MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 9
host of small workshops, has seen one consistent trend that
falls right in line with big events: the desire to save money.
"Whether a meeting is small or large doesn't matter,"
she notes. "Corporations I work with, many of them tech
companies, they're always looking for ways to cut costs."
The steady stream of capital prevalent as the tech bubble
was still being blown, she says, has dried up.
"They're saying they can't do it anymore, planners have to
cut back." She says even social consciousness has taken a back
seat to budget, but if you can achieve both, it's a win-win.
"Things like double-sided signs offer cost savings and
they're green. That's fabulous," she explains. "People don't
want to see a lot of waste. Especially with food. They'd almost
rather pay the meeting-room rental and be disappointed by the
number of no-shows than see a ton of food that's not going to
Clark, whose clients have planned a number of free
workshops, says she and her colleagues were caught by
surprise on occasions when 70 percent of attendees were noshows. Then they started planning for it.
"We'd look for a place that could accommodate 100 but when
it came to contract time, we'd only guarantee 30. At a hotel, it
would really hurt, but once we realized this was the trend, we
could put in cost-saving measures."
The clients, she notes, didn't enerally mind.
"They looked at it as a positive because they enjoyed the
smaller groups and got the quality if not the quantity."
Smaller groups, says Hayes Mansion's Nguyen, also are able
to enjoy funkier, more intimate settings.
"Many planners are awed by Orlo's, the family's original
dining room...but its max is 50 people," she points out. "Many
of the larger groups aren't able to enjoy a meal here."
Lucero says that initially, she had to sell the idea of a smallmeetings focus to higher-ups.
"They said, 'Mel, you keep doing these and they're a lot of
work!' But they didn't realize this was our bread and butter.
We're not getting the 25-person meetings. Once in a while, it's
great, but these smaller meetings, they love us."
A recent favorite of hers was when Gibson Brands hosted
professors from Stanford University's music department.
"It was so cool! They utilized the three smaller rooms
for their instruments, for demos, and it was a perfect
set-up for all their newest instruments, which the
professors could then test and provide feedback."
They wondered at first whether the noise would disturb
other guests, but these concerns proved unfounded.
"Everyone loved it. It was refreshing. And again, the
guy who had this thrown on his desk had never planned a
meeting in his life.... In the end, you become like family at the
end of these events because you put so much into them."
Sometimes nearby properties like the Ritz-Carlton
Half Moon Bay, which has the ability to host large
groups, have guests with off-site needs.
"When they call me and say, 'Mel, I've got 20 executives I
need to send over, I say, 'absolutely!' Because then they come
and experience us and you never know. Oftentimes these
executives are local. They can - and do - go back and say, 'Hey!
I found the perfect spot to do our off-site next quarter!'" ●
P E R S P E C T I V E | fall 2016 | 9
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MPI Perspective - Fall 2016
The Challenges of Planning Smaller Meetings
10 Ways to Millennial-ize Your Meetings
MPI WEC 2016: Scholarship Recipients Share Their Experiences
What’s Trending in Event Design
New Member Spotlight
MPINCC New Members
Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - cover1
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - cover2
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 3
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 4
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 5
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - President’s Message
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - Innovation Corner
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - The Challenges of Planning Smaller Meetings
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 9
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 10 Ways to Millennial-ize Your Meetings
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 11
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - MPI WEC 2016: Scholarship Recipients Share Their Experiences
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 13
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - Thought Leadership
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 15
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - What’s Trending in Event Design
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - POV
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - New Member Spotlight
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - Destination: Denver
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 20
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - MPINCC New Members
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - cover3
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - cover4