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Budget-conscious Meeting Planners' Tips

A close look at contracts and history can help identify some savings

The past year has created a perfect storm of challenges for meeting planners. Associations eager to return to in-person meetings have less leverage with hotels and venues, especially after activating cancellation clauses at the onset of COVID-19. Supply-chain disruptions have made it harder to secure many conference essentials, particularly food. High inflation has made attendees and exhibitors hesitant to travel. And COVID hasn’t gone away, further suppressing attendance.

In response, venues have sometimes added new fees and conditions that complicate meeting planners’ lives. “In my entire 50 years in this industry, I have never, ever faced what I’m facing now in terms of helping negotiate contracts,” said Joan Eisenstodt, a veteran meetings consultant.

It’s no surprise, then, that association meeting planners are looking for ways to cut costs. But Eisenstodt cautions that there’s no silver bullet to be found. Cut the coffee service? Now you’re sending attendees outside the venue, wrecking the community vibe and potentially infuriating exhibitors. Sign up for a more affordable onsite AV or internet access plan? The potential for glitches and slowdowns risks spoiling the meeting experience.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Associations Now.

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