The U.S. hotel industry has seen eight straight years in revenue growth, and forecasts point to the highest hotel occupancies in 2018 since the 1980’s. In general, hotel room rates seem higher than in the past – and they are! There are many factors that should be considered when booking a city for a volleyball event, and hotels are one of them. Let’s look at these factors, as well as how the JVA manages to secure reasonable hotel rates without a “stay to play” policy.
When booking a city for a volleyball event there are three main factors to consider:
  1. Sufficient event space for the volleyball courts.
  2. Enough hotel rooms at a variety of price points
  3. Driving distance for many clubs who will send teams to the event.

Each city also evaluates a potential event before booking it into their city taking into consideration the number of people, the amount of space needed and the entire economic impact that will be left behind once all the attendees are gone.

JVA was founded on the principle that everyone should be able to book their own travel and stay where they want to. JVA is not a “stay to play” organization. This is a good thing for the participants to have choices. But on the flip side, JVA needs to prove the value of their events to the hotels and the city in exchange for a large enough event space and enough hotel rooms at a reasonable cost.

Hotel Room Blocks

The event expenses such as the convention center, officials and the folks who manage the event at some point all roll up into the team registration fee. The attendees renting hotel rooms within the group block all count towards lowering the cost of producing the event, especially related to the cost of the convention center. Organizations like JVA need to show as many room nights as possible in their block which keeps costs lower, which in turn helps keep team registration entry fees as low as possible. Hotel contracts have provisions to provide the best rates possible based on a specific volume. But the hotels need to see more guest rooms utilized for this all to work.

The good news is that JVA strives to prove their size and value for every event and takes their actual historical data to negotiate lower overall costs at the convention center and hotels. JVA signs contracts for each event that specifies attendance and the number of hotel rooms needed for participants. This, in turn, is used to drive costs down for everyone.

Having a good history of “heads in beds” also helps to negotiate items such as complimentary or reduced parking, breakfast specials, and complimentary rooms to help house the staff and officials that support the event.

In the long run, the best way to keep your costs lower as a club director or a parent is to support the organization running the tournament. In partnership with ConferenceDirect, JVA works hard to secure the best rates at the best hotels. Is it a perfect situation – no it is not. But JVA is committed to providing the best overall experience for participating athletes and their parents.

For related reading for Club Directors click HERE. For related reading on events click here.

ConferenceDirect is an event solutions company that helps organizations by consolidating the RFP process and negotiating the best contract terms currently available in the events business. We also offer registration, housing, conference management and mobile apps. We create competition for your events which brings cost savings to your bottom line. Please contact Lynn Golabowski for more information at

About the Author

Lynn Golabowski is Senior Vice President at ConferenceDirect, a Los Angeles-based meeting solutions company. She has more than 36 years of meeting and hotel industry experience, including positions in both operations and sales and marketing with Stouffers, Marriott, Hyatt, and Wyndham. She is past Executive Director of Meeting Professionals International – Wisconsin Chapter and is currently on the VISIT MILWAUKEE Advisory Board.

Lynn has been a part of club, high school, and collegiate volleyball with her daughters and considers herself a well-traveled volleyball parent. She also provides sourcing and hotel contract negotiations for all Junior Volleyball Association events.

ConferenceDirect books over 11,500 events per year adding up to over $800 million in hotel rooms revenue. Junior Volleyball Association partners with ConferenceDirect to provide buying power which drives cost savings for their events.