No matter how much we preach for a new way to approach negotiations, it’s the same old story. Planners come to the table unprepared with long lists of demands. Suppliers push back, often due to management policies out of their control and too many RFPs. As the battle over room blocks, attrition fees and concessions becomes more contentious in a seller’s market, here are nine tips for planners facing an uphill battle.
Do your homework. Don’t ask hoteliers or convention centers to provide information you can easily obtain from their websites. Find out in advance whether they have what you need. Don’t waste their time and yours.
Know your dates and patterns. Give the supplier as much lead time as possible.
Ask for what you need, not more. Match your concessions to the event, group and hotel/destination. Don’t present a long list of the same items you want for a 60-person meeting as you would for a 3,000-room night event.
Develop a soft concessions list. Find out where hoteliers can bend (meeting room rentals?) and where they can’t (usually food and beverage).