We are definitely taking a closer look at our budgets to find out how we can cut costs, but still provide the attendees with a valuable educational experience. We have tried to coordinate conference schedule so that we can use the same room and not have an extra expense for AV as in the past using multiple rooms. Doing away with our printed handouts has also helped a lot.
In addition, our staff has learned to do the same tasks but in fewer hours.
Our past history records have definitely been a big resource to us and also helps us in booking future years. We look at the trends on when the attendees register and book their rooms and also look at the final numbers compared to previous years.
My association is currently only booked out until 2013. In the past we have booked as far out as 6 years. I find myself taking more time in looking at the location and doing more research on labor prices, issues, pros and cons for each location.
We use Passkey which is also a great help in tracking hotel pick up. Our registration system works in conjunction with Passkey so files can be integrated. empowerMINT.com will be a great tool when I go to source our 2014 conference. It is sometimes difficult to figure out which cites we would be a good fit for. My group has a history of not repeating cities for many years, so I’m always trying to think of new locations.
Recommended Resources & Tools:
- Convene Magazine
- Smartmeetings Magazine
- LinkedIn Groups: Event Management, Certified Meeting Professionals (CMP), Meeting Planners Nertwork