Peer Genius

“Be flexible on dates. When I give several dates for my venues to choose from, I tend to get the best rates and service. Also, I find that sticking with a particular venue makes negotiations flow well. This wouldn’t work for every planner, but for my training meetings—of which I have planned over 100 this year—this works well for both of us.”
Kathy S., Prosci

 “We book several events at the same location, and book them at the same time. That way we get a better deal on pricing and better concessions, too. I’ve also learned that it never hurts to ask, even if you think they’re going to say no. A lot of times I find that I’m pleasantly surprised.”
Amy F., FreeLife International

peer2“With each eRFP, I also submit a pdf of my hotel needs. It breaks down everything I look for during negotiations, from the night-by-night room count to any upgraded suites, Internet, parking specifications, dressers or hangers in the rooms, fridges, planner points, etc. This allows hotel sales representatives to answer my needs on a point-by-point basis and allows me to compare apples-to-apples amongst the different hotels. A hotel that may be $50 per night cheaper may not be such a great a deal if they’re charging $19.99 per night for Internet and $15.99 per night for parking. It also allows me to go back to these hotels after the original bids have come in and show them where they’d need to improve to win my business. It also saves the hotel time by letting those hotels that do not have room to park a 40-foot trailer (for instance) to respectfully pass on the bid before spending the time it takes to put together a full bid for my rooms.” 
Maria C., Match/Cut Productions

 “It’s to your benefit not to be the first to suggest a price range. Allow the opposing negotiator to make the first offer and take it from there.”
Carol M., The Nielsen Company

 “Before entering into negotiations, assess what you bring to the table, then focus on the other party and how you can help them. If you work as their partner and consider the big picture, the outcome is a successful situation for both groups involved.”
Molly K., Cisco America

“Something that we really emphasize at Jackson is building relationships with hotels and sales managers. We build close relationships with hotels in key areas for us and also with global sales managers at chains we typically use. Over time, because of our relationships and loyalty, those hotels are much more willing to bend over backward to accommodate requests and work with us on dates and concessions.”
Cara M., Jackson

peer3“I approach negotiating as a business proposition that benefits both parties. I know I have a lot of requests during contract negotiation, so I’m also sensitive to what makes good business sense to my counterpart, as well. I find it leads to both parties being satisfied with the process when I am able to negotiate with an understanding of what would make the vendor feel they also won in the process.”     

Kim B., iMedia Communications




Editorial Director, Elite Meetings International

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