Corporate meeting planners are always looking for creative ways that they can trim their meetings budget without losing too much of the overall program. To say that that’s a bit of a juggling act might be an understatement. Today, corporate meeting planners have a tough job. Of course for many corporations and associations meetings are a vital part of their operation. But the question for many corporate meeting planners is “how do I still put on a top-notch program with a reduced budget?”.
Corporate Meeting Planners Take a Fresh Approach to Orchestrating Their Meeting
Many corporate meeting planners that I speak with tell me that, for their organization, meetings are still proceeding at full speed. However what they do concede is that these meetings must be executed with a much lower budget than they are used to in the past. So we thought that, after getting some feedback from these corporate meeting planners, we would share a few tips on how you can still execute a successful meeting and save a bit of money at the same time.
Four of the Top Areas That Corporate Meeting Planners Review Are:
The Times That Your Meeting Will Occur– a lot of corporate meeting planners have been able to save money on the hotel portion of their meeting by negotiating room rates and whether or not they can be lowered by moving their meeting two different days of the week. Additionally there can be even further savings, at times, by moving the meeting to a different time of the year are altogether.
Transportation – we’ve talked a lot about transportation here in the past. For corporate meeting planners especially, transportation is an essential part of their program. Their delegates have come to expect that they will be transferred from the airport to the hotel where the meeting is occurring. What a lot of corporate meeting planners are now doing is narrowing the timeframe of which they are offering complimentary transportation. Also they are looking at the type of vehicles they are booking. For example they may group arrivals within a timeframe of 30 to 45 min. into the same vehicle. Additionally if corporate meeting planners are hosting evening functions then transportation also plays into that budget as well.
Evening Events/Food and Beverage Functions– many times corporate meeting planners have to include special events outside of the actual meeting itself. This is a chance for the delegates to relax and network with each other (especially if they come from different parts of the country). We touched above on how transportation also plays a part in evening events, especially if the event is away from the hotel. Some corporate meeting planners have told us that they still have evening functions but instead of busing their delegates to a venue away from the hotel they either host the function inside the hotel or select a venue that is within walking distance from the hotel. The benefits for having a function in the hotel is that you will save not only on transportation costs but, quite often, there are also savings from room rental and service and equipment charges that are associated with off-site venues.
Entertainment – a lot of times corporate meeting planners view entertainment as a fringe element to the program. In other words something that they can easily cut out to save money. But many corporate meeting planners also say that there are ways to still offer entertainment yet save considerable budget dollars at the same time. Often times entertainment is during the evening function or perhaps as part of the last day of the meeting. And many times corporate meeting planners have spent a small fortune booking a very popular band or special presentation for their group. Today many are still offering entertainment. It may however be reduced somewhat in style and format. For example a trio would still be a nice complement for an evening function. Or, on the last day, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a comedian to entertain the troops for the last 30 to 45 min. of the program.
Today corporate meeting planners are becoming very creative at putting together their programs. Many still want to offer the more traditional elements to their events but need to shave budget dollars at the same time. It may take a little more planning time, but there are definitely ways that corporate meeting planners can achieve their desired results without blowing the budget.