How To Work With A Meeting And Event Planner
When the team brings up the annual sales meeting, training meeting or incentive, are you excited or do you cringe? When the yearly non-profit fund raising event rolls around, do you raise your hand or hide? It may sound fun to travel to a hotel, sleep in a new bed and eat chef prepared food, but how much do you really enjoy if you are in charge of all the details and changes that happen 24 hours a day onsite?
We suggest letting the professionals help you.
Site Selection For Meeting and Event Planning
Meeting and event planners offer two main levels of service. One is called Site Selection which covers the research for hotel locations as well as negotiating the contracts on behalf of the client. The benefits of this service are that it really saves you a lot of time and money for no out of pocket costs! The companies gather all the results, compare them and present the options with suggestions. You can choose to go and look at the properties or decide sight unseen.
Once a decision is made, the planner negotiates the contract protecting your interests with specific items and clauses known in the industry such as attrition, cancellation, force majeure, concessions, rate, meeting space, deposits, credit and much more. Because the planner is paid a commission from the hotel (usually 10% on the rate) the service, if performed, is at no cost to the client. You may think that “nothing is free” and you are being charged 10% more on the rate. In most cases (some exceptions) this is not true. A good planner will negotiate a rate that is actually lower than you could get on your own, along with concessions worth a lot of money.
Meeting Planning Logistics, Budget And Details
The second level of service that meeting planners provide is just that…planning the logistics and details of your meeting and event. Determining a location and getting a contract is just the beginning. Next comes a CORRECT budget encompassing everything. To create a budget, determine everything that will be needed for the meeting such as registration and invites, flights, transportation to and from the airport, offsite events, food and beverage, audio visual, agendas and onsite materials, staff, room gifts, and many more. On top of that there will be daily changes and follow-up. AND, you have a full time job on top of this!
A Professional Event and Meeting Planner Is Your Advocate
That’s why a professional planner is suggested to be your advocate and help to manage the details. How do you know if the various proposals are accurate from your vendors? Recently, at Corporate Global Events, we encountered a hotel that presented an estimate for $27,000 for audio visual. We immediately said that it was too high and over budget. Their response was, “How much do you want to pay?” We knew from experience with similar meetings of this size and needs, what was fair for both parties as well as getting a comparable bid. The vendor eventually agreed to $20,000 and committed to that number. Prior to the meeting and onsite we fostered a good relationship and monitored them (even adding tech time and equipment). The bill came in under $20,000 because we were on top of it.
Time And Expertise
Planning a meeting takes a lot of time and expertise. The management at CGE has been planning meetings and events all over the world for over 20 years. We realize you may not have the budget to pay someone else to handle the details, which is why Corporate Global Events can tailor a meeting management package that works for you and your budget. With the risks of not knowing what is fair and reasonable as well as managing the changes and additions (which cost money), can you afford not to hire a professional? We look forward to partnering with you for your meeting and event’s success.