Organizing an event or conference has many critical moving parts. The way in which they are seamlessly orchestrated determines the success of an event and the likelihood attendees will return the following year.

The pressure’s on!

From booking the event space, to coordinating and securing speakers or talent, dialling in schedules, technical equipment, food and beverage, and securing accommodation for attendees, there are many checklists where details can be easily overlooked. So finding ways to simplify an event and conference planner’s to-do list and agenda is always at a premium.

Organizing accommodation and lodging, alone, can take up a significant portion of planning, especially if the majority of attendees are from out of town. Often, such is the case for music festivals, conferences, and other large events. While room blocks can be negotiated well in advance with hotels, it can also prove to be inconvenient for attendees who may be looking for more flexible and less expensive alternatives. At a time when the sharing economy and many online services allow for individualized experiences, it’s time events cater to this need.

Events such as festivals, conventions and conferences may utilize less conventional meeting spaces than those hotels offer, ie: community centres, outdoor locations, university campuses etc. In these cases, optimizing a budget by securing a room block to achieve better hotel rates for food and beverage and the meeting space is less of a priority.

Events are changing – it’s time to think outside the box.

As an alternative lodging solution with varying price points, the Airbnb model, as an example, fulfills these needs. At a conference in Las Vegas, Head of Hospitality, Chip Conley’s outlined opportunities and challenges of room-sharing for meeting planners. According to Conley, “Airbnb attracts customers who are a little adventurous, people seeking accommodation that align with their personality and feed their individual tastes on a deeper level than any hotel could ever provide.”

Stay22 now provides a seamless integration into an event’s website – the map widget conveniently aggregates and displays accommodation options from providers such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, and Hotels.com, to name a few. Attendees are in control of their own lodging needs and planners can maximize their time spent on other details, ensuring the event planning is a success.

Here’s how Stay22 measures up to the most popular alternative, room blocks, when it comes to the attendee experience:

 

Stay22
Hotel Room Blocks
Attendee Experience
✓ Flexibility for attendees to secure unique accommodation according to their budgets and taste preferences. ✓ Attendees must book accommodation where event planner have reserved room blocks
✓ Attendees book accommodation nearby the event venue – map includes distance between the lodging and the venue ✓ Less coordination of transportation, logistical ease for attendees to stay in the same hotel where the conference and event is held

 

Here’s how Stay22 measures up to room blocks when it comes to the event planner experience:

 

Stay22
Hotel Room Blocks
Event Planner Experience
✓ Solution is free, turnkey and widget is easily integrated into planner’s website ✓ Event planners must spend hours organizing and reserving room blocks, based on the number of out-of-town attendees they expect to have.
✓ Managing hotel negotiation of room blockings is eliminated from planning – instead, attendees pick accommodation from a supply of listings with the lowest prices available ✓ If planner is holding event in hotel, they can pass on room block rate discounts to attendees
✓ Logistics management in ensuring room blocks are filled up is eliminated ✓ Event planners must fill room blocks in order to avoid attrition penalties
✓ Implementing hotel details, webpage promo codes etc. is eliminated ✓ Planners securing room blocks can achieve budget efficiencies, since hotel will grant discounts on food and beverage and meeting spaces

✓ Room blocks can be integrated into the Stay22 map, which can help drive more traffic to fill the blocks. Once blocks are filled, planners can customize preferences so that other listings nearby become visible in order to offer the attendees more accommodation options

 

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