Negotiating for Meetings – Part I

The economic downturn has created some positives for planning meetings. This is the first time since late 2001/early 2002, that planners have some leverage. The reason? We are now in a buyer’s market. Industry research projects an overall 7.5% drop in revPAR in 2009, one of the largest annual declines since the 1930’s. There will be a 2.9% increase in hotel supply due to construction that is near completion. And the 2009 year-end occupancy rate is expected to hover around 59%, a far cry from the earlier average 80% rates. This means better times for planners. Some economic indicators show, and industry experts agree, this won’t last – it looks like they could turn around in 2010. Hotels are very interested in getting deals signed before this year’s end. Contracts signed in 2009, can be for events held this year, in 2010, or beyond. Therefore, if the contract is negotiated properly, you can reap the rewards now without having to spend any money in 2009. The key is to act now, and benefit from this unique buyers market.

Although many companies are facing budget cuts and declining sales, now it is more important than ever to get in front of your clients and show your strength. Those that continue to look forward should increase their market share and presence by having strong visibility. And remember, although your budget may be cut, this is a buyer’s market, and hotels are offering great deals including attrition-free contracts. You will be able to do more this year with less money. Need some help? See the hotel contract checklist on our web site. We can help make your site selection and contract negotiation simple and at minimal or no cost. Give us a call with any of your marketing and event management needs. We’re here to serve you.

The IT Exchange Group provides strategic marketing, expert meeting planning, and IT & new media services worldwide. We have the knowledge and expertise to execute marketing plans to differentiate your product from the competition. We specialize in planning and executing high-level conferences, conventions, tradeshows, user groups, technology advisory meetings and incentive programs to help drive new business and greater product awareness, and also offer IT & new media services to give your product a higher profile and sleeker look.

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