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The Meeting Planner Myth

Today, we’re talking about how not all meeting planners are meeting planners.

There’s a bit of a myth in hospitality.

About meeting planners – who they are and how they shop.

What’s the myth?

That meeting planners are only professional meeting planners. That they do this meeting planner stuff all the time and that they know how to plan meetings better than your sales and catering teams.

Of course, that’s not true at all.

In fact, many meeting planners aren’t meeting planners at all. They are office admins, business owners, or team leaders and plan only a couple of meetings every year.


Post covid, many of these “non-professional” meeting planners are new to their roles. They are tasked with planning meetings they’ve never planned before.

What does that mean for your hotel sales and catering teams?

Well, it means that these meeting planners need a lot more help planning. They don’t necessarily know how to structure meal breaks or menus. And they probably aren’t well equipped with cost-saving strategies or knowledge about AV needs, planner tools, and technology.

It also means that they rely more on the real experts (your sales and catering teams!) to take the lead.

As the experts, your hotel teams can provide incredible value. But more importantly, your hotel teams can strategically point these meeting planners in mutually beneficial directions, maybe even in directions that are more efficient for the hotel.

For example…

Help these meeting planners do things like choose menus that are easier to provision and maybe even cheaper for the hotel to produce, which can save the hotel both time and money!

It also means…

And listen up hotel marketers…that your hotel marketing teams need to do a better job at communicating to these meeting planners, the ordinary, non-professional kind.

It means your hotel website needs to be easier to use.

Your website needs to speak to planners who don’t know (or don’t care) about square footage. Planners who might not have the experience to pre-visual what a meeting could be based on empty room shots. Planners who don’t know how to use planner software or do-it-yourself meeting room diagrams.

It also means we have to do a better job at getting in front of these meeting planners.

Because these non-professional meeting planners don’t shop like professional meeting planners. They don’t subscribe to third-party meeting planner tools or publications, but they still spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year on meetings.

Flash Back !

Do your hotel sales and catering teams drive the planning conversation or do they take a backseat to these non-professional meeting planners?