There’s no question the Internet puts a tremendous amount of things at our fingertips. A simple search query can yield a whole host of things; from an outstanding recipe for bunt cake, to the 3rd president’s pets — a mockingbird and two bear cubs gifted by Lewis and Clark — to a list of flights from Reno to Oklahoma City on the 15th of August, there’s a lot out there.
But when it comes time to plan a meeting or event, and you can’t afford mediocre results, getting planning insight from Google is far more difficult than searching for who gave Thomas Jefferson those adorable yet emergently deadly baby grizzlies. How does one navigate the murky waters of Internet search results without getting trolled while trolling for some reliable information? Unfortunately, Google does not index the wealth of knowledge contained inside experienced meeting planners’ heads. The reality is search engines alone will never deliver you the results you require when planning a high-touch meeting or event, but you should know when and how they can be most helpful.
A few things you’ll never find on the World Wide Web are pretty important: industry experience, local expertise, and peace of mind. Whatever travel sites you find, however many emails you exchange with a hotelier in an exotic location, whichever local attractions and events you find on YELP, you’re not going to get the level of service and assurance of quality you will when working with professionals who have been down the path before. Professional meeting planners know which local providers provide the best results. They know all the hidden costs and can negotiate around them. Planners make sure all your resources are going to something tangible, and they guarantee your results will exceed your expectations.
That’s peace of mind you’ll never get trying to plan a meeting or event by conducting Google searches. The wealth of information out there can bait you into thinking you can do it all yourself, but there is no reason to go it alone. Find an expert, and at least have a conversation where you entertain the possibilities they can offer you. One thing is for certain: you’ll find results that won’t show up in any litany of search results.