Successful room block management requires attention to detail and intense organization. Although this management can be complicated, room block management software can help tremendously. This guide will clarify what room block management is and how it works. It will also introduce the many advantages of using room block management software.
Before talking about room block management, it’s important to understand room blocks. A room block is a number of rooms contracted for and set aside at a hotel for a group of travelers. Hotels have a process for reserving room blocks that is separate from how an individual might reserve a room.
Room blocks are usually reserved to provide housing for an event of some kind.
Room Block Management
Once a block is reserved, there’s a lot to do. First, event planners and group housing professionals need to commit to their method of room block management. Then, travelers need to claim their rooms within the block. Travelers sometimes have questions. Sometimes travelers cancel or change their plans. Eventually, everyone needs to get checked in. Managing a block generally involves the following tasks.
Select A Way To Manage
There are a few ways to manage the many tasks to complete after reserving a block of rooms. The management method chosen depends on two things:
- The event type for which the block is needed, such as a business conference, sporting event, family gathering, etc.
- The number of rooms needed
The first option for how to manage a block is to allow the hotel to do it. This is most ideal for a smaller room block reserved at a single hotel property. Some hotel properties offer event planners access to their hotel reservation management system. In this instance, an event planner would allow the hotel to track and manage each attendees’ booking.
The second option is to focus on a rooming list. This could be done either by using spreadsheets or a rooming list application.
For a more sophisticated experience, an event planner could use hotel room block management software. This software is usually more robust than a rooming list application.
For larger event accommodation needs, event lodging management software is an option. This software streamlines the event lodging lifecycle, which includes contracting the room block and reconciling stays after the event.
Choose A Distribution Method
Next, event planners and group housing professionals must select the best way to distribute rooms within the block. There are a few ways to do this:
- Package a room reservation together with other event purchases, such as including a room reservation in the registration for an event
- Send travelers to the hotel to book their rooms independently
- Offer hotel booking on your event’s website
- Manually contact each attendee (email/call)
Then, decide how you will encourage attendees to book within your room blocks. Sometimes guests reserve a room outside your room block. To limit this, you should find creative ways to encourage attendees to book within your room blocks. One idea is to offer incentives such as offering hotel giveaway items, best rates, or making it mandatory.
Monitor Pickup & Availability
Room reservations need to be tracked and recorded in real-time. Whether done manually or with an automated tool, it is important to have a system in place that stores data like room pickup and availability.
Respond to Modification and Cancelation Requests
Inevitably, reservations will need to be modified or canceled. Being aware of changes made by attendees is important. Responding to these requests is required. Every cancellation and/or modification should be accounted for and handled as necessary.
Lastly, it is important to ensure all attendees have a hotel confirmation number and a smooth check-in process.
Room Block Management Software
Software streamlines the many tasks involved in effectively managing room blocks, especially for large events. It tracks and reports the reservation inventory in real-time with a rooming list. Because every reservation, cancelation, and modification is captured by real-time reports, an event planner can easily track performance.
Software has the power to simplify the many tasks involved before, after and during an event. Obviously, it should track all reservations, cancellations, and modifications in real-time, and make it easy to address each of these. However, there are a few other key features that good software should have.
One key feature is transparency. Good room block management software makes it easy to see all the necessary data at a glance. It should also be easy to filter and sort reservations.
Task management is also important. Good software organizes things that need to be done. Learn more about task management.
Another good feature to have is an event booking engine that distributes rooms within your block. Offering rooms through a booking engine website encourages attendees to book within the room block. It also makes it very easy for the traveler to do so.
Group housing professionals and event planners should also look for scalability when evaluating software. Being able to manage room blocks at multiple hotels for many different events can create major efficiencies.
Learn more about room block management software features that event planners need.
Group Productivity Solution
Group Productivity Solution (GPS) is an event lodging management solution that optimizes the entire lifecycle of event lodging. It makes the room block management process easy and streamlines tasks.
It also comes with an integrated event hotel booking engine for each event managed in the application. That booking engine is customizable so it blends seamlessly with the associated event branding.
In the booking engine, GPS provides a way for a group of event attendees to reserve a smaller block within the greater room block. This “subblock” is easily distributed to the other sub-group of attendees for an easy user experience. Each sunblock is identified and tracked in GPS’s room block management interface as well.
GPS also has robust functionality for the hotel RFP process. It walks the event planner or group housing professional through writing a hotel RFP, picking hotels and other lodging establishments, and sending the RFP digitally. The negotiation process is captured in the application, and contracts are executed electronically. Once a contract is signed, the inventory automatically populates the hotel booking engine. That inventory is managed in the room block management section of GPS.
After guests have checked out of the room block, GPS is still streamlining work. It assists with reconciliation with the hotel. The software then generates an invoice for the hotel for any commissions due.
Learn more about GPS or fill out the form below to schedule a demo of the software.