Successful Meetings - August 2009 - (Page 22)

PLANNER’S WORKSHOP gurus Negotiation basics don’t change—even when the economy does By Nancy A. Norman Negotiating in Changing Times MORE ONLINE For more tips on successful event negotiations, visit the MiGurus page on N egotiating is an Art. Negotiating is a Science. Negotiating is a Skill. These statements are all true and they become more important as our world turns and as our economy changes. If you are a hotelier, you have noticed a distinct difference in your Return on Investment (ROI) and your Average Daily Rate (ADR). If you’re a planner, you have noticed that the playing field has leveled off a bit, in your favor. These are cycles that we are all familiar with, although the conditions seem more serious than ever. On the one hand, records indicate that fewer attendees are traveling to conferences. On the other hand, it’s been reported that those who do attend are qualified buyers and, therefore, more important in the long run to meeting sponsors. As hoteliers and planners, should your negotiating techniques change since the booking climate is different? Techniques, no. Contractual requests, possibly. Negotiating techniques, to be successful in any kind of atmosphere, must remain static because they represent a skill and not a manipulation of one condition or another. If committed to the values and ethical standards of negotiating techniques, hoteliers and planners alike will be able to interact effectively to reach whatever goals they wish to attain through a booking. The Basics Be Honest. Honesty breeds trust and when someone trusts you, they will be more enthusiastic about listening to you and granting your requests. They will be willing to work with you, knowing that you will be candid and upfront in your negotiations and interested in their needs as well as your own. Be Straightforward. A frank, uncomplicated, unbiased attitude, which is neither obscure nor ambiguous, is best. This is very much like honesty, but it brings further attention to your integrity and your intent to be sincere and reliable in your deliberations with the other party. Be Fair. Hoteliers and planners are both in the business of making their respective companies profitable, so liabilities must be shared. Both parties have a stake in the success of the negotiations and they both should be able to profit from the exercise. Have a Positive Attitude. This is essential to the success of negotiations under any and all circumstances. The modus operandi is to reach a middle ground in a friendly and cooperative manner for the benefit of both parties. Be Knowledgeable. Both parties need to be knowledgeable and well informed about the needs, goals, and operations of each other’s companies. In a negotiation, it is important to understand what is important to the other party in order to be able to leverage all possibilities for a worthwhile and fair effort for the benefit of both entities. SM Nancy A. Norman is the president of The Norman Group LLC, a meeting planning and special event company. For more information, visit 22 I SM I August 2009 I

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - August 2009

Successful Meetings - August 2009
Editors Letter
Planning for the World, in 5 Days
Personal Success
Incentive Insights
Food & Beverage
Management Matters
The Show Must Go On
What Happens in Vegas...
Rolling on the High Seas
Betting on Meetings
Meetings Hype 2.0
Places and Spaces
Midwest Meetings
Palm Springs Desert Resorts
2009 Pinnacle Awards

Successful Meetings - August 2009