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If you are an independent planner, come and join us! There is no cost to participate and the rewards are great.

  • Provide area Independent Planners continuing education opportunities
  • Establish standards
  • Provide Networking Opportunities
  • Offer the opportunity to group together enabling a team of highly skilled planners to be made available for major projects

Independent Planners: To ensure the issues discussed are relevant, membership is restricted to independent planners. Our definition is independents must be the primary owner of their company; must offer more than just one service (i.e. more than site selection) and must be available to work for more than one organization.

Size: To facilitate a good exchange, membership may be restricted.

Attendance
: All members must commit to come to as many meetings as possible.

Balance of Skills
: Planners that participate must have different emphasis in the type of business they conduct. We want to add value to each other. Competition is not our goal.

Roster
: We do not give out our roster to anyone without permission of the membership.


Although the meetings vary, we usually meet on a Wednesday or Thursday from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM. We meet at different locations throughout the Tampa Bay area. We usually order dinner and each member pays for his or her own meal and beverages.




To maximize the value of the meetings we follow a basic agenda.

  • Introductions
  • Lessons learned from recent meetings
  • Site reviews of properties we have recently viewed
  • The topic for the month

Most sessions are roundtable format so we all share our knowledge. We ask that attendees be prepared to share their experiences, bring copies of relevant articles, etc. Information shared at the meetings is held in strict confidence.




Contact Michelle Santee Tupps with Event Resource, Inc:
email: michelle@eventresource.com or phone: (727) 797-3868.



To be included in the meetings and be placed on our roster, please send the following information to michelle@eventresource.com.

Company Name
Phone
Fax
Email
Website
Address
Specialty (We all accept a wide variety of work. But we would like to know the type of programs/services that you are best at and what market you are targeting. For example, mine reads "Specializes in conferences, business meetings, tradeshows and product launches for corporate marketplace.")




The following is a basic outline describing the variety of independent planners, what they offer and how they get paid. It was used by Michelle Santee Tupps at a Tampa Bay Meeting Professionals International program.


  • Single service (site, registration, on-site)
  • Basic Service (combo of site, F&B, logistics, DMC)
  • Full service (including strategic planning, marketing, all basic services some even get involved in content development.)

**Note: Smaller and mid-sized companies specialize in certain industries (tech, insurance, medical) or types of events (customer, sales, incentive, board of directors)


  • With a company that has a team of planners - Do project in conjunction with your team
  • With a company that does NOT have planners - Do project autonomously


  • Hourly rate or flat fee for well defined project
  • Commission built into rate
  • Commission overrides – not built into rates
  • Cost Plus – all net rates submitted with agreed –upon percentage (15-20% add-on)
  • Inclusive package all components, including compensation in one rate.

** Note: Commissions are getting cut for site only firms and will probably continue to decrease as they have for the travel industry. i.e. Delta is no longer paying any commissions on tickets.


  • How to find
  • Questions to ask
  • Contracts – Hiring Firing
  • Goal Setting - How to track their work/Prove ROI
  • Ethics

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Event Resource, Inc., Safety Harbor, Florida, 727.797.3868
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