Shawna Suckow, founder of the Senior Planners Industry Network (SPIN)
, has announced her latest project: On March 20, she will launch The Hive Network, a private community that will connect senior-level suppliers with meeting planners for education and networking.
“I’ve been asked by suppliers ever since I launched SPIN five years ago, ‘When are you going to create something for us?’” Suckow said in a statement. “I never understood what the full purpose of such a group could be, until now.”
Like SPIN, which organizes education and events “by senior-level planners, for senior-level planners,” The Hive Network will be open only to members who meet specific criteria — veteran suppliers who have at least 10 years of industry experience, or five years with a recommendation from a SPIN member.
As members of the community, suppliers will have access to a library of educational webinars created by senior meeting planners, who will teach them how to engage, market to and build relationships with planners. Suppliers who complete 12 courses will be designated as a “Customer-Certified Sales Expert” (CCSE) — signifying to planners that they understand meeting professionals’ needs and perspectives — and will be invited to special meet-ups of senior-level planners at industry events such as IMEX and AIBTM.
“I believe The Hive is going to be very valuable to salespeople who have seniority,” said Jeffrey Perrin, director of strategic accounts for The Americas at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, and an advisory board member of The Hive Network. “The ability to learn from veteran planners, and the opportunity to attend these meet-ups, is very beneficial.”
Suppliers can participate in The Hive in any of three ways: They can join the free LinkedIn group, become a member or take part in à-la-carte education sessions. Membership is $695 per year, but the first 100 new members will receive a launch price of $395, starting March 20. Corporate discounts for more than 10 members also will be available.
“Industry education is typically focused on planners,” Suckow said. “Our education will help suppliers stop spinning their wheels, stop being ignored and get access to planners in ways that really work, and that’s what it’s all about.”
For more information, visit www.thehivenetwork.org or join The Hive Network’s LinkedIn group.