your
hotel representative know about them. Any good salesperson will
gladly offer an additional discount to ensure that you consider
them again next year.