As we look forward to 2010, most people anticipate another challenging year for the meetings and incentive travel business.
Although there has been some talk of the global economies starting to improve, many economists are predicting that Canada’s economic recovery will be sluggish at best in 2010 (see an example at Shock minus Control).
This is the time of year that many companies issue RFPs for 2010 and beyond, so this may also be the perfect time to determine what your strategy will be to succeed (or even just survive).
For those who work within an organization as a corporate planner, your challenge will be how to demonstrate your value, so that your employer values your work and determines that you are worth additional salary.
The challenge for many independent or third-party meeting professionals is that they do not know how to prove the value of the services they provide and so they end up competing solely on price.
Although Procurement personnel love that cost-based RFP response, since it drives down the price they pay for meeting and incentive planning, for the meeting professional, the lowering price spiral actually devalues their worth.
I once heard someone say that if we didn’t value our own work, no one else would, either.
Take the time now to figure out how you add value for your clients. Look for what you do well that your clients really benefit from. Does your experience help clients avoid challenges? Does your company have added services that a client can utilize quickly and efficiently? Or can your analysis of event results help drive the future business success of your clients?
Don’t be afraid to offer more services or change how you do things.
You may even decide that it’s time to partner with a successful person or organization, so you can add services that your clients will value and increase the business reasons to employ you.
Lee Iacocca, the prominent American business leader, once said, “the most successful businessman is the man who holds onto the old just as long as it is good and grabs the new just as soon as it is better.”
One other thought: If you can’t determine what value you add, it’s probably a great time for you to consider another career.