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Taking Your Meeting From Good to Great! Robin V. Hayes Senior Director, Conference Planning and Professional Education American Counseling Association rhayes@counseling. org Mary Sanchez-Quigg Director of Global Accounts Conference Direct mary. quigg@conferencedirect. com
This presentation will cover: • The key components for planning a meeting…… – Budget, timelines and history – Discuss standard hotel contracts – Post Event Reports – Marketing your meeting
The Key to Success Begins with… • A Budget • Knowing your history and pattern • Choosing a Date • Location, Location • Timeline & Marketing Plan
Industry Changes January 2012 – Present • • Business travel increasing again Occupancy levels now up to 2007 levels Group booking pace accelerated Average daily rates increasing
What lies ahead • Consolidation of hotels is in full swing…look for more mergers and growth of limited service brands ahead • The market has shifted to a strong seller’s one • Deals are evaporating quickly; book now…hotels are pushing rate growth and limiting concessions
What does this mean to you? • Brands must push revenue growth…deals are fading away quickly • Service not a priority…why add and train staff? • Cancelled/postponed renovation projects are underway-to your possible detriment
Develop Your RFP Things to include: • Name • • Dates Event/Attendee Room Block Space Needs Food & Beverage Minimum Concessions and Critical Needs Special requests
Overview of a Standard Hotel Contract • Attrition • Commissions, Rebates, and Concessions • Guest Room Commitment • Relocation • Understanding Contract Terms & Clauses
Hotel Contract Basics • Any valid contract must have three elements: – An Offer – Acceptance – Consideration (something of value given for the promise of contract performance usually a promise or payment)
Attrition – Be Aware! • Guest Room Attrition – The difference between the contract commitments and the actual number of sleeping rooms utilized or revenue generated. • Food and Beverage Attrition – The difference between the actual food and beverage covers paid for or the total dollar amount spent on F&B vs. what is agreed upon in the contract.
Example of Attrition (Guest Rooms) Guest room pick-up 80% to 100% 70% to 80% 65% to 70% Less than 65% Room rental No charge $5, 000 $7, 500 $12, 000
Food & Beverage Expenditures • Cost Saving Ideas: Inquire about customize menu that fit within your budget. • Ganging Menus – Ask what other groups are being served during the same mealtime. If the same menu is used by both groups you may receive a better price. • Package Plans – Does the hotel or venue offer a package plan, which can include your meals, breaks and meeting space, and audio visual.
Contract Clauses to Consider • • Force Majeure Walk Clause Indemnification Insurance Coverage Americans with Disabilities Act Rights of Termination For Cause Cancellation
Post Event Report • A report of the details and activities of an event is called a “Post-Event Report” or PER. A collection of PERs over time will provide the complete history of your event. • The PER should be completed for events of all sizes, especially for those of 25 rooms on peak night and larger. • Always a good idea to hold a meeting immediately following the end of the event and should focus on an evaluation (what went well/what did not).
Marketing Your Meeting • Start by developing a marketing plan. • Include your goals, both in attendance and in revenue. • Develop tiered registration rates • What vehicles will you use to advertise your meeting (publications, newsletter, etc. ) ?
Marketing Your Meeting (Con’t) • Keep content on website updated • Printed pieces such as postcards, and/or fliers can be effective. • Promotional email blasts- determine the message and frequency. • Social media – consider offering promotional incentives through Facebook. • Use Twitter to create buzz
Thank you for your time! • Samples will be provided upon request for the following: – Contracts – RFP – PER Please email request to Robin Hayes at rhayes@counseling. org