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My main area of expertise is in meeting and event planning. I can help answer questions on how to find the best hotel for a specific group, ways to make a group more attractive to a hotel so that they will offer better rates, and negotiation strategies for working with hotels. I can also give tips on items that are and are not standard in hotel contracts, although I am not an attorney. I am not as familiar with the specifics of food and beverage functions (i.e. how many appetizers would you need to order for a reception of 250 people?).

Experience in the area

I had been working as a hotel sales manager for 11 years when I decided to "jump the fence" and become a meeting planner myself. I feel that my background can be very helpful in the negotiation process because I know what the hotels look for when evaluating a potential piece of business.

What do you like about this subject?

I love the challenge of gathering the important information from a client and then going out to find the most appropriate property to meet their needs, and then negotiating a good match for the two.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

Obviously continuous learning is always a goal. I would like expand my reputation as being an "expert" in meeting planning and increase my reach in helping facilitate communication between hotels and meeting planners.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

There are a lot more elements to planning a meeting than most people think. One of the most common misconceptions is that a larger meeting is automatically more attractive to a hotel than a smaller one. This is not always the case!

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
gabriel blanco05/13/09101010 
gabriel blanco05/13/09101010 
KEVIN10/30/07101010The question was handled very very well .....
Dave11/17/03101010Thanks Steve. You are really patient and .....
Jonathan Mainwaring05/29/03101010Thank you for the prompt and thorough .....

Recent Answers from Steve Collins

2009-05-13 Hotel and resorts discounts for a new travel agency:

Unless you are booking airline tickets (which is a WHOLE new ball of wax--and NOT very profitable), you really don't need an IATA number.  As a new agency, you might actually have trouble qualifying for

2009-05-13 Hotel and resorts discounts for a new travel agency:

Honestly, as a new agency, you are going to have a difficult time getting amazing discounts.  Typically the best discounts go to those agencies who have a proven history of producing for the vendor--once

2007-05-01 Incentive Travel:

Hi Blair!    I need to do a little research on this before I can give you a good answer--because there are SOOO many rates out there, I am not sure if it is possible to buy a ticket that would be valid

2003-05-28 Generating Business via Hotels:

Hi John!    Actually that IS a very common practice, and many corporate groups look for teambuilding options while holding meetings in hotels (particularly if you are in a resort area).  You should not


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