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Ahead of the Pack, or Keeping Up?

Published: April 09, 2015

A few weeks ago I was reading a military e-newsletter about working with planners who bring significant others along on site visits. Sometimes those significant others are not really interested in participating in the entire site visit and the author asked readers how they handle those situations. I quickly sent an email with my thoughts about working with my planners and their guests to keep everyone happy.

Gervais Spa at Inn at the 5th

Gervais Spa at Inn at the 5th

Shortly thereafter the author reached out to me and we talked about our enthusiasm for working with planners and some of the challenges that can be avoided before and during a site visit. I told her that I really try to listen to my planners and take copious notes about their likes and interests at home, as well as their significant other’s interest. If the planner cannot talk on a Tuesday because they are golfing with their companion, that is noted and we talk about golfing when their site visit is being scheduled. If an early morning yoga class or an aerobic water class is important to their companion, that is also noted.

Then when the planner is in town, we can point out the local water aerobics class or yoga locations close to the properties they are considering. It’s really about listening to what the planners are telling me and making sure that we keep both the planner and their companion happy, before and during the site visit, and concluding when the last guest has headed back home after the event.

The author of the article said, “You will be sharing your secrets about working with other planners”.   My response was that I’d rather be ahead of the pack and share what I know than try to play catch up with the pack. If I can share what I know with my colleagues, it

Listen to Juanita's radio interview on Reunion Friendly Network

Listen to Juanita's radio interview on Reunion Friendly Network

makes for a better industry standard. That is good for everyone who participates – planners, companions, attendees and suppliers.

Through this process, I ended up doing a 15-20 minute segment on the RFN Radio Show. Who knew that a one-paragraph email would introduce me to a national spotlight on radio! If you want more information on how to listen to your planner and help keep all parties engaged and happy, please click on the link to the right.

Let’s talk and see what event I can help you plan. I promise to listen to what you are saying.

Author: Juanita Metzler, CMP

A native Oregonian, Juanita Metzler loves business and event planning. When not working an event or visiting with planners she enjoys traveling, anything with the Oregon Ducks, trips to the beach and volunteering, with a cup of tea in her hand. She is the Senior Director, Conventions for Travel Lane County.