How to Identify Value Dates for Your Meetings

How to Plan a Meeting

Everyone likes a good bargain, and meeting planners are no exception. But finding a good deal on a conference venue can be quite the challenge. Still, it's possible -- provided you understand supply and demand.

"Understanding the demand and availability for accommodating meetings in a destination can be a daunting and time-consuming prospect for a meeting planner, especially if more than one destination is under consideration," an expert from Destinations International notes in a post on the organization's blog, "Every destination is unique in location, weather, venues, amenities, intellectual capital, etc., which impacts each destination's overall business, transient, group and leisure demand." 

As complicated as the equation may seem, understanding just a few key variables can help planners unlock the best possible pricing.

One of those variables is seasonality. "High and low seasonality differ in just about every destination," Destinations International says. "It's important to look at the historical occupancy rates of the destination under consideration to understand where the high and low periods are. Being armed with this information helps meeting planners to understand the flexibility hotels may have in negotiations, availability and concessions."

Likewise, it's good to be familiar with destinations' transient travel patterns. "Destinations such as Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco have high weekday demand. If the meeting arrives on a Tuesday and departs on a Thursday, and flexibility to this pattern is not indicated on the RFP, then many hotels may consider this undesirable, and move on to other business that fits the traditional Sunday-Wednesday or Wednesday-Friday/Saturday arrival and departure patterns," notes the Destinations International post, which adds that CVBs can help meeting professionals navigate these and other considerations. "In order to fully understand the unique destination demand factors of the destination(s), you are considering, get in touch with the local CVB sales professional. No organization has stronger hotel and venue connections and better destination knowledge."

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