Negotiating 2015 Rates: 7 Things You Need to Know
by Bruce Serlen for Cvent
Labor Day marks the start of the fall group travel season. And the fall travel season means the start of the request for proposal (RFP) process for event planners that will end up determining 2015 rates.
According to hotel managers, group demand was slow to rebound in the aftermath of the 2008-2011 downturn, considerably slower than both transient business and leisure travel. But by 2014, the situation had improved. Group demand was back in a serious way, which is actually bad news for planners. With increased demand, after all, hotels felt emboldened to request—and hold the line on—higher rates.
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7 Tips to Make the Most of Your Event Budget
By Rose Curiel, BizBash
Nonprofit event planner Todd Hawkins shares his tricks for leveraging everything from social media to established vendor relationships to cut production costs.
As the founder and head of production company the Todd Group, planner Todd Hawkins has come to specialize in nonprofit events, impressively counting the West Coast chapters of St. Jude and the Red Cross among his many clients. Given the fact that he consistently works on fund-raisers—where the priority is raising rather than spending money—Hawkins definitely knows a thing or two about cutting productions costs—and his tips work equally well for both nonprofit and corporate events. Here’s what he had to say about maximizing an event budget:
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Get More Traction (pre-event marketing)
Attending an event and looking for ways to maximize the experience both online and offline? Building Blocks Social Media created a tweet-sharing program for IMEX America 2012 that resulted in more online exposure for all of the brands involved. Most people are not using Twitter on a daily basis, but they see the value in using it at a large event to see who is there, see what people are talking about and participate in the conversations themselves. Are you leveraging this opportunity in the right way?
Read more from Personal Branding for Gen X and Boomers
HELPFUL "TIPS" FOR MEETING PLANNERS: "How to Save Money on Audio Visual"
IDENTIFY MATCHING SETS - Put sessions or breakouts that require the same type of seating in the same rooms so you don't have to pay for reset costs.
LESS SIGNAGE - Prepare meeting room signs listing all meetings in the room throughout the conference to cut down on the number of signs needed.
TEAR DOWN THOSE COSTS - Often Audio Visual (A/V) companies will charge the same labor fees for tear down as they do for setup. Strike or tear down takes less time, so tear down fees should be about half or three-quarters of what setup charges are.
WORK WITH OUTGOING GROUPS - Find out what organizations are meeting in the hotel or venue before you and see if you can piggyback off of any of their sets or services. For example, if they are using the same A/V provider or decorator, you might be able to work out a situation where they leave certain room sets, staging and black drape for your event and you foot the bill for dismantle and move-out.
BID OUT A/V AND OTHER SERVICES- Consider putting A/V services out to bid. Not always, but in many cases, you can find better deals by hiring an outside A/V provider instead of using in-house A/V.
WORK WITH ONE COMPANY- If you book multiple meetings you should work with one preferred A/V company so that you receive volume discounts (I can assist with this also).
BRING YOUR OWN- It may be cheaper to bring your own LCD projector, flip charts, markers, etc. with you.
NEGOTIATE A DISCOUNT- Make sure that an A/V discount or complimentary microphones or flip charts are on your concession list. If you don't ask for it, you won't get it.
**Do you have other "Tips" on this subject? Please email them to Mark Dallman at firstname.lastname@example.org to help me pay it forward.