Hacks for Getting Better Accommodations at Entrepreneurship Conferences
Entrepreneurship conferences are always awesome.
They allow you to network with other entrepreneurs and to learn new skills that you can use to take your business to the next level.
Whether you’re a keynote speaker at a blockchain research conference or you’re heading to a global summit to pitch your startup to venture capital investors, you’re going to have a great time. Both regional symposiums and international conferences are unique ecosystems where business owners and influencers can learn and grow.
But before you attend, you need to cross a few important items off your list.
And one of those items is a hotel room.
Well, we know a few secrets about the hotel industry that can help you secure an amazing room at a fantastic rate during your next conference trip.
And because we love traveling entrepreneurs, we’re going to share them with you.
Here are the five hacks you need to know to get the best deal on lodging for your entrepreneurship conference.
1. Price Hacks
Whether you’re traveling to New York, Dubai, or anywhere else in the world, these tips will help you secure the best deals on the best hotel rooms:
1. Stay at a Different Hotel Than the Conference Hotel
Staying at a different hotel than where the entrepreneurial conference is being held can help you save money and get a better deal.
If the hotel hosting the expo doesn’t offer the best rates on rooms, then finding an alternative can definitely help you get a better rate.
Save that hotel money to use for other things (like growing your business’s podcast or investing in that new social sciences program for HR)!
2. Compare Prices
Getting a better deal on hotel prices generally starts with comparing prices offered by different hotels.
This is true of hotels stretching from Zurich to San Francisco and everywhere in between.
Suppose you’re planning to attend an entrepreneurship conference. In that case, it’s in your best interest to compare the host hotel’s prices against the prices of surrounding hotel options.
As a young entrepreneur attending a global conference, it definitely pays to save every dollar possible.
3. Book a Boutique Hotel or Local Inn
Sometimes, booking rooms in fancy, high-cost hotels is an attractive option.
But it’s also true that sometimes you can’t beat the savings offered by boutique hotels or local inns.
For best results, make sure to include these smaller hotel options in your search.
4. Use a Reward Program or Travel Points to Save Money
If you regularly travel for business and use some kind of travel credit card or membership to earn points and rewards, then you can definitely use this to help you save money on your next entrepreneurship conference trip.
5. Hold Great Rates by Booking Ahead of Time
Here’s an easy, three-step technique for getting better hotel bookings at better prices:
- Regularly research rates for your trips.
- Book rooms that give you the best prices.
- Cancel previous bookings to give yourself a virtual “upgrade” that wasn’t available before.
In other words, work slowly to find the best bang for your buck in the months leading up to your social entrepreneurship conference.
The only caveat here is that you have to book at hotels that offer free cancellation or through a booking service that does. Otherwise, you’ll rack up some hefty fees with this technique.
6. Use Hotel Engine to Save Big on Business Lodging
Hotel Engine offers a variety of benefits to help business travelers save money and get better lodging for business trips.
Here are some of the benefits:
- Free to join
- Zero annual or signup fees
- No contracts or minimums
- Simple, straightforward billing
- 24/7 US-based customer support for all members
Plus, HE currently has access to more than 700,000 hotels worldwide.
And we can save you a lot on business lodging.
Learn more about the process here: What Is Hotel Engine and How Does it Work? All Your Burning Booking Questions Answered!
2. Star Levels and Why They Matter
Hotels are usually rated by a number of stars, ranging from 1 star to 5 stars.
As a general rule, taking this information into account can actually help you to save money on your bookings.
You can accomplish this by looking at the number of stars your favorite hotel (the one that fits at the top of your budget and seems to provide good amenities) is rated for, then look at alternatives that are one or two stars off of that rating.
This can help you find hidden gems that you may not have considered beforehand.
For example, if you look for hotels with one less star than your current favorite option, you’re likely to find some neat, clean rooms that offer incredible amenities but at a lower price.
And sometimes, you can bump yourself up a star at a different hotel but still save an incredible amount of money due to special pricing — thus booking yourself an even better room than you were expecting for the same price (or even cheaper).
Of course, delving into this rabbit hole requires a little bit of research. But, it can be well worth the effort if your goal is to find the absolute best lodging for that upcoming entrepreneurship conference.
3. Take Distance Into Account
Booking a hotel close to the conference is obviously convenient.
However, it’s also highly likely that you’re going to pay more for such a booking.
Because if the conference is large, popular, and being held at an in-demand venue, then it’s likely in a part of town where bookings for hotel lodgings are just going to be more expensive.
Therefore, browsing hotels that are further away from the venue could yield better prices.
It’s also true that these types of bookings could yield better amenities, better customer service, and just a better experience in general.
What’s the downside to this?
Of course, booking further away will mean that you’ll have to commute a bit further every day to get to the conference. It also means that networking over drinks at the hotel bar after the conference might be a bit more challenging.
It’s really a straightforward cost-benefit analysis at that point.
Here’s the main takeaway:
This is especially true if you’re planning to attend a large, well-known entrepreneurship conference where a lot of people will be trying to book nearby rooms (think Dreamforce, SXSW Startups Track, etc.).
4. Look Closer at Amenities
As stated before, it can be very tempting to jump at a booking that’s near the entrepreneurship conference for the sake of proximity and convenience.
However, this isn’t always a good idea — not only from a cost analysis perspective but also from a benefit analysis perspective.
For example, if you’re willing to drive 45 minutes to get to the conference in the morning, you’ll give up an hour and a half of commute time every day.
But, as a trade-off, you may gain some valuable amenities that could greatly increase the quality of your stay.
Sometimes, amenities can add significant value to a hotel booking.
Before booking, you may want to research amenities to see what each hotel option on your radar is actually offering.
You may be able to get access to a gym, a spa, world-class room service, an on-site workspace, and/or free breakfast if you book a certain hotel, whereas other options may not offer these types of amenities.
Want More Amenities? Consider Asking
You’d be amazed at what you can get for free if you’re willing to ask for it.
You can check out this crazy awesome list of potential freebies created by TheTravel.com blog for inspiration.
(Who would have thought that you could get a body pillow, DJ turntable, or even Netflix access for free? As it turns out, it all depends on where you’re staying — and on how bold you’re willing to be with your requests!)
5. Nearby Opportunities to Make the Most of the Entrepreneur Conference Lifestyle
Attending an entrepreneur conference will doubtlessly open up opportunities for networking with other business leaders.
(Do you need some tips for this? Check out this amazing post by one of our favorite human behavior specialists, Vannessa Van Edwards.)
Therefore, it could be in your favor to look for ways that your hotel accommodations could help with networking.
If your hotel has an attached bar or restaurant, you could easily invite people back to that location for after-hour drinks or dinner.
You could also use this strategy if your hotel is nearby the venue or if you’re near some prime nightlife locations.
In other words, you want to take a closer look at what’s nearby the hotel before booking.
Some Hotel Locations Don’t Offer as Many Social Benefits
You might find a great hotel at a great price, but then realize that it’s located in a neighborhood without any nightlife opportunities (i.e., a boring neighborhood that’s just far enough away to be inconvenient).
Of course, this may or may not matter to you, depending on what your networking plans are.
If you plan to do all of your networking at the conference, this inconvenient location may be of little consequence — and may even be a good idea if such a booking can save you some extra money.
However, at larger entrepreneurship conferences, after-hours networking events can be an invaluable time investment.
Therefore, it may be in your best interest to explore the bars, restaurants, and businesses nearby on Google Maps before booking. That way, you’ll be able to see what each section of the city has to offer, and you’ll avoid missing out on networking opportunities.
Paying a bit more for a hotel near the networking events could be maximally beneficial. After all, that’s where you have the chance to connect with successful entrepreneurs and other awesome small business owners.
We’ll admit that we’re a little bit biased, but we love traveling entrepreneurs.
So, we hope that this guide has been helpful and has provided you with some value that’ll help make your next trip more enjoyable.
At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.
Need some help booking the perfect business lodging option for your next trip? Don’t hesitate to check out Hotel Engine. We’d love the chance to save you money on your next booking.
Audrey Fairbrother is the Content and SEO Manager at Hotel Engine. She spends her days writing about all things business travel, researching topics that are important to Hotel Engine’s audience and cultivating the company’s brand voice. When she’s not working, Audrey enjoys spending time with her family, and hiking in the nearby Rockies with her dog, Albie.