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Seven years ago, Mauricio Vázquez, Oscar Vega and Daniel Müller wanted to get away from the world of traditional event planning agencies. For this reason, the three friends came together to form a different model to a traditional meeting planner that focused on the specialized follow-up of clients in each step of the planning process.
This is how Yo Planner was born, a network of specialist event organizers that helps its clients in the search, negotiation and operation of specific events such as convention groups, incentive trips and conferences.
“It is a risk to start from scratch, not to have a salary and yet with the experience and the clients that they have brought to the company, they have done very well. Little by little we grew. For almost five years we were approximately 13 people and in the last two months, slightly more than double ”, said Daniel Müller, managing partner of Yo Planner in an interview with Entrepreneur en Español .
The three entrepreneurs began serving previous clients of hotels or agencies who had already worked independently and little by little they were able to bring together people they already knew within this industry and who stood out for their talent.
Daniel Müller, managing partner of Yo Planner / Image: Courtesy Yo Planner
Yo Planner is a model in which it is very similar to direct sales or the thinking of the insurance model, but it is continuously monitored to provide a solid experience that helps to find clients and the expected service. The company only earns from the commission of the suppliers it uses, such as hotels, operators, production companies, DMCs, etc., because when they bring a convention to a hotel their clients receive a percentage of the total payment.
The company offers, among other things:
- Free and personalized advice for groups, companies, conventions and individuals.
- Negotiation of the best rates and contractual conditions.
- Booking engine for groups.
- Ranking of hotels and cruises.
“We formed this network of specialists, – people who have knowledge about cruises, travel-, of different types of people and ages, who no longer wanted to be in normal agencies or who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, decided to enter with our model ”, says the businessman.
An alternative in the pandemic
The difference that Yo Planner has with traditional agencies is the talent they have. Its network is made up of more than 30 people who are experts in different branches and complement each other to give the client a round experience. His advice does not generate any extra cost since they make commercial deals on behalf of clients to achieve the best price and quality.
“Let’s say that I do the convention of your company; I do business for you. I do everything to get you the best deals with our suppliers. As a customer it does not cost you our services because we are protected by a commission. If the hotel pays me in the end $ 100, 50 goes for the planner and 50 for our company, “explains Müller.
Unlike a traditional agency, Yo Planner specialists do not have a salary, however, they earn from the commissions we have with all providers. For example, one of our planners makes a convention in Cancun, we negotiate for our clients with all the services related to the event (the hotel, the transporter, the activities, the production, etc.) and “in a transparent way to our client does not we increase our prices, we make deals with the best contractual conditions with our suppliers and we earn a commission from these services and therefore also our network ”, says Müller.
Yo Planner does not have offices, so its way of operating has not changed, everything is managed remotely; This part has been worked for seven years since it began.
“In the network the activities that not all of us master are complemented, for example, in the middle of tourism there are too many products and services, which is difficult to know about everything, however, we have experts with whom we can help our clients. There are people who are very good at operating events, who know about congresses, event production, incentive trips, in the same way we have also formed in recent years people who like our model who are travel agents, who do not necessarily have to do a group, an event or a convention, but they do the vacation and tourism part through us, that is also why we have grown ”, says the executive.
Yo Planner Team / Image: Courtesy Yo Planner
Prepare for the “New Normal”
One of the goals they have in the short term is to reactivate the event industry that is now halted by the pandemic. Currently, they are in training and meeting new providers of all the sanitary measures that they are taking with the events. Also learning more about virtual conferences and being prepared for any changes.
“Once it is reactivated, we want to continue developing the network in terms of talent, clients and suppliers. These are the three parts that we see growing, we were working very well in 2019 and what started in 2020, but because of the pandemic everything stopped, we have not necessarily had events, but more people have joined, people who like how we work and that they can continue their career. We have people over 40 or 50 years old that right now it might be very difficult for them to be hired again in a company, with us they have the opportunity not to start from scratch, join a team of professionals and continue doing what they most appreciate. like, the organization of events and trips ”, says Müller.
The managing partner mentions that an entrepreneur is one who has a great capacity for endurance and more at this time, since he considers that the companies that come out of this pandemic are going to strengthen themselves. So it is a point of equilibrium, in which you stopped doing what you were doing to have other income, either with another type of business or job or give everything for your company, believe in the project and continue.
“Keep knocking on doors, that is what any entrepreneur has to do, look for the opportunities that appear, we in this pandemic had the chance to grow because of the people who lost their jobs, there are valuable people, so it is important not to give up, never leave your idea, if you believe in it, is to continue with the desire to get ahead ”, adds Müller.
“We would love for people who are in the tourism or meetings industry and who are looking to continue their career, to join our network, to contact us on our page and also give us the opportunity to get to know our agency. and please give us the pleasure of helping them in their next events ”, concludes Müller.