Smart Money: Bargain Planning

With so much emphasis on savings these days, it seems just about every possible rock has been turned over in the quest to find a deal. And yet, resourceful planners still seem to be able to find new and endless ways to cut costs. It’s a matter of creativity, and looking carefully at every aspect…

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Black Belt Negotiating: learn to bargain like a foreigner

Did you ever notice that some people just seem to be natural-born negotiators? They get discounts and deals wherever they go. We’re jealous, aren’t we? We wish we could be more like them, to have the confidence to haggle like they do, and also be able to spend the extra money they save by bargaining….

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Ms. Smart E. Pants: Economy Vitals

A: America is experiencing its first significant drop in GDP since 1981, so few professionals have real experience with downturns like this. Also, this recession is different from anything experienced for the past 80 years, which has created a host of new conditions for planners. Take hotels for instance. According to the Washington Post “Some…

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How to Negotiate: Room Blocks

Booking a block at a hotel is one of the biggest expenses on your budget—and one of the most important for your attendees. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your negotiations. Rule #1: Know what you want then ask for more it It is important to know exactly what…

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Event Design on a Budget

Tips to Handle Event Design on a Budget

Event planners are often asked to do more with less – less time, less resources and, especially, less money. The secret to putting together high-caliber events on a shoestring budget may be simpler than imagined. It all boils down to knowing how to plan properly. One of the biggest budget-drainers is last-minute planning. That’s why…

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More than Ready to Entertain

Imagine a hotel where, every time you step inside the elevator, a disco ball lights up, creating an instant dance party as you move between floors with strangers. Or where there are pictures of whoopee cushions on the carpets that make lots of noise when you step on them. Or where all the staff members…

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10 Bright Ideas to Save Big Bucks

Sponsored by: Sioux Falls In some alternate universe, there might be a world where events know no budget. Alas, on this planet, and in this post-recession economy, a finite amount of money can limit options and increase headaches. But with some creativity, a touch of chutzpah and a willingness to do your homework, even a…

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Meetings within Means

Sponsored by: Sioux Falls CVB Meeting affordability is relative. One group’s idea of sensible is another’s prescription for low attendance and disaster. As with all things practical, event planning is the art of balancing sometimes conflicting objectives. In a survey of participants prior to a recent three-day Smart Meeting in Honolulu, we asked what topics…

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On the Rebound

As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Just ask convention and visitors bureaus throughout the country, which, after a two-year battering from an economic recession, funding cuts and misguided perceptions about meetings, have become leaner, meaner—and, they’ll tell you, smarter. They’ve had to be. Their hotel partners’average daily rates plummeted by…

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Tips from the Trenches

Your organization has a bottom line; you have a meetings budget. And for some organizations, there’s been a painful wake-up call about how those meetings do—or do not—make a contribution to that bottom line. These days, return on investment is being scrutinized at all levels, but that still leaves planners with the initial challenge: trimming…

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