Many people ask us the difference between third party planners and conference management companies and the benefits or drawbacks for choosing one over the other. Having performed both roles over the years and delivered hundreds of events, here’s what we’ve found.
Third party planners conduct site inspections and negotiate contracts at no cost to the client. Their expertise provides the client with substantial savings and value-added components that would not be possible without the buying power and inherent knowledge provided by the third-party planner. Hotels compensate the planners through commission on actual room nights materialized and the overall outcome should be a win-win for all parties concerned.
Conference management companies focus on the logistics associated with the delivery of the conference itself and can be accountable for a full menu of responsibilities as defined by the client, including the management of contracts as negotiated by third-party planners.
It is, ultimately, to your benefit to work with a company that provides both services. Having to live with contracts that may have been confirmed years out requires forward thinking and the experience that a conference management company has. Being on both sides of the whole process provides an edge over those companies that only provide one or the other service.