"I've been asked by suppliers ever since I launched SPIN five years ago, 'When are you going to create something for us?'" said Suckow. "I never understood what the full purpose of such a group could be, until now."
The Hive Network will serve four purposes:
- It builds a private community just for veteran suppliers with at least 10 years of industry experience (or five years with a recommendation from a SPIN member).
- A cadre of hand-picked veteran planners and a few sales experts are hard at work, building an educational webinar library where they will share insider advice on everything from how to get planners to engage at a trade show, to killer site inspections that make planners say 'wow,' to what not to do in today's changing sales environment - unless you want to be ignored.
- Suppliers who complete 12 courses from The Hive's primarily planner-led curriculum will qualify to earn the new CCSE designation - the Customer-Certified Sales Expert. The designation will be a signifier to planners that the holder understands today's sales culture and has taken the time to learn the planner perspective.
- Those who earn the CCSE designation will be invited to meet-ups of senior-level planners at major industry events like IMEX, WEC, AIBTM and others.
"I believe The Hive is going to be very valuable to salespeople who have seniority," said Jeffrey Perrin, CMP, director of strategic accounts for The Americas for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, and an advisory board member of The Hive Network. "The ability to learn from veteran planners, and the opportunity to attend these meet-ups is very beneficial."
Suppliers can participate in The Hive in three ways: join the free LinkedIn group, become a member, or take part in a la carte educational sessions.
Members of The Hive Network receive free access to all the CCSE courses, weekly tips from planners, and a monthly newsletter with in-depth advice. Membership will be $695 per year, but the first 100 new members will receive a launch price of $395, starting March 20. Corporate discounts for 10+ members will be available.
“I wish this would have been created 20 years ago,” said Colleen Abernethy, managing director of Platinum DMC Collection, and a Hive advisory board member. “It’
"Industry education is typically focused on planners," said Suckow. "Our education will help suppliers stop spinning their wheels, stop being ignored, and get access to planners in ways that really work, and that's what it's all about. Their membership will pay for itself many, many times over."
For more information, sign up for announcements at www.thehivenetwork.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or join The Hive Network's LinkedIn group.
Shawna Suckow, CMP
Shawna Suckow, CMP