How INFORMS Reduced Planner Workload and Enhanced its Customer Experience by Integrating Stay22

INFORMS, the leading international association for professionals in operations research and analytics, used Stay22 to build a better user experience by providing a simple and easy accommodation booking platform to its event attendees.

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Results at a Glance

  • During the 2019 INFORMS Annual Meeting, 90% of the 6000 attendees were from out of town. When the 1800 room blocks sold out, INFORMS used Stay22 to generate 229 bookings and $1631.22 USD in commission.

  • The Stay22 solution reduced the planner’s workload by acting as an alternative to the filled room blocks.

  • INFORMS was able to leverage data through Stay22 and collect valuable information such as what type of accommodation their clients prefer, where they came from, and how long they stayed.

The Story

INFORMS, the world’s leading international association for professionals in operations research and analytics, turned to Stay22 when their room block filled just weeks before a multi-day, 6000-person event. Meeting planners needed to take action immediately. Implementing the Stay22 accommodation map created an overall positive customer experience for their last-minute accommodation reservations.

The Challenge:

INFORMS holds over ten meetings per year of up to 6,000 attendees. While venue, scheduling, materials, food and beverage are all very important to the meeting planners, the 1,000 to 6,000 attendees are the priority.

INFORMS uses room blocks by negotiating contracts with hotels. The drawback of the room block model is the risk of booking too few rooms. Cheryl Clark- Manager, meeting planning comments:

“Looking for a hotel is time-consuming. Forty-five days out, we are too busy to find additional hotels at the last minute.”

Securing a room block near an event isn’t an easy feat: multiple days or even weeks can go by until the research, negotiations and contract are settled. Meanwhile, meeting attendees grow restless and anxious, hoping they can secure a room as fast as possible. This situation can bring on a negative experience to both the event planners and the attendees.

The Solution:

INFORMS found Stay22 - a perfect complement to the room block model, as they ran out of rooms before the official cut-off date.

In the past, INFORMS meeting planners had to manage the room block commotion or, worse, tell attendees to find rooms on their own. In both cases, the customer experience was abysmal.

“Finding your company was an excellent solution to this problem. It was easy to set-up and get onto our conference website within a few days - and the commission to the association is a great bonus!” added Clark.

With Stay22, INFORMS realized that attendees could find rooms on their own in an easy and seamless manner. By having a venue-centric map, attendees were able to choose the sort of lodging and price range they desired, all in the vicinity of the event location. From hotels to Airbnbs and other alternative accommodations, meeting attendees were able to book their ideal accommodation with the Stay22 solution. By implementing Stay22, INFORMS solved the problem of filled room blocks and considerably increased their customer’s experience.

INFORMS were satisfied with the ease and speed with which they could offer a booking resource to their attendees, comments Cheryl Clark:

“I like the fact that you’re a small company. We get the attention we need, you guys are fast.”

The Results:

In the words of INFORMS meeting planners, “Success is when attendees have very few complaints.”

According to INFORMS, “no one mentioned anything about Stay22 - and that it is a good thing I truly mean that, no complaints, I’m thrilled!” The seamless customer experience speaks for itself. Stay22 had a significant impact on customer satisfaction, as it drastically reduced complaints among meeting attendees. For this, INFORMS meeting planners were grateful and will continue to use Stay22 and recommend it to colleagues in the field in the future.

Stay22 was beneficial to both INFORMS and its attendees by reducing planner workload and offering a simple, intuitive and easy alternative to the filled room blocks. Stay22 acted as “a great service for the multiple last-minute reservations”.

By using Stay22, INFORMS was able to provide a superior customer experience for its clients and will continue to do so at future meetings with the data they collected.

Event By The Numbers:

At the 2019 INFORMS Annual Meeting, 90% of the 6,000 attendees were from out of town. When the 1800 room blocks sold out, INFORMS turned to Stay22.

Thanks to Stay22, 229 bookings were generated, along with $1631.22 USD in commission for INFORMS. Data through Stay22 enabled INFORMS to track what type of accommodation their clients preferred, where they came from, and how long they stayed.

Event Planner Profile

INFORMS is an international organization with over 12,500 members from around the world. They organize over ten meetings per year, lasting between two and five days long. The attendance ranges from 1,000 to 6,000 attendees, where 75% of them are academics and 25% are business professionals, hailing from all over the globe.