Mastering the Art of Negotiating F&B and Room Rates for Your Conference

Organizing a successful conference involves many moving parts, including negotiating favorable rates for food and beverage (F&B) and hotel rooms. Securing the best possible deals can significantly impact your event’s budget and overall attendee experience. Today, we’ll explore strategies for effectively negotiating F&B and room rates with hotels, ensuring you get the most value for your conference.

Do Your Homework

Before entering negotiations, research the hotel’s standard rates, competitors’ pricing, and seasonal trends affecting demand. This information will help you understand the hotel’s position and give you leverage during negotiations. Familiarize yourself with industry terminologies, such as minimum guarantees, attrition, and cut-off dates, to communicate effectively with the hotel’s sales team.

Be Flexible with Dates

If you have flexibility in your conference dates, use it to your advantage. Hotels often have periods of lower occupancy and may be more willing to offer discounted rates to fill their rooms and event spaces. Being open to alternative dates can secure better deals on F & B and room rates.

Leverage Your Conference’s Value

When negotiating with hotels, emphasize the value your conference will bring to their property. Highlight the number of attendees, their spending potential, and the potential for repeat business in the future. You can gain negotiation leverage and secure better deals by demonstrating the long-term benefits of partnering with your event.

Bundle F&B and Room Rates

Consider bundling your F&B and room rate negotiations to achieve better overall pricing. Hotels may be more willing to offer discounted F&B packages if they know they will also secure many room bookings. Be prepared to discuss your conference’s anticipated F&B needs, such as meal preferences, dietary restrictions, and estimated headcounts, to negotiate a customized package that meets your budget and requirements.

Use Competitive Bidding

Request proposals from multiple hotels to create a competitive bidding environment. Be transparent with the hotels about your bidding process and allow them to match or beat their competitors’ offers. By comparing offers from different properties, you can identify the best deals and use them as leverage in your negotiations.

Address Attrition and Cancellation Policies

During negotiations, ensure you discuss attrition and cancellation policies. Attrition refers to the financial penalty for not filling a predetermined percentage of reserved rooms, while cancellation policies cover fees incurred for canceling the event. Work with the hotel to establish fair, flexible terms protecting both parties from unforeseen circumstances.

Build Relationships

Building solid relationships with the hotel’s sales team can help you secure better deals and foster a collaborative atmosphere during negotiations. Maintain open communication, be transparent about your needs and budget, and show appreciation for their efforts. Cultivating positive relationships can also increase the likelihood of securing favorable terms for future events.


Negotiating F&B and room rates for your conference requires preparation, flexibility, and relationship-building skills. By doing your homework, leveraging your conference’s value, and using competitive bidding, you can secure the best possible deals for your event. Remember that successful negotiations are about finding a balance that benefits both parties, ensuring a positive experience for your attendees and a fruitful partnership with the hotel.

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