by Matt Alderton | March 29, 2019
Everyone loves a bargain. That's true whether one is buying a new couch, a new car or a new house. As it turns out, it's even true when one is buying a citywide convention in a major meeting destination.

But of course, it's a lot harder to get a good deal on space at a convention center than it is on a piece of furniture. Still, there are ways to save a buck, Successful Meetings Senior Editor Andrea Doyle writes in a recent article for the Northstar Meetings Group.

According to Doyle, meeting planners who want a good deal on their citywide convention should start by working through the local convention and visitors bureau. "Instead of a planner going out and doing it piecemeal, a CVB has a farther reach and stronger voice," Jeff Leung, vice president of global accounts for ConferenceDirect, tells Doyle. "Plus, the CVB is better equipped to explain the economic impact of the event, which will lead to a more competitive bid."

Also, the earlier you start planning, the better. "Of course, booking out as far as possible will result in the best deals," says Doyle, whose final tip -- courtesy of Leung -- is to buy in bulk by signing contracts for multiple years in a rotation, and by buying the "whole package," including the destination, hotels, convention center and other meeting venues.

"When buying that many years of hotel rooms, convention center space and other venues, the CVB gets us better concessions and rates," Leung tells Doyle. "Some planners confirm the city and then plan to sign hotel contracts closer to their event date. I think this is a huge mistake, because you lose negotiating strength. The hotels know the event is coming, so they don't have to do anything to entice."

More Tips:

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings with your "How To" ideas.