The Meetings Concierge
The two-person team at The Meetings Concierge provides companies with quick and easy site selection when they’re planning offsite meetings, events, and conferences. After venue sourcing "the old-fashioned way" for over 50 events every year, they were ready to find a tool that helped them deliver immediate results to a larger audience.
hours saved on spreadsheets per year
of sourced events were for international venues
Patience Tried and Time Wasted
When it came down to finding the perfect venue for her clients, Nancy Nachman, the owner and Chief Connecting Officer of The Meetings Concierge, often spent more than 15 hours creating comprehensive spreadsheets to show venue options to clients. Nancy and her teammate Leeann Philipsen both have experience as hotel sales managers, so they know their way around the hospitality world. In order to find the best venue for each client’s event, they rely on their experience and professional connections to search and negotiate with the right people. As their numbers began to grow and they began sourcing over fifty events each year, they needed backup in managing their expanding business.
Their first big move included subscribing to a web-based service that provided a list of venues in different cities. Unfortunately, Nancy notes, it didn’t provide a platform that would allow her to send a request for proposal (RFP) directly to venues. Nancy shared her frustration with the cumbersome system: We would make a list of suitable hotels from the website, then we would send an RFP to each global sales person individually. If we didn’t have that information, we’d call and ask who to send it to. So as you can imagine, it took a lot of time." For international venues, they sent cold emails and hoped for a response. Clients often grew impatient as they awaited responses and proposals, while Nancy and Leeann realized that their existing system was due for a complete overhaul.
Though The Meetings Concierge team knew they needed an upgrade, they resisted complicated technology in fear of spending valuable time learning separate systems. And that is why I avoided looking at Cvent for so long," Nancy clarifies, because I thought if it’s as bad as the other one, there’s no way I’m interested."
Thankfully, the team got a first-hand look at the Cvent Supplier Network (CSN) just in time. When Nancy attended another company’s event, she met a few Cvent representatives and learned about the network’s capabilities. That’s when she finally saw what Cvent was bringing to the table and how it could benefit The Meetings Concierge operation. She saw the untapped capability of the CSN when a colleague shared a spreadsheet the software automatically compiled, And my only question was: ‘Why aren’t we using it ourselves?’"
One New Tool for Every Event
The Meetings Concierge team jumped right into using the system, and they quickly learned how much time they could save just building and sending RFPs. It wasn’t hard to learn how to use the Cvent Supplier Network. I find it very user friendly. It’s a great platform for people like me, who aren’t very computer oriented." Thanks to automatically populated spreadsheets, serving their clients is easier than ever. Making updates and adjustments is no big deal, and Nancy notes, When clients ask for something now, we can respond right away. Because in today’s world, no one wants to wait for anything."
Clients love how easily they can have their questions answered, while Nancy and Leeann appreciate the wealth of data points the CSN offers. The database lets them provide comprehensive presentations for their clients, which makes the sourcing process quick and easy. Plus, it makes them look like the seasoned professionals they really are!
Nancy and Leeann recall spending one to two hours per spreadsheet for each client, plus more time for changes and updates. With more than fifty annual events, manual spreadsheet manipulation could add almost 100 hours of extra work per year. One of the greatest values of Cvent is the amount of time you’ve given back to us, so we can go out and get more business," Nancy says. From our perspective as independent planners, that value is unbelievable."
Creating More Opportunities for Growth
Their newfound freedom to expand and grow the business has made a huge difference for Nancy and Leeann. Our value is our ability to help clients distinguish hotels from one another so they can choose the best venue for each event," Nancy explains. The CSN has allowed them to expand their reach and help new customers create successful events. While the Supplier Network took care of the indexing and sourcing hotels around the world, The Meetings Concierge team can now add a more personalized touch to every meeting, event, and conference they help create.