Back In The Game: Key Takeaways From Our First Live Events Since Covid-19 Shutdown

 By Tom Bell, Leader of Sports Programs, Connections Housing



Here at Connections Housing, we’re back in the game – managing housing needs for our first live events since the Covid-19 lockdowns began in March 2020.

Among them, a series of national baseball tournaments we recently completed for travel teams in age brackets ranging from 15 to 18 for our client, a premier provider of amateur baseball events. The client hosts high quality travel team tournaments and individual showcases throughout the country. Its database and scouting reports, as well as player rankings, have been proven to be a valuable resource for all College Coaches and MLB scouts.

Some quick stats.  These  tournaments:

-Ran from late June through July

-Ranged in size from 70 to 320 teams

-Attracted players, families, scouts, coaches, friends, and fans

- Housing needs ranged from team room blocks, special requests, individual reservations, relocations, cancellations and more

Key Takeaways

While outdoor events certainly offer different challenges than indoor events, our on-the-ground youth sports experience in June and July has offered key takeaways we’re using to further strengthen and custom-tailor housing strategies for our corporate, association, trade show and other clients moving forward.

·         THE WIND UP | EASING TRAVELER CONCERN

The Connections team focused on communication and hands-on customer service to  address attendees’ travel concerns. From communicating the re-negotiated lowest rates and updated cancellation policies to the enhanced hotel cleaning and safety protocols  plus healthy travel tips, we worked to make sure attendees had all the information they  needed to attend with confidence & ease.

·         EYE ON THE BALL | SAVING CLIENT TIME

One of Connections Housings’ strengths is technology. Building upon the Passkey System,  Connections Housing developed its own software suite. Using the Passkey Data Interface,  our propriety software expands upon the passkey platform beyond its basic functions.   Ask us more about these specialized features, which save time and provide quick turn around for sub-block management.

·         TOUCHING ALL THE BASES | ELIMINATING GUESSWORK 

When it comes to events, even amidst a pandemic, there is a seemingly endless list of items to consider on the housing front. Everything from state travel restrictions to hotel  and venue Covid-19 cleaning & safety restrictions. The list goes on and on -- and Connections Housing anticipated and considered them to make sure it was advocating on  behalf of the group and its attendees.

·        THE HOME RUN 

As expected, we found that communication is key now more than ever. Americans are eager to travel – when it’s safe and affordable. Hotels are eager to increase occupancy, and will offer flexible cancellation,  attrition policies, and reduced rates. This event was a home run!

Looking forward -- with  36 years of successful events behind  us -- we know that our  relationships with hotels and vendors will continue to make the contracting process easy and concessions plentiful for our clients. These time-tested, proven relationships, combined with experienced housing industry veterans who never crack under pressure, ensure the lowest possible rates, rock solid contracts and the best customer service in the housing business. We also work with our clients using proven attendance building techniques to ensure consistent growth and pick-up.

Whether you’re in the sports world, or looking for help with convention housing, destination events, incentive trips or tours, our versatile team can custom-tailor a housing and travel strategy to meet your unique event objectives and goals.

Visit the services page on our website to learn more and reach out if we can help you start the planning process for your next event!

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