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If you aren’t part of a large organization with its own staff of trained negotiators, it’s in your best interest to find, interview, and hire the best negotiator you can. Investigate everything from the price to the scope of work to his references before hiring him. Selecting a professional negotiator entails more than just going with someone who claims to have lots of experience; it also involves capitalizing on the knowledge and abilities that real experts bring to the table.
We’ve all been to events and conferences that were well-organized, informative, enjoyable, and well worth our time and money, and we’ve all been to events and conferences that were the opposite. As someone who has spent the better part of the last four decades working in some capacity related to the negotiation, arrangement, organization, or supervision of such endeavors, I have developed a heightened awareness of the gap between the actual and potential outcomes. Quality and depth of planning, as well as successful negotiation, are crucial in the vast majority of situations. This article will go over seven fundamental pointers that will increase the likelihood of you hosting a successful event that your guests will enjoy.
Realize what you’re missing out on. To what end are you organizing this gathering? Can you please explain its function and the goals you have for it? Are we getting together for social reasons, to raise money for a good cause, to learn something new, or a combination of these? Is this a regular occurrence (a tradition), or is it the first time it’s happened?
Make a genuine spending plan from the beginning: Make sure you’re being conservative with your revenue projections, and optimistic with your cost estimates. So, tell me, where do you get your money? How did the organization come up with those sums? Did they impose fees on attendees, receive donations, or a combination of the three? To what end and what are the top priorities?
To create and use an RFP: Unless you formally request bids that include specifics, you won’t be able to find the right venue. Give as much information as you can about your needs, wants, and goals. Is the location you’ve chosen attached to a hotel, or does it stand on its own? If it’s the latter, how many rooms will you need (a quantity measured in “room nights”)? If the number of room nights is high enough, the money you make can be used as leverage. Are visuals and sound required? If so, bargain hard, because these costs are frequently much higher than expected. Be sure to haggle over the price of each course and never settle for a set menu.
Include the request for proposal (RFP) as an annex to the agreement: Your request for proposals (RFP) should be included as supplemental material in your final contract document. The standard contract is null and void where this one is concerned. Talk about the penalties for breaking the contract (also known as not showing up), the amount of leeway you’ll be given, and the deadline for submitting your guarantees. The more you can get down on paper right away, the better off you’ll be.
A written confirmation is highly recommended. Get everything in writing, and never settle for “Don’t worry” as an acceptable response. Please don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
Successful event negotiations are always conducted with the goal of a win-win outcome, not the defeat of the other party or the venue. Better to have a meeting of the minds where everyone’s questions and concerns are addressed and everyone leaves with something within their price range that can be used to make the event a huge success. Creating a mutually beneficial agreement is an art and a science.
Why not have better, cheaper, more effective, and more enjoyable events seeing as how they are a significant part of most organizations’ operations? Get your wits about you and use some common sense when negotiating!
The list of Richard’s professional roles includes business owner, chief operating officer, chief executive officer, director of development, and consultant. Over the course of four decades, he has managed events, consulted with thousands of business leaders, and given seminars on self-improvement. Author of three books and thousands of articles, Rich is quite prolific.