Thirteen Tips for Saving on Your Next Corporate Meeting

By Lynn McCullough Director of Meetings & Association Management, CMA Association Management | May 06, 2010

Just as consumers are urged by financial-savvy experts to forego that morning cup of coffee at the convenience store to save a few hundred dollars by year's end, experts involved with corporate meeting planning believe there are a variety of cost-savings efforts that can not only keep you on budget, but below budget.

Here's a closer look at what you can do to help save on your next corporate meeting:

1: Take Advantage of Your Local Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB)

Every city has one, but not everyone takes advantage of the services they offer: Convention and Visitors Bureaus. They offer more than maps and a history of a city. Marie Fuehner, Director of Bureau Services at the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau, regularly assists corporate meeting planners. "CVBs have strong relationships with hotel corporate departments and services throughout a city," says Fuehner, who is also a member of the Association for Convention Operations Management (ACOM), an organization dedicated to advancing the practice of conventions services management and preparing CSM professionals for ongoing growth and success. "For this reason, we are not only knowledgeable about who to recommend as the ideal person for your needs, but can save you costs that would otherwise be incurred if you were to go to a third party vendor. And typically, CVB services are complimentary-that's the best part. If not totally complimentary, they will likely be less than reaching out to a third party. You save time and money either way."

She explains that depending on the meeting, the savings vary from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Additionally, she says that getting to that point means using complimentary services that can range from on-site registration assistance and name badge creation to bag stuffing, signage in local restaurants and other facilities and booth set up.

"Some people come into a city and overlook the services of a CVB," she says. "Think about it. Who better understands the city and services within that city than the representatives that breathe that city day in and day out and can do a great deal of legwork for you?"

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