To attract more attendees to book inside the block, event housing company onPeak, Chicago, has just come out with a free tool that allows client organizations to easily post a list of contracted hotels on any Web page, including their event sites, Facebook pages, blogs, and meeting registration pages.
The strategy, says Dahlia El Gazzar, vice president of marketing for onPeak, is to “get participants where they hang out” online, whether that’s Facebook, an association Web site, or somewhere else. The widget, which launched in March, is being used on Facebook for the first time for the upcoming National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show 2011 in May, which has 51 hotels in its block. NRA has posted the widget on the meeting’s Facebook fan page and the show’s Web site and has plans to add it to the event registration form.
The tool, called Compass Magnet, lists the official hotels in the meeting block with their negotiated rates, along with a series of icons (based on the meeting organizers’ preferences) that indicate a property’s star rating, whether it’s on the shuttle route, whether it offers negotiated perks, and whether it’s the headquarters hotel. It also shows which hotels are sold out. The list can be sorted alphabetically, by price, or by distance to the conference, and each hotel links to an information page on onPeak’s Compass Reservation System.
The information in the widget refreshes automatically, avoiding manual updating when negotiated hotel rates or promotions change or when a hotel’s room block is sold out.