Lunchtime Links: Hotel Deals Are Around the Corner

Are the holidays the best time for meeting planners to negotiate hotel deals? Plus: One association takes root with a big community initiative.

Choosing and paying for hotels can be a headache. There’s a dearth of options in urban areas, and you can look at thousands of hotel reviews at your own risk. So how do you make that final decision, and why is the overnight stay so high?

That and more in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Bargaining rights: Meeting planners know that deals are sometimes just a phone call away. But are the holidays the right time to call up your favorite hotel general manager and try to haggle? One blog says yes, absolutely. It’s not just the giving spirit that might inspire them to give you a price break on a hotel block. Tom Morrison, CEO of the Metal Treating Institute, says that as the year winds down revenue goals are on everyone’s minds, and sales representatives are looking at year-end bonuses as well. Lock in a future contract to help them while they help you save on the annual conference. How have you leveraged end-of-year hotel deals? When do you think is the best time to check in with hotel executives?

Wallet worries: When you do the math, it seems like renting an apartment in an urban area can be hundreds of dollars less per night than a simple hotel room. Ever wonder why hotel rooms can get so pricey? Slate says there’s no single reason, but you can start by pointing a finger at taxes (New York City hotels tax rooms nearly 9 percent in state and local sales tax with an additional hotel occupancy tax, for example). Though the Big Apple is notorious for its high hotel rates, the article points out that, relative to the state, there’s not much difference in actual tax rate. Another reason? Mainstream hotels typically offer more amenities, which means that you’re not only paying for the room, you’re paying for the turndown service, the concierge, and the bellhop. What’s your strategy for pricing hotels in urban areas?

Seed money: Getting the local community involved in an association’s latest initiative can be tough, but one nonprofit is branching out (pun intended) to help their local parks and recreation. The California Urban Forests Council formally launched an “Invest From the Ground Up Campaign” with a new website with increased educational and promotional content wells to encourage the local community (the campaign is set for five yet-to-be-picked pilot communities) to invest in their local parks. The nonprofit also has parked itself on Twitter (@InvestinTrees) and on Facebook. “In all my years working on urban forestry, I’ve never seen an effort to raise awareness and support for our trees quite like this one. It’s injecting a fresh perspective and a compelling argument into the public conversation about how to spend our resources,” John Melvin, State Urban Forester for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said in a release. The campaign focuses specifically on creating engaging content in a consumer-driven way to raise awareness for the cause. Has your association used content or education to help an initiative? How did it help?

Seen anything great online today? Tell us about it in the comments.



Chloe Thompson

By Chloe Thompson

Chloe Thompson is a contributing writer to Associations Now. MORE

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