Accommodation module (setup)

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The Accommodation module is where you set up your management of hotel bookings for event attendees.

You can:

  • Manage hotel reservations using real-time data.
  • Manage hotel inventories (per room type, and across an entire hotel).
  • Generate reports to see attendee arrivals and departures.
  • Provide a portal for your hotel partners to access relevant booking information.
  • Securely process credit cards for hotel deposits.
  • Organize and manage sub blocks for groups.

Accommodation tools - Libraries & Apps

If you often use the same hotels, you can create a library of these hotels and associated room types in Application Setup > Libraries > Hotels & Suppliers [and Room Types]. You may want to do this before you set up your Accommodation module in an event. This makes it easy to re-use hotels for other events in future. Read more about setting up Libraries.

You can use the Hotel Portal to allow your hotels to update their details if needed, and to manage accommodation bookings and the credit card vault.  Read more about the Hotel Portal.

There are other accommodation-related apps you can use to help manage group bookings, too. Read more about managing groups.

Setting up the Accommodation module

In the setup panel, under Accommodation, you'll begin by reviewing Preferences.

Accommodation - Preferences

There are three sections you can manage in Preferences. 

These are Options, Manual Override, and Transfers.

Preferences - Options:

  • Manage Deposit Payment to Hotel - turning this on will calculate and track deposit payments for each hotel.
  • Enable Credit Card Vault - allows collection of Credit Card details into the secure Credit Card Vault.
    • If you also select "Store CCV number", this number will be removed 24 hours after initial booking check-out date).
    • You can also specify how long you want to retain the Credit Card number in the vault, after the event.

NOTE: For security reasons, this date is fixed from when it's initially set. If you later change your event date, this date WILL NOT update to X number of days from your new event end date. Search our support FAQs for more on how to avoid or manage this scenario. 

  • Enable Sub Block Room Rates - this enables the Nightly Room Rate and Nightly Room Cost fields on the Sub Block tab in Room Setup. This means you can set up individual rates per hotel, room, date, and even sub block, giving you maximum control over pricing options. You can read more about sub blocks later in this article. 
  • Enable Must Stay Nights - this option lets you specify which nights in a room block are required as "must stay" when booking.

Preferences - Manual Override

In this section, you have two options. Both are only possibly when manually adjusting bookings within an individual's or group's record from the Attendee Panel:

  • Allow EventsAir Users to manually over-allocate inventory. 
    This will be available only when there's a set inventory for your hotel rooms. Enabling this would allow your or someone in your team (who's an EventsAir user) to allow a booking, even if it's above the set inventory.
  • Allow EventsAir Users to reduce minimum night stay.
    This will available only if a minimum number of nights has been set for the booking, and works in a similar way to the above, allowing you or your team to manually override your minimum night stay settings for this event for a specific booking, if needed. 
Note: These override settings can have a significant impact. You should be careful when enabling these overrides and authorizing team members to use them. 

Preferences - Transfers

Enable Transfers - this option lets you collect online inbound and/or outbound details from attendees who'll need transfers to and/or from their hotel. You can also generate reports to help you coordinate transfer activity with your transport partner(s). 

Once you've checked the box to enable transfers, you can decide what information you want to collect online during the registration process for either Inbound Transfers, Outbound Transfers, or both:

  • Arrival and Departure Date
  • ETA / ETD
  • Transfer Pickup Time
  • Number of Passengers
  • Arrival / Departure Port
  • Arrival / Departure Terminal
  • Flight Number
  • Carrier
  • Notes

Accommodation - Payment and Cancelation Policy

As with most other modules, you can create policies for the whole Accommodation module, then create or override specific payment and cancelation policies (schedules and terms) for each hotel. Read more about Payment and Cancelation policies.

In the Accommodation module, you also have the extra option to set deposit amounts under each room type.

Adding a hotel

To add a hotel, use the plus sign icon + beside the word Hotel. You may choose to use a hotel you've already created in your Application Setup Library of Hotels & Suppliers.

When setting up a Hotel, you'll see the following tabs:

  • Details
  • Hotel Information
  • Inventory
  • Sub Blocks [if you enable this in Inventory]
  • Amenities
  • Room Release
  • Payment/Cancelation Policy [if you've enabled this - see section above]
  • Advanced

[Hotel] Details tab

When first setting up/adding a hotel, the only mandatory field under the Details tab is the hotel name. However, it's helpful to include information about contact names, location, descriptions etc. under the Details tab, as this information can be included in attendee communications via Merge Docs, in the Attendee App, and on your online registration site.

Note: If you create a new hotel with the same name as one that's already in your Hotel Library (in Application Setup), a warning will appear to let you know this may be a Duplicate Hotel.

Hotel Information tab

Under the Hotel Information tab. you can add:

  • One or more photos - You can add multiple images here. The recommended size is 371 x 255 pixels.
  • Map Link URL - see more instructions below.
  • Distance from Event Venue (in kilometers, km)
  • Star rating (and whether or not the hotel has self-rated, or the rating is from an external organization)
  • Hotel Terms & Conditions (you may have some items specific to this hotel, such as 'no pets' or 'we don't take Amex'. )
    For Terms and Conditions relating to deposits, cancelation fees etc., use the Payment and Cancelation feature. Read more below.
  • Default check-in and check-out times.
Map link: To properly display a hotel map in a Merge Doc, you must insert a static 400 x 400 pixel map link rather than the normal map links provided by Google Maps and other map sites. You can use any technology that can generate a static URL, for example:

[Hotel] Inventory tab

To avoid overbooking of hotels, you need to set up inventory correctly, and this depends on what you've arranged with your hotel suppliers.

Under this Inventory tab (for the overall hotel inventory), you can set a total hotel inventory: across all room types, for the entire dates of your room block. Many hotels will allocate a set number of rooms, without committing to specific room types such as Double or Single rooms. This is sometimes referred to as Run of House (ROH).

You can set a hotel inventory limit, and create an alert when this inventory falls below a certain amount.

(Later, under each room type, you can create separate room type inventories.)

  • If you select "Limited" for Hotel Inventory, you'll see some extra options appear:
    • The "Use Sub Blocks" option - read more about sub blocks later in this article.
    • A calendar where you can enter the number of available rooms for this hotel per night (i.e. where you set your inventory for this hotel).  The default date range is based on your event settings, but you can also change the date range if you like. 

Using the inventory calendar

  • Inventory - enter the correct inventory amounts (number of rooms) for each night
  • Allocated to Sub Block - if you're using sub blocks (see more about sub blocks later in this article), the total hotel inventory amount reserved as a sub block per night is shown here, but can't be edited. If you're not using Sub Blocks here, it'll just show zero.
  • "Must Stay" checkbox (this will only appear if you enabled it in preferences) - you can select some nights as "Must Stay".

Amenities tab

You can choose specific hotel amenities from a list created in Application Setup (see Libraries), or add extras for this hotel. These are purely for your own reference.

Room Release tab

Sometimes, you may have arranged with your hotel to release unbooked rooms back to them, and if so, you'd use the Room Release feature to set up default Room Release calculations and alerts. Read more about using Room Release.

Payment Policy / Cancelation Policy tabs

 You can set schedules and policies specific to the hotel here. Read more about Payment and Cancelation policies.
NOTE: Because you can also set deposit values under each room type, (in the room type's Advanced tab), make sure these don't conflict with your other policies.

[Hotel] Advanced tab

You can add a unique code (for example, for API use). You can also add a commission rate (see below).

Commission rate: If you and your hotel vendor have agreed you'll receive commission, enter a value here. This percentage, along with the room rate you enter when setting up room types, is used to calculate commissions due, as shown in the Accommodation Commission report.

Adding Room Types

Once your hotel's set up, you need to add room types (so you can add Accommodation to your online registration site options). 

Room type - Details tab

Under this tab, you can add the following (Name and a value for Max. Occupancy are mandatory)

  • Name - e.g. "Double Room", "Single Room" - you can also create options such as "Single Room plus breakfast"
  • Description - e.g. "Ocean view" or "Suite with separate living area and kitchenette"
  • Maximum Occupancy - "Not Applicable" is the default, but you can set a maximum occupancy for this room type
  • Bedding Configuration - this text field lets you give specifics such as "2 x Queen plus 1 x King Single"
  • Photo - you can upload multiple photos of the room here.

Room type - Inventory and Rates Tab

Inventory and Rate options include the below. You would set these up based on your contract with the hotel:

  • Rate - select Fixed if the room rate is the same each night, or Dynamic if it fluctuates (for example, if weekend nights are more expensive).
If you select Fixed rate, the next option will be to add the nightly room rate. The amount your attendees see on the registration site for their accommodation booking is based on this cost per night for this room type.

You can also (if you want to) add a nightly room cost, which is the wholesale cost to you (for example, less commission). The 'nightly room cost' value is optional and just for your own reference. Commissions are calculated based on the room rate, and whatever's been entered in the Commission value in hotel setup.

If you select "Dynamic" for the rate, you'll see these same fields [room rate and room cost] on a per night basis under the Alert settings. You must add a room rate per night. Adding a room cost per night is optional.  
  • Inventory - your inventory options are:
    • Unlimited - assuming the hotel has plenty of these rooms, you can let attendees keep booking them without any limit.
    • Limited to Hotel Inventory - if you choose this option, attendees can book as many of these rooms as the overall hotel inventory allows.
    • Limited to Room Inventory - if you choose this option, you'll see a calendar appear below where you can set the inventory for this room type, per night. The "Use Sub Blocks" option will also appear. (See more information about sub blocks later in this article).
    • Limited to Other Room Type Inventory - use this if you want to create a 'variation' on an existing room type (for example, "Single Room with Breakfast") and limit the inventory to that of the main room type (e.g. in this example, you'd limit the inventory to "Single Room" type).

  • Optional Alerts - you can be sent an alert when the number of rooms remaining falls below the limit.

    The inventory calendar on each room type includes the same fields as the overall hotel inventory calendar (see earlier section), but in this case you're setting the inventory just for this room type.
    • Minimum Stay - if you check this box, you can specify a minimum number of nights for this specific room type. 

Room type - Itinerary tab

You can add specific itinerary details for this room type, which can be added to Merge Docs sent to attendees and included in their Itinerary documents.

Room type - Advanced tab

 Under the Advanced button, you can set up the following options:

  • Payment Option - specify if the full payment is required before check-in, or just one night's deposit. You can also allow a percentage of the total, or a fixed amount. If you select a deposit rather than full payment, you'll also be able to specify that Group Contacts need to pay the full amount, if this is required.
    Check these against any payment schedules you may have also specified for this hotel.

  • Valid Payment Statuses - the default payment statuses are Purchase, Inclusive, Complimentary, and Canceled. You can also enable other payment statuses for this room type, such as:
    • No Charge
    • Own Expense
    • Invited
    • Not Attending
    • Not Required
    • Deposit
    • Charge to Another Contact
    • Split Charge
    • Waitlist Purchase
    • Waitlist No Payment Required
  • Invoice Group - if using invoice groups, choose the correct one for this Room Type
  • Credit Hours/Points
  • Tax - add any taxes specific to this Room Type
  • Cancelation Fee - set the cancelation fee, as well as any taxes applicable to this fee.
    Be sure you also check any payment and cancelation policies you've applied to the hotel as they're in addition to what you add here. 

Accommodation Discount Codes

 You can apply many different types of discount codes to your hotels and rooms, and apply these very selectively. Read more about using discount codes.

Using Sub Blocks

Sub Blocks let you reserve hotel inventory for specific groups (staff, VIPs etc), so that these reserved rooms will NOT be available for booking through your online interactive registration forms. Instead, you enter these bookings manually as an accommodation item in the attendee records.
  • If you want to be able to set different sub block room rates, enable this in Accommodation Preferences.
  • Then, under Accommodation Sub Block (below where you create hotels and room types), add each Sub Block you want to use (you just need to give each one a name).  
  • When you enable Sub Blocks in either Hotel setup (under Inventory) or Room Type setup (under Inventory & Rates) the Sub Block tab will become available. However, you need to set your Hotel / Room Type calendar dates and inventory correctly before going to the Sub Block tab.

On the Sub Blocks tab:

  • Choose which Sub Block you're allocating rooms for.
  • You'll see a column for each date (based on what you defined in the Inventory tab). 
  • For "Inventory", you can enter how many rooms you want allocated to this sub block.
  • Press "Save" to update this in "Allocated to Sub Block".

When you return back to the Inventory tab (for a hotel) or the Inventory & Rates tab (for a room type), you'll see the sub block allocation has updated. 

You won't be able to enter/save the amount if your total rooms reserved for all Sub Blocks adds up to more than the total inventory for the Hotel/Room Type, on any night.
  • To deduct a booking from a sub block, go to the attendee's Accommodation item details. After entering the Hotel, Room Type, Number of Rooms, and the Dates required, check Deduct from Sub Block, and choose the correct Sub Block. You'll also see exactly how many rooms are left in this Sub Block.
  • In the Reporting module, you can get a financial breakdown of Sub Block allocation with the Accommodation Sub Block Value list.
  • You can use the Accommodation Matrix on the Alerts panel to see all remaining inventory, selecting the Sub blocks tab to just see sub blocks. In the Accommodation Matrix, rooms in Sub Blocks count as part of the Allocated Total,  (not the Unallocated Total), even if they're not yet assigned to a specific attendee. This is because they're still reserved, and unavailable for general allocation.