Independent Planners: Supercharge Your Consulting Engine

Brad Langley |

Female event professional sitting at a table holding a tablet talking and demonstrating to another professional the value she can bring to their next event Whoever said modesty is a virtue clearly wasn’t an event planner. Because for event professionals, demonstrating the value you bring to the table is essential. Yet planners often tell me this is one of the biggest challenges they face.


It’s no surprise that “trying to prove our worth” was cited among the industry’s biggest challenges in PCMA’s 2017 Meetings Market Survey.

Showcasing your value is especially important for third-party planners. When your team works hard to create an amazing event, you want to share their successes along the way.

But third parties are often so busy with the day-to-day demands of producing A-level events. That leaves less time for client reports. Fortunately, a new generation of venue sourcing technology now lends a hand. These solutions make venue sourcing more transparent so your clients see the value your team adds throughout the planning process.

We consistently find third parties who embrace transparency gain market share faster. The reason? They make an ongoing practice of proving their worth – and do it effortlessly. In the process, they build customer trust faster. And they strengthen their team’s ability to provide more consultative services.

Build customer confidence faster

Here’s how you can leverage these solutions to showcase your team’s value and build customer trust. Examples are from Aventri venue sourcing.

Demonstrate proven value

Aventri next-generation sourcing tools require hotels to provide rates and concession values as part of their bids. The result, you validate savings and cost avoidances automatically.

Keep clients in the loop – easily

Showcase your sourcing expertise with an interactive bid summary. This handy tool aggregates bids in a summary that updates automatically. The technology calculates costs and savings and provides side-by-side comparisons. So it’s easy to spot the best offers.

There’s no need to spend hours on client reports. Simply add venues, decline offers and request rebids in one click directly from the bid summary. Then rank the best options in a professional presentation to share via a read-only link. Clients can see at a glance savings going up and costs coming down. The interactive bid summary provides a quick way to keep clients up-to-date. Now, it’s easy to quantify the value your team adds throughout the planning process.

Optimize transparency

Want to take transparency to the next level? Then give customers a direct portal into your planning process. Let them view bids returned and concessions won in real time 24/7. They’ll have a front row seat to your team’s value-adding activities at every stage of the planning process.

Full transparency not only validates the overall value your team drives. It also builds customer collaboration and trust. Planners gain valuable insights to stay in step with client priorities. By providing a clear line of sight, you elevate your team as trusted advisors, on track to transform your client’s vision into an amazing event.

Power negotiations

In today’s sellers’ market, hotel negotiations have become more complicated. When negotiating with multiple venues, it’s harder than ever to manage all the back-and-forth.

Aventri's negotiation engine now simplifies the process. It tracks all rebids and communications that occur throughout negotiations. Planners gain access to real-time data – instantly available, all in one place. They can quickly hone in on essential details. For example, past rates paid, brands where your client books and saves the most, and other meetings in the works companywide. Your team can leverage these insights to gain additional concessions and increase meeting ROI.

The tool graphs the bid evolution to display trends like growth in savings and reduction in costs. Planners can customize the view and export graphs to customers for focused discussions that drive sound decisions. The negotiation engine is a powerful way to quantify all the work that goes into negotiating great deals and validate the savings your team drives.

Why you must show your worth

In-person events grab the biggest slice of the B2B marketing budget, averaging 18% of program spend, according to Forrester Research. So, it’s only natural that clients expect – no, demand – to know the value you add.

Next-generation sourcing tools provide the data you need to quantify the value your team brings to the table. But the true benefits go way beyond that. The technology supercharges transparency. It gives planners the tools they need to gain customer confidence at the outset and maintain a vital role throughout the planning process.

Leverage technology that elevates your team’s ability to provide more consultative services. They’ll negotiate smarter, collaborate better, and be an invaluable resource driving your clients’ success.

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This Post was Written by Brad Langley

Clients and colleagues describe Brad as a visionary leader with endless energy and enthusiasm. He brings all that to Aventri, plus a 30-year track record of exceeding business goals at world-leading incentive and travel companies. Earlier in his...

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