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• Rates – Ask the venue to come down on their sleeping room

• •

and suite rates. If there is a resort fee, can it be waived? Will they reduce the amount of food & beverage spend required of the group? If meeting room rental has been proposed, can they offer any space comp or at a reduced rate? Bear in mind that if your ratio of sleeping rooms to meeting space needed is low, that could increase the amount a venue will charge for the space. Attrition (Reduction of Rooms or F&B Spend) – This area is where planners can really assist their clients by negotiating a higher attrition rate (e.g., 20 percent attrition allowed on guestrooms and F&B, vs. 10 percent). Concessions – Negotiate further discounts or concessions to include comp rooms per guestrooms picked up (e.g., one comp room per 40), comp snacks in meeting planner office, comp transportation for VIPs, comp VIP amenities, room upgrades, turndowns, and F&B/ audiovisual discounts (I recommend asking for 10 percent–20 percent off). Additional discounts to ask for and consider include reduced costs for business center needs, shipping and receiving, free WiFi in guestrooms and meeting space, comp parking, etc. Multiple Events – If you have other meetings for the same client that could be held at the venue, you can leverage these to help negotiate better package deals, or yearly contracts with lower rates.

CONTRACTING

Once a venue has been selected and the contract has been requested, always make sure the contract is reviewed with a finetooth comb. Check that all concessions, rates, meeting space, guestroom needs, and attrition are included in the contract. If you

are a third-party company and receive commission on guestroom rates, make sure the venue includes a clause in the contract referring to the amount. Other contract details that are extremely important to review for the protection of your client include force majeure, cancellation clauses and penalties, cut-off dates, deposit schedules and payment information. Once reviewed and approved, make sure you have all signatures required, and always request a countersigned agreement from the hotel. In many cases, this is a detail that is overlooked and can create havoc if the client or venue cancels the meeting down the road. In summary, we tend not to think of the first phase of the planning process as being as important as the execution of the event, but it is one of the most important steps that affects the success of the meeting and success in your client’s eyes. With venues becoming less flexible in contract negotiation, it is crucial that planners are educated in these best practices. Stacey Jackson Bloom is a Senior Meeting Planner at Boca Raton, FL-based Global Meetings & Incentives (GMI). She brings over 21 years of industry experience to GMI, a leading meetings logistics provider with emphasis on the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. Her extensive background, before joining GMI in 2010, includes planning for large convention hotel chains such as Marriott, Starwood and Hilton, as well as corporate planning for companies including Cox Enterprises, Inc., Ernst & Young, KPMG, LLP, IAC (InterActiveCorp) and J.P. Morgan (private banking division).

Advertiser Index Akron/Summit CVB ..........................................................1 Austin Convention Center.............................................. C2 Century Center..................................................................9 Cox Convention Center.................................................. C4 Ernest N. Morial Convention Center............................. C3 International Centre........................................................13 Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center............................................7 Pasadena CVB...................................................................3 SMG..................................................................................5 Visit Jackson...................................................................11 Facilities & Destinations 2017 fall / WINTER

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Facilities & Destinations - Fall/Winter 2017  

Cover Feature: Spectra Puts Industry Leading Ideas Into Practice || Inside: Small Market Review, 8 Keys To Optimal Learning, Caesars Reimagi...

Facilities & Destinations - Fall/Winter 2017  

Cover Feature: Spectra Puts Industry Leading Ideas Into Practice || Inside: Small Market Review, 8 Keys To Optimal Learning, Caesars Reimagi...