When looking for the perfect hotel for your next event, it’s essential to have strong partnerships with individual hotels, third party sales teams, and regional corporate reps.
When planning your next incentive trip, corporate retreat, or industry conference we highly recommend from the start reaching out to the local tourist board, visitors center, tourism department, and/or convention bureau (CVB).
Attrition, what does it mean and how to contract it.
First, what does attrition mean in terms of hotel contracting? For this article we will focus purely on Rooms Attrition and not Food and Beverage Attrition. Usually F&B attrition will be in line with the rooms attrition. You can find an example at the bottom of this post.
The easiest way to understand attrition is that hotels have the right to charge a penalty if the actual event uses less rooms than originally booked in the hotel contract. The hotel contract will include an attrition clause which tells you the number of rooms you can release without penalty. Two things to pay attention to: the % or actual number of rooms you can release and the deadline or specific dates that those releases need to happen by.
With attrition, it is imperative to make sure the contract includes a clause stating that if the hotel is sold out then attrition is null and void and no penalties are to be paid. Also you may want to ask for the daily pickup report from the hotel to confirm how many rooms were in inventory that could be sold (they should not include rooms that are under construction or unable to be used), and how many were occupied.
The on site gifting experience for incentive trips is getting harder and harder. Unfortunately, the industry is behind in providing new creative ideas that are easy to deliver on site. Industry leader Maui Jim has perfected on site gifting and are a personal favorite but unfortunately you need additional options for repeat clients.
Each year we rack our brains for something different, creative, and personalized. For requirements, we want to provide attendees options to choose from and also want the ability to brand that gift.
This is a constant question we get! In fact, we blogged about this topic before but since methods are constantly changing we wanted to explore the topic again.
If you want to get ahead of the planning we recommend starting at least 18 months before your event for a mid-size incentive trip (75+ rooms per night room block) and 2 years lead-time for over 150+ room per night. Though 18 months sounds like a huge chunk of time, there are several reasons why we recommend this :
The attendee flight booking process has become a consistent point of stress for every President's Club trips we plan each year. Some of our clients use their corporate travel agency, some book flight blocks direct through airline, some use our recommended partner Direct Travel, and finally others let their attendees book their own flights direct to airline and expense them. We haven't found the perfect solution yet as there are a few important factors when booking flights for an upcoming President's Club trip.
Unfortunately emergencies do happen on President’s Club trips and that is why it’s important to have strong partners to help you through those situations.
I’ve sat through over 50 pre-cons over the years and never really paid too much attention to the Lost Prevention team. Usually being at 5 star hotels we feel so safe and comfortable that security presence doesn’t seem important. Most people never want to think of the 'what if' situations when they might need the medical team. Of course we use the on-call doctor almost every trip but to me we always took that for granted as it’s been a service that was always provided. Lost and found is a given, we visit that team at least 3-4 times a trip.
One core focus in the incentive travel industry each and every year is improving the attendee experience. At the end of the day, the attendee experience is the true measurement of the success of an event. In fact, the attendee experience does not start when the attendees arrive, but up to a year before the trip (in terms of event communication).
Below is a list of the properties that we have personally vetted over the past two years. Most have hosted an extremely successful client event for us!
Despite many misconceptions in the hotel industry, there are only a few dozen properties that are usually a good fit for your client’s upcoming incentive trip that checks all the boxes. Once you look at direct flights, five-star requirements, budget, weather, and more, you will find your large list of property options quickly dwindling. Here’s a quick list to get started for those looking to plan your next incentive trip. The all-inclusive hotels will average out to low to mid range budget spend whereas most of the EP properties listed are mid range to higher budget resorts.
Unfortunately there is no perfect recipe for picking your next President's Club destination. There are so many different likes and dislikes among company employees so the goal is to aim to impressing the 80%, while still keeping the other 20% content/happy.