All meeting planners and their suppliers have a symbiotic relationship – planners can’t hold large events without a meeting space, hotel rooms, food and event rentals AND suppliers cannot stay in business without the revenue meeting planners provides to them.
However, at times, it seems they are at odds with each other. Suppliers are busy answering RFPs and meeting planners are equally overwhelmed handling event logistics.
So the prevailing question is, how can they work better together? Here are 4 reasons why planners get flustered with suppliers in the first place and the actions suppliers can take to remedy these annoyances.
4 Annoyances and What to Do About Them
The All or Nothing Scenario
Depending if it is a buyer or seller’s market, suppliers may offer great concessions or none at all. Even during times of prosperity, it is important for suppliers to give planners options. Perhaps concessions or greater discounts can be granted if they sign up for multiple meetings or a multi-year contract. There has to be compromise. If the planner wants a 25% discount off audio visual rentals but the company is only able to extend 10% to them based on the booking, offer the discount and see if that is acceptable. Vendors need to realize whatever current cycle they are in; the economic conditions can change rapidly.
Planners and suppliers need to get on the same page on this one. Planners can send out up to 50 RFPs electronically with a click of a mouse with the expectation that all 50 of the suppliers will respond within 1-2 days.
In order to avoid “RFP overload”, meeting planners should only extend RFPs to those vendors they are most likely to use. By the same token, suppliers should read the RFP guidelines in full. If they are not interested or cannot full the job, a quick note to the planner saying “Thank you for your interest in (the company). Unfortunately, we cannot respond to your request for the following (reasons). Please consider us in the future.”
Being Too Rote
Whether it is responding to a RFP, giving a site visit or following up to an email, give each other the respect and focus each party deserves. Don’t send out the same RFP template even though your specs have changed or give the same site visit to a bowling association as you would a Fortune 500 company. Be present, truthful and transparent. Ask intelligent questions and do your homework before engaging in the conversation, whether it is in person, over the phone or via digital communication.
Meeting planners are busy folks and the last thing they need is a cold call pitching a meeting service they don’t want or need. Adding them to an email distribution list without asking for permission is the fastest way to get them to unsubscribe.
Before placing that cold call or sending an email blast, make sure the planner is right for you. Spend a few minutes asking qualifying questions. If the conversation lasts longer than 30 seconds, you have an opportunity. If it doesn’t, move on to the next call.
Hartford Technology Rental is Your Meeting Partner
Before your next meeting, call Hartford Technology Rental at 888-520-5667 or contact us online. Let us show you how we listen and can tailor the right solution for your event, well within your budget guidelines.