The Value of Third Party Meeting Planners

by: Bob Tomko
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Third Party Meeting Planners have become the power brokers of the industry.  All meeting facilities want their attention.  More than 70% of the business that goes into hotels today are managed by Third Party Planners.  Their core services are free to their clients since the winning hotel pays the fee for the chance to win the business, and their ability to negotiate the most favorable guest room rates and terms for their clients are unmatched.

The reason for the rapid rise of Third Party Meeting Planners over the past decade is that they solve a persistent problem in most organizations: do more with less.  For organizations that have less than 10 meetings per year, it does not make sense to have dedicated full time meeting planners on the payroll.  For larger organizations, many of the planning tasks can be delegated to Third Party Planners.  Meeting planning positions in most organizations were the first to be axed or redeployed to other areas with the downturn in the economy.  And now that organizations have realized that much of the work involved with planning a meeting can be done for them at no cost, it makes perfectly logical business sense to engage a third party meeting planner.

Many organizations have outsourced the pre-meeting planning process to these Third Party Meeting Planning services, which has leveraged their limited time and resources by allowing the experts in the industry to manage the process for them at no cost whatsoever.  This has freed up personnel to focus on managing and growing membership, engage in marketing and social media activities, and in the end become much more productive.

Still other organizations are engaging Third Party Meeting Planners to do even more, like finding sponsorships, managing registration, supervising onsite logistics and productions, assisting with meeting branding and theme development, while still staying in control of their overall goals and objectives.  Third Party Meeting Planners just might be the missing element to your planning team.

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