Pirates and Poachers


Room-block pirates and poachers—outfits that actively seek to recruit or divert attendees away from official room blocks—have become an increasing threat to event organizers. Not only do these pirates and poachers deprive groups of commissions or rebates that they’ve negotiated with host hotels, they can also cause the organizations to incur attrition penalties that they otherwise wouldn’t have.

A recent survey by the Convention Industry Council found that while the vast majority of event organizers have been affected by room-block piracy or poaching, less than 3 percent of them had developed prevention or mitigation practices. To address that need, the CIC’s Accepted Practices Exchange recommends several ways for event organizers to prevent room-block piracy and poaching:

Provide information to attendees on the event’s website and in all marketing materials that clearly indicates official vendors and their logos. In addition, offer incentives to attendees to stay within the official room block, including registration discounts or access to services such as complimentary shuttles.

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