Archive for October, 2007

Event Budget Considerations

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

As we are all aware, off-site meetings are expensive and can be very expensive if not done correctly. It’s critical that the first step of the meeting planning process be creating the right budget. Keep in mind that all costs are not hard costs. You must also factor in soft costs that can equally impact the success of your meeting. Here is a list of some key factors to consider when developing a comprehensive budget.

First, identify the specific goals and objectives of the meeting. Some companies hold meetings with the mentality that they have to. These are the most costly meetings, because if you don’t clearly define what you want to accomplish by investing in a meeting, you’ll probably accomplish nothing. Other companies assume that last year’s goals are identical to this year’s goals; this also can be costly, as successful companies are constantly reevaluating strategies, which means their goals and objectives should also be reevaluated. Therefore, begin the process by bringing together the key stakeholders to identify what they want or need to accomplish for the current meeting. Once you have clearly identified the goals and objectives, it will permit you to put together the right program. Don’t forget to review past historical data to gain insight into what has succeeded and failed in the past, if this is a repeat meeting. Survey past and future attendees, when possible. (more…)

Driving Event Attendance Drives Business

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Many people view events as a cost center, and if not done properly, they are. However, a successful event will drive enough business to more than offset the costs. To succeed in driving business, you must first drive attendance.

The challenge to driving attendance can be overcome by properly communicating the value of the benefits so that the attendee can weigh them against the costs of participating or the inverse: how to estimate the “opportunity cost” of NOT participating against the savings of NOT participating. To meet this challenge, it is important that you implement an effective event-marketing plan. Keys to a successful plan include: (more…)

Destination Spain

Friday, October 12th, 2007

I’ve been thinking a lot about Spain recently, having just attended a meeting showcasing this beautiful country as an event destination. Did you know that even though its currency is the Euro, the cost of living is lower than that of France and Italy? That means you can rent lovely hotel rooms and meeting spaces and eat great meals for significantly less than you could in some of Spain’s European neighbors. It also has a diverse geography, culture and climate.

Centrally located Madrid offers many excellent choices for meetings of all sizes. As the capital and largest city in Spain, it’s considered the major financial center of the Iberian Peninsula; it hosts the head offices of the vast majority of major Spanish companies, as well as the headquarters of three of the world’s 100 largest companies. In addition, it’s the easiest city to get to. (more…)

Who’s Writing Your Hotel Contract?

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

Hello everyone and welcome to our blog!

The IT Exchange group is a dedicated group of marketing professionals with over 40 years experience. We have set up this blog as a forum for a free exchange of ideas. We hope you will visit and participate often.

Our first entry pertains to negotiating hotel contracts. I’m often amazed to learn that many conference hosts don’t write their own hotel contracts. I’m further amazed that many of them don’t even negotiate special terms and/or concessions for their groups. Ideally, a contract should be mutually beneficial to both parties. But if the host company permits the hotel to draft the contract and stipulate all the terms, will it be mutually beneficial? Not necessarily. It’s important for conference hosts to become more involved in the contract process. Industry experts predict a 14% increase in conference costs collectively during 2007 and 2008. What have you noticed in your contracts? (more…)