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July 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Newsline newsline.gif (8042 bytes)MEETING PLANNERS PREFER BRIEF, PERTINENT AND LOW-KEY SALES PITCHESTip for Industry Suppliers: Ease UpWhat are the best ways for suppliers to capture a meeting planner’s attention? In a survey of more than 350 readers conducted in early June, M&C got the answers.

“Don’t call us,” say most planners. Only 5 percent say the telephone is their preferred method of receiving information from suppliers. Respondents favor e-mail (57 percent) and snail mail (50 percent). Just 8 percent prefer fax.

Although more than a third (36 percent) of planners prefer to meet with suppliers over lunch, a plurality of respondents (44 percent) prefer to hold such meetings in their offices. Relatively few (6 percent) like to get together in the evening for dinner or drinks.

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The best way to attract planners’ attention in a direct mail piece is to provide brief, at-a-glance information, say two-thirds of those surveyed. Respondents are almost evenly split, however, on whether the overall amount of material they receive from suppliers is too much (49 percent) or just right (46 percent).

Suppliers take note: To a great degree, meeting planners say unsolicited sales pitches are not useful (68 percent). In fact, only 1 percent find such calls very useful. And their two biggest pet peeves regarding pitches: Salespeople don’t do their homework first to understand the planner’s needs (65 percent), and they call and begin a pitch without first asking if it’s a good time to talk (64 percent).

The majority of planners (64 percent) believe suppliers are more aggressive in their sales pitches today; of those who feel that way, 93 percent are bothered by this aggressive approach to business.

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By Art Pfenning, corporate research director for NORTHSTAR Travel Media, LLC, M&C’s parent company.

What Association Executives Earn The gender gap in earnings grows in relation to size of organization, according to a 2001 compensation survey. Male CEOs Female CEOs Trade association $136,775 $92,125 Individual membership association $139,241 $85,204 Total staff size: 2 or fewer $75,000 $60,000 3 to 5 $95,640 $77,000 6 to 10 $116,550 $108,000 11 to 20 $138,200 $126,000 21 to 50 $201,923 $159,280 51 to 100 $237,900 $145,518 More than 100 $287,600 $249,233 Total annual budget: $300,000 or less $67,600 $54,789 $300,001 to $500,000 $75,600 $68,579 $500,001 to $750,000 $90,000 $72,800 $750,001 to $1 million $102,000 $87,525 $1,000,001 to $2.5 million $118,800 $112,425 $2,500,001 to $5 million $170,000 $137,100 $5,000,001 to $10 million $227,750 $160,585 $10,000,001 to $15 million $225,994 $171,750 More than $15 million $285,000 $256,269 Source: American Society of Association Executives

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