Industry attorney Barbara F. Dunn offers the following ways to keep pirates away from your room block:

  • If pirates surface, notify your attorney, who will send cease and desist letters to the offenders.
  • Communicate early and often with attendees and exhibitors about room arrangements and the possible presence of pirates. Inform them about the official event housing company, its name and the benefits of staying at “official” hotels for rates negotiated on behalf of the group.
  • Advise constituencies what to look for in e-mails and phone solicitations, and what to do if contacted by suspicious “predators.” Repeat these warnings several times during the registration period/process.
  • Consider better security of exhibitor and attendee contact information. For example, weigh the pros and cons of posting the list on your organization or event website.
  • Notify the CVB in the destination you’re meeting in about the identity of your contracted hotels.