Phelps R. Hope, CMP, is vice president of meetings and expositions for Kellen Meetings, a division of the Kellen Company, an association management company (AMC) with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, Washington, DC, Beijing and Brussels. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-836-5050.
Gone are the days of waiting by the phone for the hotel salesperson to call you back. In an up economy (or seller’s market), they’ve got RFPs flowing onto their desks and into their email inbox and are able to cherry pick those that best benefit the hotel, and your lower-budgeted gathering is now at the bottom of the pile. It’s a tough reality but far from hopeless. Sure, the corporate groups competing against you for the same sleeping rooms and meeting spaces have the money and are more likely to get the prime-time slots and locations — slots and locations that used to be reserved for you when times were tough. But you’ve got flexibility. You’re able to think creatively on behalf of your association. Right now, it’s all about how you approach the venue.