Poaching is becoming more prevalent as these companies become savvier about finding different avenues that lead to attendees. As meeting planners try to push the needle and develop robust mobile applications, the savvy poaching company is always aiming to stay a step ahead to find out how to use new technologies to get in touch with exhibitors and attendees. Here are some tips on how to protect your room blocks.
Be an Educator
Meeting Planners should know the companies that are out to poach your attendees. It’s important to remember that attendee awareness of these companies is low. They just want to get their room booked at a reasonable rate. When it comes to resisting these outside companies, it’s all about education. Make sure that your attendees and exhibitors are aware that these pirates are out there.
We know that a lot of information is simply ignored, so it’s important to remind attendees about the potential of pirates at every turn and use all of your digital resources to do so; on your meeting website, forms and in email marketing messages about the importance of only booking through your approved housing provider.
Always be on the lookout for the potential problems that target your clients. At Experient, we have a list of known poaching companies that are continuously monitored and we make sure those offenders aren’t using their unique techniques, while also looking for new companies on the scene.
For meeting planners that aren’t working with a contracted housing provider, it’s important to conduct searches online to address poaching issues before they escalate out of control and erode your room nights.
Keep Information Guarded
Organizations have started posting attendee lists online in an effort to assist unregistered attendees in seeing the networking value, however, that listing publicly can come back to haunt planners for their decision.
When making information available, make sure to give it some additional security, like an attendee log in, for example. Don’t make the information openly accessible as it will become public knowledge for everyone.
Despite the measures you take to address the problem, poachers aren’t going to fade away and give up. If a company is referencing your event name to solicit bookings, it’s important to send a cease and desist letter on your organization’s letterhead immediately.
Research has shown that a well written, stern letter will prompt poachers to back away most of the time. Poaching companies will still look for opportunities to approach attendees or exhibitors, however their promotional efforts we be reduced significantly.
The pirate company’s message becomes generic, watered-down and lacks any branding, the recipients of the materials lose the trust of the sender. These things combined help to reduce the impact room block pirates have on your event.
Have you encountered these types of poachers? How have you battled their techniques?