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Planners Moving Forward Series- Kelsey Rubin, 360 Destination Group

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January 18, 2022
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Reading time: 2 min

This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlight's planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic world. 


 

Name: Kelsey Rubin

Company Name: 360 Destination Group

Job Title: Director of Sales

Years of Experience: 10

How do you think you are positioned, after months of persevering with the pandemic, to take advantage of our new and disrupted meetings/events landscape?
 
We are in a great position as our team was able to adapt to new tasks and new roles during the pandemic. Everyone was versatile because we love what we do. We made a few team members “experts” for our virtual events and experiences. The rest of the team turned into Global Business Development and marketing. Additionally, we explored new business sectors within our company and formed strategic partnerships with certain organizations. While we were not operating events per say, we still provided a presence and fostered our relationships by keeping “boots on the ground” in-market within our 17 operating cities, then as meetings and events started to revive and began operating again, we were consistently there and ready to pick up where we had left off. 
 
As our community moves forward with planning in person meetings, what new technologies or processes are you implementing that you may have not looked at before?
 
We are changing how we communicate with our clients, especially in regards to the intent around the planning process, engagement as we move through the different stages, and around contracting for the meeting or event. We understand that there is a cost of doing business, but also want clients to be cognizant of work that has already been done and making sure we are reimbursed for that time and work, even if the event ends up cancelling. 
 
As we see virtual meetings transition back to face to face, hybrid meetings are beginning to be the vehicle to return to normalcy. What are your thoughts on hybrid meetings versus traditional fully in person meetings?
 
While hybrid meetings are a great option, we find that our clients are excited to get back to traditional fully in person meetings. They understand the value of engaging face to face, networking and building relationships in person, which you just are not able to achieve virtually or in a hybrid setting. 
 
In your opinion, what do you think the biggest value for your attendees is in regards to returning to live events?
 
The biggest value is definitely the engagement and participation for the attendees. Live events offer the opportunity to engage in small talk, networking and building relationships. 
 
As the pandemic fades away and we return to face-to-face events what do you hope changes, either for planners or hoteliers, in the traditional RFP and proposal process as a result of all of the learnings from the last 20+ months?
 
I hope that there can be more flexibility with deadlines, commitments through a letter of intent and clear communication throughout the whole process. A lot of people have left our industry and we are still building back up, which takes time. We have seen it takes longer for vendors or venues to get pricing and proposals out. Additionally, if clients are not ready to sign a contract for their event, signing a letter of intent to hold space and agreeing to work with us honors our time and resources we are investing by paying for our cost prior to a contract being executed.
 

This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlight's planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic world. 

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