About two years ago it dawned on me that pigeon holing my business into one that serves only the federal customer could surely put me in a precarious position. So I began the arduous task of diversifying my portfolio, something that cannot be done very quickly. Some two years later I’m pleased to report that my end users now represent a much more vast collection of industries. No question that government meetings still represent a fair portion of my business, but with that market continuing to be unstable at best and washed up at worst, I’d venture to say it marks maybe half of my business. Five years ago that percentage was probably closer to 80%. The remaining half is a loose mix of non-profit work, association clients, social and wedding clients, and a growing percentage of corporate clients.
Working with corporate customers is a great deal different from government customers. And while there’s still a lot of oversight as to the spending of meetings, corporate clients can do things like – eat – for example, a luxury I don’t see much with my government customers. It keeps me sharp to put on my different hats when speaking with hotels. The challenge that comes with this, however, is that my focus on government had been so distinct and so loudly touted for so long, that many hotel assume that I’m looking for government pricing without reading the specifications of my RFPs. I’m a known skimmer myself when it comes to reading, and perhaps this is coming back to bite me, but if I could offer some words of wisdom to bidding hotels – read the RFPs! Hotel Lobbyists is diversified now more than ever!