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Quick answers to common questions

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Nothing is free! How exactly do you make money?

  • We are compensated by hotels. However, hotels do not increase their rates to offset the placement fee they pay us. Hotels use many different distribution channels: web marketing, print advertising, direct mail, etc. Like any intelligent industry, hotels are customer-centric—they want you to work the way you want to work. And you have spoken loudly—consulting firms like ours book billions of dollars of business every year. Our small placement fee is nothing more than a cost of doing business to them, and they are happy to pay it. Learn more about the Hospitality Industry.

Are you paid based on the entire cost of the meeting?

  • No. We are paid only on the number of "room-nights" consumed at your event. For example, if you use 50 rooms for 3 nights, that would be 150 room-nights. There are no placement fees paid based on any other meeting expenses (for example, food and beverage, incidentals, A/V, etc).

There are many companies out there that guarantee "better group rates than others" because of their buying power. Is that true?

  • No. The site selection consulting industry is a firmly established, multi-billion dollar industry made possible by partnerships with hotels. The hotels, who pay the placement fees and make our industry possible, do not "play favorites" with site selection companies. Hotels want to earn your business no matter who brings them the opportunity. These claims certainly sound impressive though, don't they?
  • The only "group discounts" that occur are with huge organizations (think Microsoft) who negotiate contracts directly with hotel groups for tens of thousands of rooms per year. Site selection companies who claim to accomplish this same buying power because of their size are simply trying to deceive you to earn your business. Bottom line: It's a nice sales pitch but it’s not true.

Do hotels increase their rates so they can afford to pay the placement fee? Can’t I save money by going directly to the hotel?

  • No. Hotels use many different distribution channels: web marketing, print advertising, direct mail, etc. Our service is just another method of attracting business. Our placement fee is simply part of the cost of marketing their business.
  • Another factor is the competitive marketplace. When a property receives a lead from, they know that if they do not offer their very best rates, a property down the street will. They would not risk losing a piece of business to save a few dollars by not paying our placement fees.
  • Finally, as a trusted partner, hotels do not want to jeopardize their future relationship with for a single piece of business. Just like us, hotels are in business to build long-term trust and relationships with their partners and clients. To undercut an ongoing arrangement for a short-term gain doesn’t make sense for anyone.

How is the placement fee calculated?

  • The placement fee is calculated based on the number of "room-nights" consumed at your event. For example, if you use 50 rooms for 3 nights, that would equal 150 room-nights. There is no placement fee paid on anything else (for example, food and beverage, incidentals, A/V, etc).

If the placement fee is based on the rate and the number of rooms, isn’t it in the best interest of to steer me toward the most expensive hotels?

  • No—just the opposite, actually. If the event is successful, you will most likely want to do it again. We want to build a long-term relationship with you and work with you on future events. We know that finding you the best possible hotel rates and meeting facilities, within the budget you specify, is the best way to earn your repeat business. We know that if you are not 100% satisfied with our service, you will not work with us again.

Will attend my meeting and do everything onsite for me?

  • No. Our services are designed for do-it-yourself planners who may not have the time or the resources to hire additional personnel. What you may have in mind is "full service meetings management." However, be aware that these services can be quite expensive for what you will receive in return.
  • Often, we find that once our clients have done a cost-benefit analysis, they realize that by utilizing our knowledge before the event (and services of the hotel staff at the event) they can save thousands of dollars that would have been spent on a full service meetings management company.
  • If you discover that you really do need a full service meetings management company, please ask us for a referral. We are always here to help make your job easier, even if it means losing your business this time around.

Which hotel chains do you represent?

  • Everyone. We are not bound by a particular hotel or hotel brand. There are companies out there that represent a particular property or brand; they are called "representation companies." We are not a representation company.
  • All properties pay exactly the same placement fee, so there is no financial incentive for us to choose one property over another.
  • Bottom line: We work for you—we find the property that best fits your needs.

It is my job to search for locations and negotiate contracts! Why do I need to use a company like

  • Because in today’s world, chances are, you are multi-tasking, and you could probably use a helping hand. Also, because the marketplace is constantly changing, you may not have current information about venues, and concessions being offered by hotels. Site selection and contract negotiation is all we do. Our job is to be your eyes and ears in the marketplace, so you can spend your time on more important tasks.
  • Even if searching locations and negotiating contracts is really all you do, it still makes sense to use Since we get the same rates you can get on your own, you can think of us as a behind-the-scenes partner who delivers expert guidance and know how to ensure your event is a success. We don’t want to do your job for you; we just want to help you do it better.

How far in advance do I need to get started? What if my event is only a few weeks away?

  • To secure the best rates and concessions, we recommend getting started as far in advance of the event as possible. However, we understand that life doesn’t always work out that way. Whether your meeting is next week or next year, we can get started anytime organizing your meeting for you. With a short lead time, our services become even more valuable, allowing you to leverage your time most effectively.

Are all rates negotiable?

  • Generally, yes. However, because of our experience, our existing relationships, and the competitiveness of most marketplaces, properties will usually provide their very best offer right up front.

I've never planned a meeting before—where do I start?

  • We are experts at helping first-time planners. We remember what’s it’s like to send out that first RFP (Request for Proposal) to properties, and to negotiate that first contract. will guide you every step of the way.

Do I have to sign a contract with

  • Never. We work on good faith with you--we are so confident in our service and expertise that we know you will use our service again and again, once you give us a try.
  • Our goal is to build a long-term relationship with you. We want you to be able to walk away at any time if you do not feel 100% satisfied, and comfortable with us and what we're doing for you. Signing a contract would be contrary to that goal.

Can I use your service and still do searches on my own?

  • Technically, yes, but it is not in your best interest. Usually, two searches for the same event will only confuse hotels when they see duplicate requests from separate sources. Worse yet, since most properties have multiple sales reps, there is a good chance that duplicate quotes will slip through the cracks without being noticed. Depending on availability, this can lead to an inaccurate quote.
  • If your goal is to confirm that we really do get the same rate you would get on your own, please be up front with us beforehand. We are happy to accommodate your request, but we need to be on the same page so that our hotel partners do not have to duplicate their efforts.

I need only 5 rooms. Can I still use your services?

  • Yes, but not all of our services. To take advantage of our complimentary site selection services, you'll need a minimum of 10 rooms per night. However, you can still use all of our Guidance and Know-How at no cost.

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