I recently came across a blog from Meetings Net titled, Why Hotel Negotiations Are Like a Game of Tetris. The blog focuses on a special session that was presented at the Global DMC Partners’ Connection 2017 Conference, that took place in Las Vegas this past August. The session was a panel discussion, featuring several contributors from the industry, to discuss hotel negotiations.
The topic was chosen as a result of a survey to meeting planners; they shared that it’s “hard to negotiate the right rates, cancellations policies, and attrition clauses.” One of the panelists, Mustafa Yalcin of Universal Travel Services, stated that when it comes to negotiating, planners should, “Think of it as a game of Tetris; it has to be the right fit.” So, what does this mean to you? Here are some thoughts to keep in mind:
Historical Data: The more information you have collected about your past meetings, the better your negotiating stance. As they say, knowledge is power. The more both the venue and you know about your meetings, the more powerful and significant your negotiations will be.
Awareness: Taking the time to explore and document a meeting’s expectations, options and needs, will greatly increase the likelihood of finding the perfect venue for the organization. There is no need to try and fit a “round peg in a square hole.” It will only lead to frustration.
Clear Communications: Clearly communicating all meeting information up front sets the organization on the path to negotiations. Going in cold asking for rates and data does not provide the venue with enough information to know how and what rates can be negotiated, or where costs can be cut.
Be Dated: What is the decision date? What are the meeting dates and alternate meeting dates? What are the venue’s booking dates? What are the venue’s seasonal and off season dates? Knowing and utilizing this information will lend greatly to the negotiating power!
Or Just Contact Me: I keep historical data on all my clients. I know the information that venues value in order to bring negotiations up to the next level. Due to my extensive network, I am able to quickly gain information about venues, their booking dates, seasons, rates and more. Clear communication is at the foundation of all that I do. I can also add this to my list, Big Time Negotiating Power: I represent the organization that buys more hotel room nights year in and year out. When it comes to negotiating power, I got it.
And when it comes to Tetris, well, I am a Tetris Master!