- Why Does mhca's Room Block Seem to Fill So Quickly?
- Why Can't mhca Just Get More Rooms Added to Our Block?
When mhca books a hotel for one of our conferences, we make a signiﬁcant ﬁnancial commitment. In negotiating the contract there are a number of variables. One of the ﬁrst ones is selection of speciﬁc dates when we want to be at a particular property. Sometimes moving our preferred week forward or backward a bit on the calendar can produce signiﬁcant savings. Thus while we do our best to rotate our conference weeks during the year so we don’t always fall on your Board meeting dates, at times it just makes ﬁscal sense to adjust our preferred week to take advantage of signiﬁcant hotel concessions.
Once we establish with the hotel the days we will be there, we then establish our room block. We provide the hotel with a count of the number of rooms we estimate individuals registering for our conference will use not only for the nights of the conference (typically Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) but also the weekends preceding the conference and following the conference. This becomes our room block. The size (value) of our room block drives further considerations by the hotel such as the number and size of meeting rooms available to us and the minimum we must spend on food and beverage (continental breakfasts, refreshments for breaks, evening receptions).
The larger our room block, the better our deal with the hotel. However should our group fail to fully occupy our room block, the hotel charges mhca an attrition penalty for each unused room night. We calculate our room block reservation totals by utilizing the historical data we have for previous conferences and then conservatively book our block. (Hotels also have access to our history!) Naturally, a good track record of appropriately occupying the rooms in our block strengthens our negotiating position.
By hotel/conference industry standards mhca’s number of sleeping rooms (our room block) does not justify the number of meeting rooms we want/need. This always creates a tension in our site negotiations.
So… what does all this mean to you?
Members can play a key role in helping mhca better manage and control our costs by doing some relatively simple things. Please:
- Register and stay at the conference hotel where we have reserved our block of rooms.
- Complete your hotel reservation before the published cut-off date. Reservations made after the cut-off date may not be able to take advantage of the negotiated discount rate for our block of rooms. Also late reservations may result in last minute and costly adjustments to other conference services (meeting room space, food and beverage needs).
- Reserve only the number of rooms you actually anticipate needing. Each room you reserve in our block removes one that could be reserved by another member.
- Contact Gena if you are unable to access mhca’s room block and she may be able to help you get into the block.