The key to transforming an ordinary meeting or event into an extraordinary experience often lies in finding the perfect venue. At the heart of this search at BCD Meetings & Events is Miriam Rosenbaum, an expert in uncovering unique spaces. Join us as we offer a glimpse into her approach to sourcing venues that not only fit clients’ needs but are pivotal elements in the success of each event.
Can you describe a day in your life at BCD M&E?
Every day brings a new adventure. As the Operations Manager within the Meeting Solutions Team, I steer a dynamic group of in-house planners and contractors that deliver for a diverse range of clients and needs, which keeps things fun and exciting! Our work begins as soon as our amazing Venue Sourcing consultants finalize the hotel contract. From seamless registration and attendee management to web development, orchestrating off-site activities, curating team-building exercises, gifting, coordinating group transportation, meticulous planning, agenda setting and budget management–we do it all.
As meeting request forms (MRFs) come in, we evaluate the client’s needs, and I help them understand the many talents of our team as we work together to determine which of our services would add the most value for them.
How would you categorize a ‘unique’ venue and how do these alternative spaces contribute to the success of a meeting or event?
When people talk about unique venues, they are often referring to something that is simply not a hotel. But for us, it can mean absolutely anything and anywhere. What makes a venue unique isn’t just the physical space or attributes, but how it aligns with the client’s vision and desired impact on attendees. It could be anything from a historic museum, a chic rooftop bar, an open-top bus touring the city, to a serene boat cruise.
Our approach centers around understanding the client’s objectives and the emotional resonance they are looking to create. For instance, during the pandemic, we saw a surge in demand for open, airy spaces as attendees preferred to be outdoors. We once transformed a boat journey across the Hudson River into a memorable event experience. It wasn’t just about avoiding indoor spaces; we hired the boat that led attendees to an outdoor dinner by the water with a stunning sunset backdrop and we set up food truck stations to avoid the Covid-19 buffet conundrum and hired live entertainment. So, yes, the boat itself was a ‘unique venue’ but coming together to watch the sunset after a long period of working remotely was a very special moment for this group.
Can you explain the importance of building relationships with CVBs in your role? How do these relationships enhance your ability to offer unique and exciting venues?
Strong relationships with CVBs (Convention and Visitors Bureaus) are like having a treasure map to a city’s most exciting venues and experiences. Unlike working solely with hotels, where we typically rely on NSOs or GSOs for support, CVBs are our go-to source for the vibrant non-hotel scene. They keep us informed about every new venue, bar or culinary hotspot that pops up. They enable us to spontaneously suggest a unique exhibition space or exclusive dining experience during initial client discussions, which adds immense value to our service and helps us to keep our idea bank topped up with fresh, innovative solutions.
Close ties with CVBs often lead to invitations to familiarization (FAM) trips, which are another great way for us to stay ahead of the curve. These trips grant us first-hand experience of all the exciting developments and hidden gems various destinations have to offer. So, in essence, these relationships keep us in the know. They make sure that our clients always have access to the best and most exclusive experiences–which is the key reason why they choose to work with us time and again.
BCDM&E’s Meeting Solutions team at IMEX America 2023 – (left to right) Sabrina Krawczyk, Holly Horton, Miriam Rosenbaum, Regan Furtado, Gerry Manuel, Nate Childress and Carrie Crawford.
How do you nurture these relationships across the region and what resources or strategies do you rely on to stay informed about new venues?
Nurturing relationships across the region, and beyond, is a vital aspect of my role and I approach it with a mix of strategic networking and continuous learning. Every opportunity to network is a chance to broaden our horizons. That’s why I actively participate in conferences, trade shows, and FAM trips whenever possible, and I encourage my team to do the same. Each connection we make strengthens our expertise and our ability to serve our clients more effectively. For example, my recent visit to IMEX Las Vegas was an incredible opportunity to not only strengthen our regional relationships but to expand our international CVB connections and global insights too.
This approach of constant engagement and learning ensures that we’re well-informed and it involves initiatives such as our monthly showcases, where a CVB will present to our team. One of our team members recently joined the advisory board of a prominent industry organization and my own personal involvement with the local chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is another example of how we extend our network. Each of these connections provides us with deeper insights into new collaborations and opportunities.
Finally, what would you say is the most rewarding aspect of your role at BCD M&E?
Discovering new venues is in itself exciting, and we often invite clients to join us on site visits so that we can share this excitement with them. But the most rewarding part is, without a doubt, the reactions and feedback we get from our clients post-event. Hearing how an event we’ve worked on has impacted them, or listening to them recall specific details and highlights that sparked them and their attendees… it’s more than just positive feedback, it’s a validation of our hard work and creativity and the main reason I love doing what I do.
Originally published Nov 20, 2023 12:00:00 AM
Last updated on Nov 21, 2023 11:03:38 PM