Fairness in Vendor Selection by Lisa Silverman, MA, CGMP

Lisa Silverman is the Education and Training Manager for SGMP.

How do your personal values play a role in your vendor selection?

Which are most important to you:

Competition, Relationships, Service, Security, Profit, Challenge and Variety, Precision, Making Decisions, Excitement, Creativity, Timeliness, Independence, Fast Pace, Supervision.

Knowing who values each of these, you can take these into consideration when you interact with your Planners and Suppliers.

 

Convention News TV

Why use Video for your next Meeting or Conference?

Benefits:

- Offers a visual way to send out info, extends life and reach of your meeting, enhances your conference image, generate new revenue

- Viewers stay on your website ave 6 minutes with video, less than 1 minute without video

- Highlight testimonials of attendees at your conference

- Increase attendance, add new element, engage audience, deliver information, archive history, generate revenue

 

Types of Video

- Organic Video (Flip Camera/Smart Phone)- inexpensive, anyone can do it, is immediate, allows for interactivity and viral activity

- Promotional Videos- send out in advance of your meetings, post on Social Media platforms, give reasons to attend, justify money spent, link directly to registration page

- News & Information- can disseminate to those who may not be able to attend conference in person, daily news headlines, breaking news, one-on-one interviews, summaries of educational sessions, summaries of Keynote

- Live Streaming- immediate and live, interactive, cost can vary depending on the number of viewers (dedicated live line) and production level

- Sponsorship/Advertising- “This video sponsored by…”, Commercial time, advertorials, banner ads, guaranteed news times

 

Distribution Options

- Email to your database, post on website, via Social Media, play in hotel rooms, show on shuttle busses

Cost/Logistics

Promotional Video- $2500

Testimonials- $2500/day

Daily News Headlines- $4500-$9500/day

How to Generate Revenue

Sample Sponsorship Sales:

Overall Sponsorship: $3000

Advertorial: $2500

One-on-One Interview: $1500

Banner Ad: $500

TOTAL: $7500/day of Revenue Generated from video

We’re Going Coastal for SREC 2012

The SGMP Southeast Regional Education Conference will take place in Mobile, AL  September 16th-19th at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel! See you there!

Greening Your Hotel by Jamison Conrey

For a hotel to successfully go green you need a dedicated champion within your organization.  Also, management must be fully on board.

 

74 is the ideal hotel temperature

 

At The Shores Resort & Spa:

The Shores no longer uses bottled water

Attendees are no longer able to adjust the temperatures in the meeting rooms

Try to limit temperature control to one meeting planner.

 

It is a Multi-stage process to green your hotel:

Team was developed in 2007 to come up with the process.  Some of the work was started during The Shores refurbishing.

The Green Lodging Association certifies the Palm certification system of green hotels in Florida.  The process is now a self audit process.  Originally the Green Lodging Certification was much more comprehensive.  Budget cuts have hampered the GLA’s ability to do site visits.

Lighting is a big area of cost saving opportunity.  The cost of running the hallway lights was $25,134. By replacing the 1047 40 watt bulbs in the hallway with 4 watt CFL lights the cost has gone down to $2513.  The up front cost to make the change was $18,000.  The old bulbs are very bright and put off a lot of heat.  The new bulbs do not radiate heat.  This also impacted the cost to cool the building.  The bulbs do not have to be changed as often.

CFL bulbs have mercury so you are not able to throw them in the trash like regular bulbs.  You are supposed to ship them back to the manufacturer.  The Shores purchased a machine called The Bulb Eater.  It vacuums the bulbs and crushes them in a metal 55 gallon container.  It filters out the mercury.

By changing all bulbs in the hotel to the lower watt CFL’s there was an annual saving of $110,686.

The Shores has adopted the be 903 1053

They have partnered with Clean the World.  Clean the World is an organization that collects the used soap and shampoo from hotels.  All used lotion, soap and conditioners are recycled and sent to Haiti.  102,000 bottles of shampoo and 66,000 bars of soap have been recycled at The Shores this year.

Superior Solar is a potential partner that will provide solar panels that they have developed.  The cost of the panels is paid for with the savings.

The Shores tried to put a greenhouse on the roof but a storm destroyed it.  They have not been able to rebuild them. They also tried Composting, but had little success.

The Shores is participating in an upcoming event called The Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup on September 17th.  The Ocean Conservancy  has multiple chapters  and over the course of the last 25 years they have picked up 52 million cigarette butts.

Audience Feedback:

Dry erase tent cards are good environmentally friendly option as opposed to paper tent cards.  You can get them from Trainers Warehouse.

 

Diversity in Government Meeting Planning by Lisa Silverman

Lisa started out the session with a game called Diversity Bingo.  In the game, the members of the audience carry around a bingo style game sheet.  Each square has it’s own diverse criteria and you have to find another member of the audience that meets each of the criteria.  It was very interesting to see the diversity within the audience.

Sending out RFP’s should be done on Tuesday through Thursday  mornings because that is when most people are most focused on work.  Also, be thoughtful to not have an RFP due on a holiday such as good Friday.

Try to send to smaller venues and also to women or minority owned business.

Try to find easily accessible locations for your meetings.  Getting through airports can be a challenge for some so being in a location where direct flights are available for many is great.

Be sure that the venue has enough accessible guest rooms and make sure that they are not going to be used by another group.

A location with the 24 hour availability of food is great, especially during Ramadan.

 

Site Selection Tips

Look into ease of accessibility

Are family restrooms available?

Is the staff diverse?

Is there a safe space or prayer room?

Are audio amplifiers and TTY phone numbers available?

Is any of the staff bilingual or do they have access to translators?

Is the area surrounding the venue diverse enough to satisfy nightlife seekers but also appealing to those that like quiet time in the down times?

 

To meet the needs of those that have fewer financial resources use the following tips:

Have reasonable registration costs

Look at all of the travel costs involved – flights, travel to/from airport, resort fees….

Look at the costs for activities and entertainment in the city for times that are not included in the registration.

What are the expected tips at the property?

 

Marketing Considerations:

Name of the event diversity friendly?

Large print materials available

Use mail vs. email, or both based on what is appropriate for audience.

Be sure that sponsors represent your values

Be sure that charities align with the values of your mission

Be cognizant of social media potential issues.  Not all government agencies are available.

 

BEO’s:

Avoid pork and shellfish

Look for Kosher symbols

Have one of the events centered around a culturally diverse event.  Ie Chinese Festival night in mid September in recognition of Xinhaunet.

Include vegetarian options

Avoid nuts and other items that are commonly allergic.

 

Programming:

Diverse speaker selection

Diverse entertainment

Only use necessary designations

Have kids activities if families will come

Have diverse decorations

Use inclusive language such as partner instead of husband/wife.

 

Onsite Logistics:

Use gender neutral language – staff the booth vs. man the booth

Amplification devices available

Follow protocol

Large print handouts

 

 

 

Social Media to Market Your Meetings by Marketing Mud

You want to use the same process for strategizing Social Media Use, as you would with any other marketing efforts for your Conference!

Think of your GOALS and your AUDIENCE:

When is your conference or meeting, where, when is the registration cut off, where are your audience members located, how do they prefer to receive messaging about the meeting?

Do you have an audience from a past year’s conference, or is it a new group? Locally, Regionally, or Nationally?

Branding

You should develop a strong brand across all of your platforms or marketing modes: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Email Marketing, Print ads or Newsletters, Program, etc.

Share your links to your Social Media platforms on all of your materials for the conference so your audience knows that you’re there!

Tips & Tricks for Social Media Engagement

FACEBOOK:

Create a strong Facebook Icon and Landing Page that matches your branding for you Conference.

You can link your landing graphic to your conference website, Registration Page, or imbed an email opt-in form for your attendees to engage or Register right there. You can also imbed a video about your conference, etc.

Create an Event Page on Facebook and invite your audience

Post Interactive Links and Photos, track your impressions

Use the Polls feature to gather meeting preferences, etc.

Recognize your sponsors by tagging them in your posts. Type the @ symbol and then the name of your sponsor (must be a “Fan” of their page first.

Monitor your Fan Insights so you know what posts your Fans are engaging with the most.

Create an engaging and informative video and imbed it onto your Facebook landing page.

TWITTER:

Design a branded background and icon that matches your conference or meeting brand

Have a strong profile description (limit to 140 characters). Include keywords about your conference or industry, as well as the URL to your website.

Create Lists- Public and/or Private lists- helps you keep track of your contacts within twitter. Segment based on industry, conference or interests.

Follow relevant industry hashtags for ex: #meetingprofs. This allows you to see what everyone is saying around that one topic.

Create and USE a hashtag for your conference ex: #SREC2011

Retweet others Tweets with related content to your audience.

Add photos and links to direct your followers to Registration, etc.

Follow relevant players in your industry, government, or local agencies.

 

Other:

Include Social Links on all Collateral Materials, on the Conference Website, and in email footers to let your attendees know that your conference is ON those platforms.

Run Contests, Incorporate QR codes, and YouTube functionality.

 

Parameters:

Post 2-3 times per week, make 1 per day as a GOAL

Measure and track your insights and analytics

Generate Engaging Content

Monitor Social Profiles Daily

Respond From a Singular Voice

Be Genuine in Your Interaction With Fans and Followers – Make it personal.

 

Content Ideas:

Goals and Reasons for your Conference

Promote Conference Events, leading up to and after with Photos, Links, & Thank You’s

Run Contests that ENGAGE users

Share Testimonials from Registrants or past years’ Conferences

 

Creating Effective Online Forms…Fast by Gabrielle K. Gabrielli, CGMP, Ph.D.

Languages you need to know for the Web: HTML, PHP, CSS– All of the below Forms DO NOT require you to know these.

Benefits: Saves Time, Money, Makes it Convenient, Improves Quality and Quantity of feedback, Enables Data Mining.

Challenges with Free versions: Customer Support Lacks, Submission Limits, Complex Scripting, Payment options can be limited, Can be time consuming when there is an issue.

Consider: your Volume, Type of Data, and Security, Self-hosting v Hosted, Offline access to data.

*Free, BUT they want to SELL you an upgraded version.

Most allow you to Export to XLS, CSV, and PDF

Zoho- offers a lot of functionality- single line, multi-line, percent, check boxes, instructions to users. Paid version allows you to add your Logo. THIS is what the SREC Registration form was created with. Free version allows up to 3 forms. Add Form–> Title it–> Select Form Template…DONE! Want to add additional info? Click from the left hand menu, drag to your form. Mark a field as *Required if it is necessary for your respondents to complete.

Wufoo- offers themes for your forms

Adobe- offers templates for you to choose from for ex. Mail opt-in forms. 360 evaluations- Performance evaluations where everyone can rate each other.

pForm- 3 steps- Choose your color, Title and add Description, Complete– Download it to add to your Website, etc. Have full access to the Code.

Doodle- great for scheduling meetings of outside organizations. Send it out through your email or through Doodle. Tells you when the most amount of people are available. Click Schedule an Event–> Title It–>Add Description–> Add your Name–> Click Next and select the Month, Date, and Time options for your respondents–>Finish. You can enable Email notifications so that you know when your contacts respond.

Survey Monkey- Free version is limited to 10 questions. Can embed your survey onto Facebook to get more responses. Offers free survey tips for gathering the best data. Only Allows you to collect first 100 responses with Free version.

Other Form Sites:

JotForm

FormSite

Instant Form Creator

Test these platforms and see which you like best, and see how they handle more complex functions.

For Complete Slideshow visit Gabrielle’s Site.

Do you Measure Up?

New Standards for Green and Sustainable Events by Danielle Adams, CMP

APEX/ASTEM Standards- Accepted Practices Exchange

GOALS:

Make it Industry Wide

Roadmap for Planners

Enhance Practices

 

9 Sectors or Standards:

Accommodations- ask Hotel for their practices, ex. Linen Reuse Programs, Recycling in each Guest Room, Low Flow Toilets, No Prepour, Indigenous plants.

A/V Standards- donate half used projector batteries?, LED Lights, Energy Star equipment.

Communications- online materials for meetings, ex. Agenda, Reuse Signage, Twitter, QR Codes to online materials

Destinations- locations with a lot of Green Initiatives already in place. USGVC works to make the meeting Green from the moment attendees step off the plane, to when the get back on. Mass transit options can save!

Exhibits- ask attendees not to bring handouts unless its edible, recyclable, or reusable. Saves on shipping, packing, marketing efforts, etc. Used QR codes to replace in person handouts. Locally found items: Food, Products, Decor, Entertainment, Labor.

Food & Beverage- work together with your Chef to use what is in season, local. Share food costs with another meeting happening simultaneously at the same hotel. The first level of Green is Cost Savings! Don’t Prepour water or teas- produces a huge amount of waste. If you do Prepour, use leftover water to water plants, etc. Use Bamboo Products, ex. Classic Party Rental has reused scraps to create Green decorations for meetings. Ex. Recentered Pieces- uses teacups and LED lighting and other recycled items for center pieces. Try buying in Bulk!

On-Site Office- What are you printing? What do you absolutely NEED to print? Use double sided, single spaced materials.

Transportation- Find a city that is walkable to convention center from hotel. Ex: GreenRideGlobal.com- insists on “no idle time”, and offers preferred suppliers list.

Venue- use things outside, bring in less decor, donate floral to hospitals, etc. once meeting is over. Think creatively about venue selection ex: art galleries, spaces with outdoor or natural lighting.

** New standards can take up to 10 years to be passed. The industry is in a rush to get them passed so that the savings and green implications can take place.

 

Event Standards

BS 8901 (British System)- will soon become ISO 20121 System before the 2012 Olympics. WHOLE SYSTEM

APEX/ASTIM is a CHECKLIST (9 Standards)

Global Reporting Initiative- how to report things

ISO (Management System) –> APEX (Checklist) –> GRI (Reporting)

 

Measurement- Start keeping track to see progress, establish a baseline, communicate your success.

Sustainable Event Measurement Tool (SEMT)- MPI, GMIC, Grant through MPI and Intercontinental Hotels Group.

http://mpi.sustainableeventtool.com – Free to MPI and GMIC Members.

Simple to use, Profile for Suppliers and Planners, gives you graphs of your success.

 

What this Means to YOU:

- Ready Made Checklist for your RFP’s

- Easy to confirm your events are sustainable

- Provides a template to measure Progress

- Consistent Requests to Vendors (Vendors will be aware of what you will ask for)

- Guides Internal Changes

- Provides Competitive Advantage

Ex. from SGMP Attendee: Alachua County offers 2 Green Grants- for example the Great Green Grant- works with Neutral Gator to help offset Carbon Footprint of Meeting.

Ex. from SGMP Attendee: CVB Ft. Myers partnered with Got to Zero to plan trees to offset Carbon Footprint should the planner choose to do so.

Ex. from Presenter: Clean the world- collects partially used bathing products form hotels, cleans and purifies, and delivers them around the world for ex. in Haiti.

Ex. Set up Beach Cleanups at hotels on the beach during your Meeting.

 

 

What Planners REALLY Want by Ruth Harris, CMP, CTAS

Planners Want:

Easy Data Collection

Cost Savings

Time Savings

Communicate Brand

Message

ROI

Happy Attendees

*** Partner with Suppliers to create a memorable experience for our attendees

 

Reasons for Site Selection: 44% say Location

Planners turn to those in the industry they have developed a relationship with, usually from associations like SGMP for site selection advice.

- Different ways to enhance attendees experience

- Save agency money

- Make Planner look good

- Makes Supplier look good

- Makes Supplier’s property look good

- Secure Repeat Business

Utilizing the Senses

Rule of 7: Every adult can entertain 7 senses +/- 2

- As a planner you want to use these: visual, audio, smell, taste, touch

Examples:

- Personalize food and beverage, design website to be ideal for information gathering for planners/attendees, recognize attendees by name, have greeters to welcome guests, interactive coffee tastings, breaks, spa smells, customized music available or private message to attendees in rooms via TV, use meeting logo on cocktail napkins, coasters, hotel keys, door cards, pillowcases with conference logo in rooms as a take-away, photos of attendees as take away, custom M&M’s, notes delivered to guest rooms with info about the next day’s activities, donate rebate to the conference charity, bartender challenges or make your own sushi at opening reception (interactive ideas), offer Complete Meeting Package- breaks, lunch, easel stand and pads, LCD projector and screen, etc. Complementary Wi-Fi Access, give Planners an App for their Meeting- information about Hotel, signing bonuses to planners, spouse incentives, group movie incentives, book 2 nights and get 3rd night 50% off, highlight your uniqueness (Kansas City- BBQ, Daytona Beach- Race Track & Beach, etc), highlight your brant, sister properties, etc. Have planner sign a multi-year deal, incentive for planner to submit an RFP, include partners in your promotion- airlines, rental car, etc. Provide a credit to a Desitmation Management COmpany

Mistakes Planners Make:

Not getting commitments in writing- include ALL details, (6 late checkouts, extras included) hotel employees change FREQUENTLY, Ask for an Addendum to contract if extras are added, Not including indemnification, Failing to plan for contingencies- back up plan. Have Crisis Management Plans for your meetings- master list of attendee count and their rooms, evacuation plan for your whole group to meet up, Failing to troubleshoot before meeting, Over-inflating  room block and F&B revenue, Not including proper force majeure provisions in contracts, include food allergy accommodations, Who is in the Hotel at the same time? Conflicts or disruptions can occur.

SGMP SREC Planner Survey:

23% Federal Planners

31% State Planners

46% Contract Planners

 

62% try to plan at SGMP Member properties

69% felt more confident working with SGMP Planner

- Develop each proposal to each group, every instance is Unique

 

Economy Implications:

- Fewer Face-to-Face Meetings

- Less Attendees

- Less Funding for Food and Fewer Days in Hotel

- Fewer Meetings in General

 

Meeting Outlook for 2012 by Kimberly Faulk, Visit Florida

Thank you to Starwood Hotels and Resorts for sponsoring our Keynote this morning, Kimberly Faulk, Director of Industry Relations for Visit Florida.

 

Yesterday is Gone, Focus on the Future!

Work with your local CVB or Government Organization where you are.

What is Marketing? Advertising, Sales, Website, Brochures, Networking, Social Media, Sponsorships, etc.

VISIT FLORIDA is a 501c(6) Corporation established in 1996, headquartered in Tallahassee, FL.

Florida Visitors in 2010: hosted 82 Million visitors

Become a Fan on Facebook of the CIC

Destination Matters- Resources: meetings.visitflorida.com, visitflorida.org/planner

Business Visitors accounted for 14.5% of Florida’s Domestic Travel in 2009, and nearly 5 Million Visitors from Meetings

Visit www.conventionindustry.org- for more statistics.

 

Meeting Trends

Virtual Events- involves more people who could not attend in person, GREEN, viewed as innovative, additional sponsorship opportunity.

Resources on these events: virtualedge.org

Budgets: spending is showing signs of recovery, attendance continues to grow gradually, U.S. continues sharp increase in number of meetings, and price increase belief was stated as biggest challenge this year from planners.

Return on Investment is still very important

Change in format (ie Virtual meetings) is adding value and creating better experiences for attendees.

Target Markets shifting- medical and wellness sectors are increasing in corporate environments.

Examples:

Asheville- Chit, Chat, and Chow- invites planners to come and share their insight.

GSAE- made cute video of Weebles going around the different attractions and areas to highlight them.

Birmingham- Has a free App to help see what you can do when you visit. They also have a meeting video.

 

Digital Trends

155 Million tweets per day

35 hours of Youtube video uploaded per minute every day

100 Million + LinkedIn users

SGMP Facebook Fan Page has new per diem rates uploaded- Fan their page.

Content is KING on Social Media!

Planners- talk about where you stay, at each hotel, your opinions on that property

60 Million US Mobile Phone users

95% of Text Messages are opened, far higher than an email open rate

Unemployment expected to rmain over 8% in 2012

International visitation expected to be up 4% in 2012

 

Trends for 2012

Consumer Confidence expected to comeback in 2012

Experiential Family Travel

Resurgence of Travel Experts

Real LIfe Learning

Niche Travel

Group Travel

Multi-Destination Vacations

Planners: Meetings Website Promotion: Win a new Mazda CX-6 and a Florida Experience on meetings.visitflorida.com

Florida Encounter: Hilton Daytona Beach Daytona Beach, FL Nov. 13-15th contact Kimberly Faulk for more information.

 

 

 

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