Over the past year, major hotels such as Marriott and Hyatt have passed heavy commission cuts for event planners. This has added financial strain to the group booking process, which is already a huge challenge for organizers. Reserving a block of rooms for attendees means making a bet that enough attendees will register. If too many rooms are left unfilled — which happens often enough — planners may be on the hook for a penalty fee.
It's unsurprising, then, that the group booking rate is declining, and likely will be for the next year or so. This trend has come up repeatedly in Cvent research and even hotel earnings. Not only are room blocks becoming less frequent, but the size of the groups are becoming smaller as well. For many planners, the financial risk is simply too much.
This is where Stayker enters as a newly-launched booking platform specifically designed for planners booking room blocks. The company, which is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, aims to reduce the growing risk associated with event housing, easing the burden on planners, and ultimately increasing hotel revenue.
Amy Barker and Talley Richey, Stayker's co-founders, talked to Skift about the challenges facing event organizers and how Stayker works to reduce the booking hazards they face.
Check out this story, and many more, below.
If you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @ikcarey.