Posts Tagged ‘Meeting Planning Templates’

Hoteliers – Getting the Most Out of Client Appreciation Gifts – Why Should a Meeting Planner Remember You

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Why do Hoteliers use “Client Appreciation Gifts” and what makes them effective?

Advertising and/or soliciting for meetings and conventions takes many forms.  Some work and some do not.  Let’s take a look at a few options and analyze what you are trying to accomplish.  What will get the attention of a decision maker to remember your hotel and lead to a group sales contract?  What should you look for in a “Client Appreciation Gift” that will actually work?

First, let’s establish that you have a list of prospective meeting planners.  Your goal is to    sufficiently impress them to book for the first time or to rebook at your hotel.  What is the best way to get their attention, keep it, and be remembered.  We will talk with you about your options.

Second, What have you used in the past?  Was some of it very expensive and accomplish what you wanted (for the price) or did you use nick knacks like paper weights, pens or coffee cups that ended up on shelves or in the trash?  Don’t get me wrong, some of these client appreciation gifts are very nice and actually accomplish the job, but did they do what they were intended to do, or was it just a nice gesture that was soon forgotten?

So, what should a “Client Appreciation Gift’ accomplish?  When and why should a Meeting Planner remember you?  Let’s discuss.

For Starters – Eliminate Dull, Boring Merchandise – you do not want your contact to say, “yes, it is nice, but!”

Find a Unique Gift – be different and give them something they have not seen before. It’s a challenge, but with a little creativity, you can find a product that is “Unique.”

The Gift Should Be Useful – if your gift is not useful, it goes in the trash or on the shelf.  So, find something your meeting planner can use.

Give them Something your Meeting Planner can Use Often - remember the phrase “Out of Site – Out of Mind.”  If it is not something they can use often, it will not serve your purpose.

Your Gift Should be a Constant Reminder of Your Hotel – if they use it and use it often, you will always be on their mind.

Your Name Should Not be on the Shelf or in the Trash when Decisions are Made – you need to be “First” when it comes time to “Book” that meeting.  So, if your gift does not keep you in “First” place, find one that does.

So to summarize, why do Hoteliers use “Client Appreciation Gifts” and what makes them effective?  The answer is to “Book” business by constantly reminding clients of your hotel.  But, why should a meeting planner remember you?  It is because you gave them something unique, something useful, something they could use often and something that is a constant reminder of your hotel.  You became “First” on their mind when “Decision Time” arrived to to “Book” that next meeting.

Meeting and Event Planning – Preparing Your Budget – an Event Template to Cut Your “Hassle Factor”

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

What are the plans for your meeting or convention this year?  Does it start with a budget or did you even do one last year?  If you did one, did you do it the easy way with a Budget Spreadsheet for Meetings?

Let us discuss your needs and see what forms and budgets can be facilitated the easy way.  If approached  correctly, you can cut your “Hassle Factor” by more than half with an event template.

First – History/Budget – what kind of a history do you have from your last convention?  Did you fill out forms that showed all the results of your meeting?  You started with a contract that specified sleeping rooms and scheduled functions, but did you update those numbers at the conclusion of your convention?  This is important!  You really do need to know what happened last year including your exact sleeping room pick-up, registration numbers with total income generated, specific meeting expenses and the number of attendees that attended each function.  Without these numbers you are just guessing.

Second – Planning your Budget – is this easy or are you going to start over from scratch?  If you kept good records and have accurate figures, then you have a great start for your next meeting. It is easy to modify last year’s information and make changes for this year.  That will be necessary for a variety of reasons.  You will need it to tell your hotel contact what you want and you will also need it to prepare this year’s budget.

Third – Budget Spreadsheet for Meetings – take the easy way out.  Use a spreadsheet that will make your job easy. There are excel spreadsheets that can do it for you.  Don’t waste your time trying to design something that already exists and is proven to save you effort and stress.

Most planners are good at multi-tasking and have no problems designing a simple spreadsheet to handle a basic budget or designing a form to handle registration. So, you spend your time designing and stressing out.  You end up with a variety of forms that each handle a specific need like registration, exhibits, food expenses and budget. The forms are not connected and do not work together.  Hence, you end up having to do additional work merging the information from the various forms into your budget.  Why do this when there is a Budget Spreadsheet for Meetings on the market that will tie your history, individual forms and budget together?  It’s so easy that all you have to do is enter the information.  The spreadsheet does the rest.

Event Planning Template – Budget Spreadsheet For Meetings – Make Your Job Easier

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

What do you do if you don’t know excel or don’t want to spend major amounts of time designing something to fit your budget?

The other day I met with a friend to discuss my new Excel Budget Spreadsheet for Meetings.

She was impressed with the spreadsheet and made the following comments. Five years ago she was working for a company and had the responsibility of setting up and running some large meetings. Her major problem was spending so much time late at night trying to design and set up the excel spreadsheets that it caused family problems an she ended up leaving her employer.

She wished this Budget Spreadsheet for Meetings had been available earlier. It would have saved her countless hours.

With the spreadsheet all she had to do was enter the meeting information and the formulas would do the rest.

The spreadsheet is set up with the main Budget Sheet listing all the items needed for the meeting.

Income categories list: Registration Fees, Company Funding, Sponsor Funding, Exhibitor Fees, Advertising and Other Income.

Variable Expense categories include major categories such as: Food Expenses, Beverage Expenses, Exhibition Expenses plus three more.

Fixed Expense categories include twelve areas like: Staff Expenses, Speaker Expenses, Audio-Visual, Printing, plus eight more.

Charts: The final sheets on the spreadsheet are Charts. These charts are automatically generated and show percentages when categories for Income, Fixed and Variable Expenses are completed.

Each category has it’s own sheet to enter all items. All the meeting planner needs to do is enter the item and related income or expense numbers onto the specific sheet that covers that item. From that point all numbers are automatically totaled into separate categories and then totaled on the page. The total from the page then is populated onto the main Budget Sheet.

What’s nice is that everything is simple. You enter the names and amounts and then the Budget Spreadsheet takes over and does the rest for you. Instantly you know totals to date in income and expenses plus actual profit or loss to date.

You can not make any mistakes because all the formulas are protected and examples are on each sheet showing you how to use the forms. Easy, Easy, Easy.

So, if you don’t know excel or don’t want to spend major amounts of time designing something to fit your budget, simply get the new Budget Spreadsheet for Meetings and enjoy.

From Gregory A. Carter – author of Meetings Made Easy, www.meetingplanningpro.com Enjoy a complimentary chapter of Meetings Made Easy by clicking on the following link: Chapter One