How to Save Money On Hotel Meetings
Meeting planners rejoice! The recession is over and you can now start spending freely, right? Meeting planners have a challenging role. How do you source high quality meeting spaces with stimulating food, dependable service and an inviting ambience that is budget friendly?
Despite reassurances that the recession is over your corporate fiscal responsibility remains. Add to this the increase in a hotel’s labour costs and short booking windows it makes things beyond frustrating when finding the meeting space that meets your company’s needs.
Here are some tips for you that will help you save money on your hotel meetings.
Are you using a 3rd party meeting planner to source out a space for you? Be aware that with many (not all) 3rd party meeting planners there is an average increase in costs of 7-15% to your organization. This is because hotels have to pay out a commission to the 3rd party planner. Hotels can not absorb that cost so it ends up inflating the cost of your meeting equivalent to the commission required by the meeting planner.
Going direct to the hotel will also ensure that you have a more personalized and customized meeting as sales representatives can learn from you what is important for your meeting and how to make it absolutely seamless for you and the attendees.
While the majority of hotels have a points program for you to take advantage of at the end of the day giving the meeting planner points for future free travel doesn’t benefit the companies bottom line. Now you can take advantage of Marriott Rewards on your meetings AND if you sign up for Renaissance EIA Corporate Membership you can gain credit back to the company for future meetings. Think Costco’s 2% cash back program. The Renaissance EIA Corporate Membership program benefits those corporations who continually use the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel with a credit to their account at the end of every calendar year. The more you choose us the more credit you get back.
Opt for plated breakfasts and lunches (and dinners). While we all love the variety of a buffet there is always considerable waste with a buffet that must be accounted for. No one likes a buffet that runs out of food but to make sure that it is continually replenished means costs go up.
Butler Your Receptions
Having a reception at your event or meeting? Go with butler passed appetizers instead of buffet style. People will notoriously only take one or two appetizers from the butler as opposed to filling up their plate free style.
Another great option is action food stations. It’s entertaining and at the same time controls portions.
Some of our clients have multiple branches and locations throughout the province and/or country. Maximize savings by collaborating within the organization to leverage your collective bargaining power on guest room rates.
Stop Outsourcing Your A/V
We know this one is a thorn in the side. At the same time this is the one area where hotel sales representatives have more power to negotiate. If you are paying the hotel the same rate for A/V that you would if you outsourced it then you are paying too much. You should be able to negotiate this down by 25%.
Concerned about the lack of A/V equipment and/or quality? Ask the hotel what they have on hand and how do they assist should things go wrong. At the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel we have nearly $2million in A/V equipment, in-house support personnel and the Marriott meetings services app ensures immediate service should you need it.