Ann and I have had the opportunity to speak to a LOT of meeting planners and organizers over the last several years. One of our favorite aspects to discuss are the sponsorship packages for vendors. On the same token, one of the things we hate to see are companies who have “deep pockets” using and abusing the meeting staff. Ick.
Look, we know how vital it is to have strong relationships with companies that continue to support meetings. It. Is. Crucial.
What is not crucial, and is fact a poison, is when a company begins to bully the meeting organizers and staff for their own agenda. We’ve seen companies spend a lot of money with a meeting (which is awesome!) but then use the power as a coercive weapon (not awesome.)
Most people would say, “well if you’re being bullied, then just tell them no.” OK. Well, where are we going to scrounge thousands upon thousands of dollars that they provide? You know this conversation.
I’m not saying it’s an easy one to figure out. It’s not. Affording meetings on site is getting more expensive every year and corporate dollars are getting harder to come by. But that doesn’t mean that anyone should be taking advantage of the situation in a way that doesn’t make you feel good about what you’re providing, or about conducting your responsibilities on a daily basis. Who wants to go to work knowing they are going to be bullied?
Every scenario is different, which is why you have probably caught on to why I haven’t provided a concrete solution. What I will say, though, is start finding new ways to ensure you are not relying on a single provider who has you “bent over a barrel.” When they know you have no options, there really isn’t any way to negotiate and receive the monetary support you know you’re worth.
Stand your ground and don’t allow a company to start calling the shots at your event.
In fact, Ann and I have consulted with planners to find new ways to build sponsorship packages so that more vendors can get involved – those who don’t have deeper pockets, but do want to participate.
We have uncovered some really fun ways to create MORE OPTIONS at a LOWER PRICE, which ultimately results in increased revenue.
If you would like brainstorm with us, let us know! We love working with organizations that truly want to make progress and enhance experiences for DPMs and vendors alike – and we want you to love your meeting.
-Sarah Breymeier