By Madeline Daryadel

Are you planning a meeting or event? Whether a novice, a seasoned veteran or a professional, we have links and leads to ease stress and make the process easier. Start with what you don’t know you don’t know. Sound confusing? Not really, unless you are an expert there are elements of planning that you might not have considered.

Meeting and social event management are considered communication tools by companies of all sizes. Individuals planning events would be wise to organize their functions along similar lines. Companies create events to help them communicate with clients and potential clients. Social functions bring individuals together to motivate and thank them for their support, present awards or celebrate a special day.*

Resources for event planning

The New Wave of Free and Low-cost Meetings Technology Software is called Freeconomics. Tech guru’s Corbin’s and Meetings in a Minute Tip at Joan Eisenstodt’s are good starting points. If you are looking for a personal contact or more education, Meeting Professionals International will have a chapter near you and they have a lot of information on their site.

Act 1: Site selection is always a challenge, because 99% of the time it is not solely your decision, and once a location is chosen, your job is to find the perfect venue at that location. There are numerous websites that offer selection services among them:,

Planning services may charge flat fees, transaction percentage fees, no fee to users but fees to the hotel. Every city has a convention bureau. Membership directories are available at or Email or fax your requirements and they will contact the properties that fit your planned event. There is no charge for this service. however you may receive proposals that do not meet all your requirements. If you favor a specific hotel chain, use the services of their national sales office which you can find on the web.

When searching by destination and contacting venues directly, we suggest using one of these templates below to layout your event. Each property has its own Request for a Proposal (RFP) form and it can be tedious filling out each one. Prepare an RFP that you can attach to an e-mail or fax to the property. Or ask the venue why they don’t have the HotelQuick Quote or for social business the EventQuick Quote on their site where you would get an Instant Answer about date availability with an estimated cost.

Templates include:

Corbin Ball’s Site selection form

Convention Industry Template

Your business is important. Negotiate: room rates, meeting space, complimentary rooms, recreations and other amenities such as welcome baskets and suites for your VIPs.

Act 2: In the next issue we will discuss….How technology will enable you to effectively create and manage invitations & responses, rooming lists, registrations, meeting room layouts, seating, designing your own website. And TIPS: Now that you have narrowed your list of possible sites.

About the Author: “For 25 years my area of expertise was the group meeting market and social catering. As VP of MAD-Marketing we focus on the hospitality industry, providing software program that benefit both the planner and the property. Contact

*This description by Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, was edited by Madeline Daryadel VP of MAD-Marketing and creator of the Hotel and WeddingQuick Quote