Don't Get Confused

In the meetings industry, the CMP acronym is everywhere because it stands for two different accepted standards: the Certified Meeting Professional, the Convention Industry Council's standard for planner education; and the Complete Meeting Package, the standard for pricing at properties — especially conference centers — that want to offer bundled meeting pricing.

The Components

As defined by the International Association of Conference Centers, the Complete Meeting Package is a per-person rate that aggregates the cost of guest rooms, three meals a day, continuous refreshment service, conference services, 24-hour meeting rooms, and basic meeting technologies. IACC requires all member centers to offer such a plan.

Bargaining goes on

Negotiations still exist in the CMP environment, not only in terms of the bottom-line per-person price, which will be affected by the size and timing of your group and other factors, but also in terms of what the CMP will cover. If you want the package price to factor in gratuities, access to recreational facilities, parking, added meeting-room security, business center services, Internet fees, or something else important to your group, it doesn't hurt to ask. Sometimes a property is more willing to add services than to budge on the per-person rate.

Get what you need

The upside of the CMP is a simplified planning and budgeting experience; the downside could be a perception that you're paying for services that your group doesn't need. If your meeting uses only a flip chart, the idea that the package price includes microphones and LCD projectors might not sit well. While trying to negotiate a credit for unused technology is highly unlikely, some flexibility exists. Planners who plan an off-property dinner during a conference center meeting often report success in getting a credit for the cost of the meal. As with any venue negotiation, your property will be looking at the overall revenue bottom line.

Know your Tech Needs

Make sure that you know exactly which meeting technologies are included in the package price and how the facility will react if you decide to bring your own equipment. IACC members must include flip charts, microphones, and image and video display equipment, as well as technicians to service the equipment, but they will charge extra once you go beyond the basics, and they may have an agreement with a preferred technology vendor.

CMP (noun) 1. an acronym for Complete Meeting Package, the bundled pricing used by conference centers and some other meeting facilities.

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