In many ways, meeting planners are bargain shoppers. On the hunt for the best value, shopping for a venue for your next meeting or conference is negotiating at its finest.
Although planners are experts at saving their companies money, discounting can also be a downfall, and here is why:
Discounts are usually a one-time deal. I have many clients who, for example, want a discount on their Internet lines because we granted the discount last year. These considerations are taken on a case-by-case basis, but discounting one year does not guarantee a discount the next.
Too much discounting will result in the hotel's loss of interest in your business. Many planners are appalled when they are presented with pricing for an event, and request discounts on every aspect of their program. At the end of the day, hotels are businesses and cannot grant a discount in every department. While many of them are flexible with pricing, you are more likely to get the discount if you focus on one amenity that is most important to the success of your meeting. For example: "due to company policy, we can only spend $90 per day on food and beverage costs and your lowest package is $92, will you work with us on that?"
Regardless of the discount, you probably still have a contracted minimum to meet. Did you read the fine print in your contract? It's most likely that a catering minimum has been outlined for you to meet. With too many food and beverage discounts, you may never meet this minimum and will be contractually obligated to pay the difference regardless.
Have you experienced a "downfall with discounting"? Tell us.