The marketplace is saturated with 3rd party RFPs. To expertly sell to this market, it’s important to differentiate site selectors from independent meeting professionals. We went to the source.
Meet ConventionPlanit.com’s new partner, the Alliance of Independent Meeting Professionals (AIMP).
What is the Alliance of Independent Meeting Professional’s Unique Mission?
AIMP’s start began four years ago when the third-party commission structure changed. In an interview with AIMP’s Founder, David Bruce, we uncovered a passionate quest to support independent meeting professionals. As a 50-year industry professional, David’s unique mission is to bring the independent planner and hotelier together by understanding the needs of both. We want to give independent meeting professionals a voice within the marketplace. Distinguishing our members is the first step. As their advocate, we create enormous awareness for destinations, hotels, and resorts. By raising awareness of their intrinsic value, we can transform the marketplace.
With many third parties aiding in the planning process, how do your planner members differ?
The independent planner has adapted to the end user’s needs with numerous services. Independent meeting professionals have existed for over three decades, and our members are meeting professionals who generate over $450 million annually in group room revenue.As active consultants throughout the process, independent meeting professionals manage multiple aspects of the meeting besides site selection. Their services often include on-site management, coordination, budgeting, and billing, as they are an active consultant during the decision process as a client representative. In today’s marketplace, more companies focus solely on-site selection, and they rely on salespeople to generate and process RFPs. Due to competition for leads with national sales offices and destination management organizations, site-selection companies often distribute an RFP to an excessive number of properties to protect a commission. These RFPs are only sometimes fully qualified and sent to facilities that may be unsuitable to meet the client’s requirements.
How does AIMP support its members?
The independent meeting professional needs a centralized voice and standards. AIMP provides standard operating procedures, contract clauses, and best practices for our members. Our industry yearns to return to face-to-face negotiations that help establish trust. David Bruce believes the independent planner-hotel relationship will improve by understanding the needs of each entity through enhanced collaboration; we can help carry out this by clarifying the enduring relationship benefits with independent meeting professionals.
Interested in joining or learning more about AIMP? Click here.