News for the Hospitality Executive
2009 Private Meetings Summit Proves
Meeting Business is Still Out There
Winter Park, Florida — May 22, 2009 - Despite the meeting and travel-incentive industry taking a hit due to the current economic climate, the 2009 Private Meetings Summit, held at the Eden Roc Renaissance Beach Resort & Spa in Miami Beach, Florida, broke previous attendance records at this year’s event, doubling 2008’s turnout.
“Given these turbulent times, we are very pleased with the turnout at this year’s Private Meetings Summit,” says Lisa Theodore, publisher of Resorts & Great Hotels, which produced the event. “We helped set up more than 18 one-on-one appointments with each of our partners — hoteliers and destinations alike — proving business is still out there if you know where to find it.”
According to Theodore, the reason behind the unprecedented success of the Summit, which connects representatives from luxury hotel and resort properties with the travel industry’s most prominent meeting and incentive professionals, is threefold: cost-effectiveness, communication and location.
“Our message to meeting planners focused on the cost-effectiveness of doing 65-plus luxury hotel site inspections in three days for the price of one airline ticket T&E savings,” says Theodore. “We also increased our marketing communications to planners, a clear indicator there is business out there if you continue to promote your product or service; going dark, from a marketing standpoint, is ‘the kiss of death.’ Out of sight is truly out of mind today. Location was also a key component. Miami is a good draw, and the Eden Roc coming out of a $200 million renovation brought planners out to see it.”
Two-thirds of the meeting planners were corporate, incentive and association planners. The balance was third-party planners, each of whom had business to book. The energy in the meeting room was palpable. Meeting planners brought RFPs, hotels brought value dates and business was being written during the event.
Pat Moore, a meeting planner from Mattel, raved about the format and the quality of the suppliers. “I actually switched one of my big meetings to a different property because of the people I met at the Private Meetings Summit,” Moore says. Another planner came looking for deals for clients on tight budgets this year and found “wonderful hotels willing to work with us to make it happen.” Hoteliers and destinations alike were ecstatic with the results. Comments ranged from “Best Summit to date; we’ve already completed eight RFPs. Can’t wait for next year!” to “It’s hard to believe, but we found business from a planner in our own backyard — we would’ve missed this if not for the Summit.”
Pleased with this year’s results, hoteliers have already begun booking their slots for the March 2010 summit in New Orleans at The Roosevelt, a Waldorf-Astoria Collection.
Since its launch in 2002, the Private Meetings Summit has become the industry standard, focusing exclusively on building business relationships in an intimate setting using an exclusive appointment-scheduling process. The Summit’s format is highly efficient: Each property’s representatives meet with buyers face-to-face in scheduled 30-minute appointments. Appointments are made online prior to the event at www.privatemeetingssummit.com, where decision-making meeting planners select the suppliers they want to see.
Resorts & Great Hotels, www.resortsgreathotels.com, is published by Bonnier Corp., www.bonniercorp.com, one of the largest consumer-publishing groups in America and the leading media company serving passionate, highly engaged audiences through more than 40 special-interest magazines and related multimedia projects and events.