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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

Clone Yourself with One Phone Call

in: Event Planning Advice Site Selection

Recently, Cathy Sexton, The Productivity Expert, asked me to be on her radio show “Ignite Your Performance.”  It was so much fun to be interviewed and have the opportunity to talk about what I do. Thank you so very much to Cathy for making it easy, she is a great interviewer and I so very much appreciated her having me on her show.  I wanted to share some highlights from our talk with you. Enjoy!

  • Jill-Stone-profile-picI Put the Meeting Planner First: I really do, whether that “planner” is an administrative assistant, Vice President of Sales, even the lucky family member who is tasked with the planning the next reunion, I put them first.

  • My Site Selection Services Really Do Come at No Cost to the Organization: There are a lot of myths and misconceptions around this one. When I say “I negotiate myself out of money every day,” I do not say this lightly. I know that my job is to secure the best possible rates for you. If I do not do so, why would you ever bother to call me again? In the end, it is my goal to work with you for more than just one meeting; I want to partner with you on every meeting you plan, therefore I am going to make sure to obtain the absolute best possible rates for you.

  • The Hotels I Work with Do Not Raise their Rates in Order to Compensate Me: This goes hand in hand with the point above. Just as I am dedicated to my clients, our hotel partners are dedicated to HelmsBriscoe. They value our service, they value the business we bring to them, they value our stellar reputation within the industry and they understand that we buy more hotel room nights than any other organization in the world. In other words, they really really like us and want to keep us really really happy as we are an extension of their sales force.

  • The Meeting Planner Should Call Me First!: The earlier I can become involved in the planning process, the better. Before I even begin the site selection, I will want to ask you a lot of questions. This “qualifying” information allows me to do the best search possible and not waste anyone’s time or resources.

  • I Think in Terms of Time, Space and Activity: The time you will be meeting, the time schedules for each day, the amount of space you will need to accommodate whatever you are doing, all of this will make a huge difference in the negotiating process. A room for lunch is one thing, a room for lunch that includes a speaker, with a stage and a screen is a whole other thing. If golf is a big focus of the group, I want to make sure to find a property that offers a premium experience for the attendees or find a local golf course where we can arrange to shuttle people back and forth. There is a lot to take into consideration and I am more than happy to do the considering for you.

  • A Quick Rundown on the Process: Once I get the information to the hotels, most will respond to us, HelmsBriscoe, within 24 hours.  My next duty is to create a spreadsheet outlining the various offerings of the properties so the meeting planner can narrow it down to a select few. The next step is to arrange for site visits, which I am happy to make happen, if not even attend, with my client.

  • Site Visits that Rock!: I will work to get as much of the visit “comped” as possible. I will make sure to arrange for visits with not only properties, but Conventions & Visitors Bureaus, and any other organizations that would make sense for us to get to know. You will be wined and dined; you should be, you are bringing money into their area – I expect you to be impressed!

To listen to the entire interview, please click on this link. Next week I will share more of what we talked about. Have a great week and stay cool!

All the best,

Jill Stone, Your Clone


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