1. 11 Lessons on Negotiating with Convention Centers

    Many association meeting managers are dealing with slashed budgets, decreasing attendance, and shrinking room blocks. However, convention centers are under their own financial pressures to generate revenues. How has the equation changed when it comes to planners getting the best value for their dollar? Here are 11 lessons from convention experts.

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    1. This has been a developing trend since 2009 and seems to be accelerating as more municipalities and states are under tremendous budget pressure.
    2. We've been charged for pens and papers, we've been charged for mints, we've been charged for linens, and we've been charged for bringing in an outside AV company.
    3. The terms and conditions are incorporated by record, which means it is part of the .
    4. We still have aggressive and competitive discounts that we offer to meeting planners.
    5. Expect to pay a fair price and I think most any destination can find a way to make it affordable.
    6. It definitely does affect your ability to negotiate.
    7. Attendees are not as savvy about the cost issues as the planners and suppliers are.
    8. When you run into a convention center that is unwilling to discuss changes to the contract or an addendum, be wary.
    9. I had one convention center that said it would take an act of their city council to make modifications to the license agreement and the city council wasn't scheduled to meet for a while.
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