Cost Saving Strategies for Meeting Planners

By Lynn McCullough Director of Meetings & Association Management, CMA Association Management | October 28, 2008

The financial well-being of a business is not very different. With this in mind, it is important for meeting planners to be aware of the many ways they can plan for and conduct highly effective, memorable meetings, while simultaneously taking their organization's budgetary parameters into consideration.

Now is the ideal time-especially as we embark on a new year-to start a clean slate comprised of cost-savings strategies and planning decisions that ensure both financial benefits for your client's organization while also generating a successful meeting for their audience.

So, if you or your client need to plan big with a budget that's small, let the following tips from ACOM-the Association for Convention Operations Management-serve as a helpful guide to achieve both objectives:

Think Outside the Lunch Box

"People's first thought seems to be to discount the existing menu; but, we should try to move away from this old practice and instead, work with the chef to create an alternative meal within the client's budget," suggests Kelly Miller Bishop, CMP, director of catering for the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. "This can turn into a fun and creative meal and theme or event by thinking outside the box in how to meet the client's budget."

Another option Bishop suggests is to offer your client on a shoestring budget the same meal that is already being prepared by the kitchen for another group-for the same time slot as you are serving your meal. "This could help lower the cost for the client's meal," says Bishop.

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