Event Services Manager's Role Has an Impact on Sales
By Julie Pingston President, Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) | November 30, 2014
A recent meeting planner survey conducted by the Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) reveals that meeting planners view event services managers (ESM) as trusted and valued partners. This sentiment holds true for first-time meetings and events as well as booking repeat business at hotels, convention centers and convention and visitors bureaus.
The ESPA survey found that 70 percent of planners said event services "greatly affected" their decision to book or rebook a city or property with an additional 30 percent agreeing event services "somewhat affected" their site selection decisions.
Today's event services manager has evolved into a far more proactive player, a supply-side maestro orchestrating unique meeting options and services by working in harmony with the planner's needs to effectively achieve meeting goals.
However, ESMs are increasingly being integrated into the pre-contract sales process including, in some cases, the RFP phase and particularly during the meeting planner's site visit.
"Integrating event services managers into the sales process has been trending recently," observes Melissa Laskowsky, CMP, Convention Services Manager at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. "Our ESMs typically are part of the meeting planner site visit if it's a large event or the planner has a special requirement like a specific room set-up or an out-of-the-ordinary F&B request."
Bridging the Gap