Do’s and Don’ts of Winning Convention Business
Use the online convention calendar found in the members extranet.
This provides you with up-to-date information on who has booked in Greater Phoenix. Included in the calendar is the date, host hotel, whether they’re using the convention center, contact name*, phone, mailing address, website and email address.
*Please note that contact information for some meeting planners may be listed as undisclosed at their request.
Find the right time to contact the planner.
Contacting the meeting planner at the right time can make all the difference. For example, if the meeting is two years away, they are not ready to hear about private dining opportunities. But if you are a DMC, the timing might be right.
Acknowledge that they are coming to Greater Phoenix.
When a group first chooses Greater Phoenix you can always start by saying “thank you”. Send a picturesque postcard/note card of one of the jewels of the city thanking them for choosing Greater Phoenix and letting them know how glad you are that they are coming. Even though they are not ready to make detailed plans, they will remember you later when they are ready.
Do your homework.
Research the group and determine if your services are a good fit for their meeting or convention. The group’s website is always a good resource for learning about what they’ve done in other cities.
Provide the same level of service to all meetings.
Smaller meetings can easily evolve into larger meetings or repeat business.
Find ways to get your business in front of the delegates.
- Place an ad in their program.
- Offer a door prize during their meeting.
- Offer a special deal just for their group.
- Offer the president/meeting planner/board a freebie so that they can spread the word.
Don’t call without a reason and a plan.
Be thoughtful of the meeting planners’ time. They receive hundreds of calls and emails each week. It’s all about timing and connecting with them at the point in-which they’re ready to purchase your product or service.
Don’t promote yourself as something you are not.
Know who you are and what you can offer. Be up front on exactly what you can and cannot do.
Don’t take a cookie cutter approach.
Personalize anything you give to the group. Be aware of each group’s specific needs and personality. The needs of a national association are different than the needs of a medical group or religious group.