Meeting Mentor Magazine

December 2018

ConferenceDirect Associate Profile: Fred Mitzner

Leveraging Relationships with A Broad Range of Hotel Brands

Fred Mitzner serves as a Washington, D.C.-based vice president of global accounts with ConferenceDirect. Prior to joining the company six years ago, he held senior sales positions with both Marriott and Hilton hotels. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Hotel and Restaurant program, Mitzner went on to earn his MBA from Johns Hopkins. He was named ConferenceDirect’s salesperson of the year in 2006 and 2007.

“I have been able to parlay relationships developed during my years in national sales in the Washington, D.C. area,” said Mitzner, whose client base is primarily association. “But it’s the ‘ConferenceDirect difference’ that makes things happens.”

The most obvious benefit to clients is the buying clout of an organization that booked more than $400 million in room night revenue last year. But, Mitzner noted, the brand stands for much more.

“While we have pre-negotiated contracts with many chains and individual hotels,” he said, “it’s our ability to tailor solutions that saves clients time and money.

He cited a three-year contract with a major hotel that his client simply outgrew. ConferenceDirect was able to move the event, without penalty, to other properties within the chain. “A single association might not have been able to do that,” he noted. “Our president and CEO, Brian Stevens, stepped in to help make it happen.”

A more daunting challenge involved a series of mergers in a rapidly expanding media industry. When a scheduled 2008 event was moved to 2009, six hotel contracts required renegotiation. The switch also required a delicate split of convention center space with a group that was previously booked. “There were many challenges,” said Mitzner. “But we pulled it off.”

While he acknowledged that no individual group or independent third party is immune to attrition, ConferenceDirect does provide a firewall. “We’re able to negotiate more concessions and shorter cutoff dates and leverage our industry relationships in dealing with cancellations and attrition issues,” said Mitzner. “For many groups the ConferenceDirect contract is a life-saver.”

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About ConferenceDirect
ConferenceDirect is a global meetings solutions company offering site selection/contract negotiation, conference management, housing & registration services, mobile app technology and strategic meetings management solutions. It provides expertise to 2,500 corporations and associations through our 325 Associates globally. www.conferencedirect.com

About MeetingMentor
MeetingMentor, the leading publication for senior meeting planners, is circulated to the clients, prospects and sales associates of ConferenceDirect, which books more than 3.87 million room nights. www.meetingmentormag.com

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