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SPECIAL EVENT TRAINING
Questions & Answers
Your Ticket To Greater Rewards
Detailed below are a number of actual questions and answers that occurred by email between Locations, Etc. and an experienced corporate planner interested in Locations, Etc.s Training Program. To find out the end result of these discussions, scroll to the bottom of the screen.
Q: With my background the corporate meeting planning is what I know best compared to the social and the bridal functions. However, my concern is that with more and more companies trying to cut down on entertainment expenses, I am afraid that this area might not give me the best possible earning potentials. Am I so far off with my concern here?
A: Based on our experience when companies tighten their belts financially, one of the first people they let go in the organization is their in-house Meeting Planner. Their work is then given to a marketing department (or human resources) that doesn't have the time, staff or resources to do our job.
And that can be good for business because we can come in and acting as an extension of their organization, handle all their logistics while operating at their budget levels, (i.e., incurring no additional cost to them).
In answer to your question, I would say that a combination of Corporate and Bridal would give the best scenario for income and personal fulfillment. It's a powerful mix, and we are able to furnish 1,000s of leads in both areas on an on-going basis. And, when you go through the Associate Training program we give you greater Client priority in everything from Leads to Research to Coordination and, of course, Management.
Q: I've never worked as an independent contractor so naturally I'm thinking of the worst scenario. Let's say after investing what I consider a lot of my hard-earned money for the training and annual fees and I work extra, extra hard to bring business but for some reason other than my lack of performance, the business is just not there. What will happen then? How would you handle it?
A: The scenario you described of not having the business come in becomes less and less likely the longer youre in our program. The more contacts you make over time translates into the greater number of referrals you receive from those contacts that lead to bookings. And this is true on both the Client and Vendor ends. Initially, as youre learning the system, it will take a little time to build a backlog of contacts that sign-up for our services with little prompting on your part. Its during this time, that your income will be less. Now, to address both circumstances:
A: After you get working and you hit a slow period for booking clients, youll still have hundreds of Vendors that you have been in touch with about joining our network. Spend the time that you would have been interacting with clients on the Vendor end. When you sign one up, your income is about $1,000 per full-page display listing. If you fall short of your income projections, say $5000 per month take-home, we may be able to advance you the difference as a draw. In short, as long as youre doing the work, well help you be successful.
Q: You did mention that I would be given a list of prospects. Will I do any prospect research myself?
A: Absolutely, we encourage your active participation in your success, and we teach you effective methods to unearth prospects.
Q: Will I only be dealing with property owners? Or will I sign up other types of vendors?
A: You will have the opportunity to build relationships with over 40 different types of facilities, and in most instances you will be dealing directly with their Sales & Marketing Director, Director of Catering, General Manager, Advertising Agency, etc.
Q: Do you have any existing contracts with companies to run their events for a certain period of time? For example, at my previous job, we hired a company to run our five sales/marketing events in 2004 and 2005.
A: In the past we were brought in by corporations on an event to event basis. We often did multiple events for a company, but not under an umbrella contract. This is one area that our Associate Corporate Event Planners given license to pursue.
Q: Besides the on-the-job leads and hands-on experience (and YES, these are your big pluses), is there anything else that makes your program/materials different from what MPI offers?
A: The Locations, Etc. Directory, our Web-Sites, etc. If you were a member of MPI would you direct your potential client to the MPI site to strengthen or heighten your claim as a professional? I wouldnt. Whats to prevent the client from exploring more and then dumping you? When youre a member of MPI, not only are you in competition with other members, but theres no business model for you to follow. You pay to go to meetings, seminars, etc., but you are still responsible for creating and running the dozens of systems you need to have a viable, on-going business. In short, its a very similar situation to getting a Meeting Planning Degree from NYU: You get some knowledge, but the onus for everything else is still on you.
Q: Do you belong to any meeting associations (i.e. MPI)?
A: We used to belong to ABC, MPI, ISES, NYC&Company, etc. If we find that its advantageous to join again in the future, we can always do so. These organizations do little in the way of providing clients or assisting with the day-to-day workings of an Event Planning company. Oftentimes, they are social vehicles for the membership. We do belong to HSMAI. Beyond that we subscribe to about 18 different industry magazines that we use for reference.
Q: In addition to the 1099 Independent Contractor Compensation Schedule A, is there any other paperwork I need to sign?
A: Yes, you will receive a Letter of Agreement which contains the details our Training program, and another Letter of Agreement that details your Associate relationship and compensation package with Locations, Etc.
Q: Can you please explain to me the difference between training and annual fees?
A: The initial training fee is a lump sum that covers your getting into our network and having access to our systems as well as the training we do with you, and the assistance we provide to get you up and running. Early on this is much more labor intensive than in the future.
The Annual fee is used for on-going assistance, improvements we do on an organizational level, the on-going leads we provide for you to earn income, etc.
Q: For combined corporate and bridal trainings, what will the training fee be?
A: Level I: $15,800.
Level II: $20,800.
Level III: $35,400.
Q: Once one completes the Associate Training program is your intention to have him/her work from home?
A: Individuals who go through the Training program will have the flexibility to work from our offices or from home, or do both.
Q: What are Locations, Etcs office hours?
A: We are open 9 a.m. till 7 p.m. Hours would normally be 9 to 6 or 10 to 7 or some other derivation. Flexibility is acceptable except when it comes to blue jeans. No blue jeans (except when working from home!).
Q: You mentioned briefly about installments for your training fees. If I were to take, let's say, Level 2 gold package which will cost me $16,800 for the initial fee, what kind of installment plan are you offering?
A: 50% on Sign-Up, 25% after 3 months, 25% after 6 months
Q: Can you please explain again how the trade bonus works?
A: We contribute these amounts into a fund that you can use with a network of businesses that provide everything from dental to medical to eye care, as well as vacations, etc. If a year down the road you need to get a cavity filled you go into the network and they will provide you with a list of dentists. You select one, make an appt., have the procedure completed, give them a pre-approved check (from Locations, Etc.) and it's taken care of. You only need to pay a 15% co-pay. It works the same way when you're booking an historic inn in Vermont or a all-inclusive vacation in the Bahamas.
And the compensation you earn on signing Vendors up in trade also can go into your funds, so you can add to these amounts and also use them for restaurant dining, Broadway shows, etc.
Q: How many people are you recruiting for the New York area?
A: Our organization is unique in its scope and position. We are the only Meeting and Event Planning company that publishes a book designed to help Clients with their events and get Vendors bookings. And as such, we have a much broader range that spans several different industries: Corporate, Bridal and Social Planning, the Incentive Market, the Leisure Market, Associations, Fund-raisers, Location Scouting. Each one of these areas has room for multiple planners. So you can see, a lot is going on, and the more people like you we get in, the more well be able to accomplish over a shorter duration: The growth in our system is designed to be exponential.
The bottom line: This individual signed up for Training to become a Corporate & Bridal Event Planner. Concurrently, she became an Associate Event Planner with Locations, Etc. Inc. attending trade shows where Locations, Etc. has had booths and met with Clients and Vendors alike.
Locations, Etc. Inc. has several options available to help you get started as quickly as possible on the road to career fulfillment and financial prosperity.
Explore more and contact our offices today.