Navigating the challenges presented to reunion associations the last 2 years have been trying for many groups. The frustration of planning the same event twice to only have it cancel drove a lot of groups to simply not plan anything at all in 2021. It’s also disturbed the standard timing of annual or bi-annual reunions. Groups that meet in even years had to decide whether to plan a 2021 reunion to make up for 2020, or to just put it off until 2022. Others that meet in the fall have had to switch to meeting in the spring, and so on. This raises many challenges and questions that chairman and coordinators have not had to face in the past.
AFR has guided our groups through this trying time and ensured their interests are always put first. Almost all our groups held reunions this year, and with limited attendance due to Covid, our expertise in hotel contracting ensured they were protected against all risk. Our decades-long relationships with hotels across the nation got our groups out of tens of thousands of dollars in penalties and cancellation fees. Planning an event of any kind is a risky proposition in the current state of the market, and for a reunion association that relies on member contributions for the balance sheet simply cannot afford to pay penalties to hotels for not meeting the contract requirements.
Now more than ever, reunion groups need a professional on their side.
In 2022, all groups should expect great attendance. After all, most reunions have not met since 2018 or 2019! That’s a long time when your members are used to seeing each other every year or every other year. This will make next year’s reunions that much more special. However, planning for a reunion when you’re not sure what the attendance will be like is a challenging and risky task – but one that can be completed with confidence when you have an expert on your side like AFR.
The two biggest risk categories in a hotel contract are the room block attrition and the food & beverage minimum spend amount. It is extremely important to have no risk or as little risk as possible in the hotel contract when planning for your 2022 reunion. How do you achieve this? Hotels are not very motivated to give discounts and flexible performance clauses when you are a one-off piece of business to them, as reunion groups are. When AFR calls our hotel partners, they know exactly what our groups need, and we have negotiated discounts and flexible performance clauses that all AFR groups get to take advantage of. Buying Power is what will get you a risk-free hotel contract, and there is no other planner or company that even comes close to the Buying Power AFR represents in the military reunion market.
Call us today to talk about ideas for your 2022 reunion. Groups get the most out of AFR when we are involved from the very beginning question of: “Where should we go?” – we will guide you to a city where hotels are military and reunion-friendly and will give you a hospitality room that equals a successful reunion.
Don’t let the threat of Covid or travel restrictions deter you from planning your next reunion for your members; call AFR and get THE reunion experts in your corner to ensure you are protected against all risk and your “Back to Normal” 2022 reunion is the best one yet.