Meeting Planning in a Battered Business Climate
Well, it's April 1, and we have had quite an interesting first quarter! We went from one of the forecasted best years ever in the meetings, golf and tradeshow business to what could be the worst year, ever. Even when you consider WWII, September 11 and the Great Recession, there has never been anything like the past month or so. As a contracted meeting planner, many of my hotel contacts are furloughed, my clients are working out of their homes, if they are working at all, and at least the first half of the year has been decimated by cancellations and "date-changes."
Yes, the air-quotes on "date-changes" are intentional... we do not know for a fact if the new dates will be actualized, since no one knows how long this could go one. Having worked in several challenging environments, here's what to do....
- Start with yourself-- your attitude determines your altitude-- daily motivation, prayer, smiling more, whatever it takes to keep you in the game, do it every day.
- Keep in touch with your clients, friends and contacts-- be sure to call and write to them to touch base and maintain the relationship;
- Schedule your day like a regular business day. Many of my contacts are doing their morning work-outs and dressing for the office, even if their office is on a TV table in the spare bedroom.
- If you're in hotel sales, production sales, sponsorship sales or any client contact business, it is 100% OK to take and make sales calls! Most sales take 4-5 contacts over several months, so get them started now and you'll be in good position when things come back. In most of the recent calls I've made, the clients are actually happy to hear from someone... it's VERY quiet out there!
Most of all, stay patient, healthy and safe out there!
I will be adding some content on Negotiations, Contracts and other items, so be sure to come by and check it out...