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Meeting planner sherpas: hotel conference centers provide single-contact meeting directors.

EVERY MOUNTAIN climber needs a veteran "sherpa" to help him or her reach the destination. Without this experienced guide, costly mistakes can be made. and reaching the final goal or destination may be compromised. A sherpa provides the climber with the experience and expertise that might be lacking. Perhaps you're wondering what a mountain climber and sherpa have in common with a meeting event planner?

Single point of contact. Just as with mountain climbers, most planners prefer to have a "hotel sherpa" to help navigate them through the planning process. Traditionally, a planner is transferred from one hotel department to another to finalize details. The process is repetitive, time-consuming and unnecessarily cumbersome for the planner. Industry feedback indicates that planners prefer to have a single point of contact throughout the process. Ideally, this single point of contact works hand-in-hand with the planner to coordinate all event details, remaining fully available during the event to assist with any last-minute changes or unforeseen problems.

Finally there is good news for planners ... forward-thinking hotels are listening by offering a more personalired approach to the planning process. As a result, once an event or meeting is contracted, the planner is introduced to a single contact who assists the client with all aspects of the planning process including food, beverage, audio visual, unique billing and transportation needs as well as VIP requests. The end result: a more productive and efficient meeting with every detail flawlessly executed.

Two-hour response guarantee. To meet the ever-growing demands of meeting planners, Crowne Plaza Hotels offer a comprehensive meeting program to ensure a seamless planning process and exceptional meeting experience.

The program consists of three key components: a two-hour response guarantee, a dedicated Crowne Meetings Director (CMD) and a meetings daily debrief offering personalized assistance from the CMD. As a senior-level hotel staff member, the CMD serves as a single point of contact throughout the planning process and during the entire on-site meeting.

A sizeable investment. Hosting an event or meeting is a sizeable investment for any organization. With this in mind, hotels and planners must work together to produce positive and productive events. As savvy hotel operators do their part by investing in their own "hotel sherpas," they ensure exceptional meeting experiences and ultimately, the success of their own businesses.

Trina Woolfington is the director of sales and marketing at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Center at Historic Union Station in downtown Indianapolis.
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Title Annotation:ADVICE: MEETINGS
Author:Woolfington, Trina
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Article Type:Conference news
Date:Aug 1, 2007
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