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How to Use a Concierge Effectively
The hotel concierge is often thought of as a luxury service that only top-tier guests are invited to use. However, the concierge can be one of the most effective tools that meeting planners have when creating itineraries in an unfamiliar city. Even those who feel like they know the location inside and out use the concierge to secure hard-to-get reservations and tickets. Knowing how to take advantage of the concierge, without abusing their services, can be a major asset to meeting planners.

The concierge is the ultimate insider. They spend their careers cultivating relationships, developing knowledge and seeking out the best that the city has to offer, all so that they can guide hotel guests in the right direction. While the concierge can certainly give directions and recommendations, their true value is much more complex. The concierge can make the impossible, possible.

Here are list of tips that will help you maximize your relationship with the hotel concierge:

1. Call Ahead. Meeting planners should share their itinerary with the concierge before the actual event. The concierge can help tweak the itinerary and offer suggestions. The concierge will also make and confirm dinner reservations. The concierge will advise of any special idiosyncrasies of the city and can even help save the meeting planner money through special discounts.

2. Remember to Tip. The concierge is a free service provided by the hotel. While tipping is usually at the discretion of the individual, it is essential to give the concierge a token of appreciation in some form or another. Many savvy planners tip before inquiring about information to ensure they get the best service possible. Still others tip at the end of the stay. It is also not uncommon for guests to give non-monetary gifts to their concierge. Many in the industry feel that a note written to the general manager of the hotel is just as rewarding as any gift or tip that they could receive. Any concierge will say that they do not expect a tip, but, as a courtesy, meeting planners should show appreciation to the concierge in some fashion.

3. Don’t Be Shy. The concierge wants to help guests get the best experience possible. He or she is looking to gain repeat customers and fill the needs of those customers. Do not be afraid to utilize the services of the concierge. They are always friendly, customer-service-oriented people who thrive on providing impeccable service and making guests more comfortable.

4. Be Specific.
The concierge is an insider, not a mind reader. When inquiring about services or information, have some idea of the intended outcome. When requesting a reference for a restaurant, know what kind of food, price range, etc. The concierge will be able to help, but shouldn’t be expected to play guessing games.

By following these guidelines, meeting planners can develop a long-lasting relationship with their hotel concierge that will prove to be invaluable. From personal shopping to making dinner reservations, the concierge can be a meeting planner’s best ally.

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