We have noticed a worrying trend in client choice over the last few years – primarily as a result of the recession. However, shortermism is actually costing clients money in the long run.
Essentially, a number of our clients have reduced their business from 24-hour to Day Delegate Rates. While this looks good on the surface as it costs less money in terms of direct spend with us it is costing just as much, if not more in the long run.
After, or even before, a long day in conference sessions delegates are often too tired to drive home. They need to relax and often follow up the content of the day with colleagues and peers. Most have an expenses account so they book a room anyway, they have a dinner and a few beers, essentially they have a 24-hour delegate experience with no form of oversight. Rates and expenditure become hit and miss and in the long run the organisation involved loses out in two significant ways.
First of all there is obviously the financial expense. Had they chosen a 24-hour rate with the venue, group purchasing would have seen a reduction in rates and money would have been saved all round.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, there would have been further opportunity for structured activity, from a drinks reception or group dinner to a focused evening session or activity. Ultimately bonding and team dynamics would have continued to improve, which in the long term will significantly help a company and far outweigh the false short term feeling that money has been saved.
Thankfully there is light at the end of the tunnel, we are seeing growth in the 24-hour delegate rate business as more clients appreciate the benefits but it is taking longer than it should. There is a real opportunity here for venue bookers to examine the true cost of an event rather than just the headline figures, they must look beyond the small stuff and appreciate there is more to a company’s budget than venue expenditure.
Any comments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org