Friday, September 21, 2007

De-de Mulligan recertifies as CMP until 2012

De-de Mulligan recertified with the Convention Industry Council in September 2007 to continue her designation at a CMP.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ten Secrets to Building Your Brand Name
Presented by Chris Brown and Written by De-de Mulligan, CMP, CMM
Cuyahoga Falls, OH --- September 5, 2007---- Approximately 20 MPI members and guests were privileged to hear Christine Brown’s presentation on the “Top Ten Secrets to Building Your Brand Name” at the Sheraton Suites in Cuyahoga Falls.

Top Ten Secrets
1. Discover your brand promise
2. What is the emotional appeal?
3. Position your brand
4. Develop a signature
5. Define your market
6. Create a message
7. Develop your media message
8. Be consistent
9. Tie your brand to events
10. Measure your marketing results

Chris shared with us “What is branding?” by stating that Hershey’s is synonymous with chocolate. You cannot think of one without the other. She also mentioned that Hershey’s owned Twizzler and Jolly Rancher brands, which obviously are not chocolate, but successful brands as well. Therefore, the questions Chris posed are as follows:
· What target market do you serve?
· Are these markets distinct?
· Is there cross over potential between the products?

Discover your Brand Promise!
Chris stated to discover your niche by doing research with your customers and non-customers. Why did your customers buy, but just as importantly, you want to understand why your prospects did not. Discover how your product and service is different from your competitors, through your customers and non-customers eyes!

What is your Emotional Appeal?
Focus on the benefits your product or service brings to your customers and prospects. Is your client motivated by greed or fear? Put yourself in their shoes and discover the “WIIFM” (What’s in it for me?}.

Position Your Brand
Is your brand focused closer to
· Quality
· Service or
· Price?

Try to pick your spot on the line (High price vs. low price) and then own that spot. For example, Hershey candy bars are medium quality for a low price compared to Godiva chocolate that is high quality and high price. Determine where you want to be and then do not waiver from that location. In our industry, Ritz-Carlton is high quality and high service while Hampton Inn is medium quality and medium service.

Develop a Signature
What is your tag line? A tag line pays off for your positioning, such as McDonald’s “You deserve a break today.”

Define Your Market
Research your market through qualitative and quantitative research methods. Qualitative means include, but are not limited to focus groups, interviews, and secret shoppers. Quantitative are surveys with fixed responses (yes, no, or multiple choice). You need to have both. Chris stated this would save you both time and money because it will avoid major marketing mistakes. Correct research will also help position your brand.

Create a message
What is your 30-second commercial? Put it on everything your website, brochures, blogs, press releases, and any other public relations or marketing materials created by the organization.

Develop your media message
Spend time creating a media plan. What are you going to do to communicate your message to your target audience?
· PR?
· Advertising?
· Promotions?
· Website?
· Blogs?
Develop a wide range of tactics.

Be Consistent
Every piece of communications that goes out of your office needs to be consistent in logo, colors, tag line, and message. Every
· Business card
· Web page
· Sign
· Package
· Letterhead
· Return Address Label
· Even how you answer the phone and voicemail

Tie Your Brand to Events
Use a big event to launch your new brand or message.

Measure Your Marketing Results
Ask the following questions when you have a new prospect call or email your business:
· How did you hear about us?
· What did you hear about us?

Chris Brown is President of Marketing Resources & Results of Hudson, Ohio.

De-de Mulligan, CMP, CMM is an Independent Meeting Planner that has owned and operated Mulligan Management Group since 2000.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Puzzled by Exercise? Weight Watchers Weekly Topic

Hi Everyone,
This Week’s Topic is: Are You Puzzled By Exercise?
Understand the value of the Moving More approach to weight loss. I know exercise certainly helped me lose 31 pounds 6 years ago and helps me keep at my goal weight.

What about you?

What are you doing to exercise more?

Making the Deal, a win-win for Meeting Planners and Venues

Making the Deal
Presented by Dave Lutz, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting and written by De-de Mulligan, CMP, CMM of Mulligan Management Group

CLEVELAND, Ohio --- August 15, 2007 --- Dave Lutz, Former President of Conferon, spoke to 85 OHMPI members and guests at the Marriott Key Center about the importance of making a deal that represents the best interests of all parties. He specifically spoke about:
¨ RFP analysis and positioning;
¨ Common deal pitfalls and;
¨ Quantifying your value in the process

Suppliers should do their homework before picking up the telephone and asking any questions. Dave suggests getting the following information from; Google, Prospective Client’s website,, and/or Reference USA.
Learn about the prospective client’s:
¨ Products and/or Services
¨ Organizational structure
¨ Board of Directors
¨ Future meetings or events
¨ Annual Report
¨ Their top competitors

When the Supplier picks up the telephone, they need to gather the following information
Account name, meeting name, and URL
Meeting purpose and critical success factors
Room block and meeting and/or expo space requirements
Preferred Dates
Who is my competition (Other hotels and/or cities planner is considering)
Decision Date

Suppliers should ask the following qualifying questions PRIOR to answering the bid:
¨ What has been your best meeting to date? Why was it the best?
¨ What has been your worst meeting to date? Why was it the worst?
¨ Who, besides yourself, is involved in making this decision?
¨ After responding the RFP, what is the next step in the decision process?
¨ What is your budget?

Lastly, Dave Lutz talked about the importance of the supplier communicating “the value of doing business” with their organization. A supplier, needs to be more than “rates and dates” in order for the meeting planner to choose that property. Dave suggested each venue document their value in the following areas:

¨ How the planner will save time
¨ Cost savings to the client organization
¨ Quality of the venue and quality of the individuals working there
¨ Peace of mind the client will receive by having the event at the supplier’s location
¨ How the venue will do the work and manage the process
¨ Who are the people that will work on this meeting or event and what value, in terms of, experience, education, or both they bring to this event
¨ Special relationships with CVB, Chamber of Commerce, MPI, PCMA, or other notable organizations
¨ Diagram and/or outline of facilities
¨ Equipment or notables that are superior or state-of-the-art compared to the competition

In the end, the supplier has to ask one hard question: Why should planners do business with my brand name, venue, and me? In other words, “Why should Mulligan Management Group (planner) do business with Hilton (brand name), Hilton Garden Inn in Twinsburg, Ohio (my specific venue) and me?

Planners need to be honest, ethical, fair, and have all the information regarding past events and the proposed event available to the supplier. They need to narrow the search and take the telephone calls. Most importantly, planners need to be considerate of the suppliers’ response.

Before venturing down the consulting road, Dave Lutz was President of Conferon Global Services's two largest operating divisions – Conferon and ExpoExchange. In that capacity, he was responsible for overseeing more than 500 employees and $60 million of annual revenues. During Dave’s 20-year tenure at Conferon, he helped lead the exponential growth of the company while attaining operational excellence.

De-de Mulligan, CMP, CMM is an Independent Meeting Planner that has owned and operated Mulligan Management Group since 2000. She has managed administrative, as well as, project management details for over 950 events. Mulligan Management Group can plan any type of meeting, conference, tradeshow, or special event. She was named Ohio Planner of the Year in 2006 by Meeting Professionals International and nominated for this distinctive award in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.