Why should I stay within a hotel contracted by the SRA?

Why should I stay within a hotel contracted by the SRA?

Why should I stay within a hotel contracted by the SRA?
The success of SRA depends on registrants and exhibitors using contracted SRA hotels to offset the sizable costs of producing the biennial meeting. In general, hotels require groups like SRA to fill at minimum, 75% of the contracted number of hotel rooms at their property. If we do not meet that minimum, we are required to pay for that empty room at the standing nightly hotel rate. This is called an attrition fee. The risk of incurring hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial penalties (attrition fees) increases with each registrant who stays outside a SRA hotel. Good conference sites are in demand and groups like SRA contract with hotels six to eight years in advance to remove rooms from inventory to insure enough hotel rooms for you, the attendee. Attrition fees are compensation to the hotel for the rooms that might have been sold had they not been removed from inventory by SRA. We hope that by offering a hotel reservation discount participants will choose to stay in a SRA hotel.

What are the advantages of SRA hotels?

  • Discounted rates that include free wireless internet in guest rooms.
  • Rely on the SRA “seal of approval.” SRA hotels have been inspected by SRA staff for quality and safety.
  • Networking is easier and enjoyable because SRA hotels host a large number of SRA participants.

Besides cost and convenience, is there any other reason I should select an SRA hotel?
SRA depends on your support. Sustaining a healthy financial future for SRA means ensuring that both conference registrants and exhibitors have a quality, meaningful event that will reap benefits for you and the profession for years to come.

What if I find a less expensive hotel?
Hotel rates, like airfares, vary greatly. SRA negotiated group rates are the lowest rates available for the Hilton Austin Hotel. SRA has taken great care to book hotels offering competitive rates and amenities, which include internet access. Still, less expensive hotel rooms will always be available. If you find a less expensive hotel rate, take care to compare it to SRA contracted hotels to ensure that your expectations are met. Many hotels are located further from the conference site, lack certain amenities, or are not in the best locales.

How does SRA decide how many hotels and hotel rooms to book?
Future sleeping room estimates are based upon past registration figures, expected popularity of the site, and our best projections for attendance. Once these determinations are made, SRA books hotels near the convention center, securing the best possible dates and rates. This is not an exact science. We build in as much contractual flexibility as possible so adjustments can be made as the meeting draws closer.

Why is attrition an issue since it never surfaced in prior years?
Recent, substantial changes in the convention industry business environment have made filling hotels more difficult. Due to various economic factors and the law of supply and demand, it has become difficult for event organizers to meet contract obligations. When a group performs below contract, hotel management seeks attrition fees from even their most valued clients to mitigate losses.

You ask, why not avoid contracting with hotels?
Contracting with hotels protects the SRA room supply and future rate increases. If another large conference were to take place during SRA’s biennial meeting, hotel rooms would be scarce or offered at much higher rates.

Why not reduce the contracted room block to avoid attrition penalties?
SRA has revisited all future contracts and has been successful in both reducing the contracted number of rooms and re-negotiating rates. However, without guaranteeing that a certain number of hotel rooms will be filled, SRA will not receive sufficient meeting space to support the meeting.