Does your company have an awesome event to produce? Maybe it’s a company kickoff, an annual members gala, or a city-wide conference. No matter the type of event, you may be at a crossroads of whether to produce the event in-house or outsource it to an agency. The good news is, there is no wrong answer! Both agency and in-house event management are great solutions depending on your goals and resources.


At Meetingmax we specialize in room block management, so this post will focus specifically on that one event component.

Agency vs In-House Room Block Management

Agency vs. In-house Room Block Management

Benefits of an agency managing your event room blocks:

  • There’s less labor involved: If you and your team have limited bandwidth then passing the hotel component of your event to an agency makes sense.
  • They’re knowledgeable: Agencies typically have a vast knowledge of event industry systems, policies, permits, and safety requirements.
  • They can manage multiple event components: Outside of event housing, most agencies can also manage other components such as venue sourcing, contracting, registration, and trade show management.

Benefits to in-house room block management:

  • Immediate access to data: You no longer need to request a pickup report and wait to receive it. With in-house software simply log in to view all of your data be it pace reports, room pickup stats, guest information, or how close you are to meeting attrition.
  • Increased control: You’ll have full control over the event branding, messaging, guest payments, hotel room refunds, and the overall guest experience.
  • Increased revenue: Whether you’re paying an agency through hotel commissions, a per-reservation fee, or a flat rate, it typically costs a large percentage of your room block revenue. Plus, you may owe penalty fees if minimum room pickup numbers are not met. If you manage your room blocks in-house, you’ll keep a lot more revenue within your company.

If you’re unsure if an agency or in-house management is right for you, remember that you can always opt to delegate certain components of your event to an agency and manage the rest yourself.

Reasons to consider moving to in-house room block management:

Number 1
You’re already doing the hotel contracting: Hotel contracting is the heavy lifting! If this is part of your job then moving to in-house room block management will be a simple transition as you have a pre-existing relationship with your hotel partners; you understand the terms of your contract; and you’re already negotiating great benefits (commissions, rebates, and concessions) for your organization.

Number 2
There is a delay in information sharing: If you’re waiting days to receive pickup reports, attrition stats, pace reports, or more, then consider moving to in-house management to gain 24/7 access to your data. In Meetingmax, you can even schedule pickup alerts and reports to send automatically.

Number 3
You want more control over the guest experience: If you’re unhappy with the messaging and branding of your current events, or if you feel like it takes days of revisions and it is still not quite right, then consider moving to in-house management. You will control the entire event build, including all event messaging and branding.

Number 4
You want to grow your team: Outsourcing is great, but no one cares more about your company’s success than its employees. If you want to grow your team, in-house management is the way to go.

Number 5
You want to keep more revenue in-house: If you want to keep your event housing revenue from rebates, commissions, booking fees, cancellation penalties, and more, as revenue for your organization then it’s time to move to in-house management.
The bottom line is that if you are willing to take on the work there are many benefits to in-house room block management including immediate access to data, increased revenue, and control over the attendee experience.

Tips for a smooth transition to in-house room block management:

Number 1
Learn how to negotiate better hotel contracts: Ensure you do a rate audit before going to RFP, use your global hotel brand representatives, enlist the local convention & visitors bureau to assist you, and more. Learn more hotel contracting tips.

Number 2
Partner with a technology provider who cares: Seriously, this is important. Look for a partner who is invested in your success. Have they helped other clients transition from either no software (hello excel spreadsheets!) or an agency to in-house management? What type of training and support do they provide? At Meetingmax, we’ve helped many clients move to in-house management and even offer custom event build packages to help to ease the transition.

Number 3
Build a community of event housing professionals: It’s vital to have a group of like-minded professionals that you can pose questions to. As every event planner knows, no two events are ever run the same way! The same goes for housing. At Meetingmax, we offer many opportunities for our clients to connect, build relationships, and learn from each other. Whether it’s events at tradeshows, our LinkedIn user group, or our user conference, The Unconvention. We know how important it is to build a community and help you find your people.

Sound Good?

We’re even better on the phone. Let’s chat about how room block management software can improve your next event.

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