More from Tim Brown's negotiation session at NEMICE yesterday:
He gave us a case study that basically had us trying to figure out a way to increase our chances of placing what was pretty much a dog of a meeting: The requested rates were well below what the hotel wanted, the F&B dollars were below the hotel's group average, its overall catering-per-room night was also below average, it's a space hog compared to the room nights, the arrival/departure and seasonality patterns were not good, and its history didn't back up a request for the larger room block being requested. The RFP for our fido meeting also said it'd accept either a cancellation or attrition clause, but not both. We had to try to figure out where our wiggle room might be.
The charming gentleman from the Drake Hotel sitting next to me and I worked out some ideas: adding in both cancellation and attrition to the contract, reducing the block to more reasonable levels, add in more F&B, changing our arrival/departure pattern and going to shoulder or low season. Other ideas the audience had were to reuse and consolidate the meeting space, to shrink the set up and tear-down times for our expo, and to guarantee future business with the hotel. Brown cautioned that, with the latter idea, "it's difficult in this environment to judge what that rate you lock in might be by the time of your meeting. Oversupply might return, and the rate won't look so good."