What is a Meeting Professional to you?
This was told to me years ago and it still sticks: A Meeting Professional walks just ahead of the Client’s path and sweeps away any obstacles that may come up. That also means to always be within listening range to learn of any new directions this path may need to take, so you can adjust accordingly.
Meeting Planners tend to get possessive about their meetings. An easy thing to do when there is so much involved. MeetingKnowledge understands that it is always the Clients’ meeting. We are here to sweep the path. More importantly, we are here to protect the Client from unfair and unecessary costs.
Why do you say MeetingKnowledge specializes in Regional Meetings anywhere in the USA? What does that mean?
I recognize the need, especially in this economy, that while meetings can be expensive, they still are very much needed. I prefer to work in the USA simply because that is what I know best – this is where I can do the most good. I have been traversing the USA since I was 16. I know a lot of properties.
Doing a meeting in a smaller city is a smart choice and they have much to offer. The midsize company with basic meeting needs or a large company with relatively small attendee volume does not have to go a large city or to a large meetings and incentive company with higher costs to get their meeting done. MeetingKnowledge can keep it simple and less expensive. And besides, I love going to visit those 2nd tier cities. (Louisville, Lexington, Birmingham, Charlottesville, Tulsa, Miami, OK, Omaha – just to name a few.)
Does that mean you won’t take on larger meetings in larger cities?
Not at all. There are many regional companies who want to go to Orlando, New York, Miami, Dallas, Chicago or Denver (for instance). I know those cities very well. That is another reason why it would make sense for MeetingKnowledge to do those meetings.
Why are you both a Meeting Professional and a Marketing Writer?
Because I love to do both. I am quite happy writing marketing and sales materials and find it an exciting aspect to my career. I have been writing all my professional life while doing other things. For more information on my marketing writing services please visit PeakCopy.com www.peakcopy.com.
Meeting Planning is important to me because it keeps me in touch with wonderful people all over the country. The coordinating of an event very often is a challenging experience in some way, and I find in meeting services the urgency and dedication it requires tends to bring out the best in people. I am always pleased and honored to be part of a group of people like that.
How do you price a writing project?
Once I have been briefed on the size of the project and timeline, I will submit a proposal based on the estimate of time it should take. It can be on a fee basis or not hourly, whichever makes the most sense and, if applicable, royalties may be involved. Variables depend on how much background materials and metrics will be provided to me by the company and how much research on my own I will need to do. If travel to a hotel site is required, then, of course, that time and expenses will be factored in.
How do you price a meeting?
What first happens is I listen. I listen to everything a Client has to say about their meeting and how they picture it so far. It is best to keep it in the abstract at this point, so you can free form it before you have to bring it into scope. After the Client has told me everything, I then ask questions that I believe may not have been thought of by this point. I am not looking for answers yet, I am just looking at the components because soon enough they will need to be put into the budget. Nothing beats a realistic budget.
We have a list of line items that usually appear in a meeting budget. Keep in mind there are no two meetings alike. Even if they look like it on paper, they are not. Variables are always around the purpose of the meeting, location, time of year etc. Each meeting has a personality of its own, reflecting the people working on it, and the evolving needs and requirements as the meeting develops.
Generally speakng I charge my pre-work on an hourly basis and my onsite work as a daily fee, as a cost saving measure to the Client.
How does the Budgeting of a meeting work for you? Do you have a formula?
The thing about money is that it tends to move around. Even when you think you can’t find it, it is there. And that is how I approach my budgets. Once line items are priced, be assured they will change. I have learned not to panic when it appears that certain line items are over budget. It just means it is time to rethink and reshape and start using your options, like: prioritize, renegotiate, send to bid, redesign, rent, not build, etc.