The customer is always right. However, that doesn't mean that the customer is always successful.
For that reason, Successful Meetings recently asked three convention services managers (CSMs) how meeting planners can make their relationships with event suppliers smoother. The answer, all three agreed: communication.
"Communication and partnership are keys to success when it comes to developing successful relationships between meeting planners and event service professionals," saysSuccessful Meetings contributor Lynn McCullough.
Among the CSMs who lent Successful Meetings their two cents were Vikki Valencia Kelly, CMP, convention services director at Visit Denver. "We all know planners are busy and overwhelmed and many times have very limited staff, so we can all agree that the communication can be limited and they will go off the grid," Kelly says. "Communication both ways and providing information we need is critical. Being honest and transparent with information is critical for us to be successful. It goes both ways."
Echoes Joe O'Donnell, CMP, associate director of event management at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, "Open communication goes both ways, so [it's important to let] us know where their problems are, rather than holding onto the problem. That way, we can work together toward a solution in the spirit of partnership."