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Offline Niche- Meeting Site Selection

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by Getwhatchuwant, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. Getwhatchuwant

    Getwhatchuwant Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Hey guys, it's me again trying to contribute something useful.

    Today's topic is meeting site selection which falls under the realm of event planning but more specialized.

    This career revolves around being a buffer between a company seeking a place to hold a large meeting or a conference and a resort or hotel.

    What the Job is-
    If you like to travel and stay in luxury resorts free of charge throughout the year, then this career is one you may want to look into. Your job is to find a property that fits the clients logistical needs as well as budget. You have to understand negotiations, seasonality in the hotel/resort industry as well as be aware of the surrounding community around the property.

    PRO's-
    The job is really stress free if you are making an income OR if you can afford to be without income until you generate some.
    You get to travel and stay at luxury resorts free and the also pay for meals and usually give you all kinds of perks, you are given the red carpet treatment.
    The pay can be lucrative. The Hotel/Resort gives you a 10% share of the revenue generated by the sale of rooms.
    There is not alot of comp online.. >10 allinurl results for meeting site selection and under 1000 allintitle results for meeting site selection

    CON's-
    There is not alot of searches for meeting site selection >100 per month
    You dont get paid unless the client books with the property you picked for them.
    You May be competing with other people without your knowledge.

    What Else is there to know-
    You have to be familiar with contracts as well as RFP's (request for proposal)
    You have to have the trust of the client using your services and truly be looking out for their best interest
    You may have to get a license as a travel agent. Many hotels will not negotiate with you if you do not at least possess a travel agents license. This is easily solved however by enrolling for one of those online travel agency companies or simply visiting your local agency and having them bring you on as a contractor so you can use their license in return for a cut of the profit.

    MISC- If you are smart and proactive you can find other keywords that fit this category, conference site selection, hotel site selection, event site selection, site selection, event planning etc...
    Also if you are good at using footprints you can search terms like "annual conference", "keynote speaker", "sales rally" to find companies that do annual events like this.

    Most companies that have a large sales force scattered around the country do at least one conference annually. Pharmaceutical companies, financial institutions, manufacturers reps etc...

    I know the season has just passed but some large companies with multiple offices do an annual xmas party, these are also good targets.

    In Closing- I have seen contracts that have paid the site selection company upwards of $20,000 at a time, 3 or 4 jobs like this a year and you have carved out a little niche. Also remember these are ANNUAL events, you do a good job the 1st time you likely have a client for life.

    Why would a company use you? Well they can discreetly start reviewing properties without having to be hassled by the sales team of the resort. Once you select your top few options then you go to the client who then goes to the resort himself prior to making a final decision.
    Also this saves time in the office, the company in question does not want to have to send staff out 8 or 9 times (paid) to site these properties, they want their people working and making $$$.

    Why would a resort deal with you? Easy, MONEY. You have the client, they dont. In addition they have no idea how many other clients you may have. It is in their best interest to give you a good deal and to treat you well so they get future business from you.


    Hope this helps someone!!
     
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  2. Getwhatchuwant

    Getwhatchuwant Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Oh some more consideration before you give this a go.

    because the competition online is so light I would suggest branding yourself as opposed to just grabbing the emd.

    So Premier destinations, Premier site selection, Premier meetings ect...It gives you more credibility than "hi this is Ralph from meetingsiteselcetion.com" LOL

    Also I would make it a legit biz, register your co name as an LLC.

    Also lets do a quick math example so you can see the profit potential:
    The cheapest room at the Ritz Carlton is $288/p night. For the record my wife has attended 2 conferences at the Ritz so yes companies book that property.

    Say you negotiate the price down to $199 p/night. Now you have 400 reps attending thats $79,600 p/night. Now say they stay 2 nights thats almost $160,000 in room revenue so your cut would be $16,000.

    But you also have to protect your client. In the contract if you sign up for 400 rooms, then your client is paying for 400 rooms, even if 320 people show up. So you have to make sure you are clear about the deadline to inform the hotel if there are any revisions to the final number. Also written in the contract you can add that the hotel has to use it's "best effort" to use the unoccupied rooms at the same rate negotiated in order to minimize the amount of empty rooms you pay for.
     
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  3. freddy7

    freddy7 Newbie

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    Brilliant idea, one of the best I've seen. Only thing I need to add is, do you feel that your website is important here? While there is not much competition, on searching you do find some large, established companies who seem to operate worldwide and can offer a range of services. But I guess its just a case of getting their attention and seeing how well you can negotiate with the hotel, since that is the critical factor for the company - how much they are saving by going through you. Do you have first-hand experience of negotiating prices yourself? Would be interesting to see what kind of prices we could actually get.
     
  4. Getwhatchuwant

    Getwhatchuwant Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Yes the website will be important, even though the searches may be 100 or less a month, one clients is worth $10,000+. it also gives you a proffessional look, and you want to have somewhere to send people if you cold call or send out mailings.

    often many larger firms have an in house person that coordinates with these types of contractors, my wife was in that position with her last job. She would deal with the entertainment people, the transportation people and of course in this case the site selection people.

    Medium sized companies might have an administrative assistant handle that role, but in her company my wifes title was education and sales specialist and that is what these conferences were about. Sharing sales success as well as educational resources and certifications.

    Other titles include meeting planner, event organizer etc that are housed within these large companies.

    The price negotiation comes down to you and the hotel they dont know how many or few that you are looking at but say you have a 500 person 2 day event that is going to be huge money for the hotels audio/visual department, food department, entertainment dept etc... So they have to look at the big picture, coming down $100 per room on a $300 p night suite should not be a big deal for all of that guaranteed money.

    If the hotel is over then you tell them, sorry the customers budget is XXX. After a while you have relationships with the sales managers of these hotels and they stop bullshitting you because your bring the hotel $100,000-$500,000 or more in revenue over the course of 2 days. The last one my wife did the company spent $600,000+ total and around $200,000 of that was the rooms, the rest was food and using the hotels equipment to do the awards ceremonies etc...

    The site selection person made $20,000 to simply get my wifes company to that particular resort.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011