Experienced hospitality sales and marketing industry expert, Jasmine Eldeen, shares her advice on how Meeting and Conference Planners can overcome the challenges of a seller and supplier market.
What is the best advice you have ever received as a planner?
While I am not a planner, my clients who are planners have told me that they wished they had asked for help sooner. Using me as their sourcing specialist, I have saved them over 70 hours per meeting - which allowed them to focus on the actual meeting details.
What advice would you give to someone entering the business today?
Don’t bother yourself with learning the hotel language, use a company like HelmsBriscoe to help with negotiating and contracting – it will save you lots of time.
What do you see as the most challenging aspect of being a Meeting and Conference planner, and how do you overcome that challenge?
Right now, it’s becoming a sellers and suppliers market. Hotels and resorts can demand higher rates due to increased demand and limited supply in specific markets and seasons. This is a great time for planners to rely on the buying power of a company like HelmsBriscoe to help them stand out and be on top of the hotel list. You are no longer looked at as “one” individual meeting; you will be grouped with the thousands of meetings booked by HelmsBriscoe each year at these hotels.
How do you think our industry will evolve in the next five years?
The most recent merger between two large hotel brands could be a game changer for not only the Meeting and Conference Planner, but also their competitors. It is important to stay on top of your market knowledge to find the best partnerships for your conferences and events.
What makes you successful as a planner?
I don’t consider myself a planner; I am the planner’s “hired gun” - helping them navigate through the complexities of this industry. However, what makes me successful in what I do? I know that I’m successful when my client at the end of the year tells me that I saved the company X dollars through negotiating and careful contracting. In addition, I gave them the gift of time. By helping them with the initial sourcing phase, they were able to spend more time on planning the event. I can’t see myself doing anything else. I’m an educator and trainer by nature. Knowledge is power, so I keep no market or industry knowledge a secret. I want my client planners to feel smarter when working with me.
In your opinion, what is the best and worst industry trend of the year?
Everyone loves science – right? Have you heard of Molecular Gastronomy? Look it up – it’s amazing! It's a way of cooking, which uses very avant-garde techniques, extreme low or high temperatures, novel chemical ingredients, and ways of making food that look and seem very new. If you can get a venue to create some featured canapés, salads or dessert using this method, you will look like a genius…guaranteed!
“Signature” drinks are out…crafting your own drink is in. How about having a craft bourbon table and allow the guest to create their own beverage?
What is the best industry book that has helped you as a planner?
“StrenghtsFinder” by Tom Rath.
This book teaches you about teamwork. It's so important to know each person's strengths when working together to execute a flawless event.
About Jasmine Eldeen
Jasmine Eldeen joined HelmsBriscoe as Director, Global Accounts - based in Minneapolis, MN. You can call her a global hospitality Sales and Marketing industry veteran, but she would rather be known as your partner that will help you navigate the complex of sourcing hotels.
She has tallied over 15 years working with leading brands in hospitality including, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts, meaning she intimately understands the inner workings of the hotel, meeting and event industry. Don’t burn your time trying to figure out hotel lingo, acronyms, and abbreviations. From sourcing to mitigation and everything in between, she is here to translate.
She brings passion, energy and dedication to every single project. Her high level of commitment gives you the results and solutions you seek in a partner. She is committed to delivering efficient, exceptional and expert services, so her clients are 100% satisfied.
When Jasmine is not helping you secure hotels for your meeting/conference, you can find her networking at a local or global hospitality industry event including: Meeting Professional International (MPI), Global Travel Association (GBTA), Meet Minneapolis, Bloomington Chamber of Commerce and Edina Chamber of Commerce.
CONNECT WITH JASMINE
phone: 952 334.9271
The opinions expressed in the “Interviews by Planners” series are views and ideas by the interviewed guests only and should be interpreted as such.