When you THINK you’ve picked the right hotel

Sheila NordBy Sheila Nord, Strategic Sourcing Director

How many times have you perused a hotel or a cruise ship’s website thinking you’ve easily identified your next host property for your upcoming incentive trip or business meeting? While it happens with frequency, so does your chance of selecting a property that won’t adequately deliver on your expectations.

You wouldn’t advise your clients to purchase insurance without your professional expertise or to purchase it over the internet, so why would you even consider researching your own event destination or appropriate hotels without arming yourself with professional site selection services to reduce your financial risk – especially as these services come at NO COST to YOU!

In 2009 we had a client who booked their own hotel run into a huge financial challenge:

One of the leading financial companies in the US filed away our purple marketing packet. She didn’t plan on having a need for our services as she and her internal team of three other planners had always booked their own hotels in the past.

Two months passed and her hotel needs changed.  In contacting her Caribbean salesperson, she ran into a snag with unresponsiveness and they wouldn’t budge. She determined it couldn’t hurt to call CEM. With the event in jeopardy, CEM was given the opportunity to act on her behalf and we immediately found several hotel contractual issues and renegotiated the already signed contract – a feat almost unheard of in the industry. CEM managed to save the client $124,935 in fees that were removed from the hotel invoice. Why did this happen to such a smart financial meeting planner? The hotel took advantage of her lack of contractual knowledge which unknowingly put her company at risk.

Fast forward – today the CEM staff enjoys a trusted partnership with the company, becoming close friends with the staff. We recently celebrated our five-year working anniversary together and they’ve just joined our Million $ Dollar Club™ (the total dollar value CEM has saved them thus far with our negotiation expertise). They tell everyone they can about our services and, our client, well she got a huge promotion and we’d like to think we played a small part in helping make her look like a hero in her organization and to her CFO. The company president also recognized the value of the current internal meeting staff due to the partnership with CEM that helped them keep their costs well under budget.

You NEED an intermediary between your company and the hotel. Who is going to go to bat for you if you have a contracting issue? CEM!

Isn’t it time you reduced overspending and help set your staff up for hero status by outsourcing your hotel and cruise site selection and contracting? We assure your staff that we are not there to replace them, only to support and help educate them on industry best practices that can help your company join CEM’s Million $ Dollar Club™. No one should buy insurance without a respected financial advisor’s expertise, and no company should rely on a hotel to give them the best value and protection for the money. Now’s the time to avoid the pitfalls with our dedicated team of event experts sitting on YOUR side of the table!

Conference Event Management (CEM) is a woman-owned business enterprise and leading provider of unique, world-class event, conference, incentive travel and meeting experiences and reward strategies, hotel and cruise site selection and contracting, individual Travel MyWay® bookings, and national speaker’s bureau bookings. Sheila Nord, Strategic Sourcing Director, has over 20 years of experience in the events and travel industry. She specializes in event destination selection and budget analysis to ensure client events not only meet their financial objectives, but also provide the ultimate guest experience. Sheila helps clients reduce financial risk within legal contracts. She can be reached at Sheila@myCEM.com.  

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    2 thoughts on “When you THINK you’ve picked the right hotel

    1. Seems like so long ago… Best professional move I ever made! Thanks CEM – specifically my guardian angels and friends Sheila and Michelle

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