@MPIGNY - Winter 2014 - (Page 17)
A PLANNER AND SUPPLIER Q&A
planner at the Opal
Financial Group, and
Heidi Okada, director of global sales at
Commune Hotels + Resorts, recently
attended IMEX America in Las Vegas.
In this Q&A, the two offer their differing
perspectives of hosted-buyer programs,
What is a hosted-buyer format?
Heidi Okada: Hosted buyers are
pre-qualified to ensure that they plan
meetings in the United States and
internationally. We are able to send out
emails, for instance, within the web
portal that IMEX runs, or via regular email
and phone, and set up appointments
with planners well in advance of
the event. This provides hotels
and suppliers the opportunity
to research planners and their
organizations/customers based on
their needs and address them at
the time of the appointment.
What are the benefits of
hosted buyer programs vs.
traditional trade shows?
Joanna Puchalski: The ability
to schedule appointments ahead
of time with a supplier that I
have an interest in meeting with.
Customization and interaction are key. If
a supplier wants my business, they have
the opportunity to impress me during
Heidi Okada: We like to attend
because we can set appointments
Heidi Okada and the team from
Commune Hotels + Resorts at
beforehand. We have the ability to
somewhat control our own destiny, as
opposed to the old trade show format,
where it is much like a game of craps ...
you never know if you will see a planner
who you have reached out to beforehand
to meet with.
What has your experience been
like attending hosted-buyer
Joanna Puchalski: IMEX this past
October was my first hosted buyer program
experience. As soon as I walked in, I
literally had the world within a few steps.
One moment I was in California, 10 minutes
later I was transported to Europe, an hour
later I was in Southeast Asia.
Joanna Puchalski with MPIGNY President Carvie Gillikin and Immediate Past President
Meghan Schilt, CMP, at IMEX America.
Continued on page 30
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of @MPIGNY - Winter 2014
ASK THE BOARD
14 MEETINGS TECHNOLOGY TRENDS TO WATCH FOR 2014
10 EVENTS IN NORTH AMERICA YOU SHOULDN’T MISS IN 2014
SPORTS INCENTIVES AND MEETING PLANNING A WINNING TEAM
HOSTED-BUYER PROGRAMS: A PLANNER AND SUPPLIER Q&A
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT A CONVERSATION WITH JULIE GREEN
TECHNOLOGY CORNER BY WALTER J. RECHER
LEGAL REVIEW BY BARBARA F. DUNN, ESQ.
FITNESS FOCUS BY KELLY FILIPPONE
NOTES FROM THE FIELD
@MPIGNY - Winter 2014