As we’ve talked about here many times, a meeting and convention planner wears many hats. Their job requires them to be a seasoned negotiator, a time management expert, as well as being a fiscally responsible expert. So it shouldn’t surprise you that these same meeting and convention planners have very good ideas on how to execute successful programs while saving money in key areas.

A Meeting and Convention Planner Has a Good Understanding of How Hotels Operate

The hotel can be one of the most expensive components to a meeting. If it’s too expensive then delegate registration will be low as the overall conference price will be out of reach for some people. In talking to a couple of meeting and convention planners that I have worked within the past, they tell me that they will often look at hotel rates based on the day of the week. You see, they understand from the hotel’s point of view that the name of the game is trying to fill those hotel rooms to achieve 100% occupancy. However, in order for those hotels to do that, they often have to watch what room rate they are offering. For example, let’s say a particular hotel typically charges $200 per night per room. Well that’s their goal anyways. On certain days of the week, the hotel’s revenue manager is often forced to reduce their room rate to increase occupancies. Frequent flyers will understand this format as airlines will also reduce seat cost to fill planes. So during negotiations it might become apparent to a meeting and convention planner that they could shave considerable dollars off their hotel budget if they were to alter the days of the week that they plan to host their meeting. Now there is a bit of a tightrope here as a meeting and convention planner has to be sure that the days they are offering their meeting to their delegates are days that are attractive enough that delegates will register.

A Meeting and Convention Planner Has Alternatives for Trade Shows Today

For larger associations, a tradeshow is often a main component to their meeting. It’s a chance for their members to see what suppliers are offering first-hand. However it’s not an inexpensive undertaking. While it is true that trade shows can be very profitable when planned and executed properly, the reality today is that they are becoming less and less attended. A lot of meeting and convention planners that I’ve spoken with recently are jumping on the virtual tradeshow bandwagon. Maybe it’s also a sign of the technology times. Virtual tradeshows are great way to keep the interaction between purchasers and buyers. And now, by shifting to a virtual tradeshow format, a meeting and convention planner has more flexibility in executing their tradeshows. First, they don’t have to get their members all in one location anymore as their members can enter the tradeshow from the comfort of their office or home. If you’ve never been to a virtual tradeshow before I recommend you visit one as you’ll be quite surprised with their format. Good ones are equipped with chat rooms, places where you can leave your information and get up-to-the-minute information on what you’re looking for. From a supplier point of view, virtual tradeshows are attractive because they can easily obtain visitor information, as well as what the likes and dislikes are of the purchasers. I’ve been to some virtual tradeshows where I literally received a gift from the supplier (delivered to my office) the very next day. Talk about efficiency.

So while a meeting and convention planner has a multitude of tasks that are required to execute a successful meeting, many are finding smart ways where they can shave budget dollars without compromising the meeting itself.

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