Best Event Housing Management Software Samantha Barnes |
Whether you’re an event producer, part of a convention and visitors bureau (CVB), or an individual event planner, we want you to know that we understand how stressful it can be to coordinate accommodations for all your event attendees. Juggling hotel blocks, keeping track of attendee details and accessing real-time analytics and reporting can quickly become overwhelming. But, it doesn't have to be.
Fortunately, with the right event housing management software, you can simplify and manage all the little details from one place. This article will cover what makes a good event housing management software platform and review some of the best software on the market so you can book more rooms, track economic impact and easily monetize your next event.
What is Event Housing Management?
Event housing management is everything that goes into coordinating and managing the housing needs of attendees, exhibitors and staffing for major events. From amateur and youth sports tournaments to conferences to music festivals, there are many aspects of lodging to be managed–and ideally monetized.
Every aspect of the event necessitates meticulous planning and execution, from finding appropriate lodging and negotiating prices to managing hotel room blocks and addressing attendee inquiries. And let’s not forget how critical it is to keep the accounting and invoicing processes error-free.
Fortunately, some great event housing management software can help you organize reservations, maximize revenue streams and create operational efficiencies.
Who Uses Event Housing Management Software?
Anyone hosting or planning an event that requires lodging could use event housing management software.
You might want to use event housing management tools to organize events like:
- Travel sports tournaments
- Music festivals and concerts
- Weddings and family reunions
- Work retreats
- Tradeshows and conferences
Anyone and everyone can take advantage of streamlining their event housing, including:
- Event planners and producers
- Third-party housing companies
- In-house event coordinators
- Hotel and other lodging services
- Event attendees
EventPipe’s current customer verticals
Event Housing Management Platform Capabilities
What should you look for when deciding which event housing management software to use? Let’s take a look.
Easy RFP & Contract Management
EventPipe’s seamless RFP system
The process of sending out RFPs, or proposal requests, can quickly get overwhelming. However, great event housing management software will allow event planners to view, negotiate, and accept proposals from hotels. This way, you can handle all documentation, requests, and inventory from one platform.
Multiple Hotel & Room Options
Choosing from multiple hotels or booking different rooms within a group block is one of the standard capabilities an event management software should have. An event housing management software should be able to show the other locations, prices, room types, and amenities offered at each hotel for comparison.
The option to choose from a wide range of hotels can help both event planners and attendees find the perfect stay.
Customizable & White Labeled Booking Sites
Customizable and white-labeled booking websites provide businesses with the power to tailor their customer interface and enhance their brand identity. Event planners can customize and brand any booking travel details by adding logos, company images, advertising slots, and more–no coding required.
Simple Booking for Attendees
The booking site is like an ecommerce storefront: your attendees are your customers and you want to make it as simple as possible for them to book their stay. Look for event housing management software that offers a great end-user UI, provides automated email notifications about booking confirmations, changes, or cancellations, and adds the booking page link directly to your event website.
Another tip: 70% of event hotel bookings are on mobile devices. Make it easier for your attendees by offering a mobile-friendly website they can use on the go.
Live Access to Reservations & Inventory
EventPipe hotel dashboard
Always ensure you're keeping an eye on your room blocks and inventory to maximize housing revenue for an event. Fortunately, live access to your reservation data and inventory can help you make quick and informed housing management and event planning decisions. This also reduces instances of overbooking and guarantees the best use of resources.
Make sure to monitor pick-up rates from other room types and subblocks when managing room block inventory so you can market your event and adjust your block size as needed.
Additional Revenue Opportunities
Event housing management isn’t strictly about management: it’s also about unlocking revenue. This can be through commissions and rebates, but it can also involve offering additional opportunities including partnering with local businesses for promotional deals, offering VIP packages through hotels, extra amenities, and more.
Some software providers, like EventPipe, allow you to add these revenue opportunities to your custom booking or housing site, so you can start realizing revenue right away–not only after the event.
Hotel Partner Benefits
Event housing management software should make it simple for hotel partners to confirm reservations, upload or present documents and data, and more. The hotels can also offer unique amenities, packages, and services based on the information they receive through the software.
Plus, working with event house management companies can boost hotel occupancy rates and overall profitability–a win for everyone involved.
Reporting & Analytics
EventPipe analytics dashboard
Any event housing management software should offer some form of reporting and analytics that give insights into pick-up rates, average length of an attendee stay, financial performance, and satisfaction levels. Detailed analysis and reporting can provide event housing managers with valuable insights, help detect trends and patterns, streamline decision-making and enhance operational efficiency.
Best Event Housing Management Software
Now that you know exactly what to look for in event housing management software, here are some of the top platforms on the market right now.
EventPipe is a modern, end-to-end event housing management software that’s on a mission to make it incredibly easy for event producers, CVBs, and housing companies to manage and monetize their event housing process. From sports tournaments to conventions and corporate events, our cloud-based platform solves the traditionally disjointed and manual process of managing event housing.
Users can create, send, and manage RFPs and contracts, quickly launch customized booking websites, manage room blocks and sub-blocks, automate reporting and invoicing and access additional revenue opportunities–all from one place. We’ll help you maximize your event housing revenue while saving you time and energy in the process.
Key Features & Services:
- Easy event management:
- Build an event in less than 10 minutes
- Choose from tens of thousands of hotels and dozens of room types
- Designate a group block manager
- View your live inventory
- Customizable booking sites:
- Upload logos and imagery without any coding
- Provide your attendees with instructions and unique booking links
- Attendees can easily view and manage all their reservations in one location
- Guest can join waitlists for fully booked hotel
- Streamlined RFP process:
- Request any desired nights, room types, concessions, and more from tens of thousands of hotels
- Hotel partners can view requests and respond within their hotel portal
- Negotiate and accept proposal requests from your account
- Copy national sales offices on outgoing requests
- Realize additional revenue opportunities:
- Collect rebates and commissions from hotels
- Add optional items like flexible cancellations
- Include local advertising directly on your booking site
- Reporting & analysis:
- Monitor the confirmation status of all your events’ reservations
- Ensure accurate and timely billing
- Capture attendee booking history and streamline the process for next year’s bookings
- Hotel partners can view all pick-up and reservation data in real-time in their hotel-facing partner
- Keep track of hotel cut-off dates across all your events
Best for: End-to-end event housing management for sporting events, trade groups, wedding planners, group trips, and more!
Cvent is software that can help event planners manage and market events including conferences, trade shows, networking events, roundtables, and more. However, this platform isn't dedicated to streamlining housing for attendees: they focus on attendee engagement, event marketing, event budgeting, and connecting venues and suppliers.
Key Features & Services:
- Event management:
- Manage your speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors from one place
- Automate promotions and communications
- Collect and report on travel and meeting data
- Source hotel for corporate travel programs
- Attendee engagement:
- Contactless check-in and badging
- Mobile event apps
- Capture and store event and attendee data
- Vendor & supplier networks:
- Instant book feature
- Lead scoring
- Track and see what planners are sourcing in their regions
- Shareable dashboards
- Leverage data from multiple surveys
- Set engagement scores for attendee interaction
Best for: In-person, virtual, or hybrid event management for large events
EventConnect is a sports event management platform that helps event producers with the entire event lifecycle. This platform can be used for various types of events and groups, including tournaments, leagues, clubs, showcases, tryouts, and camps.
Key Features & Services:
- Team and Individual Registration:
- Automated emails and text messaging
- Multi-team and player checkout
- Customizable registration surveys and waivers
- Sell merchandise through the custom registration portal
- Players and attendees can buy add-ons during registration
- Parking passes for additional revenue
- Monitor and manage room blocks in real-time
- View average event rates
- Insights into blocked and reserved rooms
- Payment Processing:
- Automated invoicing
- Accepts credit card payments
Best for: Event planning for sports tournaments
4. Alliance Reservation Network
Alliance Reservation Network, or ARN, offers two solutions to help with event housing and recreation booking: Trip Authority and Group Product Solution. Trip Authority helps its users create booking sites for members-only hotels and find car rental and plane tickets. Group Product Solution focuses on the RFP process, hotel sourcing, and room block management.
Key Features & Services:
- Hotel Sourcing and RFP Process:
- Users get access to the GPS, an event lodging management software to help with sourcing hotels
- Customized RFPs from hotels
- Worldwide hotel network
- Room Block Management:
- Reservation details are put into a Rooming List that hotels can access
- Sort inventory and book rooms
- Task Manager helps organize tasks by urgency
- Event Hotel Booking Engine:
- Customized booking website
- Fees can be added to the booking website
- Users can customize reservation policies with the GPS interface
- Invoices, Reconciliation, and Reporting:
- GPS software provides an invoice PDF for each hotel
- Data is stored in a single application
- Revenue and commission are calculated based on information confirmed by the hotel and user
Best for: Planners offering full-service event travel management
Optimize Your Event Housing Management
Finding housing for an event that will accommodate all your attendees is a challenging task. You need to create, respond to, and track all your RFPs, create a booking website, manage inventory, analyze successes…and much more.
When it comes to modern event housing management software that prioritizes easy management while maximizing revenue, EventPipe stands out by far.
From RFP management to reconciliation, EventPipe enables you to sell more rooms–while doing less work. With real-time, effortless visibility, world-class support, easily customizable booking sites, built-in additional revenue streams, and professional services, group hotel bookings are finally a breeze.
Skip out on the stress and revolutionize your event housing management with EventPipe.