Does this sound familiar? You’re facing an overwhelming amount of work and can’t possibly get it all done between now and when it’s due. You don’t have enough people (or anyone) to delegate to and you are overwhelmed.
As if that’s not enough fun, I bet some of the events you’re being asked to plan are in a place you’ve never been to, so you don’t even know where to start. What’s the best activity to do when in Atlanta? What’s the best midrange hotel in San Francisco? What’s the best hot new venue in New York City?
It’s impossible to keep current on all this information, still you are expected to know the answers. So what do you do? Take advantage of the resources available to you. If your first thought is that you can’t afford to hire help, read on. Good news lies ahead.
Most major cities have convention and visitors bureaus. Their job is to give you information as a way to attract business to their city. CVBs are a wealth of information, and it’s usually all free. Many will send you maps and postcards of the destination to help you market the event. If your event is sizable enough, a CVB may buy your airline ticket so you can see the destination. And yes, it’s all free.
When you need local vendors for flowers, transportation, etc., use a destination management company. DMCs are one-stop local experts. They can staff your meet-and-greets, oversee excursions, source local gifts and more. Their services typically cost 20 percent above your total price for a service. For example, if a DMC coordinates your florals, you’ll pay 20 percent on top of the total bill. A good DMC becomes your best friend before the event begins and is remembered long after it ends.
So, CVB, check. DMC, check. But you still have a mountain of work to do and no time. There’s an answer for that, too.
A third-party planning company is NOT a sign that you can’t do your job. Qualified planning companies will save money in more ways than you can imagine. They’ll negotiate concessions in contracts you likely wouldn’t think of, know cost savings methods that come with years of experience and likely have production, entertainment and vendor resources and deep discounts that you may not. They can contact CVBs and DMCs on your behalf, as well. It’s like waving a magic wand.
Still not convinced? Think about how many hours you/your team work on an event from start to finish. Think about what that costs from a payroll perspective, and you’ll realize that hiring quality help makes financial sense.
As planners, we’re often too busy to reach for the help we need. Take a moment, take a breath and make the time to contact people who are waiting for your call. Help is truly just a moment away.