Taking the Planner/CSM to the Next Level
Service Managers Provide Invaluable Services
By Denise Suttle Assistant Director of Convention Services, Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau | September 20, 2015
An event manager who can successfully assist a meeting planner to create a smooth, trouble-free event is an extraordinary asset for any hotel. The relationship between the meeting planner and the event service manager creates loyalty that drives repeat business for a property or brand.
Erin Wade, divisional director, catering sales & event management, North America, at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, believes that event managers are an integral part of the sales team. "They work 24/7 with our planners prior to an event".
Wade continues, "They are the last link in the detail chain, and we need to invest and ensure they are experts and educated. If you think about it from the hotel perspective, if your event managers are not asking the right questions, if they're not getting the right details and really being capable to be that expert in regards to the program, we'll never be set up to succeed operationally."
Without a proper operational set-up, an event will have issues or problems that arise. These issues could hinder the hotel from rebooking the business.
"When you think of the relationship of the event manager and the meeting planner, they are working so closely together, almost 24/7," Wade said. "Oftentimes, the relationship with the event manager is just as strong, if not stronger than with the sales manager because of what the two of them go through in the process of planning the meeting."
Understanding the Meeting and Audience