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Hotel Site Selection Company Blazes a New Trail

In a highly competitive market, Conference Planning Resources, Ltd. makes a departure from
traditional resource models in the hotel site selection industry


Naperville, IL (March 2011) –  When Owner and President Jeffrey Berger established Conference Planning Resources, Ltd. (CPR) in 2007, his primary objective was to differentiate his company from the competition and from past business practices.  Building too large of a sales team too fast, losing sales associates needing more than just unlimited revenue potential and offering hotel procurement only to meeting planners were not going to foster CPR’s success in this ever-growing and increasingly competitive market.

“Nobody in the hotel site selection industry has done or does what we do. We have created a unique formula that offers both our sales team and our clients more protection, value and services,” said Berger.

Attracting the “right” sales associates has been a key element in building the company. Berger has strived to develop and expand a team that contributes to his vision of a boutique elite organization with extremely high standards. “We don’t want to get so big that we lose the consistent and superior customer service experienced by our clients. And if a sales associate is not actively booking, they are off our sales roster. We’d rather have a small team of highly motivated and successful associates than inactive salespeople across the country poorly representing CPR.”

Unique to CPR is bridging the gap between independent contractor and employee. While the associates earn commission and work independently from home offices, CPR hires them as W-2 employees who share the tax burden with the company. Sales associates are also protected with unemployment insurance and workman’s compensation and enjoy the benefits of a flexible spending account, profit sharing and access to a 401K.

Another attractive aspect for the associates is access to the more than 100,000 records in CPR’s state-of-the-art database, allowing them to query and directly solicit meeting planners and to strengthen their own account base. “We want to give our sales associates as many tools as possible to ensure their success,” said Rich Fassl, CPR’s Director of Operations who manages the database.

One of those tools is the opportunity to tap into additional revenue streams. CPR partners with various industry alliances (lifeline partners) so that the company and its sales associates are not dependent solely on commissions from hotels.

Meeting planners, many of whom are not able to afford a full-service event planning company, also benefit from this a la carte selection of services provided by CPR’s lifeline partners. Berger is as selective with these partnerships as he is with hiring. “We have been approached by dozens of organizations that provide transportation, premiums, and event planning services and they need to have the same core values as CPR, being fair and equitable. If a planner works with one of our alliances, they know they will benefit from the same level of service and value as they have from CPR. With our event planning company, for instance, there are no mark ups or surcharges and we identify all partners to our planners from the onset so it is clear who is delivering all of the human resources and who is handling what services. Transparency is crucial at every level.”

Also crucial in servicing the needs of the planners is CPR’s involvement with contract review and negotiation. “With every contract, we are in the trenches with our planners. We are helping them construct clauses and reduce their potential liability. In 2009 and 2010, we saw a slew of new challenges as the economy took a hit and regional issues surfaced, such as the tenuous situation in Mexico. The standard Force Majeure clause wasn’t addressing all of the possible scenarios. For instance, we now even have a bed bugs clause we can offer to our planners,” said Berger.

Berger, a veteran in the hotel industry, also understands the difference between knowing a hotel’s threshold and crossing it and he imparts that knowledge onto his team.  “We understand the importance of having a business opportunity fit the hotel’s revenue model as well as negotiating a contract that is fair and equitable for both parties.”

Not content to rest on his laurels, Berger is focused on the next level of technology that will transform the process of collecting and reviewing hotel proposals and sales collateral. “We can’t wait to unveil this exciting new program later this year. It will make everyone’s jobs so much easier. Stay tuned for more.”

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Contact:

Kelsey Yerian
312-575-9001
kelseyyerian@conferenceplanningresources.com



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