I doubt I'll ever leave a store with 260 travel-size tubes of toothpaste or 400 boxes of cat food, but it's still entertaining to watch the folks on TLC's "Extreme Couponing" get loads of wacky stuff on the cheap. I especially like the episodes that feature seemingly normal people stocking up on freebies just so they can devote their household budgets to other interests like world travel or designer handbags.
In a way, making these kinds of budget allocations—more for catering, less for entertainment—is a balancing act planners frequently undertake. Deals and incentives have long been a part of the meetings and events industry, and for good reason. As I mentioned in my last blog, we're operating under tighter budgets, shorter timelines and other restrictions. Here are a few Texas hotel and resort promotions worth mentioning:
• The Omni Dallas Hotel opens Nov. 11 and is offering an incentive for meeting planners of $11 per gallon of coffee per day, $11 breakfast per person per day and $11 LCD rental per day. The offer is valid through Dec. 31, 2011. The Omni Dallas Hotel has 110,000 square feet of meeting space and is connected via skybridge to the Dallas Convention Center.
• Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is launching a Greening Meetings program to meeting planners. It is available at the Four Seasons Hotel Houston, Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, and Four Seasons Hotel Austin. The incentive offers options to conserve energy, reduce waste and support sustainability at events—at no extra cost. Plus, each hotel has a Green Team to assist planners. Additional initiatives include attendee visits to nearby organic farms.
• Canyon of the Eagles is offering a special rate of $139 per guest room through Sept. 30, 2011. The rate includes value-added resort activities like movies under the stars and "Shake, Rattle and Coil" wildlife demonstrations. The Eagles Nest lounge, perfect for event mixers, also opens this month.
**OK, this one's not in Texas, but it's a good deal all the same—and you just can't beat the locale. Book a meeting by Sept. 30, 2011, at the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort and you will receive up to 100,000 Starpoints and three benefits to choose from: 2 percent off master billed rooms, accelerated room upgrades or a complimentary staff office.
If you come across a promotion you'd like to share, don't hesitate to send me an email. I would never suggest you save money by dumpster diving for coupons or cutting your own hair, but I've been known to Tweet news of a discount. How do you share a good deal?
Texas Meetings + Events