Locating the right hotel for your traveling teams doesn’t have to be difficult or full of guesswork, but when you’re sourcing accommodations for your travel teams it can be tricky to sift through the sea of options that are available. Having a plan to narrow down your choice based on your team’s specific needs will result in a better tournament experience overall and make your job that much easier.
We’re going to cover what makes a hotel great; a list of new and old hotel providers and the options they offer, then show you how to easily filter your search in our Hotel Portal to make establishing accommodations quick and efficient.
WHAT MAKES A HOTEL PERFECT FOR YOUR TOURNAMENT
Choosing accommodations involves more than looking at the bottom line price. Cost is definitely a large consideration while you’re shopping for hotels but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. With our exclusive hotel rates, you might find that the high-end chain isn’t outside of your teams’ budgets anymore which will land them in a more spacious and comfortable room.
WHAT YOUR TEAMS LOOK FOR IN A HOTEL BASED ON SPORT TYPE
Different sports prefer different accommodations, plain and simple. We find that there are specific needs for each sport type that make their stays more comfortable than others. We’re going to cover a few of the requests we commonly see so you can best accommodate your traveling teams.
Depending on the sport type of your event, having a larger room for teams is completely necessary. For example, hockey teams need rooms with ample space for their equipment while soccer players lean towards an average size room with large beds.
We have found that the most important factor that can sway a team’s decision is the location of the hotel in respect to your event’s venues and entertainment in the surrounding area. Some travel teams will select hotels on the outskirts of the city if they’re traveling into the city from that direction, others want to be close to the core to get the most out of their tournament weekend away from home.
Amenities are also a deciding factor for some participants. This includes services like room service, pool/sauna, fitness center, valet parking, etc. We find basketball teams are indifferent towards most amenities offered, cheerleading teams tend to favor hotels which have these amenities on site.
Room Types: Needs double beds with additional sofa+pullout
Amenities: Not a deciding factor although pool/fitness is looked at
Location: close to venue so lots practice can be had
Breakfasts: Can be less of a consideration for teams that just want to get to the ball diamond and eat a larger meal after the first game of the day
Room Types: Room size not an issue but beds need to be large
Amenities: pool, fitness center, spa are desired
Location: close to venue although not a deciding factor
Breakfasts: Teams love the option for a deluxe breakfast or discounted vouchers for purchase to reduce costs without limiting options to team members.
Room Type: Double queen beds with minimal room size
Amenities: Not considered
Location: Close to the entertainment areas of venue city
Breakfasts: Looking for a basic complimentary breakfast provided that there is typically more time to eat between later games in the typical tournament-day.
Room Types: Large room size needed with double beds and additional sofa+pullout
Amenities: Not desired as they take away from practice time and can tire out participants
Location: Close to venue to maximize ice time
Breakfasts: Can be difficult to organize for teams with the first games at 8-9am that are not impacted by outdoor weather. Typically requires an advanced request to have breakfast ready before typical start times of 7:00am. This is more common in higher levels of elite/competitive hockey.
Room Type: Large room with generous bathroom and storage with double beds
Amenities: All forms are desired, more luxury features the better
Location: Close to entertainment and food
Breakfasts: Private area for large groups to strategize is as or more important than a breakfast being served. Due to the size of cheer clubs or gyms, group coordinators typically have to arrange large meals in advance but sometimes request for contact of catering manager at the team host hotel
OUR HOTEL PARTNERS AND WHAT THEY OFFER
No two hotel chains are the same. We partner with a wide range of providers to supply you with a variety of options so your traveling teams can have a robust selection of accommodations offered at our exclusive rates. It’s important to keep in mind what each of our partners includes in their inventory so you can best outfit your teams. Below is a shortlist of some of our providers and a description of their offerings.
Upscale full-service facilities and accommodations with full-service restaurant and bar, some amenities may be at an additional charge.
Examples include: Marriott, Hilton, Intercontinental, Westin, Renaissance
Business travel with on-site restaurant, breakfast, and amenities are an additional charge.
Examples include: DoubleTree, HolidayInn, Radisson, Courtyard, aloft, Sheraton, Delta
Family and budget-friendly with limited amenities. No on-site restaurant, but complimentary breakfast included.
Examples include: Fairfield, HolidayInn Express, LaQuinta, Hyatt, Comfort Inn, Quality Hotel, Hampton Inn
Small to medium-sized properties with limited amenities and basic accommodations.
Examples include: Travelodge, DaysInn, Ramada, Super8, Red Roof Plus, Econolodge
Larger square footage rooms which sleep 4, includes kitchenette & wet bar, common to include complimentary breakfast.
Examples include: Springhill Suites, Embassy Suites, Hawthorn Suites, Microtel
USING THE EVENTCONNECT HOTEL PORTAL
Our hotel portal is a robust platform for sourcing and purchasing hotel accommodations. Not only can you easily shop for rooms with photos and detailed descriptions, but your teams can put large amounts of rooms on hold with our blocking feature to purchase at a later date once their travel plans are finalized.
Your traveling teams can use our hotel filtering feature on the portal to pinpoint exactly what they want in their accommodations. This feature works well to cut down the time sifting through the massive amount of selection offered by all of our partners.
DISTRIBUTING AND MARKETING YOUR HOTEL CHOICES
Blocking rooms is a great way to secure a large number of rooms for your teams at no cost. We feel this approach works very well to ensure everyone on the team has a reservation in advance of hotel cut off dates, which could greatly limit their ability to secure accommodations.
Using our templated email system is a quick and efficient way to notify teams about new hotel offers, changes to hotel providers, upcoming cut-off dates, and instructions using our hotel portal. You can also use this system to effectively market your events by sending mass messages to teams with schedules, event calendars, discounts on early registrations, and new merchandising opportunities.