Challenges for Event Planning Companies Today

If you’re like me, you’re getting pretty sick and tired of all the news reports telling us how bad the economy is. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to think that if the mainstream media would stop reminding us of how bad things are, we might not be in as bad as shape as we are led to believe we are. Event planning companies are facing challenging times that’s for sure. Today an event planner has to be that much more creative and keep one step ahead of their competition to try and win potential business. Don’t get me wrong this is not the end of times for event planning companies.

There Are Ways That Event Planning Companies Can Still Win Business

The common misconception about event planning companies is that by using their services, as a client, you will be paying additional fees. I’m not trying to say that that is not always the case, rather there are alternative ways that event planning companies can make money without the end client paying for it. For example, if the client is requesting the event planner to source and select hotels for them, then the event planning company would be paid a commissionable rates by the hotel. And that commission is not usually added to the room rate (making the room rate higher than if the client had booked direct) – it is usually deducted from the room rate. That means the hotel is willing to take a slightly reduced room rate in return for multiple room nights worth of business. It’s a win-win for the hotel, for the group or client and for the event planning company.

Using the hotel pricing structure, event planning companies are now becoming more creative with other suppliers as well. When I was involved with full-service event planning, each season I would approach all of the vendors and suppliers that I had been using the past and I negotiated wholesale rates for the coming season. Basically I wanted to be able to provide the same rate that any of my clients would get if they book that supplier directly. And my company was still able to make a profit because we were charged the wholesale rate for that event.

So for those event planning companies out there that are struggling to find ways to win business I would suggest they look at the wholesale approach with their suppliers. In today’s world nothing is carved in stone anymore. Like event planning companies, industry suppliers are willing to look at creative ways themselves to obtain business. And if you’re established in the event planning industry and have used suppliers in the past then they are more likely to work with you in order to obtain group business. If you’re a group that has an upcoming event than I would also recommend that you consider an event planning company to assist you. If your budget is of concern make sure you outline at your initial meeting what fees you are willing or not willing to pay for. That way there’ll be no hidden surprises and both the client and the event planner (as well is although suppliers servicing the group) will have a professionally executed event.

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