A meeting planner at a large conference lodging property is in charge of a client's event from initial contact until the group leaves the hotel. The planner handles everything from booking meeting and hotel rooms to food and equipment setup. In a large facility, there may be several meeting planners who all have different areas of expertise and work together on group events. Examples of these different areas include reservations, food and beverage and public relations.
Public Relations and Marketing
In this role, the meeting planner serves as a representative from the lodging and conference facility to the public. The planner's job is to make sure that the facility has a positive reputation and to help bring in client reservations. Meeting planners create brochures outlining the facility's services, respond to emailed or telephone inquiries about event planning services and provide information on current meeting facilities and services for use on the hotel's website. In this role, the planner creates content for multimedia advertisements for the facility's event planning department. The planner is also required to reach out to businesses and conventions to encourage new and continuing business.
Reservations and Registration
When working primarily in reservations and registration, the meeting planner assists clients in making hotel and ballroom reservations for attendees. Depending on how big the group is and what activities are to be held on-site, the meeting planner suggests which meeting rooms in the conference center would best meet the needs of the client. The planner also books groups of hotel rooms for the client's participants and assists with any necessary overflow lodging. Part of this role of the meeting planner includes negotiating a group discount rate and possibly assisting with travel arrangements. Meeting planners also assist with on-site registration for attendees.
Food and Beverage
Every convention needs food and beverage services. Luckily for clients, on-site meeting planners easily take care of this matter for them. The meeting planner helps the client to figure out how much food is necessary for the projected amount of attendees. Part of this is helping to determine whether meals are to be served at a sit-down dinner or buffet style and what beverages should be offered. The meeting planner discusses the menu for each meal with the client and helps to develop a budget or package deal for the client.
There are many different technical aspects of a meeting planner's job in a large conference lodging property. One of the technical financial aspects of the role is to help the client develop a budget and determine how all of the services at the facility are to be paid. The meeting planner organizes the client's entire event, making sure that the client knows what conference rooms are available at what time and develops an event schedule. Planners also are responsible for locating, renting and setting up any audio visual or other specialized equipment the client needs. A meeting planner may also locate and arrange for entertainment at the client's request.