Complete meeting management is an area where we excel and highlights our areas of expertise as Certified Meeting Professionals. Complete meeting management encompasses an all-inclusive meeting management service commitment – in other words, all of the details from start to finish.
Determining the purpose of your meeting as well as writing clear goals with measurable objectives is the first step in planning a successful meeting. Once we have a complete understanding of your goals and objectives, Custom Meeting Planners will develop a recommended plan of action that will guide your logistical planning. This strategy will provide a basis for the decisions you will make about every aspect of your meeting.
Choosing just the right venue can be time consuming but critical to the success of your meeting or event. The following is a list of tools Custom Meeting Planners can use to assist with the planning process.
- Request For Proposal (RFP) – The RFP is an important step in your meeting planning process. It provides Custom Meeting Planners with the necessary in-depth information about your meeting’s objectives and requirements including the type of facilities, prices and dates desired. We will then distribute this detailed information to all hotels or venues appropriate for your meeting and begin the process of producing a successful meeting.
- Site Grid – Custom Meeting Planners will provide a detailed Site Grid with specific information for each property. The Grid pinpoints the potential hotels and facilities that fulfill your needs and summarizes all critical criteria in an easy-to-read spreadsheet.
- Site Itinerary – Once you have decided which properties you would like to visit, our staff will arrange all details pertaining to the site visits. We will coordinate transportation, site inspection times with the hotel sales managers and provide each hotel with an accurate detailed outline of your program so that all concerns are addressed at this visit.We provide you with a detailed itinerary with the site inspection dates and times, confirmation numbers, emergency phone numbers, directions and, of course, a cell phone number to reach us for anything you may need while you are on your site visit.We can also accompany you on your site visit. Knowing just what to look for and what questions to ask can be very helpful. Some of our clients prefer that we conduct the site visits for them.
- Site Selection – Determining the venue which is perfectly suited for your meeting’s physical requirements, attendee expectations and budget sets the tone by providing an atmosphere that complements the meeting goals and objectives. Custom Meeting Planners can assist you with the determination of the ideal venue.
- Contract Negotiation – Our staff will negotiate the best possible prices, terms and conditions on hotel contracts, group rates, complimentary allotments, airlines, rental cars, etc.
- Hotel Availability Listing (HAL) – We will provide a listing of hotel information to you. This detailed listing has available options in your area of interest – including website and contact information and any other special areas of interest from the properties. From this HAL, we typically narrow the choices. We then obtain full sales kits for you from your top choices.
As prior hoteliers with over twenty-five years of combined experience, Custom Meeting Planners is able to leverage our experience and expertise to negotiate the most favorable contract terms possible. We are able to secure value-added services that most companies could not obtain on their own, as well as limiting your liabilities from unforeseen and unbudgeted expenses.
Our years of experience will prove to be an asset when it comes to negotiating hotel, facility, vendor or speaker contracts. We work in partnership to secure the most favorable contract possible and at the same time review the terms and conditions in order to protect your organization. While we are not legal advisors, we are able to provide you with prevailing industry standards and recommendations.
Once we have determined where and when your meeting will take place, our next step is to develop an effective marketing plan that will attract potential attendees.
- Theme Development – Assist with brainstorming and the selection of a conference theme that will be consistently maintained and integrated into every aspect of your meeting, including promotional materials, breakout sessions and activities.
- Promotional Materials – Develop collateral pieces including postcards, announcements, and registration materials. After promotional pieces are developed, Custom Meeting Planners will assist with the collaboration of mailing lists and distribution to potential conference attendees.
- Online Communication – Utilize online methods to provide targeted updates, reminders, registration confirmations, as well as explore additional avenues of online marketing to potential attendees.
- Advertising – Promote your meeting to potential attendees by providing media options and their respective costs. Recommendations for advertising based upon your group’s demographics, needs and budget will be provided.
- Website Development – Provide a network of website designers that can develop a comprehensive website for your meeting.
A trade show can enhance or provide financial benefits to any meeting or event when it is well planned.
- Exhibitor Database – Assist with the development of a comprehensive database and mailing list for new and current exhibitors.
- Exhibitor Registration – Create an exhibitor prospectus to provide exhibitors with a complete overview of the conference and trade show. The prospectus will include assemble and dismantle times, shipping and drayage information, show hours, and sponsorship opportunities. Confirmations will be sent to all paid exhibitors.
- Sponsorships – Assist with the development of sponsorship opportunities to offset conference costs.
- Management of Exhibit Arrangements – Assist with design and floor plan, booth placement, and on-site management.
Exhibits can be an extension of the program and can help stimulate attendee participation in the overall event.
Registration is the first impression that attendees have of your meeting. They will greatly appreciate a carefully planned registration process. Manual and online registration services are available from Custom Meeting Planners in order to make this process quick and easy.
With our registration services, we can accept credit cards, company or personal checks and money orders. In addition, we can accept purchase orders from government entities and schools.
Let Custom Meeting Planners handle registration for you to make sure that the first impression is a great one.
Handling registration and conference monies
Along with the leadership role for your organization comes the responsibility of ensuring the financial success of your meeting or event. Before, during, and after your event, we will put in place an accounting system that includes proven procedures with plenty of checks and balances.
Custom Meeting Planners can set up your conference account in order to process registration and other conference fees. The processing will be handled as follows:
- Accept all conference monies on behalf of your group.
- In handling your registration, fees will be entered, processed and monies held in your conference account.
- Handle payment of agreed expenses through your conference funds and keep all supporting documents and records. Each month our staff will reconcile your account.
- In addition to your monthly financial report, your assigned planner can provide you with an up-to-date report on the financial status of your conference.
- Upon the conclusion of your conference, a complete financial report will be supplied to you.
Custom Meeting Planners will assist in maintaining accurate financial records which is vital to the success of your conference.
After the hotel has been selected and the guest rooms blocked for your meeting, the task of managing attendee accommodations begins. Periodic reviews and status reports on reservations and room assignments with the hotel will ensure that the specific needs of all your meeting participants will be met. Accurate and detailed records regarding the number and type of rooms blocked and picked up, and the arrival and departure patterns will serve as an invaluable planning and negotiating tool for future meetings.
After the meeting’s purpose has been established, the goals developed, the objectives written, the site chosen, the schedule set, the next critical role in the planning process is the selection of the right speakers – the success of your meeting depends on it!
Custom Meeting Planners can assist with the research, negotiation and contracting of speakers, as well as the coordination of travel arrangements. Our assistance includes:
- Researching potential speakers, including availability, costs, etc.
- Making flight arrangements
- Securing ground transportation
- Arranging and confirming lodging
- Confirming audio visual needs
- Implementing reimbursement plans
- Coordinating any special arrangements
Every dollar counts…
- Budget Development and Management – Assist with developing a budget for your meeting in order to determine registration fees, conference expenses, and projected revenue. Once the budget has been approved, we will work within the approved parameters. Changes will be mutually approved.
- Master Account Reconciliation – Our staff will handle hotel negotiations. Before a client is presented with a bill for approval, it will be scrutinized for potential costly errors. This can be a very time consuming process, but it often results in significant savings for our clients.
- Financial Summary – A comprehensive report which includes a summary and a detailed listing of your expenses will be provided after the master account has been reconciled. Customized reports are also available.
Whether your goal is to make additional monies or just to cover your expenses, these services will help meet your needs.
Custom Meeting Planners has worked with a variety of production and audio visual companies to accommodate simple A/V needs, as well as produce spectacular events featuring lights, sound and video. Our experience, coupled with the expertise of our network of A/V and production professionals, allows us to provide you with answers to any questions in the area of technology, audio visual or production.
To assist with the larger and often more complex event productions, we offer a comprehensive list of suppliers. Each supplier has specific services including:
- Extensive Staging
- Sound Engineering
- Script Development
Custom Meeting Planners will assist in determining your requirements and partner with suppliers that best fit your needs and budget. You need not worry about a thing as we work side by side with industry experts to make sure that every detail is executed as planned.
As the meeting unfolds, successful on-site management is accomplished through proactively confirming all prior arrangements, anticipating potential problems, checking each event in advance, and staying in constant communication with the facility and service staffs.
- On-site Registration and Staffing – Registration is the first impression that attendees have of the meeting. Should Custom Meeting Planners handle your conference registration, we will oversee the registration set up and staffing to ensure the attendee check-in process is smooth and efficient. In addition, Custom Meeting Planners can provide support staff for on-site registration should you choose to manage the registration process internally.
- Meeting Specifications Overview – Provide you with a day-by-day detailed outline of all your conference activities.
- Pre- and Post-Conference Meetings with Facility – Arrange meetings with the hotel prior to your conference to confirm your needs, and again after the conference to offer feedback and suggestions for future meetings.
Getting to and from your meeting safely, efficiently, and pleasurably is an important part of every meeting with Custom Meeting Planners.
- Ground and Air Transportation – Manage travel arrangements for attendees, speakers and special guests.
- Destination Management – Negotiate contracts with destination management companies to handle transportation needs including airport transfers, group shuttles, and off-site events.
After the meeting’s purpose has been established, the goals developed, the objectives Custom Meeting Planners will work directly with your meeting venue to ensure that all of the needs of you and your attendees are met.
- Meeting Specifications – Assist with the pre-planning and on-site management of all aspects of your meeting space including food and beverage service. All necessary information will be provided to the venue.
- Audio Visual Selection and Facilitation – Coordinate all audio and visual aspects of your meeting. All speakers, entertainers and moderators will be contacted to ensure that all their specific A/V requirements are met.
- Off-Premise Activities – Facilitate all off-premise entertainment, events, tours and programs.
- On-site Collateral – Arrange for the preparation and organization of all materials including name badges, session and meal tickets, programs and signage.
- Facilitation of CEUs (Continuing Education Units) – Assist with the facilitation of continuing education units, both pre-meeting and on-site.
- Post-Meeting Survey and Evaluation – Conduct post-meeting surveys with the venue or facility, subcontractors, exhibitors, and participants to evaluate how well the meeting objectives were met and to assist in preparations for the next meeting.