blog

Rooming Lists: How to Simplify Your Group Travel Accommodations in 2024

Samantha Barnes |

Planning group travel for events involves more than dates and venues—it's about creating an experience that satisfies attendees. Enter the rooming list, an old-school way of sorting out where everyone stays. 

In this guide, we break down rooming lists, showing you how they work–and highlighting why they might not be the best fit for today's events. We’ll also provide more modern solutions designed to revolutionize event housing management.

What is a Rooming List? 

A rooming list is a document detailing accommodation arrangements for a group of individuals attending an event. It contains detailed information about the accommodations required for attendees or guests at a specific event or function. 

Traditional rooming lists, once a staple in accommodation management, are now seen as outdated in modern event planning due to their manual processes and increased error risks. As events scale up, the inefficiency of manually creating and managing these lists quickly becomes apparent. 

In response to these limitations, modern alternatives, including event management software like EventPipe, have emerged, offering automated solutions that streamline processes, enhance communication, and significantly improve overall efficiency in accommodation management.

More on that later!

What to Include on a Rooming List

Source

Rooming lists are only as good as the information they share, so ensure your rooming list covers all the essentials. From attendee details to special preferences, here's a comprehensive list to guide your accommodation planning.

  • Participant Information: Include the names of the attendees or guests. Specify any special requests or preferences they may have, such as room types (single, double, suite), bed preferences, accessibility requirements, dietary restrictions, room amenities, or specific views.
  • Contact Details: Provide contact information for each participant, including phone numbers and email addresses. This ensures that the hotel staff can easily communicate with guests if needed.
  • Check-in and Check-out Dates: Clearly outline the dates of arrival and departure for each participant. This helps hotel staff manage room turnover efficiently.
  • Room Assignments: Specify any specific instructions for room assignments, such as grouping attendees or keeping certain individuals near meeting spaces.

Note: The following things aren’t on the rooming list, but are important to keep in mind.

  • VIPs and Special Guests: Identify VIPs or special guests on the rooming list. This ensures that they receive any additional amenities or services they may require.
  • Communication with Hotels: Emphasize the importance of effective communication between event organizers and hotel staff. A well-maintained rooming list helps hotels prepare for the arrival of guests and provides a seamless check-in process.
  • Last-Minute Changes: Address the possibility of last-minute changes and provide guidelines on how to handle them. This could include a designated contact person or a procedure for updating the rooming list on short notice.
  • Privacy and Security: Stress the importance of protecting sensitive information on the rooming list, such as contact details and room assignments.

How to Use a Rooming List 

Source

Using a rooming list involves several key steps to ensure smooth accommodation management for a group. Below we walk you through the steps of how to use a rooming list and explain how EventPipe makes these tasks much easier. 

1. Choose the Right Hotel Options

Generally, as you navigate through hotel options, consider factors like location, amenities, and suitability for your group's needs. 

Let’s say you’re managing a sports team-building event. These are some considerations that may guide your hotel choice:

  • Proximity to Venue: Choose hotels that are conveniently located near the event venue, minimizing travel time for participants and enhancing the overall experience.
  • Amenities and Facilities: Look for amenities suitable for a sports team, such as fitness centers, swimming pools, or recreational areas. 
  • Meeting Spaces: If there are other activities like team meetings, fundraising events, or workshops, choose hotels with adequate meeting spaces. 

Hint: EventPipe’s event housing management platform allows event organizers easy access to tens of thousands of hotels through the Hotel Portal. Filters make the initial selection of suitable accommodations more efficient.

2. Request Room Blocks (if Needed)


Requesting room blocks from a hotel involves reaching out to the hotel's group sales or reservations department to secure a specified number of rooms for your event attendees. Here are the steps:

  • Research Hotels: Research hotels in your desired location that can accommodate your event. Consider factors such as proximity to the event venue, amenities, and budget.
  • Contact the Hotel in Advance: Reach out to the hotel before your event date. Many hotels have limited availability for room blocks, especially during peak seasons or popular event dates.
  • Identify Yourself as an Event Organizer: Identify yourself as an event organizer or group coordinator when contacting the hotel. This helps the hotel staff direct you to the appropriate department and provides context for your request.
  • Specify Event Details: Provide detailed information about your event, including the event name, dates, and the estimated number of attendees who will need accommodations. If your event has a specific name or code, mention it for easy reference.
  • Discuss Room Requirements: Communicate your room block requirements. Specify the number of rooms needed, room types (single, double, suites, etc.), and any specific preferences or requirements.
  • Negotiate Group Rates: Inquire about group rates for the room block. If you’re enforcing a Stay to Play policy, hotels often offer discounted rates for groups. Negotiate rates based on the number of rooms you anticipate booking.
  • Ask About Concessions: Inquire about any additional concessions the hotel may offer, such as complimentary rooms based on the total number booked, discounts on meeting spaces, meeting planner points, or other perks.
  • Understand Booking Policies: Clarify the hotel's booking policies, including deposit requirements, cancellation policies, and any penalties for not meeting the minimum room commitment.
  • Request a Contract: If both parties are in agreement, request a written contract outlining the terms and conditions of the room block. This document should include details such as rates, cutoff dates, and any special arrangements.
  • Confirm Reservation Process: Understand the hotel's preferred method for attendees to make reservations within the room block. This may involve providing a unique reservation link, using a specific code, or coordinating directly with the hotel.
  • Follow-up: Stay in regular communication with the hotel to monitor room block bookings, address any changes or concerns, and ensure a smooth process leading up to the event.

Want an easier way? EventPipe streamlines the hotel Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Users can easily request desired nights, room types, concessions, and complimentary rooms through a user-friendly interface, making it one of the best hotel RFP software tools available.  

EventPipe group block management.

3. Submit Rooming Lists to Your Hotel

Submitting rooming lists to a hotel involves providing detailed information about the guests and their accommodations to ensure a smooth check-in process. Here's how to do it:

  • Collect Guest Information: Gather complete and accurate information about each guest, including their full name, contact details, check-in and check-out dates, room preferences, and any special requests.
  • Use a Template or Software: Create a rooming list template using Word or spreadsheet software like Excel. Many hotels provide templates for rooming lists, or you can create customized ones based on your event's needs.
  • Include Reservation Details: Indicate the reservation details for each guest, including the number of rooms needed, room types, and any specific instructions or requests.
  • Group the Information: Group the information by room or reservation to make it easy for the hotel staff to process. This helps in avoiding confusion and ensures that each guest is assigned to the correct room.
  • Communicate with the Hotel: Reach out to the hotel's group sales or reservations department to confirm the preferred method of submission. Some hotels may prefer email, while others may have an online portal or a dedicated contact person for group bookings.
  • Submit Well in Advance: Submit the rooming list well in advance of the event, following the timeline specified by the hotel. Early submission allows the hotel to allocate rooms efficiently and address any potential issues.
  • Review and Confirm: Before submission, thoroughly review the rooming list for accuracy. Double-check guest names, dates, and any specific instructions. Confirm that the total number of rooms matches your initial reservation.
  • Maintain a Copy: Keep a copy of the submitted rooming list for your records. This can be useful as a reference in case of discrepancies or changes.
  • Follow-up: After submitting the rooming list, follow up with the hotel to confirm receipt and address any questions or clarifications and who the on-site contact will be in case any issues arise. Maintain open communication to ensure a seamless check-in process.

4. Communicate with Guests 

By implementing a well-thought-out communication plan and providing clear and personalized information, you ensure that guests are well-informed and confident about their accommodations through the rooming list process.

  • Create a Clear and Informative Communication Plan: Develop a communication plan that outlines when and how you will communicate with guests about the rooming list. Include important dates, such as when the rooming list will be finalized, when guests can expect to receive their accommodation details and any other relevant information.
  • Utilize Email: Email is a common and effective method for communicating with guests about the rooming list. Alternatively, if you're using an event platform, utilize its messaging or notification features to keep guests informed.
  • Provide Clear Instructions: Communicate the process for accessing and reviewing the rooming list. Include step-by-step instructions on how guests can find their assigned room, check-in details, and any additional information they need to know.
  • Offer Support Channels: Provide contact information or support channels for guests to reach out in case they have questions or concerns about their assigned accommodations. This could include a dedicated email address, phone number, or help desk within the event platform.
  • Send Reminder Communications: Send reminder communications leading up to the event, reiterating important details about the rooming list, check-in procedures, and any other relevant information. This helps ensure that guests have the necessary information at their fingertips.
  • Address Changes Promptly: If there are any changes to the rooming list after its initial communication, promptly inform affected guests. Communicate the reason for the change and provide reassurance that their needs are being prioritized.

Communicating with your attendees is easy with EventPipe. Share instructions, booking links, and other essential info through the app. Attendees benefit from a mobile-friendly website where they can easily view, manage, and track their reservations in one location. 

With customizable booking sites, event organizers can build an event in less than 10 minutes. This eliminates the need for coding, allowing organizers to create a branded site with their logo and imagery, where attendees can make their own bookings.

Bonus: the platform also allows attendees to get on a waitlist for sold-out hotels.

 

EventPipe booking sites.

5. Try a Rooming List Alternative

Event organizers still utilize rooming lists in modern event production, but their application varies based on event scale, industry norms, and available tools. Despite the ongoing use of traditional rooming lists in specific contexts, their limitations are increasingly evident. Both users and hotels often deem these lists outdated and confusing due to their manual processes and associated challenges.

In contrast, modern events are turning to advanced solutions, such as event management software for more streamlined housing management. EventPipe emerges as a superior alternative, automating processes, improving communication, and offering real-time insights. 

Unlike traditional rooming lists, EventPipe addresses the challenges associated with manual methods, providing a more efficient and user-friendly way to manage group travel accommodations. As technology continues to shape the event production landscape, EventPipe stands out as the optimal choice for embracing the future of accommodation management.

Simplify Your Group Travel 

While rooming lists have been helpful in the past, the advent of specialized event housing software has led to increasingly seamless travel experiences.

Offering a comprehensive suite of tools, EventPipe transforms the cumbersome task of managing accommodations into a user-friendly, automated, and secure process. Say goodbye to the complexities of manual rooming lists and welcome a new era of efficiency and satisfaction.

Whether you need housing for sports tournaments, corporate events, or any group gathering, EventPipe empowers you to take control of your group travel accommodations. 

 


Ready to level up your event housing management in 2024?

Chat with our team today.