Meeting manners are telling us specifically what they want in order to do business with us.
8 Easy Ways to Make Meeting Planners Happy
HSMAI’s Virginia Chapter recently hosted an event in Richmond to share “A Meeting Planner’s Perspective” with sales and marketing professionals at hotels and other venues around the state. Three seasoned meeting planners shared 8 easy ways that you can make them happy, and have a better chance of winning their business.
Simply and directly answer the questions laid out in a meeting planner’s RFP. Don’t make the planner hunt for your answers in a lot of text – use bullet points in your response.
Keep your online profiles (especially on Cvent) up to date. Check your listing every 3-4 months to take advantage of new functionality that is regularly added.
Make it easy to find and print your floor plans and capacity charts on your website.
Understand that your floor plans don’t tell the whole story. Include real people and real sets in your photos showing your space in use. Ask your clients to share some of their event photos with you to make available to future clients.
Planners are using Star Service Online to see in-depth reviews of your hotel from the meeting planner’s perspective (these reviews feed into Cvent’s ratings). At the same time, planners do pay attention to TripAdvisor reviews – and can learn how responsive a hotel is to its guests.
“If you want to impress a planner, build a relationship,” said Kristy Geiger, CMM, CMP, Director of University Events at the College of William & Mary. Planners want to do business with people they know. Build relationships locally and nationally by attending events and volunteering with MPI, PCMA, SGMP, ASAE, etc. Once you meet a planner in person (at an industry event or because they are a client), be sure to connect with them on LinkedIn.
When you have a happy client, ask them for referrals so that your cold calls aren’t so cold.
Be prepared to consult with your clients about how much high speed wireless bandwidth they will need for their event. Planners don’t want to pay for more than they will use. Learn more by checking out the Convention Industry Council’s resources on the topic, including a bandwidth calculator.