Meetings Canada


How to Target the Part-time Planner

How do you find the part-time planner?

It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out that most third-party or independent meeting planners want to be found and thus, are easy to target. And for the small percentage of the industry that actually has ‘planner’ on their business card, they, too, are reasonably easy to locate. But how do you find the part-time planner?

Step 1 – determine what sector of the industry best suits your product or service: corporate, association or government (or what combination of the three best suits).

Step 2 – create a profile (or maybe a few, depending on your sectors) of the typical/ideal prospect. Give him/her a name, title, job description and a few things about this person such as likes/dislikes/habits and their daily or weekly routine. Last, get a picture and give her/him a face, then print out the profile and stick it on your wall for everyone to get to know.

Step 3 – using your profile(s), determine how and where s/he gets their news, gossip and overall information. Based on those answers, start to research and build your marketing plan to match his/her profile.


For Example

Duncan is 43 years old, married, with two children. He is the executive assistant to the president at a growing Internet company that has about 35 employees. In addition to aiding the president, Duncan is also the office manager, responsible for planning all the company retreats and off-site meetings. Duncan spends most of his day on his computer, phone or BlackBerry and is the go-to person for everyone in the office. He is also a sports enthusiast.

Here are some ideas on how to target all the Duncans in your vertical. Depending on your budget, some or all of these elements could be included.

Print – running a print campaign in consumer magazines (i.e. Sports Illustrated), specifically trying to ‘catch’ Duncan with a ‘meetings advertisement,’ can be costly and is not the right editorial environment for Duncan to be looking for you. Research the trade or B2B publications and find out if they reach Duncan. If they do, then you’ve got a match.

FACT: since M&IT started its annual market report 14 years ago, our research has shown that 50 per cent of M&IT’s readers spend less than 50 per cent of their time planning meetings.

Conclusion: M&IT reaches part-time planners and can prove it.

Online – since Duncan spends a lot of time on his computer and BlackBerry, it’s safe to assume he’s well connected and online-literate. He likely subscribes to several e-newsletters for each of his areas of responsibility. Not only should you research the meetings e-newsletters, but take the time to research sports newsletters, time-management newsletters, and office-management newsletters. Naturally, each newsletter will link back to a website that supports that vertical.

FACT: attracts over 173,000 unique visitors every year, of which 52 per cent are new visitors.

Conclusion: reaches part-time planners and can prove it.

Face-to-Face – there is nothing in Duncan’s profile about attending conferences, events or trade shows. However, it is safe to assume that Duncan is time-strapped, both personally and professionally. The conferences that Duncan attends must provide a positive experience and ROI for his time and are likely during Mon-Fri business hours.

FACT: 36 per cent of IncentiveWorks attendees have 0-5 years of meeting-planning experience. An IncentiveWorks education pass is only $59 and provides Duncan with up to six hours of professional education, plus two $10 lunch vouchers; incredible ROI for his time.

Conclusion: IncentiveWorks attracts part-time planners and provides unparalleled ROI for them.

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