Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Rachael Kissel, the founder of The Room Block Source. She is a wonderfully kind and smart woman, who is changing the way we do room blocks at Chancey Charm. So, I thought it would be fun to have her come on and share a bit about herself, her company and how they can help YOU plan your client’s wedding OR your wedding with a little less stress!
Tell us about yourself and your company, how and why did you start The Room Block Source?
The Room Block Source is such a cool resource for Planners and their clients. Our job is to assist in finding and contracting the right hotel(s) for wedding room blocks, and also assist in finding destination hotels for weddings and events all over the world. I came up with the concept of The Room Block Source during a networking luncheon with other wedding vendors in my area. They were telling me how much they really disliked doing room blocks for their client and didn’t like to offer it as a part of their services. As a career, I had been sourcing and contracting hotels for my corporate and social clients for over 20 years, and used to be a wedding planner, so I understood what they were going through and volunteered my services to some of my friends (in exchange for some fabulous bottles of wine I might add…). After they saw the value of not only (to put it bluntly) “me” doing all the work for them but also getting a commission back for the referral, they asked me to do all of their blocks. I’ve been doing room blocks for a long time, but in March 2020 when Covid hit, I had time to sit down and really look at this opportunity and say to myself, WOW! this is a great business idea, and I would be solving so many issues for Planners and their clients. And voila! The Room Block Source was officially born. Six months later we have hundreds of Planners working with us to help their clients with their room blocks, and it’s been an amazing journey so far.
What is the biggest benefit to planners in working with one of your associates?
Well, if your client has any guests traveling from out of town, they will most definitely need a hotel room block! The Room Block Source has global relationships with all of the hotel brands (and the independents, too), so our planner affiliates don’t need to spend time researching hotels and getting quotes and managing room blocks, because we do it all for them! And, when Planners join our affiliate program, they receive a commission on all of the room blocks that go to contract.
Our team works in all 50 states (even in the smallest towns) and all over the world sourcing and contract hotel room blocks, destination wedding venues and even honeymoons! We are experts in the art of contract negotiation working tirelessly to negotiate the best concession for our clients – think free upgrades to suites, free room nights, discounts on room rates and more!
And last, we are not an automated service. We are real people (our team is located in Dallas, TX) that really love what we do, and believe in a high touch service. Your dedicated account manager will be with you from start to finish handling all the leg work and to help you at any time. Our easy process is no hassle or cost to the planners or their clients, as the hotels pay our fee. Wedding rescheduled due to Covid-19? We’ll take care of that. Last minute need for a hotel room block? We’ll take care of that, too!
What’s your favorite destination to source?
Ohhhh this is a hard one! Our whole team is made up of travelers, and when you add up all our travels, we’ve been on every single continent. But if I had to pick alone, I’d say Italy. The hotels and venues there are unsurpassed in quality, uniqueness and beauty. But a close second is Washington DC. The history, historical buildings and up and coming unique hotels make my job really easy, but it makes the Planner and clients job more difficult since it becomes so hard to pick out of all of them!
What is your best piece of advice for a new entrepreneur in the event space?
I used to be a wedding planner with a new business, so I understand what it’s like to start new in this industry. It can be overwhelming seeing what everyone else is doing on social media and comparing yourself to others. But finding your brand, what you specialize in, and what you bring to the table that is different from others in your area will keep you motivated and help you stand out in the community. Continue to evolve your business, stay up on new trends and stay involved in supportive communities like the Chancey Charm Planner groups and you’ll soar! And hey, remember my favorite motto “Coach Up!” Don’t be afraid to ask more experienced planners for advice or help, or ask those questions that you feel like you should know the answers, but you don’t. And then later on when someone comes to you that is new in the industry, be authentic, positive and create a productive and engaging relationship with them, and “coach up.” Continue to foster the “collaboration over competition” mindset to be part of a real community of superstars!
How can we get in touch?