The No. 1 problem meeting planners have today is getting hoteliers to respond to their requests for proposal (RFPs).
Budgets and contracts
Looking for some advice on putting together an event budget or tips on contract negotiations? You are in the right place.
Not finding what you need, let us know and we will point you in the right direction.
Given that surcharges and fees amount to a $2.5 billion revenue line to the hotel industry, I don’t see them going away any time soon. It’s going to take more than a battle cry of “transparency!” to get hotels, venues and suppliers to turn their backs on that kind of income.
Determining best practices for service charges, gratuities and tips continues to be an area of confusion in the event and meeting industry.
So you don’t have the budget, time and/or inclination to set up a costly live online video stream of your event. So what. Free and inexpensive solutions abound that utilize hardware you’ve already got.
Planners asking speakers to present at an event–for free–is nothing new in the industry, but the topic is getting more consideration as of late. In those discussions, some common threads are emerging, but it is clear that the industry is divided on this issue. Here are some scenarios and ideas that you may have encountered and how best to manage them.
The nature of contracts with hotels is changing. Planners should be aware of several sneaky, new clauses.
New clauses popping up in hotel contracts are cause for concern. Here’s how you might want to respond.
Regardless of when your event is, there are some budget constants you can sketch out now. Here’s how.
This six-part series looks at personal and professional spending for planner. Today: Tackling corporate event budgets.
If you want to become master of your personal and professional finances, you have to make friends with your spending habits and Excel spreadsheets.
The financial aspect of our jobs isn’t easy, and it isn’t one that comes naturally to everyone. But we’re all expected to do it and do it well.
Here are 13 ways to make the RFP process smoother for planners and suppliers
Christmas in July? You bet! Seasoned planners know now is the best time to act.
Master of Service agreements are the first step into a relationship with a new client. Step carefully.
In my experience, not all business is good business. Professional relationships should be about shared goals, values and respect.
Five steps toward better RFPs, and the advice comes straight from hotel salespeople.
The acrimony over expenses continues, but not only meeting planners should be under fire.
Sourcing hotels can be a huge drag on your already busy schedule. How do you get your meeting requests noticed? How do you ensure that you’re getting the best deal?
If the circumstances are right, the idea of a multiyear contract should be embraced.
Knowing the difference between a sellers’ market and a buyers’ market will help you do your job more effectively.
Are so-called charges really hidden, or do we as planners fail to ask all the right questions?
My biggest challenge as a high-tech association planner was providing Internet access to my attendees at a reasonable cost to the association. We were known for always having a great network and free access. It set us apart from our competition. Our attendees were heavy Internet users that expected to have free access in the […]
Before starting my business as an independent meeting planner, I was the director of meetings for a large Texas state association. At the time, it never would have occurred to me to hire a third party planner because I had a staff, and we were able to handle all the demands of our meetings. Since […]
How often have you walked away from a contract negotiation feeling positive, happy with the deal you struck and like you got the very best deal for your money? Is negotiating hotel contracts one of your least favorite parts of your job? I think very few meeting planners feel comfortable with this aspect, and I […]
Bringing you “Motivation for Innovation,” the 2011 PYM Annual is designed to help you navigate new technologies, find solutions for current challenges and, hopefully, inspire you to create something big, bright, beautiful and business-friendly at your next meeting or event. But, like everything we do here at Plan Your Meetings, this was a group effort. […]
Despite reassurances that the recession is over, corporate purse strings aren’t getting any looser. And that, coupled with increasing hotel and transportation costs and short booking windows, is leaving meeting and event planners feeling pinched. On the meeting supply side, hotel and convention sales managers are having a hard time connecting with potential clients and […]
Recently, I read an article that discussed negotiating with hotels, and there was a very strong bias to the meeting planner. I am a planner, but it angered me that both sides were not presented. I believe we all want to achieve the best deal and that the real goal is to come away with […]
Or, how to sell more exhibit space and keep everyone happy.
I’ve always heard that in life, and love, timing is everything. I can attest to the latter, having re-met and married my childhood sweetheart after 30 years. But what about, life, or more specifically, the hospitality biz? How does timing play to how we buy, how we sell and how we can benefit from using […]
As you know, contracts and agreements take many different forms. There are your typical multi-page hotel contracts, and there are banquet event orders and letters of agreement. Some are short and sweet; many are filled with “fine print.” All of which, when agreed upon, bind each party to certain stipulations. Some are written to favor […]
Well, hurricane season is upon us and as the Labor Day crowds run for shelter, the thoughts of meetings, weather and other abnormalities came to mind. What does this have to do with meeting contracts? Plenty! Flash back to fall 2005, shortly after Hurricane Katrina. At my birthday party, a co-worker asked me if I […]
So you’ve done your homework, researched the market, cut a great deal and are so proud of yourself. Then, six, eight or 18 months later, your conference or event starts to fall apart because of market uncertainty, losses in sponsorship or, in the case of a first time event, your marketing machine is too slow […]
Meetings and event expenditures can represent up to 60 percent of a company’s transient business travel costs and 1.5 percent of its revenues, but many companies don’t have a cohesive meeting and event spending strategy. If they did, they could save an average of 10 to 25 percent of that meetings and event spend annually, […]
In all my writings, speeches and rants at meetings, I am often asked what’s the best tip or greatest “gotcha.” Recently, after concluding the filming of PYM’s “Contract tips and traps” Knowledge Series video, I was reflecting on the input provided and the value of what was shared. Then it occurred to me that one […]
Get off to a great start with your next event with these helpful tips from industry experts on how to minimize risk, save money and avoid contracting pitfalls. In this PYM Knowledge Series video, PYM’s panel of expert planners and suppliers look at contract negotiations from both sides of the table and share their list […]
I write many of these articles due to an experience that I have had with a client. If you follow me at all, you’ll find that I often stress that great planning up front, makes all the difference in the world. Especially, when it comes to mitigating a short fall. Attrition is something better avoided […]
The question that sparked this series – “What’s the most outrageous thing a venue has ever attempted to bill you for?” — was obviously loaded; I knew that when I posted it to several LinkedIn groups. My intention in asking it was to give planners and event producers an opportunity to vent their frustrations, which […]
In the first part of this series, we discussed four key points necessary to forming a successful agreement: Open communication and full disclosure (on both sides); providing dates for the event as well as any pre/post needs; understanding the going market rate for all types of rooms; and securing a specific, detailed agenda of all […]
If there was ever a need for a definitive “how to” book for meeting planners, it would be a step-by-step process guide to researching, evaluating and contracting venues. The challenge is talking about all the variables that come to play. There are many opinions on what to do and not do. The goal is to […]
Last month, I led a session called “Making Cents: Cost-Saving Measures to Improve Your Meeting’s Bottom Line” at MPI’s Cascadia Educational Conference (MPI-CEC) in Tulalip, Wash. During the course of the session, we tackled many challenges the meeting professionals in attendance were facing. Here are their questions along with some of the solutions we found. […]
Recently, at the Georgia MPI Meetings Exploration Conference, I had dinner with three of the opening general session panelists who would share their near-term outlook for the meetings industry. We all seemed to share the same sentiment: Our business is based on the benefits of people meeting face-to-face. That’s what meetings are, right? An opportunity […]
“What’s the most outrageous thing a venue has ever attempted to bill you or a client for?” It seemed like an innocuous enough question when I posted it to about five of the meetings and events-related groups I belong to on LinkedIn. When I subsequently received more than 500 comments — nearly 400 on the […]
Despite talk of the recession being over, controlling event expenses remains a top concern for meeting professionals. At the 2010 PCMA Convening Leaders conference on January 12, Plan Your Meetings led a “Making Cents” roundtable between planners and suppliers designed to help them discover win-win solutions to current budgetary challenges. What follows is a summary […]
It seems that whenever I make a presentation, the issue of attrition is always on people’s minds. Typically it is due to a recent episode where a group had fallen short on either rooms, food and beverage or both. Whenever I hear, “How can I get out of paying it?”, it is a constant reminder […]
Recently, I began a keynote presentation at PYM LIVE in Atlanta by quoting from the book “Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Sad, but relatively true, especially the concept of leaving things as you found them. “Greening” or sustainability is not really difficult to grasp. Plan for the future, because whether […]
What planners need to know when hotels are renovated or change brands
Recently, while coordinating a meeting in Palm Springs, Calif., I became concerned when my breakfast set-up was not complete 15 minutes before guests were due. “We still have some kinks to work out due to the management change,” the hotel salesperson informed me. The hotel had recently changed brands and management companies, which was reflected in the service for this particular function. Ultimately, the hotel provided seamless service, and the guests did not notice anything amiss.
In many cases, though, a change in hotel brands or management companies can present challenges for planners.
By Kristi Casey Sanders
“Demand in the hotel industry stopped growing in 2006, and as people in the industry are catching on, hotels are becoming more variable in negotiations than they were,” says Bjorn Hanson, a lodging and hospitality analyst for PricewaterhouseCoopers.