Avoiding Attrition Damages: It’s Not About One Contract Clause

Whether you are a managing an association’s annual meeting or marketing your event to attendees who have to opt-in and pay out of pocket, attrition damages are a concern when signing hotel contracts. In today’s healthier economy, attendance has been stronger for most events, but can still be hard to predict from year to year.

Most planners I worked with during my 20 years on the hotel side were very focused on 20% allowable attrition (sometimes asking for more than 20%). However, there are several other places in the contract that a meeting host can protect themselves from potential damages. Which rooms you get “credit for” can highly impact your overall numbers. What about all those people who come in early or stay on after the event ? And HOW those numbers are calculated (on a nightly or cumulative basis) also impacts your “performance”. Being able to re-sell any unused rooms can also lower any owed attrition fees. Not only do you want the hotel to try to re-sell your rooms but you also want to be very clear on what re-sold means. A contract is only enforceable when there are definite terms. You can’t have an agreement to agree.

Your overall attendance may be up, but if attendees choose to book outside the block at a non-contracted hotel, or book a rate they find on-line and not under your group block, that affects the meeting hosts rooms performance. Being able to get credit for rooms booked at a contracted hotel, but not under the block is another important step in preventing damages. But it needs to be included in the contract and not a conversation that comes up once an attrition situation arises.

The best written contract is customized to the hosts needs (and worries) and protects the meeting host from financial risk in a multi-layered approach.

There are many more steps that need to be incorporate on the marketing and execution of the event to continue to protect the meeting host from potential damages, but a detailed, well thought out contract is the best way to start.

Julie Shkolnik

– Vice President, Global Accounts at HPN Global

Mobile Event Management #HPN16

HPN Global Above & Beyond

Good afternoon Mr. Kilburg,

I wanted to take a few moments to let you know what a phenomenal employee you have with Ms. Bidanec.

I joined the Stryker team almost a year ago and only had a small amount of experience in booking hotels for large events. My boss introduced me to Jaci and said she was the best! He was right! After trying all of last year to have a large enough meeting to ask for her assistance, we finally had one this week.

Without Jaci’s help and expertise, the event would not have been a success. I truly couldn’t have done it without her. Her knowledge and relationships with the hospitality industry made me look great to my boss and to those at the meeting. That is priceless to me! I am only great at what I do because of the hard working and professional people I work with, like Jaci.

Next week, I will begin planning my company’s annual management meeting. I can’t imagine doing anything without Jaci, in fact she has already begun searching hotels for me and I believe we are going with the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans.

Mr. Kilburg, thank you for taking the time to read this email. I’m not sure if your company has any recognition awards, but I would nominate Jaci in a heartbeat! She has been fantastic and has gone above and beyond to make sure that our events successful! I’m very grateful to have her as a colleague.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Paula L Bishop
Executive Assistant to
William Fain
Area VP Southeast
Stryker Orthopaedics

HPN Global Spirit to Serve

Hello Mr. Kilburg,

I have been working with Marie Madden for several years now on various meetings and conferences I organize for non-profit industry associations.  Marie has always been great to work with, but on my most recent conference, she went above and beyond to help with the planning. 

My last conference was held the week of March 21 at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront hotel.  My group had a very successful conference there in 2014 so we expanded our meeting program and increased our room block for this same conference last month.

Unfortunately, travel budgets had changed since our last conference so our attendance was much lower than in 2014.  That meant possible attrition costs for not meeting our guest room block commitment and our catering minimum.  Since the conference was organized for a non-profit, that was particularly worrisome.  Marie lent her expertise to help our group strategize on the catering.  She also continuously monitored our guest room pick up and requested our registration list to cross reference with the hotel to make sure we received credit for every room booked by our group, even if it was outside our block, so the room counted towards our room commitment.

When things go well with a meeting or conference, you almost take the planning for granted.  But when things don’t go so well, then you especially appreciate and value working with an experienced meeting planner.

Hence my motivation for sending this email – I wanted to recognize Marie for her great effort and support of my last “near disaster” conference in Seattle.

Janet O’Neil
Marketing Communications

Meet Noel Kalata from Colorado Springs, CO

“Hello everyone. I have been at this for 13 years now and all I can say is why I didn’t start 10 years earlier! I am not sure what the best part of working at HPN would be. I make more money than my best year on the hotel side; I travel on a regular basis to amazing places like Spain, Germany, Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Banff and all over the US; I have enjoyed crazy perks like private concerts, Jazz fest, Mardi Gras, The American Music Awards, running a warehouse grabbing free merchandise, swimming with dolphins, and so much more. All of that is awesome and I love it, but what I appreciate most is the work balance that allows me to spend more time with my family, play my guitar more, train for marathon and triathlons, and take as many long weekends as I “need”! I love everything about working for HPN Global.”


Associate Spotlight: Timothy Arnold, Regional VP, International Contract Specialist

“I have been with HPN Global for eight years now, and have loved every single second of my time here. I work with on a lot of international contracts, and have been in over fifty different countries in the last few years. I have been afforded the chance to do things that few others can, enjoying a private lunch on the Great Wall of China, driving an antique Jaguar through Monte Carlo, exploring places like Petra and Machu Picchu, climbing to the top of the Harbor Bridge in Sydney, or walking around Red Square and the Kremlin in Moscow. I love to travel and see new places, and my job is perfect to be able to see the world. The cool thing is that I can do my job anywhere in the world, it is awesome to send out RFP’s overlooking the ancient city of Istanbul or the work on contracts in Grand Tetons, while sipping a glass of champagne.

I also love the flexibility that working for HPN Global offers. No time cards, no monthly quotas, no Monday morning meetings. Having a home office is great, I can spend time during the day with my wife Susan, our ten-month old son Luke, and our four dogs, and still be far more productive than when I worked in an office. When not working or traveling, I love reading, building with Legos, photography, and attending classic rock concerts. I am grateful that I have a job a truly love, amazing co-workers and hotel partners, and awesome customers.”

HPN Global Sourcing Tip

When sourcing programs that are for further out years or for International destinations we are noticing a trend in a longer turnaround time. Hotels are taking a bit longer to respond because they are picking and choosing what works best for them for future years now that they can.   The HPN Global sourcing team is still following up with our promised 24-72-hour turnaround time in mind but it is very important to be aware of what we are seeing as a trend in the market.

HPN Global always encourages clients for date flexibility on the front end. With the space availability being so limited in a lot of our top destinations, we are noticing a lot more revisions coming through to check alternate dates. If we have this information on the front end we can cut out a lot of time and provide our clients with the best available options while avoiding a prolonged search.

If you have any questions on the tips above, or would like to activate an RFP with HPN Global – please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thank you,

JoAnn Stevens
Senior Sourcing Operations Specialist
HPN Global
13825 N Northsight Blvd., Suite 201
Scottsdale AZ, 85260
Phone: 480.998.9770 Ext 242
Website | Linked In

Congratulations to Jil Dasher

Hey all, just a note of congratulations on a new title for her as she continues to do fantastic things on our full service side of the business.

We are moving her title from “Vice President, Meeting Services” to “Vice President and Managing Director, Meeting Services” to reflect her ever growing role in the overall management of that area of the company.

Jil continually expands her expertise and knowledge. She has gone from running programs for us to selling Meeting Services for the company to now overall management responsibility for that division. She is thoughtful and enthusiastic on everything she does. She truly and constantly represents the company at a world class level.

Great Job Jil ! – we are thankful to have you as a part of the company

Everybody give up some congrats for Jil !!!

HPN Global 2015 President’s Club

These 10 people have won an all-expense paid trip for two to the gorgeous Ritz Carlton Puerto Rico. Here’s the HPN Global Presidents club for 2015 !!!!!

Congratulations to all!

Health Tips For Meeting Planners

There are many factors to consider when choosing which fish to eat, two of which include species (the type of fish) and source (is it farmed or wild caught). These aren’t simple decisions when you consider that the nutritional value of fish varies from species to species, and that each source carries a different potential for contamination, nutrition and environmental impact.