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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

One on One with My Client, Dewayne! Part 2

in: Attendee Experience Creativity Meeting Planning Experience Meeting Planning Services

This article is  a continuation of the article that appeared in a recent HelmsBriscoe newsletter. I shared the first part in my blog last week, so if you missed it, please be sure to read it now. Here is the remaining part of the article:

When asked if there are any distinctive qualities to the site selection process for SWCS (Soil and Water Conservation Society), Jill says, “One of the more important factors is actually near and dear to my heart, their meetings are environmentally conscience. The hotel property must have a green policy; this includes recycling, placing water pitchers in the back of the room as opposed to every single table, offering to wash linens on a less than daily basis, and so on.”

Of the RFP process, Jill says, “Before government employee attendance became a factor, I created the RFPs on my own. Since we are now in a state of adjustment, we’re proceeding with a bit of caution, so I do currently need to look to Dewayne’s so I can keep up with all the changes.”  Even so, Jill does do most of the negotiating on behalf of SWCS. She puts the number at “99.5% of the negotiating.”

As far as site visits are concerned, Jill says, “Most of the time there is no need for me to be there, Dewayne handles this end on his own.” She adds, “I do, however, attend some of the programs. I want to make sure to familiarize myself with all my clients’ events so that I may gain a clearer understanding on how the space is allocated, and if the space works well for their meetings and unique needs. This allows me to fine-tune the site selection process and RFPs for their future meetings.”

Dewayne expressed again and again about how Jill truly does go “above and beyond” for him. Jill says, “We are in the hospitality business, so we tend to be hospitable.” She continues, “I do whatever it takes and then some to get my client’s what they need.  I feel responsible for their meetings, and sometimes will go back and forth many times while negotiating on behalf of the client.”

Jill also counts her dedication to staying on top of what is going on in the industry as part of her service. “I share trending information via all my social media outlets! I make sure my clients know what is on the horizon and how these changes will specifically effect them and their meetings.” As far as what she is seeing right now, “Hotel rates are going up due to more transient travel, contract signing time limits are shortened, hotels cannot hold space anymore – there is more demand, but the supply has barely changed over the past four years. Due to these rising rates, I provide a necessary service for my clients; I can guide them and make sure we find the best possible solutions for all their meetings.”

Meetings and business aside, Jill and Dewayne both feel that they have also found a true friendship. As Jill says, “We swap family stories all the time, I look forward to hearing his wonderful stories about his wife Amy and son, Lucas. He in turn hears about the ever growing family that my husband Rick and I have. We have three sons, two grandchildren and a third on the way!” Dewayne shared that they are also Facebook friends, they have been on several site visits together and have attended a number of the same industry events. Dewayne says, “Jill is fun; she is witty, laughs a lot and is one of those people that can find humor in almost everything!” Jill describes Dewayne as, “The nicest guy I know!”

About the relationship overall, Dewayne sums it up nicely, “If we did as many meetings together as Jill has pairs of shoes, we would be unstoppable. We could lead HelmsBriscoe!”

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