What event planners and venues need to know before a site visit

Senior planners and venue directors took part in a panel discussion at C&IT's US Forum.

A mixture of event planners and venue directors were part of a discussion panel at C&IT’s US Forum at Chewton Glen, discussing the relationship between planners and suppliers. 

During the panel, they discussed how the business relationship between venues and planners could be improved, how you know if a hotel is right for a large group, the importance of site inspections and how event planners can provide the right kind of information up front. 

On the event planner side were Carol Davis, owner of CPER Productions and Incentives and Amy Zellmer, VP of meetings and incentives at GMR Marketing. Speaking for the venues/suppliers were Julia Mastrogiannaki, director of group and event sales at Fairmont Monte Carlo and Lisa Lernoux-Dock, sales director MICE at Iconic Luxury Hotels. Moderating the panel was C&IT’s editor Calum Di Lieto. 

Davis said: "I think one of the the biggest issues is the lack of communication between the sales and marketing teams of venues in trying to work with the RFPs. 

"When a planner goes on a site visit, there are certain things that we’re looking for. We’re not usually looking for things that work well, we’re looking for the things that are going to create problems. It’s a lack of understanding about who we are as planners and what we’re doing."

Mastrogiannaki gave her opinion, saying: "I think it comes down to the quality of the training of the salespeople, especially in a place like London where you have such crazy turnover. It is really challenging sometimes to keep those junior salespeople trained to the same extent. 

"Something that helps is to take five or 10 minutes before the site visit begins to sit down and go over their requirements and make sure you know exactly what they’re trying to achieve. Explain what you’re going to cover and confirm if this is what the client had in mind. That way, we all know what we’re doing."

Watch the full panel discussion in the video above.

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