Rate clarity more important than discounts, says agents

The first Principals Agent Hosted Dinner from the Meetings Industry Association (MIA), took place at the Emirates Stadium’s Diamond Club recently. Venue finding agents were brought together with venue general managers and principals for open discussion and networking during a Raymond Blanc created dinner.

Faye Sharpe from Zibrant, Jan Sycamore from Calder Conferences, Leigh Jagger from Banks Sadler, Anita Lowe from Capita Travel and Events and Jacqui Kavanagh from Trinity Conferences all hosted tables at the Principals dinner. John Brennan, CEO at Jurys Inn was the opening speaker.

Talking after the event, Gary Payne, MIA Chairman, said: “During conversations with the agent hosts, it became clear that they would rather use venues that are open about what is and isn’t included in ‘package rates’ and will pay higher rates for the right service levels; where they are confident they will receive quality.”

Ed Bolling, GM of Ironmongers’ Hall and Furniture Makers’ Hall and Chair of the London City Selection added: “It’s important for small venues to gain opportunities to build working relationships with agents, the MIA Principals dinner provided this and helped us to understand the  pressures agents face every day from their own clients – this knowledge will enable us to improve our response to their enquiries.”

The MIA Principals Agent Hosted Dinner is part of the MIA’s Principals, which brings together senior professionals in the industry enabling networking, sharing of best practice and debate. Subsequent agent hosted dinners are planned to take place every six months.

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