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Planners Moving Forward Series- Diane Dukes, PLUS

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June 20, 2022
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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: Diane Dukes

Company Name: PLYS

Job Title: Vice President of Meetings & Events

Years of Experience: 22

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?
 
PLUS is positioned well. We've already held 5 in-person events with much success. 
 
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 integrated a new APP for all our events and day to day membership needs. We contracted with a company for our Nov Conference to provide one on one meeting facilitation for our attendees. PLUS also instituted sponsor-led sessions, allowing our top tier sponsors to provide content to our attendees. 
 
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?
 
I personally don't like hybrid meetings. It is like running two evens simultaneously and the cost and workload are doubled as well.
 
In your opinion, what do you think the biggest value for your attendees is in regards to returning to live events?
 
Meeting face to face to conduct business is priceless.
 
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?
 
Pricing is through the roof. Hoteliers are not properly staffed to handle the workload of RFPs or in some cases, even in-house events. Many of the experienced staff were let go and when hotels/vendors started to ramp up staffing, they chose to hire younger, less experienced staff. Many hotels don't have the same number of admin supporting sales that they used to pre-Covid either.
 
 

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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