The top 3 things meeting planners are looking for in Kamloops.
In the 1.5 years I’ve been a part of team TK, I have met many knowledgeable, amazing meeting planners. I’ve spent countless hours chatting on the phone and showing them what makes Kamloops a destination city, a great place to hold meetings, and generally awesome. Our lovely city sells itself, but to sell your property, here is a list of the top 3 things I hear from meeting planners:
Be honest and innovative
If your space is booked for their preferred dates, don’t respond no. Show them their business is important to you; real, honest people that see value in their programs will go a long way. Instead of turning the lead down connect with them and tell them you are booked for their initial dates, but that you have a needs period a few weeks later and offer something if they can fill your needs period (think discounted room, free A/V, restaurant discounts or GCs). Being honest about what your property needs is a great way to build a personal working relationship with the planner.
Also think outside the box instead of turning down a lead. Can’t fit all their exhibiting needs in your meeting space? Utilize your parking lot, a unique location close to your property, or work with another property so you both get a piece of the business (instead of both getting none of the business). Anything that provides a unique experience for the delegates, shows that you want to make it work, and proves Kamloops is the place to be for a unique meeting experience will keep Kamloops and your property top of mind. Planners are always looking for fresh new ideas for the same ol’ conference that happens every year.
Focus on the details they request
If they send you something to fill out, do just that! Often they have a policy, or a procedure that requires all the details to be submitted on a certain document. Read the instructions on any request and be sure to include all the information they are looking for; meeting planners and hotel staff alike are busy people! Avoid those unnecessary emails back and forth and prove your attention to detail and efficiency before you even welcome them to your property.
(psst.. insider tip… it is not uncommon for RFPs to be immediately disregarded if the correct and detailed information is not provided)
Make their site inspection quick, yet effective
They only want to see a hotel room or two, to ensure the hotel is clean and welcoming, they do not need to see all the different types of rooms you have, they’ve been in a hotel room or two in their lives.
Unlike the hotel rooms, they want to see everything your meeting space has to offer. Showcase it for them – turn the lights on and air the room out before they get there - walking into a dark, stuffy meeting space is very underwhelming, especially if you spend your days looking at meeting space.
The friendliness, beauty, and Kamloops charm get them every time, but these easy steps will help you stand out.