What Is Hotel Sourcing? And What Does It Cost?

Congratulations! You’ve chosen your host city for your conference and/or event. (Hey – that’s a feat in and of itself…cool)! The next step is to figure out the logistics of lodging and conference accommodations. So, wait…what is hotel sourcing exactly (and how much does it cost)?

Hotel sourcing is the process of finding a hotel that will adhere to your conference needs.

Booking a conference in denver and need hotel sourcing?
Our recent conference in Denver required a space to accommodate 2,500 people with a variety of large meeting areas and outdoor event locations.

As a professional event agency, we can assist with searching for a proper hotel based on those needs. In our experience, we prefer to assist in negotiations with the hotel on the behalf of the client, so that the client can sign on the dotted line with no nasty surprises in the future.

(SO…WHAT ARE SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER?)

  • Location – An island escape? A mountain view?
  • Weather – Consider your location…no one wants to be up north in a blizzard.
  • Date pattern – Monday through Wednesday? Thursday through Sunday? Are you willing to be flexible if it means you can negotiate a better rate?
  • Hotel room rate – This can be an important factor for your guests if they are paying on their own; or you if you’re assuming the cost.
  • F&B minimum – Have you looked at the venue’s menu options to gauge how this will impact your budget?
  • Types of rooms needed – How many beds, wheelchair accessible space, etc. are things to consider.
  • Meeting space – Do you need a ballroom for General Session? Multiple break-out rooms? What about a welcome reception?
  • Concessions – What complimentary or reduced-cost elements can you negotiate for with the hotel?

(NO PROBLEM…WHAT ELSE DO I NEED?)

Sellers of Travel License

Within the industry, professional conference companies are required to secure this license to offer travel or tourist-related services (for a fee, commission, or other valuable consideration). 

Travel Industry Designator Service

This is also referred to as a “TIDS number,” which is provided after a rigorous application process through the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Yeah…we’re going to run across lots of acronyms.

Anyway, a TIDS unique code is designed for travel agents and intermediaries. It allows a company’s bookings to be recognized by industry suppliers from airlines, hotel/resort chains, cruise lines, car rental facilities, theme parks, etc.

Once these two things are secured, a professional conference company can negotiate on behalf of you, the client, to find a hotel.

Blue Spark Event Design - Orange dazzle linen, brown chivari, centerpieces, large ballroom
It’s important to consider the types of activities you will hosting. Dinner? Large meetings? Breakout sessions? That will help find the perfect hotel fit for your conference.

(OK… BUT HOW MUCH DOES THIS ALL COST?)

So, we’ve answered the question, “What is hotel sourcing?” Now, let’s talk about how much it could cost you as the client.

You’re in luck – the service is essentially free.

You: “I’m sorry – what?”

Us: “Yes indeed!”

Once the hotel negotiation is complete, the hotel offers a commission percentage (normally between 7-15%) to the conference company based on factors such as room rate, food and beverage commitment, etc. Of course, this is all on a case-by-case basis.

 

The benefits of using a professional conference company are countless (and priceless.) But here are some major checkpoints for you:

Negotiations

We have experience in hotel contract negotiations that will protect your interests.

Space Allotments

We can contract the proper event space(s) within the hotel based on your conference goals. This is based on the number of attendees, activities you want to schedule, etc.

Saving You Money

Determining the correct space (as mentioned), properly sorting through event dates and times, and verifying what elements would be required are ALL things that will affect your final budget. By having a conference company figure this out on your behalf during the sourcing stage, you will ultimately save time and money.

Consider the space allocations when sourcing a hotel. It’s easy to think about conference space, but is there an area for registration? Loading dock abilities if you’re bringing in décor/product?

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