As a meeting planner, you're always watching the bottom line. If you want your event to succeed, however, it's not enough to watch your own budget; you also must be mindful of what your attendees will have to spend.
"Much of what may be deemed affordable in one planner's eye is directly attributable to the specific needs of his or her conference or event attendees," explains Successful Meetings
contributor Ron Donoho, who says successful meeting planners choose destinations that are as affordable for meeting attendees as they are for meeting organizers.
Of course, what is affordable for one group may not be affordable for another group. You must therefore determine what is important to your attendees and focus your cost-saving efforts there.
"To wit: A conference that's heavy on international attendees may need to strongly consider picking a city based on its airport situation -- not just the cost of airfares but also the time and effort required to get from a destination's airport to the convention center," Donoho says. "Then again, airfares might not matter as much to a regional event."
For a regional event, pay more attention to room rates, advises Andrea Kinney, global accounts manager at HelmsBriscoe. "Atlanta is a city I've booked recently and it's very affordable," she tells Donoho. "I have one client that books two meetings a year and chooses Atlanta based on room rates of about $150 per night … I think people like Atlanta because it's not so cold, it's easy to get to, and there are a lot of hotel options -- from deluxe to budget."More Tips:http://www.successfulmeetings.com/Strategy/Meeting-Strategies/Affordable-Meeting-Cities-Cleveland-Atlanta-St--Louis-San-Antonio
Questions, Comments, Suggestions?Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.