Contract negotiations are getting more difficult for planners, according to Meetings Professional International’s most recent Meetings Outlook Report.
But the news doesn’t have to be doom and gloom. Instead, tune to these hit pop songs for a little inspiration on how to negotiate your next contract in your favor.
“Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”
Michael Jackson’s famous pop hit applies perfectly to contract negotiation in that planners should never agree to an initial standard contract from a hotel. Usually, the standard contract benefits only the supplier side, so “don’t stop” until you get what works for you. Come back with a slew of things that would help your event, especially a clause that spells out what the hotel will pay in the event of a cancellation.
Queen’s popular song can come into play quickly if a hotel sales team tries to amp up the pressure to accommodate their own business motivations. That said, beware of the different tactics they might use. Those include saying that another group is interested in booking the same space during the same time frame or that they are unwilling to lower their rates because their venue is in high demand. All of these claims may or may not be true, so don’t fall for the pressure.
“I Want It That Way”
The Backstreet Boys were onto something when they claimed their desires in this pop sensation. Just like suppliers will claim the value of their space, you should do the same for your event. Educate yourself on the real value of your event, and be able to back it up with analytics from previous meetings. Even include other potential revenue sources that your attendees may bring the hotel, including everything from spa treatments to F&B purchases beyond the meeting itself.
“Count on Me”
In the lyrics to this song, Bruno Mars talks about all the ways a friend can be there for another friend. Your event staff can offer similar help as part of a way to negotiate a contract or save money. If the venue you’re using hires third-party companies or unions to carry out specific tasks, you can opt to use your staff instead and save as a result. Just make sure to clarify in the contract exactly what your staff can and can’t do.
“I Heard It Through The Grapevine”
Marvin Gaye’s timeless classic applies to negotiating in the meetings industry. Venues that are new or have had bad reviews on social media may be more hungry for business. Meeting planners can use this to their advantage to get better rates or more amenities built into their contract.