@MPIGNY - Spring 2014 - (Page 15)
MEETING PLANNERS 'GO LOCAL'
TO DRIVE DOWN COSTS
BY WALTER J. RECHER
s we head into the spring
season, we are fully
engaged in working to
execute our 2014 plans.
And as we look ahead,
an all too common
refrain is heard loud and clear from senior
management: "Show me how we can find
new ways to save time and money!"
To do this, an increasingly popular
strategy for savvy event planners
has been to control costs by "going
green" following recent investments
in properties that have incorporated
environmentally friendly features.
A recent study by J.D. Power and
Associates entitled The North America
Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study
found that awareness of hotel green
programs has increased steadily over the
past several years, with a "solid majority
of guests now aware of their hotels'
conservation efforts." The study goes on
to say that, "it's essentially impossible to
find a hotel these days that does not have
a sustainability program in place." In line
with the hotel industry, many meeting
and event planners are integrating event
strategies outlined by the Green Meetings
Industry Council. These approaches will
save time and money, and include:
Go Paperless: From high-tech
conference websites to electronic event
registration and email communications,
a growing number of firms are realizing
significant benefits from going paperless.
Additionally, event planners can
reduce their carbon footprint by asking
presenters to reduce the amount of
paper handouts. Presenters are now
opting to include handouts online, on a
disk, on jump drives or in PowerPoint
Plan to Meet "Close": Choosing a
host city in close proximity to as many
delegates as possible has helped many
meeting planners to reduce their overall
costs significantly. If a close host city is
not possible, venues that are near each
other, or within a short distance of a train
station or airport, are ideal.
"Lighten Your Stay": A number of
hotels and conference centers are
offering discounts and reduced costs that
include linen reuse programs and options
for limited room services and turndown.
Event planners recommend these options
for their employees to reduce costs.
Free Time Activities: Choosing a
meeting venue that are near consumerfriendly venues (i.e. dining, shopping,
recreation), preferably within distance.
Create Permanent Name Tags:
Investing in permanent name tags
(printing aluminum vs. traditional paper
name tags) lead to a future return on
investment. The payback could take
about one year, but are well worth
Meal Planning: Asking your attendees
to sign up for meals can help you be
more cost-conscious. Evaluating meal
responses will help you predict your
number of attendees, limiting food waste
and saving money.
Looking ahead, "going green" will
continue to offer attractive options for
event planners, as it helps to reduce
transportation expenses, shipping and
travel costs. And as business travelers
and conference host venues continue to
uncover economic opportunities, they are
also helping reduce our carbon footprint,
and protect our planet. "Going green" is a
classic win-win! @
Walter J. Recher is director and partner
of marketing and program development of
Hospitality Resource Group, Inc.
FROM HIGH-TECH CONFERENCE WEBSITES TO ELECTRONIC EVENT REGISTRATION
AND E-MAIL COMMUNICATIONS, A GROWING NUMBER OF FIRMS ARE REALIZING
SIGNIFICANT BENEFITS FROM GOING PAPERLESS.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of @MPIGNY - Spring 2014
Ask the Board
Speaking the Language of Sustainability
11 Delivering the ‘green’ at AIBTM 2014
IMEX America’s Sustainability Efforts: Greenhouses, Gardens and Growing Commitments
A CSR Preview of MPI’S WEC 2014
Greening Trends: Meeting Planners ‘go Local’ to Drive Down Costs
Sustainability at Caneel Bay Resort
Let’s Get Physical: Team Building for the Active Attendee
Mpigny’s Engaging Evening
Notes From the Field
Asheville CVB Injects Unique Destination Flare Into Meetings
History Comes Alive in Boston
@MPIGNY - Spring 2014