Planner Pain Points: How to Manage Meeting Logistics

by | Jan 19, 2021 | For Organizers

In a previous post, we discussed the top five pain points of sourcing overload. Sourcing, however, is just one of many logistical steps along the way to a memorable event.

The event professionals Groups360 surveyed last year also recounted their experiences with the ongoing pandemic and how that’s forced them to change their approach to meeting planning.

Here are three planner pain points when it comes to meeting and event logistics.

1. The ongoing pandemic has forced you to change your meeting strategy.

“The pandemic has been an absolute nightmare, a circus. And a big monetary loss for so many companies. There’s also the fear of liability. No one is comfortable making decisions at this point. Everyone’s erring on the side of caution and going day by day.” —Corporate event planner

“As far as events and meetings we’re having to date, most have been canceled. For future events, senior management is continuously monitoring what’s happening before making that decision. They’re doing it meeting by meeting pretty much day by day regarding what we may need to postpone or cancel.” —Professional society meeting planner

Solution: As the events industry inches toward reopening, planners agree that the first meetings to return will be smaller and more local. Many event planners who once planned several events of substantial size are now faced with producing multiple simultaneous meetings in different regions. GroupSync simplifies the complex sourcing process associated with this new approach.

In GroupSync, you can establish a profile with essential details and workflow preferences to populate all your RFPs. Then, you can create an event entry that can be easily duplicated. The duplicate feature is available in every event status and allows you to save steps by copying the event details into a new event. GroupSync market data on rates and occupancy ensures that you know what to expect in a given city and across a certain caliber of hotels before you send out a single RFP.

After you’ve received responses, you can award your meetings to not just one but various hotels in the same market or multiple markets. For a series of successive events, you can still create the one RFP but then add alternate dates to represent the series. Read more for additional tips on sourcing for multiple meetings.

2. It’s difficult to figure out meeting space capacity.

“[Legacy sourcing systems] ask you what size rooms you need in square feet, versus asking you how many attendees you’re having and what kind of AV you have. We can have 90 people in the room or 180. [Legacy sourcing systems] don’t give you flexibility.” —Corporate event planner

“I have to calculate square footage because I don’t know how much I need. Do we need 2,500 square feet because I have 50 people? It’s just a lot of math. I would love if something just did that for me.” —Corporate event planner

Solution: Other venue sourcing platforms ask how much square footage your group needs. GroupSync is the only sourcing platform with a built-in space calculator. Simply select the room configuration — such as banquet, classroom, theater or reception — and input the number of attendees. You can also input needed exhibition space if you’re producing a trade show. GroupSync then calculates the minimum square footage needed and eliminates the properties that can’t physically accommodate your group.

Given the challenges of planning during a pandemic, you now have the added ability to factor in social distancing into these calculations by selecting between two options. When you select Moderate Capacity Reduction, the amount of square footage needed per person is increased by 30% on average. When you select Significant Capacity Reduction, the amount of square footage needed per person is increased by 50% on average.

3. You want the choice to stay hands-on or outsource in a time crunch.

“I’m old-fashioned, and I don’t like to give control away to a third-party. I like to oversee the whole event and have complete control. With third-party, you’re relying on them to negotiate, but they don’t have the investment that I do in my company. All the revenue and potential loss with each event falls fully on my shoulders.” —Trade association meeting planner       

“The only time I utilize a third-party is if I am completely buried and can’t get to every item on my list for the week. Otherwise I prefer to do my own research and talk directly to the venues so that they are clear on our needs and wants.” —Trade association meeting planner    

Solution: Groups360 offers two options for sourcing in GroupSync. You can use the platform to search, source and contract venue space and hotel rooms on your own, and we support you with user guides, short and simple training videos, and full access to our Customer Success team for questions or technical difficulties.

For those occasions when you’re pressed for time, or if you simply don’t want to handle sourcing on your own, our Meetings Advisory team can do the legwork for you. Our staff has decades of experience working in meetings and events at large convention hotels — they have unique insights to the business for identifying unique opportunities and negotiating great rates.

And now, for the first time in the industry, you can book a complete meeting online — group guest rooms, meeting space, catering and AV — in a single transaction with participating hotels, right in GroupSync.

Get your GroupSync credentials today.

Read more in the Planner Pain Points series:

Find the Right Hotel at the Right Price

Ditch Low-Tech Tools and Legacy Sourcing Systems

How to Manage Sourcing Overwhelm

How to Ensure Clear Communication