New research by EventMB found that at times, there’s not much difference between negotiated rates and what you can find online.
A room block pricing analysis of 400 venues across the globe (with an emphasis on North America)—part of a larger report by EventMB entitled The Rise of the Smart Venues—found that negotiated rates are not always a better deal than online hotel rates.
In fact, the research, which analyzed 50 events’ “preferred” or “exclusive” attendee rates and then searched hotel booking websites for the same properties on the same dates, found that on average, the same room at the same hotel on the same days was 1.17 percent cheaper on booking websites. The researchers found similar rooms with the same level of amenities within a short distance from the event that were 25.39 percent cheaper than the advertised or preferred rate. 10 percent of the preferred rates ended up being more than 50 percent more expensive than publicly available options for similar hotel accommodations.
That does not take into account Airbnb options being used by attendees booking outside the block, which can be 35.52 percent less expensive and often offer more amenities.
“Planners expect room block rates to be competitive if not favorable,” the survey concluded. “Sadly, that’s not consistently the case.”