We have all heard the saying, ‘If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.’ In the case of housing poachers, companies that contact convention exhibitors and attendees claiming to have better prices at the same or nicer hotels – the saying is usually right. Room poaching is a practice carried out by third-party companies who misrepresent themselves as being affiliated with Coverings to solicit exhibitors for hotel reservations.
Oftentimes, the poacher will inform an exhibitor that the hotel room block is “nearly sold out,” and that rooms should be booked immediately, or his or her sales people won’t get rooms for the show. The poacher will even go so far as to use the Coverings name when contacting exhibitors, despite the fact that the company is not officially sanctioned by the event. Additional deceptive tactics include distributing forms or promotional materials that appear to be issued by show management.
Why does room poaching pose problems to exhibitors?
Room poachers have a history of not delivering on their promises to the customers. It is not unusual for participants to have reservations switched at the last minute, to arrive to find the reservations are non-existent, or to find the hotels are located far from the convention center.
Room poachers often require room rates and fees be paid up front. Sometimes cancellations and changes to reserved rooms result in hefty charges placed on the guest’s credit card.
Coverings secures sleeping rooms at our block hotels not only to assure that all attendees and exhibitors are adequately accommodated but also to show the overall value of the event to each city we visit. By tracking our value, we are better able to negotiate with venues, hotels and vendors to provide better service to the show and in turn, provide better service to our exhibitors and attendees. If we do not book and utilize the rooms expected, we may be responsible for payments directly to the hotels as compensation.
Coverings hopes you will support our efforts to thwart the room block poachers when making your housing arrangements by booking through Travel Planners, our official housing partner.
Here on the Coverings website we have listed a number of the poachers who regularly contact exhibitors. NONE of these are affiliated with Coverings. If you choose to do business with these organizations, or others like them, you do so at your own risk. Unfortunately, there is nothing Coverings can do to help you get back any money you may lose in the process. If you are contacted by any of these companies, or another company you think may be a poacher, please contact Michele Nebel Peake at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On another, but related note, Expo-Guide and FAIRGuide are two organizations that have targeted trade shows selling advertising and exhibitor listings in their guides by deliberately misleading exhibitors into believing that they are associated with a particular trade show. In previous years, these organizations have contacted Coverings exhibitors. Coverings is not affiliated with them in any way, therefore any listing or advertisement that you purchase from them will most likely be of no value to you.
A complete list of the Coverings 2013 official show vendors will be available soon. We recommend all transactions go through this list of approved vendors.