Your company is built on excellence, by employees who execute flawlessly no matter what the pressure. You think you respond by giving praise for every job well done.
But when it comes to recognition, meeting and event planners are often overlooked within the corporate travel environment. They are the unsung heroes who work in the background to make sure everyone else shines and meetings and events move seamlessly.
They also work under tremendous pressure. Each year, CareerCast publishes its list of the Most Stressful Jobs.Meeting and Event Planner makes the top 10 – right behind firefighters and police, military and media personnel, and airline pilots.
One of the biggest stress factors for planners is venue negotiation. Year after year, key hotel health indicators like occupancy, average daily rate, and revenue per room available are increasing. The meeting and event planners are met with rising costs, and increased expectations when creating events and meetings.
Use the following insights to help bolster your planner’s confidence while they organize and negotiate your next event:
#1: Let them know what you want. Without knowing what’s important to senior management, sponsors, and attendees, planners will not be able to do their jobs well. Surveys should always be an integral part of the meeting process. Once the results are in and the planner knows what concessions to ask for, a complete and detailed RFP that outlines expectations of peak nights and food and beverage (F&B) consumption – followed by testimonials, economic impact statement, and meeting history – will set the stage for a great negotiation.
#2: Don’t be a backseat driver. Once executive stakeholders agree on the vision and direction, empower the planner to make the day-to-day decisions needed to create a successful event. Planners are experts on managing agendas, timing, ever-changing F&B nuances for attendees, and many other facets of executing an event from the ground up. Trust that they’ll accomplish your goals within the set budget and expectations.
#3: Offer tools that help them work smarter, not harder. Explore ways to monitor expenses and meeting information effectively. A planner’s ability to justify a meeting’s expenditures will go a long way toward establishing confidence internally and having data-driven negotiations with key partners.
Based on a survey of more than 2,000 meeting professionals in the 2015 Global Event Industry Benchmark Study, 46% of planners are using event management software to aggregate data and analyze meetings history, as well as keep track of the minutiae of meetings. However, 60% of planners surveyed said they still heavily rely on such processes as Excel, Outlook, and other non-integrated systems. According to a study from Frost & Sullivan, planners see a 27% increase in productivity when using event management software.
#4: Give planners the recognition they deserve. Like salespeople, event planners can drive revenue for their organization. According to the 2015 Global Event Industry Benchmark Study, the top three metrics that event planners use to measure return-on-investment (ROI) are:
- revenue from registration (37%)
- revenue from sponsorships (32%)
- number of new leads (25%)
When salespeople meet their goals, they receive incentives, like travel or product rewards. What incentives are planners offered? Bigger budget? More say in the meetings mission?
What about ongoing education? The benefits planners glean from education and networking opportunities at industry events will help them perform more strategically, in addition to fulfilling the logistical requirements of their job.
Finding out what makes the essential people in an organization excel is not only the key to good management, it’s the key to good business. Help ensure your planning hero has the super powers needed to succeed.
This content was created collaboratively with our sponsor Cvent