It’s rare to meet somebody who is truly passionate about what they do for a living. Nancy Nachman of The Meetings Concierge is a shining example of a successful woman who loves her job. The Phoenix-based independent meeting planner has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry and provides top tier service at no cost to you.
We spoke with Nancy about her love for hospitality, finding the perfect destination, and dealing with hotels.
Growing up in the Midwest, Nancy would spend her summers exploring “the lower 48” with her family. Often times they would stay at Howard Johnson’s, this is where a love for travel and hospitality was fostered.
“I always hopped out the car with my dad and we’d go into the lobby. I would sit there and think ‘Where are all these people coming from? Where are they going next?’” Said Nachman. “Unbeknownst to me that was the marketing minded little kid in me.”
After engaging in a college exchange program with University of Massachusetts, Nancy found a program for hospitality and hotel management. “I thought. Wow, can you really have a career and make a living doing something fun?” Said Nachman.
Post-graduation, Nachman started her illustrious career with the Four Seasons in Chicago before moving on to a cavalcade of different chains including Hyatt Resorts, L’Ermitage Hotel, and Ritz-Carlton.
Finally in 1991, Nachman decided to take her oodles of experience and started The Meetings Concierge.
The Meetings Concierge
In the beginning, Nancy took her group of clients and connections she worked with over the years and sent them each a post card explaining the service. First, there would be no charge for the service, as she would gain a commission from the hotel’s overnight room rate.
“Hotels pay independent meeting planners a commission on the overnight room rate for group business,” says Nachman. “I always knew in my heart and soul that this would work out. I just took the leap!”
Nancy attributes her success from her understanding of the inner workings of a resort’s sales team. Often times an administrative assistant will be in charge of booking a hotel for a business and they just don’t know how to plan a perfect meeting. One example of how Nancy saves clients’ money is through understanding how people eat on business trips.
“If you have 50 people at the resort, don’t book 50 people for breakfast because not everybody is going to eat breakfast. Some people don’t eat, or they ate earlier or they are waiting until lunch. You are wasting all this money. You’re paying for something not going to use.”
What’s on the Menu?
Self-described as picky, Nancy works to provide exactly what your company needs to have an incredible meeting experience. Nachman will inquire if the pool is out of commission, or if the workout room really a workout room. She thinks out of the box and will even inquire if your competition has booked the same hotel.
“The reason my clients love me so much is because I am the pickiest person I know. I ask a million questions of a hotel to help my client have a perfect meeting and save money,” says Nachman. “ I know how to talk to hotel sales managers, and I have deep pockets of connections in the hospitality industry.”
How Does it Work?
There a few steps to getting the perfect meeting planned through The Meetings Concierge. First, a client will approach Nancy and provide her with an agenda as well as a desired location. Next, TMC researches several hotels in the area and gives a list to the prospective client.
Nancy matches hotels with the size of the meeting, as well as the type of hotel the client is looking for. Nancy recommends that companies check out their prospective hotel before they make their final decision.
“I tell every client to never sign a hotel contract until you’ve put your toes under the covers. What you see on the web is usually misleading. What you can’t tell is the location.” said Nachman. Nancy went on to say that one hotel looked incredible online but when her client arrived he discovered the resort was sandwiched between and tattoo parlor and gentleman’s club.
That is why helps to ask questions is and Nancy is always asking questions.
Take a Helping Hand.
Looking for some help planning a meeting? You’re in luck! Nancy currently curates a Linkedin group, entitled Meeting Planners Tools, Tips, and Best Practices. Updated weekly with tips and tricks to use when booking a hotel or planning a meeting.
The Meeting’s Concierge can also be found on Facebook.
“It’s a fun, fun, fun business. I love what I do and I like making people happy. I’m a traveler at heart and I get to sit in my armchair and travel around the world. I was talking to Singapore this morning, I was in Austin, Texas earlier. It’s great I love what I do.”