It’s no secret that the economy affects the events industry. When event budgets are slashed, event attendance drops, attendees are less willing or able to travel, and those attendees who do show up feel the effects of the economy. Even in good economic conditions, exhibitors are being forced to scrutinize every detail to prove the […]
Sometimes just doing a good job isn’t good enough. If there’s one lesson meeting planners have learned in recent years, it’s that putting together a meeting or an event can have a positive or negative impact on the client’s organization, its employees and the surrounding community. By staying focused on designing the meeting to […]
When you handle the day’s biggest challenge as early as you can, the long-term odds of success are in your favor.
Five steps toward better RFPs, and the advice comes straight from hotel salespeople.
There are lots of reasons people cancel at the last minute. Aside from a work or family emergency, most can be thwarted in advance.
Are you in touch with your tachometer? Is it moving forward and causing chill bumps along the way? That’s a good question for all meeting professionals.
At Plan Your Meetings we strongly believe that “hybrid” is the new “green” in the meetings industry — everyone wants to do it, but not everyone knows what it is. That’s why the Greater Raleigh CVB asked PYM to power the education at its June 25 Client Appreciation Event.
Everyone knows the model is outdated but that fixing it is complicated.
No alliance can succeed if there is not equality and mutual benefit at its foundation.
The bottom line: Restaurants, if you sell group business have a staff trained to handle the request. Most importantly, have a catering manager who will get back to the customer on a timely basis.
Most companies that host holiday parties don’t capitalize on the opportunity. Here’s how.
Whether you’re an event planner organizing an incentive trip or a team-building facilitator planning an executive retreat, what you do will determine each event’s success.
Managing production schedules. Selecting the menu. Planning meetings. Flight schedules. Walk-throughs on both sides of the city on the same day. Oh, and family responsibilities. It can be a lot on one person’s plate. But we’re not just one person. We’re meeting planners. And that kind of makes us superheroes. We can do it all. […]
If the circumstances are right, the idea of a multiyear contract should be embraced.
To quote columnist Harvey Mackay, “When you fail to plan – you plan to fail.”
When was the last time you thought about a meeting or event from the attendee’s point of view? What you see might surprise you.
Garnishes make Claire Gould a touch crabby (who knew?). Find out why …
There is a simple, step-by-step way to make social media put butts in seats. Whether you work for yourself, for a bureau or a not-for-profit association you can grow attendance with tools like Facebook, Twitter, podcasts, YouTube, LinkedIn and blogs. Whether you’re trying to get association members or corporate executives to attend virtual or live […]
Whether you’re in charge of marketing an event, handling social media for your association or monitoring brand awareness, here are some essential best practices you need to understand if you want to engage your audience and turn them into evangelists for your event, company or association. Thank you @GammetGuy, @TheTimHayden, @PaulaBerg, @Banff_Squirrel, @JohnGroh, @BVMatson, @RobertPatterson, […]
I don’t remember how I first heard about #SoMeT, the Social Media Tourism Symposium, but the whole concept intrigued me. Founder Dave Serino (@GammetGuy) set out to prove the value of social media by creating a 100 percent user-generated conference. Because he works with a lot of convention and visitors bureaus and destination marketing organizations […]
Most people would argue that best seat on a Boeing 757 is not 19-C, and that any seat in first class would be better. But what do those seats offer that seat 19-C does not? Free drinks? If I am flying out at 10 a.m., do I really need a cocktail? More leg room, you […]
As I was working a wedding last weekend, the Director of Catering at the “wedding in a box” venue (Mike) and I got into an interesting conversation about tipping. To give you some background, this venue is pretty exclusive, so you need to have a healthy budget ($400 pp+) to hold your wedding at Mike’s facility. What surprised — […]
Event websites that allow for online registration are often considered a part of event marketing. They certainly can be, but it isn’t an automatic function of these sites, which are offered by Cvent, RegOnline, ConstantContact, SignUp4, 123 SignUp and many, many more. Here are the top considerations that will transform your event website from a […]
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 […]
Effective teamwork is the most crucial element in a successful and productive company, and what better way to enhance that corporate teamwork then through off-premise engaging activity-based team building? With each new team-building experience, companies are able to boost their employee productivity through increasing the company morale. The key to this however, is planning an […]
Deciding on the location for a meeting can be a daunting task. From local sites to resorts to international locations, the choices are endless. However, planning a meeting at sea can be one of the easier options.
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 […]
Shipping is one of those areas that isn’t a problem until the items you shipped don’t arrive. Then, the scrambling begins. In this best practices article, I’d like to cover the three areas of shipping, general information, shipping domestically and overseas.
A couple of years ago I was asked, “How much is an industry designation — such as CMP, CMM, CSEP — worth?” My answer is just as complicated now as it was then. Over the years, as I have traded business cards and swapped e-mails at industry events, I’ve never ceased to be amazed by […]
If the worst thing that has ever happened at one of your meetings is running out of coffee or having a piece of audiovisual equipment fail, then you should consider yourself very lucky — and long overdue for a more serious complication to occur. Every day, meeting planners grapple with a variety of crisis or […]
The first area planners tend to trim money from is their food and beverage budget. But how do you save money without sacrificing the experience for your attendees, avoid getting hit by hidden banquet fees and best work with the director of food and beverage and catering manager to create exceptional events? In this PYM […]
We are all aware of how much emphasis has been put on being more eco-friendly. As a kid, I heard about ecology. Now, I hear about “greener meetings,” and sustainable practices are much more at the forefront of our industry. You may want to do your part, but not know how to even begin to […]
A sponsor is a supporter of an event and/or activity. Sponsorships come in many shapes and sizes, all with a different dollar value. The sponsorships you may be most familiar with are for golf tournaments, annual conventions or festivals. On the surface, companies buy a sponsorship package to support an organization. But the business reason […]
It’s difficult to ignore the fact that there are 500 million users on Facebook. They all may not be relevant to you, your company, events, social media goals or objectives, but the sheer size of this community makes a viable case for having an effective presence there. If we use a mall analogy, as a […]
In “Meeting technology 101,” I discussed some technologies that save meeting planners time. Now I’d like to look at some of the tools that can save you money…
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 […]
Your annual meetings are probably no longer dominated by well-coiffed, suit and tie, Mercedes-driving, work-centric, loyal 40 to 60-year-olds. Today, you may well find an influx of latte-sipping, flip-flop wearing, multi-tasking, iPad-toting 21 to 39-year-olds. While each generation, from Traditionalist to Millennials, has specific traits and communication characteristics, they also have some commonalities, especially when […]
As the event industry continues to evolve, one thing is clear: Not only are planners expected to give their clients more for their money, they are required to prove return on investment for each event they participate. It is important that planners have a clear understanding of what event marketing is and how to maximized their […]
Here’s a handy guide to three of the biggest technology timesavers out there: templates, online registration/attendee management systems and mobile applications.
When it comes to the audiovisual for their meetings, most planners tell me it’s the worst part of their job. On a recent posting to the MiForum Google group, there was a long and extended conversation about how difficult it was for a planner in trying to navigate the bidding process for her AV needs. […]
One of the mistakes meeting planners frequently make is not paying enough attention to the layout and design of their meeting rooms. Too often planners are more concerned with accommodating the most people possible in a space instead of designing an environment that is conducive to meeting the goals and objectives of the event. For […]
For many meeting planners, the program is all about what happens from the time the attendees enter the convention center for breakfast or first session until the last session or dinner. With so much focus on functionality, event décor can often fall by the wayside. To prevent that from happening, simplify the process with these […]
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 […]
Ground transportation is a very tricky part of the event planning industry because if done right no one really thinks to thank you. How hard is it to order a car/bus and driver? Here is the answer: harder than you think. If ground transportation isn’t done correctly — for example, a shuttle bus hits a […]
If you don’t know the difference between a 3,000 lumen and a 5,000 lumen projector, you’re not alone. Many meeting professionals find event technology daunting and difficult to keep up with. In this PYM Knowledge Series video, a panel of experts, moderated by Jeff Hurt of Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, discuss and demystify several areas of […]
One of my mentors, Jack Gilmore, CEO of Strategic Events, reminds me to ask this question when planning any event. “so what?” That’s an easy question after you have a brilliant idea or solution, but coming up with the right answer to that question is the key to really successful events. As meeting planners, we […]
Typically, in my Monthly Morsel advice columns, I talk about hotel catering. But for this Best Practices column, I want to go over what you need to think about when booking off-premise venues or restaurants for meal functions. Pre-planning exercise Before we begin, I want you to close your eyes and visualize what the event […]
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 […]
This is a relationship-based business. But with hotels struggling to keep their doors open and planners wrestling with tighter booking windows and even tighter budgets, it’s sometimes hard to remember that the relationship between planners and suppliers isn’t supposed to be adversarial. In this Knowledge Series video, we take a look at ways to strengthen […]
After all the layoffs, cutbacks and economic challenges companies weathered last year, team building is more important than ever. But how do you align your company’s objectives with activities that will build strong teams, raise morale and motivate sales to generate revenue? Tune in to this 37-minute educational video on “Team-building tips & ice breakers” […]
You’ve developed an RFP for your meeting, distributed it, received proposals from interested properties, created a spreadsheet for comparing properties and have narrowed down the list of all the potentials to the properties that look the best on paper. Your next step should be a site inspection of your top properties in order to determine […]
What exactly can convention and visitors’ bureaus do for meeting planners? How can they save you time and money? And what is their future role in the events industry? Join our panel of experts as they talk about the old-school and new-school benefits of tapping into this free planning resource. This 40-minute video is part […]
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 […]
In these economic times when every dollar an organization spends is being scrutinized, meeting expenses are under the microscope just like every other expenditure. What’s the single most important thing you can do to ensure you negotiate the best possible deal for your meeting? What one tool will save you time, energy and frustration in […]
Here are a few simple steps that can positively impact your bottom line.
Planning a basic meeting is not as cut-and-dried as everyone wants to make it, because every meeting has its own personality. Before you can plan one, you need to know three things: The purpose of the meeting. What you want to accomplish. How much you have to spend – a.k.a., the budget. Once you know […]
Many years ago I had a boss who was the “King of Clichés.” His office was filled with motivational or thought-provoking sayings, like “You can’t expect what you don’t inspect.” I’d often sit and wonder, “Why? What was the point?” As I got older and had more experience, I realized it was not the saying, […]
By now, most of you have seen the “Top 10 best green practices for meeting planners.” We know plastic bottles are bad, compostable or recyclable disposables are good, china is better, and to never, ever use styrofoam. However, after finally wrapping our heads around what we need to produce a sustainable meeting, we are now […]
Does your company have a strategic meetings management (SMM) program in place? If not, it may be missing an important opportunity to cut costs and control meeting spend. SMM programs define a company’s standard operating procedure for planning meetings and events. Some companies require every meeting request be registered with the strategic meetings management department. […]
Every month we’ll be posting a new educational video where we speak with your peers about questions and challenges you may be having and talk about the solutions. Last month, we discussed Social networking for meeting planners: On Feb. 12, we’ll be filming our episode about working with CVBs. So if you have any questions […]
Happy, happy new year everyone! As your friendly AVGirl, I hope you’re enjoying the columns and that I am fulfilling your needs of learning about the AV industry in a non-intimidating and informative manner. Let’s wrap up our discussion on who those people are in your AV neighborhood. In October we covered who should be […]
So here it is, 2010, and all I see and hear about is getting into shape. And, I thought that I spent all last year doing that. But knowing that sometimes we (collectively) tend to not finish what we start, here are my resolutions and recommendations for the coming meeting year: Take the time to […]
Although the perception of meetings is not as big a concern as it was a few years ago, the intense scrutiny the industry experienced in 2008-09 will continue to influence how meetings and events are designed going forward. Budgets will remain tight, there still will be fewer perks for attendees, and planners will continue to downscale […]
Recently I was participating in a Buyer Education Program in a not to be named city. The program was designed to get large group buyers together to experience the venues, service and options. All were seasoned planners or intermediaries. Following the closing of the program, several of us extended to see some of the area […]
Individual travelers have an advantage over meeting planners when it comes to finding great package deals on hotels, airfare and activities. Leisure travelers have any number of e-mail alerts they can sign up for with individual properties, airlines and convention and visitor bureaus (CVB). But meeting and event planners also have options. Here’s a look […]
For many meeting planners, the first call they make during the planning process is to a convention and visitors bureau (CVB). “They’re able to arrange initial contact with everything from lodging to catering to transportation to ground needs, entertainment, everything,” says Mike Davidson, senior manager of corporate events for T-Mobile. Not only can they send […]