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Related Sites:

Meeting Planners International (MPI)

Society of Government Meeting Planners

 

 

Here are a number of Frequently Answered Questions:

What Is A "Meeting Planning Consultant"?

Meeting planning consultants - also known as independent meeting planners, are professionals who provide a wide variety of highly specialized services to clients who run meetings. These meetings may be small gatherings or huge trade shows. They have one common denominator: they require expert help to make sure they are well organized and run properly.

Who Needs A Meeting Planning Consultant?

Associations, Non-Profit Organizations, and Government Agencies: Volunteer committees charged with producing meetings and conventions or selling exhibits; lay leaders of religious and philanthropic organizations who arrange fundraising projects and special events; paid staff who need extra hands to get the job done.
Corporations: Executives and officers responsible for producing board and other meetings; sales managers who plan sales conferences and incentive programs/trips; secretaries who work on staff meetings and company outings; personnel departments conducting training sessions; meeting planners who find themselves temporarily short staffed.

What Can A Meeting Planning Consultant Do For Me And How?

Meeting planning consultants can save or make you money. They can...

Meeting planning consultants can save you time and effort. They will...

Meeting planning consultants can create the most on target programs for your needs. Consultants can...

Meeting planning consultants can supplement your own staff. They will...

Meeting planning consultants can help you avoid mistakes -expensive ones! They can...

How Much Does It Cost to Hire A Meeting Planning Consultant?

Meeting planning consultants bill for their services in the same way as other professional consultants: hourly, daily, per project, per person, by commission, or on annual retainer (usually for associations). Whichever method you are quoted, you should be aware that the consultant is charging you for his/her expertise in how to best meet your project or program goals. It is important, therefore, to make sure that you and your meeting consultant have the same basic understanding of the tasks at hand. You are paying for the consultant's time, experience and expertise. In the long run, you will find that the consultant saves you money because he/she knows how to accomplish the task that needs to be performed more economically and in a shorter amount of time, resulting in a better-managed meeting.

How Do I Know If Meeting Planning Consultant Is Qualified? What Credentials Should I Ask For?

References are obviously the best recommendation for a meeting planning consultant. Ask your consultant for several references and be sure to follow up on them. Ask if the consultant is a member of a professional association that conducts regular educational sessions and ask if he or she attends them. Hiring a consultant who keeps abreast of new technologies, trends, and cost effectiveness procedures in the meeting planning industry should be an important criteria to clients. Some of the meetings industry professional organizations a consultant is likely to belong to are: Meeting Planners International, Professional Convention Management Association, and the Society of Government Meeting Planners.