How to reward and retain your top producers – Part 1

Its top of the 9th inning and your team is down by 4. You’re convinced they’ve given up hope and can’t come back, despite the rally hats in place. If you’re operating your agency with a similar “this is impossible” attitude when it comes to recruiting the new, young talent you need to grow your company, you’re not alone. Talent acquisition doesn’t have to be impossible, nor does talent retention have to be difficult.

Michelle DeClerck, CMP

Michelle DeClerck, CMP

While the days of teachers flocking to agencies has subsided, new talent is out there and may be coming from an unlikely source. I was recently reminded of this when my son shared with me his passion to be an advocate and get in front of people to provide them with solutions to their problems. This is what your agents are doing daily. As of today, my son who is also a high achiever, isn’t convinced he can see himself in a full time desk job and he’s not alone. Top millennial graduates want to work for companies that offer flexible schedules and meaningful work. They’re motivated by careers that have a higher purpose, and aren’t just a cog in a machine. They seek opportunities to make processes more efficient and enjoy collaborating with their peers. They thrive off regular feedback and want to do a good job while continuously improving.  Your challenge is to find ways to make your work culture supportive of the millennial generation to build sustainability for your company.

Bottom line – more and more of the top graduates want to be recognized and rewarded for the contributions they make. What better way to reward your agents than with set conditions that set them up for success, while ensuring you reach your annual sales goals. We all know most agents want to be recognized among their peers. If they personally don’t feed off this recognition, having their significant other or family present for this recognition may be the next best thing. When family is involved in public recognition, studies show they provide greater support and encouragement for the agent to produce at the same or higher level the next reward period.

Finding the perfect time to rewards agents is key. I’ve talked down BD presidents from giving away rewards – and there’s a reason why. To truly set up a motivating reward, you must announce it first, have an ample sales cycle, track and report progress, and create the reason for an agent to want to achieve the reward. When I learn of a company that doesn’t have a set reward system in place and they want to automatically offer the producer a reward at the end of the year, I strongly recommend against this. It sends the wrong message to an agent and lets them know they can just do “good” and they’ll get more than they signed on for. What is the motivation the next year to see incremental sales from the agent? There is none. They also become among your most demanding agents.

Let’s face it – the reason you reward your agents is not simply to provide a solo reward for the production they gave you in the prior sales cycle. Instead, the reason is to ensure you create a path for talent retention and encourage them to help you achieve your goals year after year. You are never going to be satisfied with the same sales year after year, so you must create rewards that make it easier for you to hit your sales goals. Having great reward options also vastly improves your chances for agent acquisition. Your competitors are offering reward packages – you’re essentially penalized and lose the opportunity to recruit quality agents if you don’t. Let us help you identify the most effective reward structure to fit your goals that can help attract and retain talent. Look for ideas of proven reward strategies in part 2 of this series in next week’s blog post.

How to Handle Entitled Attendees

Sometimes when you offer an incentive, attendees can start to push for more than they
actually qualified for or that they are entitled to. This often Michelle DeClerck, CMPsignificantly increases your event budget. Read on for easy tips on how to deal with these situations and the benefits you’ll receive from standing your ground.

The Problem:  You’re Being TOO Generous! We know you don’t want to say no to your producers – they are the reason you have your job after all and why your company is so successful.

Companies that try to be all things to all attendees start caving in on special requests and before too long, they create monstrous situations that are costly, sometimes embarrassing, and frankly, unnecessary.  Excited qualifiers can quickly turn into troublesome attendees and they often know immediately which of your staff they can push for more favors.  It’s not uncommon for them to persist until you cave and provide them with unwarranted upgrades on flights, extra activities, food and beverage credits, additional hotel nights, cash outs, and even paid vacations for extra guests. Sometimes, they forget that we are your partner, calling us and using the words “cave” and “give in” to describe their trophy win over your staff.

When companies start giving in to get the complainers to be quiet, the opposite can happen and they go tell everyone else – including your other producers – what they scammed you for and now you’ve gone way over budget and your other producers are feeling left out.

Having traveled worldwide with attendees from every state, unfortunately we have seen all types of poor behavior from attendees.

The Solution:  Our best advice is to publish rules for the incentive in your very first year and then, as close as possible, stick to those guidelines in as many situations as you can. This will help you avoid showing favoritism, create an expectation for your future events so attendees know the extent of their reward package, and allow you to actively involve your meeting planning team to help you deliver the “no” message to the attendee.

To tackle this from the start, provide clear communications to qualifiers throughout the invitation, registration, ticketing and rooming processes so they know what to expect, and what is and is not included with the program. Clarity rules in this situation.  (A great website can often address all these issues.) When attendees try to ask for additional perks or concessions, train your staff to remain steadfast. If an individual is determined to be worthy of additional care or expense, treat the situation discreetly so other attendees don’t feel treated unfairly, involving your meeting partner throughout the entire process. Deviations should only occur under unique circumstances and reviewed carefully on a case-by-case basis to keep your budget in check.

Your Best Option: Outsource these conversations to a third party, like Conference Event Management, that has the experience and finesse to handle delicate situations and attendee communications. This prevents you from having to feel like the “Bad Guy” that won’t give your attendees what they want. We understand your goals and your event finances and want to help protect your investment and return.

2016 Meetings Today Trends Survey Planner Interview with Michelle DeClerck, CMP

This post originally appeared as an article in the January 2016 Meetings Today magazine. 

Michelle DeClerck, CMP, President, Conference Event Management, West Des Moines, Iowa

Do you find that your booking window (the time between starting the process of researching and booking a meeting and the actual event) is increasing or shrinking? Are you finding it harder to book rooms/meeting space in a short timeframe at hotels and other meeting facilities?

The booking window has diminished and one reason may be attributed to the reluctance of clients to fully commit to their event as quickly as is needed in this seller’s market. This short notice, coupled with a lack of space availability, has proved challenging due to the increase in business and the pending shortage due to supply and demand dynamics.

Is the duration of your meetings either shrinking or expanding? Why?

Most of our events have remained the same, with the destination determining the length of event more than any other factor. International and longer route destinations have once again garnered longer stays for attendees.

Is the attendance at your meetings shrinking or expanding? Why?

We’ve seen an incremental increase in event attendance, with more pre and post stays than in prior years.

Did you have a smaller or larger budget to work than with last year? If so, how much do you estimate it was decreased or increased?

Clients’ budgets have remained relatively the same, although we’ve been better educating our clients and they are reacting to the increased hotel and travel rates by working toward increasing their budgets.

Are perception problems (meeting at luxurious properties, resort destinations, etc.) a great concern for your organization? Do you expect any perception problems in 2016?

We find that our clients are well traveled and educated, and run programs based on integrity, and are not relatively affected by perception problems. When our clients aren’t choosing luxury properties, it’s typically due to the rates outpacing their budgets.

Do you feel this is a buyer’s or seller’s market? Any observations on this to share?

Within this seller’s market, properties have not been as generous in offering the same kind of concessions or reduced group rates. Hotels continually share with us that the reality is that if they don’t accept our business, they’ll have another piece of business come along tomorrow that will be equal to or greater than this business. It’s our job to continually educate our clients on the importance of making decisions quicker if they have a specific preference for their event or they’ll be limiting their options and negotiation power.

Are you more optimistic, or less, about the meetings industry and the economy than a year ago? Why?

We are considerably busier with referrals and prospects reaching out to us, driving more business than ever and providing a high level of optimism for events into 2018. There is no mistaking the importance of face-to-face meetings.

How do you think 2016 will shape up for the meetings industry? Where do you see costs (hotel, restaurant, venue prices, etc.) going? Do you think your budget and/or attendance will increase or decrease? Why?

Being an election year in 2016, there is a lot that could change, but for the time being, I see costs continuing to increase at properties. Attendance of the events could vary–if budgets do not increase I see less people attending, but if budgets increase attendance could increase.

What other trends are you seeing in the meetings world, such as changing attendee demographics (i.e., Millennials), or any other trends that are impacting your programs?

We’re seeing an aging audience for many of our client’s incentives, many who have traveled extensively. They appreciate their free time, they want to have an experience they might not have on their own, all while having access to senior management to share their perspective. We’re challenging our vendors to provide more creative options for this age group and all attendees.

How to Get the Advantage with Cruise Sourcing Services

Is it time to reconsider a cruise? Where do you start? While you can spend a weekend in any destination and visit half a dozen properties – it takes serious effort to visit even one ship in port. And since ships are mobile, you have to be able to catch one in a location that changes daily. Add to that the fact that ships have tight security and you need special clearance if you are “just visiting.”

So where does a cruise sourcing partner come in? Cruise Sourcing Specialists are unbiased industry experts who have seen and sailed on all of the ships in the market. They will tell you the difference between river, luxury, sailing, boutique, premium, mass market and mega liner categories. Additionally, they can enlighten you on the features and benefits of the various brands. Once they have your group specs, your Cruise Sourcing Specialist will walk you through the products that will best suit your program and its demographics. They help you decide whether to book a block of cabins or charter an entire ship. They are savvy on negotiating rates, and contracting protection terms and amenities that are in YOUR best interest. You thought working with a hotel was challenging at times – it’s nothing compared to working with a cruiseline – you need a Cruise Sourcing Specialist on your side to get the cruiseline’s attention

A Cruise Sourcing Specialist can also help you manage the operations of your program or provide consultation on how you can do it yourself. Meeting planners who work directly with a cruise line can find the process challenging, therefore having a reputable cruise sourcing company to guide you as you build your onboard and shore side events will ensure that what is contracted is properly executed. They act as the planner’s personal representative and deal with the cruiseline on your behalf, saving time and avoiding aggravation.

Choosing a cruise for your next incentive program should not be scary. Just arm yourself with an expert Cruise Sourcing Specialist like CEM who can help you make the right choice. CEM’s Cruise President sails over 21 weeks a year ensuring our recommendations are perfect for your group. We are proud to say that our Cruise President is a winner of the coveted Norwegian Cruise Line Incentive Partner of the year award, and two-time winner of Celebrity Cruise Lines Partner of the year – given to only one company annually. With CEM, you know you are in good hands and your needs will be met, while your expectations are exceeded.

New Meeting Industry Findings

After my recent trip last week to the world’s largest destination showcase, I reflected on these industry aspects that benefit our clients:Michelle DeClerck

  • There haven’t been so many destinations offering such a great advantage for the US dollar in recent years – if you’re considering a country you might not be able to afford later, 2017 & 2018 may be your years of new opportunity for international destinations.
  • Our vendors truly want to partner with us to help create a value statement so you get a deal. Even though it’s a seller’s market, our hotel sales reps care about us and want to help you. They’re listening to your requests so go ahead, share your hot buttons with us.
  • The International “P’s” are hot! Panama, Peru, Portugal and Punta Cana. You may not have considered them before – we are researching new options to consider if we can present one of these destinations to solve your next incentive challenge.
  • Sheila, our Director of Strategic Sourcing, has an awesome reputation in the industry market place. Vendors reported they go to bat to help fulfill your requests due to her efforts on your behalf.
  • The cruise lines admire our cruise President (Karen) thus the reason she recently received the award for “Cruise Partner of the Year” three times. This award is only given to one company worldwide annually.
  • There is no shortage of luxury product and luxury is definitely back. You can also use an independent hotel with as much success as the main luxury chains to offer up another new experience for your attendees.
  • Sporting experiences are at an all-time high. We can custom create a 3-day option for two people to the US Open, or a group to the Masters or the Kentucky Derby, or even a trip to the World Series. Ask about our new catalog of hundreds of travel, adventure, or sporting experiences.

Why 12-month Incentive Programs Succeed Over 18-month Programs

For over 20 years I have been creating custom reward strategies for companies in numerous industries and I can still vividly recall when a former boss called me in his office to tell me I should start considering how to eliminate the annual incentive trip. He suggested perhaps in future years we could reinstate it and move to an 18-month or bi-annual trip. In over a few decades time since the incentives were introduced, this would be the first cancellation and not long after my joining the company – I knew how that would look. I could envision the severe disappointment of some of the producers who frequently attended trips including Ted, Don, Cliff, Roger, Terry and their spouses, to name just a few. It became real at that moment and I sulked back to my office.

Having stayed in tune with meeting and event trends, I studied up on forward contracts and hedging currencies and started analyzing destinations that we could pGrand Caymanotentially afford if we were extremely diligent with our funds. The result was a proposed trip to Australia where Australian goods cost just $ .51 on the US dollar – in essence a “half off” sale. I was able to work within the reduced budget by limiting our attendee count, increasing the qualification requirements, utilizing our best financial negotiations, and pre-purchasing foreign currency with a forward contract; all of which allowed us to save that next year’s incentive and increase sales by over 30%! I don’t know if that was the best news, or if eventually getting to take more top producers on the trip when our production requirement did not deter agents and our costs came in lower than anticipated. We actually had more qualified attendees work harder to attend than in years past.

Moving from a 12-month to an 18-month or longer qualification period typically only works well if at your company:

  • You have employees who are content and won’t look at competitors with better or more frequent rewards, and your turnover is low
  • You don’t care if you don’t get more business from each producer beyond what the target premium or goal is to qualify for the trip
  • You are undergoing a merger or acquisition and another intermediary rewards program is being implemented

That likely eliminates most companies – does it yours?

There are ways to save money and keep your incentive. For instance you can consider doing a cruise or using an all-inclusive property to carefully manage your budget. You can also make sure you work with a company like Conference Event Management that has extensive hotel sourcing, contracting, and negotiation experience to leverage their buying power and access to the best rates and concessions. If you have never offered an incentive, or you’ve always had a longer qualification period, then an 18-month cycle may work for you in the short term. The main challenge is sales goals are set for your top sales people and often these producers push themselves to attain their goals on a calendar or annual basis. When you allow too much time in the cycle, you increase room for complacency.
Top producers may:

  • Quit producing for you after they hit their goals or produce at a much slower rate
  • Start selling for your competitors with better trips
  • Sandbag and hold business for the next sales cycle
  • Avoid pushing during traditionally slower times, significantly affecting your overall sales

The result: you get less production during your 18-month cycle than you would have in shorter cycles.

So why does a 12-month qualification work best? One of the simple reasons is that most rewards are related to travel and a majority of the country suffers from cold weather that we all want to escape from during the time the incentive is announced and at the time the next trip takes place. Also, shorter sales cycles at just 12 months are easier to stay top of mind. The frequency of rewards, helping producers understand your expectations and setting goals, as well as keeping up with your competition are all key factors to a successful incentive. The elimination of an incentive, after one has been implemented previously, often results in a decrease in sales in the next sales cycle. If sales are already down, this is not the time to abandon your rewards – it’s time to reevaluate your Return on Objective, Return on Experiences, Return on Investment. Conference Event Management’s Return on Objective (ROO) consultation guides us in helping you to “move the middle” producers and identify your most important goals with an incentive.

Let’s face it – some of you wouldn’t even do an incentive if your competitor’s weren’t doing them. Yet you know to keep increasing sales, incentives work. Incentive trips also provide the huge benefits of face-to-face networking while on-site with producers which results in great relationship building and better producer retention. If you can keep that producer from taking the persistent calls from your competitors, you’re one step ahead of most. Don’t let the competition lure your talent away.

Los Cabos – A Brand New Incentive Destination

Are you looking for a brand new hotel, one that perhaps not even your competitors have experienced?  Do you love renovated hotels – fresh with new furniture, bedding and décor? Would an entire destination that offers completely new hotels, restaurants, and group activities in over 90% of the region pique your interest?

After an extensive site inspection back to Los Cabos after the hurricane, our staff experts are convinced that the time couldn’t be better to host your incentive in this hard hatworld class destination that is completely different than you’ve experienced in the past. With the September 2014 hurricane, hotels were stripped down to their structure and in many cases, walls were torn down and hotels put their designers to the test and created all new hotel products. We couldn’t have been more pleased at all the wonderful surprises we experienced during our visual tour of the hotels being reborn. We’ll be heading back there in two months to see how the final construction has created beautiful masterpieces that will be ready to welcome groups as early as this fall.

My prediction – Cabo is going to be among the hottest international destinations over the next three years. Who doesn’t love new restaurants, new room products, new activities, new landscaping, all while incorporating brand name, best service practices? All of these renovations and rebuilds have led to well designed and functional meeting space and plentiful group options for your future events. These features, coupled with Mexican hospitality and fine dining experiences, make the destination a truly captivating incentive reward for your top performers.

Los Cabos now offers traditional resorts, award-winning hotels, new chain and boutique properties, great All Inclusive Properties, as well as high-end luxury properties that celebrities have made famous. If you’re not looking at Los Cabos, you may be overlooking an all new experience for your attendees. We’re available to share ideas on what events would work best and which hotels are out favorites – and we’d be happy to do a site inspection on a specific property if you have a group event coming up that needs a second opinion.

The A-I Solution: Cost-Cutting Benefits

The appeal of All-Inclusive (A-I) properties is huge for companies that need to stay within budget parameters and lower costs, while creating rewarding experiences for top producers. When producers can qualify for a trip that is fully loaded, it’s more likely they’ll work harder to qualify for an incentive trip. Organizations that offer incentives understand the power of a business strategy that builds strong relationships and increases sales.

Companies love the value provided by an A-I experience from a cost perspective, while attendees love not having to pay for anything out of pocket during their stay. Mexico, for example, is one of the top A-I spots with a favorable currency exchange rate and tax-free status on qualified meetings.

An A-I property offers a set rate per night, per person, usually with discounted children’s pricing.

Typical inclusions:
• Room/tax
• Food/beverages (including alcohol, plus, 24-hour room service, bottled waters, stocked mini-bar)
• Non-motorized water sports
• On-site entertainment
• Hotel staff gratuities

Some properties include airport transfers, premium alcohol upgrades, group meals, meeting space, private event table décor, mountain bikes, off-site tours, tennis or fitness classes, or even a fitness trainer. Minimal supplemental or set-up fees may be charged to upgrade group dining events or add enhanced or themed décor.

A wide variety of A-I resorts cater to all audiences; while some are restricted to adults only. Others specialize in hosting families, complete with children’s clubs, game rooms, child care, play grounds and daily poolside activities.

• FREE Wi-Fi and phone calls back to the U.S.
• Generous attrition
• Vast improvement in additional service offerings
• Upscale gourmet dining options
• Full-size bottles of guests’ chosen beverages waiting in their rooms
• Luxurious spa facilities
• Traditional hotels are now creating custom A-I packages, called All-Inclusive Optional, to gain new business opportunities (your hotel contract specialist should be cautious in how they book this as some hotels are not prepared to handle the complexities of an All-Inclusive arrangement)

The era of the A-I serving inexpensive, poorly prepared food served from oversized buffet chafing dishes has passed. Properties infamous for watered-down drinks and unimaginative, tasteless food are becoming extinct.

“I educate my clients about the luxurious stature that many of these resorts are in and the superior level at which they perform for our groups,” commented Sheila Nord, Director of Strategic Sourcing, CEM. “Many resorts provide gourmet ala carte dining experiences that rival some of the finer meal selections available at the popular upscale restaurants in major metropolitan cities.”

CEM’s Top 10 Benefits of A-I
1. Unparalleled Value: spend 20 – 35% less for a typical event
2. Avoid cost uncertainty with a pre-determined, set budget
3. Quality food and drinks
4. Activity and entertainment inclusions
5. Attendees appreciate not having to spend their own money and gratuities are included
6. Increased opportunities to enhance relationships when attendees stay on property; more time networking
7. Heightened security
8. Minimal decisions to make once on site; show up and be pampered
9. Great service
10. Overall satisfaction

Our clients count on us to deliver the best property at the best prices, and that’s why we often consider an A-I. If a land-based A-I isn’t right for our clients, we also provide consultations on cruises that offer many of the same features as the A-I properties. Last-minute changes that typically cause a planner to go over budget can be avoided within the All-Inclusive plan – potentially shaving off thousands of dollars and keeping budgets intact.

Popular A-I group destinations include Cancun, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit, and Riviera Maya in Mexico; as well as Punta Cana and La Romana in Dominican Republic and of course, Caribbean cruises.

The bottom line: we’re booking more All-Inclusive business each year as nearly everyone loves the experience and it’s hard to beat the value!

Michelle DeClerckCREDENTIALS
Michelle DeClerck, Certified Meeting Planner (CMP), founded Conference Event Management (CEM) and Financial Speakers Bureau, a woman-owned business enterprise and leading provider to financial and insurance organizations of unique, world-class event, conference, incentive travel and meeting experiences and reward strategies, hotel / cruise site selection and contracting, individual Travel MyWay® travel bookings, and national speaker’s circuit bookings. She can be reached at

Top 10 reasons why site inspections are essential for your event’s success – Part 2 of 2

Last week you learned how site inspections enable us to craft the best destination and hotel recommendations for our clients. This week we delve into the details of what to look for while site inspecting and how a site inspection pays for itself.

checklistSigning a hotel contract without conducting a site inspection is like buying a mattress without testing it out first. You might love it, or you might hate it and end tossing and turning in discomfort every night. A site inspection serves as an insurance policy to ensure the property meets your needs before contracting and helps relieve the stress of wondering if you’ve selected the right property for your group – and helps you sleep at night! Hotels are not always forthcoming on their websites and in marketing photos. With a site visit – you get to see and experience everything first hand.

  1. Experience service levels for yourself – Was the room clean upon your arrival? Did you get turn down service (and on time)? When you test the staff with a request, are they friendly and available?
  2. Check out all of the room types your group would be using – Does the “Presidential” suite actually meet your executive’s standards or have space enough for your guests at the hospitality reception?
  3. Taste the food and drink quality – What kind of menus can they provide for group catering? Does the property offer enough variety in its restaurants? Are the drinks watered down?
  4. Visit all meeting and function spaces – Will the room actually hold 300 people seated for dinner or is it better suited for 300 standing shoulder to shoulder? Are there awkward obstructions like large pillars that would block view of the stage? Ensure your meeting spaces fit the bill without any compromise.
  5. Discover if the property is up to date – If there are any repairs to be made, you can determine the magnitude of necessary renovations and the likelihood they’ll be complete before attendees arrive. Are there plans to renovate?
  6. No photo fake outs – Do the hotel website’s photos accurately depict the property or is the “glistening pool” more reminiscent of a crowed hot tub? Are guest rooms worn down (always ask to see the worst view).
  7. Test out transportation options – Is the drive from the airport to the property too long for your attendees to endure after flying to the destination (most hotels quote shorter drive times than one experiences during the site)? Are the vehicles air conditioned and do they have working seat belts?
  8. Visit local attractions – What activities are located nearby to entertain your guests? Can you take attendees off-site for dinner to experience the local culture? Are there shopping outlets or other attractions your attendees can visit during free time and are they easily accessible?
  9. Amenities to support your group – Test out the Wi-Fi – are their dead spots that are concerning? Where can you buy local gifts to avoid excessive fees? Determine quality of gifts by actually seeing the items. Many indigenous products are portrayed differently online than they appear in person.
  10. It’s an insurance policy – site inspections pay for themselves. When you visit a hotel/resort or cruise and determine that the property suits your group’s needs, you’ll save yourself time and money before booking a property that doesn’t contain everything essential on your checklist.

CEM arranges your site inspection to visit ideal properties in the area. After narrowing down your desired destination, we will help ensure your desired property suits your group’s unique needs and provide you with all of the questions you should ask, or we can accompany you on your site inspection to meet with the hotels. We then recommend a local DMC that can assist your attendees with local activities and points of interest, and they’ll steer you towards the most reputable providers. Often times, we are able to secure many concessions during the duration of your site visit.

The greatest benefit is when a site results in dissatisfaction with a hotel, before the contract is signed. About 10% of the time, a site inspection allows you to reassess your options and pick a more appropriate hotel for your group – averting a potentially disastrous situation during your event. Changing your mind is not an end – it’s a blessing. Your guests will have a better experience when you’ve ensured their comfort and you’ll rest easy knowing you’ve done your due diligence.

How Our 25 Recent International Site Inspections Protect You – Part 1 of 2

We are committed to staying up to date on the newest property openings and revisiting our long-time destination partners to ensure our recommendations to clients are spot on for their group needs. In the first quarter alone, CEM staff have visited over 25 hotels and resorts throughout Mexico and the Caribbean, including several all-inclusive properties in Puerto Rico, Playa Del Carmen, Cancun, Riviera Maya, Punta Mita, and Puerto Vallarta, as well as five cruise ships.

Site inspections are an essential part of the group booking process. Case in point, our top pick in one country quickly fell down on our list after seeing it live this month as it failed to meet our expectations. The true benefit of doing a site inspection is to avoid putting your group at a hotel that won’t meet your needs.

Are you interested in taking your group to an all-inclusive property or on a cruise? Then you’ll definitely want to give us a call to learn what we discovered on our site inspections and hear our recommendations for the perfect destination and experience specific to your group’s needs.

Benefits of an All-Inclusive Property:

  1. Unparalleled Value: spend on average 20 – 35% less for a typical event
  2. Avoid unexpected overages with a set budget
  3. Quality food and drinks
  4. Activity and entertainment inclusions
  5. Attendees appreciate not having to take out their wallets during leisure time
  6. Increased opportunities to strengthen relationships with attendees when they stay on property
  7. Heightened security levels
  8. Minimal decisions to make once on site – show up and engage with your attendees
  9. Great service
  10. Overall satisfaction of you attendees and ability to meet your business objectives

CEM is pleased to offer complimentary hotel and cruise site selection services including destination recommendation, negotiation, and contracting. We can also provide site inspection consultation services to help you ensure that the property you’ve selected is the perfect fit for your group. Give us a call today to learn about the most recent hotels we’ve visited to determine if an all-inclusive property or a cruise is the right option for your next event. Stay tuned for our blog next week which will contain the top 10 reasons why a site inspection pays for itself and what to look for when you begin planning your next group event.