When hotels quote pricing for guest rooms, meeting rooms, food & beverage, & audio-visual equipment, they typically quote the highest pricing and hope you won’t negotiate anything! Part of planning meetings means you have to be comfortable with requesting lower pricing and discounts on every cost item. The good news is, negotiating is fun because if discounts are not available, you can ask for contract concessions (room upgrades, complimentary WiFi, etc.,) to save money.
Hotels price guest rooms based on supply and demand. When occupancy is high, and the hotel projects being sold out over the dates of your meeting, it’s not likely that you’ll get much in the way of discounts. However, there are many other times when hotels are able to offer lower pricing when their occupancy is low.
As you can see, the dates of your meeting determine what rates are quoted, and if you are flexible and the hotel is not busy, chances are you’ll get lower rates. I liken hotel room rates to airline seats; you look at flight options one minute, go back and look again soon thereafter, and often the price of the seat went up, due to demand.
Another bit of good news is hotel sales managers expect you to negotiate pricing on everything. Yes, it’s true. Sales people are given perimeters of pricing they can quote, from low to high, based on the dates of your event. As a former hotel sales manager, I always quoted the highest pricing as my bonus depended upon how much revenue I could generate for my hotel! So, you see, negotiating is something to become comfortable with in order to keep your budgets down and save your organization money.
Some advice that goes a long way is to keep a record of initial price quotes, and then next to that the pricing you end up paying because of your keen negotiation skills. Present the savings to your executive and believe me, saving money while putting on an event is a fine art anyone can achieve if you just realize everyone asks for lower pricing and discounts.