APR 2012

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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Home CORPORA TE MEETINGS meeting planners to save costs. As an enterprise that is divided into zones across the U.S. and Canada with more than 30 event planners, State Farm offers many opportunities to share costs, she said. "For speaker, we try to negotiate fees for sev- eral different meetings at one time. We have also realized that an outside speaker isn't needed at every meeting. Many times we need to hear from the experts right inside our own company." White noted that pre-negotiating multi-year contracts with the same venue or property can also bring down costs, enabling planners to use the extra funds to scale-up a meeting. "Most transportation and DMC companies welcome multi-year contracts as well and in some cases, they will refer you to a local vendor who can assist you with premiums at low or at-cost prices." Nowland offered other cost saving tips includ- ing using pitchers of ice water or ice water dis- pensers instead of bottled water, and moving fruit and pastries from a morning breakfast buffet to serve as the morning snack. Keeping a meeting history on each program to include a dossier is a great tool for future negoti- ating efforts, White said. "Depending on the location, you can negotiate complimentary guest rooms, complimentary meeting space, possibly complimentary welcome reception, entertain- ment/décor and many more," she said. ■ Planning Directory Planner Resources Meeting Site Showcase Best Boardrooms in the South We asked you to help us round up some of the best boardrooms in the South that offer comfort- able seating, interesting décor, high-tech capabil- ities and more. Here are the top 10 that you selected. And visit to see just why these boardrooms made the list. The Hotel Monteleone (New Orleans) Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center – Nashville Hilton Anatole (Dallas) Grand Bohemian Hotel - Orlando Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (Biloxi, Miss.) Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa (Birmingham, Ala.) Marina Inn at Grande Dunes (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) The Umstead Hotel & Spa (Cary, N.C.) Renaissance Arlington (Va.) Capital View Hotel Melia Hotel Atlanta ■ 14 ConventionSouth APRIL 2012 www.con v

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