Why Add Meeting and Event Planning to Your Already Busy Day?

Welcome to the first of a series of articles we'll be presenting on helping travel advisors benefit from the burgeoning meetings and events market. This series will cover the nine key aspects of effective meeting/event planning and management that will help you to integrate meetings and events into your travel business.

There are many reasons why you should sell this niche, but the two most compelling reasons are increasing your company’s revenues and your yearly income.

You already have the expertise and knowledge to book the hotel and make the travel and transportation reservations for private individuals. You already book groups for family reunions and weddings. Why not take these skills and add in a meeting? This will expand your client base and provide the opportunity for you to learn new skills.

According to the CWT Travel Management Institute’s market and survey data, meeting and event expenditures represents 0.5- 1.5 percent of an organization’s revenues on average. Companies in the pharmaceutical, IT, banking and finance, and consulting industries may dedicate as much as four percent of their revenues to meetings and events. This translates into $650 billion of the global meeting and event market- what CWT considers to be a realistic estimate. This market also grows at about 1.8 times the rate of GDP on average.

These statistics alone should have you considering how you can get into this market. Most mid-size companies, professional associations (both local and national), and non-profit organizations have not yet explored the opportunities for partnership between meetings and business travel management.

These business organizations all have meetings and events to some degree, such as a senior management or board retreat, team building for sales departments, or large events open to their entire organization. Often management assigns these types of events to an administrative associate or a volunteer committee that is not trained to effectively plan an event. This results in a less effective use of budgeted dollars that can affect their bottom line. This is where you can step in and produce more for less. Never assume that management knows that by using a third party that they can save dollars due to the buying power and relationships you have with vendors.

If you want to increase your company’s revenue and your yearly income, and expand your skills and knowledge in the travel industry, then business meetings and events planning should be a part of your business.

Marla Harr
Meeting & Event Management Consultant

Visit MeetingsIn.com to search and secure your next meeting or to learn more about this venue-search specialist, which provides industry-standard tools in a free, user-friendly format. If you arrange meetings for non-profit associations, visit MeetingsIn.com/Nonprofit, which services their unique needs and provides a way for these planners to obtain non-profit or best available rates. MeetingsIn also donates five percent of any fees MeetingsIn receives as a result of sourcing a nonprofit or association meeting through MeetingsIn.com/Nonprofit either back to their organization or to a charity of the buyer's choice.

Marla Harr, a contributing writer for MeetingsIn, LLC, is a consultant and trainer for Business Etiquette International (http://www.actwelldowell.com/meetings-special-events). She can be reached at [email protected] .