Meeting Planning Companies


Equinox LogoMeeting planning companies offer distinct advantages over independent planners or internal planners, yet many corporations are wary of third-party planning companies. While a few of their concerns may be legitimate based on previous experience with national brands, there are numerous small companies that provide a broader range of services than are available from an individual planner.

Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that full-service companies are more expensive than independents or internal planners. While in some cases it’s true, it really depends on the company’s structure and business model. Some models require a large staff of specialized individuals and the infrastructure to support them. Staff salaries and infrastructure are expensive and their pricing reflects it. Other companies provide experienced project leadership and engage specialists based on workload and the specific needs of their projects. Their business model allows them to provide a great deal of expertise at a very competitive rate.

So, how does that model differ from how an independent or internal planner works?

While it’s true that most independents have a group of individuals that they collaborate with regularly, availability can be an issue, especially during the busy season. In addition, those collaborators may be spread out across the country and are usually working on multiple projects at any given time; challenging their ability to communicate effectively.

Meeting planning companies are a group of individuals who work together on many projects each year. They have standard processes, a common vocabulary and an understanding of how each member works. Communication is often as easy as walking to the next office or cubical. If project demands require someone to be out of the office, there is still a communication “shorthand” that comes from working together on a daily basis.

Finally, the planners at third-party companies share a common vision, purpose and goals. There is no competition for billable hours or personal recognition; each employee puts the success of the project, and by extension the company, before their individual needs. Their goal is company success and profitability to pay their salary and advance their careers.

There are many talented individuals in the industry; including internal planners, independent planners and planners who work at meeting planning companies. Determining which kind is best for your needs has to be determined by the number and type of events you hold. If you have needs that require a broad range of services and expertise, I encourage you to consider a meeting planning company. You’ll be surprised at how affordable they really are.

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