There are two sides to every
deal. M&C looked into how meetings suppliers
view the process of selling to and negotiating with planners with
an online poll conducted this past December. Planners might be
feeling the push from the 134 industry providers who responded, as
84 percent said they feel they have to sell more aggressively than
they did two years ago.
As planners know, suppliers use a
variety of marketing methods, the most popular being trade shows
and networking events, cited by 88 percent of the sample, followed
by e-mail (87 percent), the Internet and in-person visits (81
percent each), and direct mail (75 percent). Far and away,
in-person visits generate the best results, according to 43
When suppliers schedule time to chat
face-to-face, they are most likely to make the effort to visit the
planner’s office (79 percent) or make reservations for a lunch
meeting (77 percent).
Many industry trade shows are available
for suppliers to market their destinations, services and wares.
Regional shows are the most popular among respondents, with 63
percent exhibiting at such shows.
Suppliers do have a few complaints
about working with planners. Almost half (49 percent) said planners don’t return calls, 31
percent said planners never have time to talk, 30 percent said
planners come on FAM trips but don’t book, and 28 percent said
planners aren’t forthright in negotiations. Still, 21 percent had
no such gripes.