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Chapter 1: Introduction to the Meetings, Expositions, Events
Transcript of Chapter 1: Introduction to the Meetings, Expositions, Events
Chapter 1: Introduction to the Meetings, Expositions, Events, and Conventions Industry
The history of the Meetings, Expositions, Events, and Conventions (MEEC)
Where MEEC fits in the relation to the hospitality industry
The magnitude and impact of MEEC
Careers in MEEC
Different types of gatherings
A gathering for business, educational, or social purposes.
- Associations often use the term to refer to a combination of educational sessions and exhibits.
-This can include seminars, forums, symposiums, conferences, workshops, clinics, etc.
Industry terminology and Practice
-If one adds displays of materials or products to a meeting, the meeting then has a trade show or exposition or exhibit component.
- When sporting, social, or life cycle activates are added, then a generic term that encompasses them is events.
- Even broader and more generic is the term “gathering”
• Meeting: An event where the primary activity of the participants is to attend educational sessions, participate in discussions, social functions, or attend other organized events. There is no exhibit component. Compare with convention, exhibition, trade show, consumer show.
• Expositions: (1) Event at which products and services are displayed. The primary activity of attendees is visiting exhibits on the show floor. These events focus primarily on business-to-business (B2B) relationships. (2) Display the products of products or promotional material for the purpose of public relations, sales, and/or marketing.
• Event: An organized occasion such as a meeting, convention, exhibition, special event, gala dinner, etc. An event is often composed of several different yet related functions.
• Convention: Gathering of delegates, representatives, and members of a membership or industry organization convened for a common purpose. Common features include educational sessions, committee meetings, social functions, and meetings to conduct the governance business of the organization. Conventions are typically recurring events with specific, established timing.
• Trade Show: Exhibition of products and/or services held for members of a common or related industry that is not open to the general public.
• Seminar: 1) Lecture and dialogue allowing participants to share experiences in a particular field under the guidance of an expert discussion leader. 2) A meeting or series of meetings of a small group of specialists who have different skills but have a specific common interest and come together for training or learning purposes.
• Workshops: 1) Meeting of several persons for intensive discussion. The workshop concept has been developed to compensate for diverging views in a particular discipline or on a particular subject. 2) Informal and public session of free discussion organized to take place between formal plenary sessions or commissions of a congress or of a conference, either on a subject chosen by the participants themselves or else on a special problem suggested by the organizers. 3) Training session in which participants, often through exercises, develop skills and knowledge in a given field.
• Conference: 1) Participatory meeting designed for discussion, fact-finding, problem solving and consultation. 2) An event used by any organization to meet and exchange views, convey a message, open a debate or give publicity to some area of opinion on a specific issue. No tradition, continuity or timing is required to convene a conference. Conferences are usually of short duration with specific objectives, and are generally on a smaller scale than congresses or conventions.
• Clinic: Workshop-type educational experience where participants learn by doing.
• Break-out Sessions:
• Assembly: 1) A general or formal meeting of an organization attended by representatives of its members for the purpose of deciding legislative direction, policy matters, holding elections, or conducting governance business of the organization. Consequently, an assembly usually observes certain rules of procedure for its meetings; generally prescribed in its Articles & By-laws. 2) The process of erecting display component parts into a complete exhibit.
• Congress: 1) The regular coming together of large groups of individuals, generally to discuss a particular subject. A congress will often last several days and have several simultaneous sessions. The length of time between congresses is usually annual, although some are on a less frequent basis. Most international or world congresses are latter type; national congresses are more frequently held annually. 2) European term for convention.
• Forum: Open discussion with audience, panel, and moderator. A meeting or part of a meeting set aside for an open discussion by recognized participants on subjects of public interest.
• Symposium: A meeting of a number of experts in a particular field, at which papersare presented and discussed by specialists on particular subjects with a view to making recommendations concerning the problems under discussion.
• Institute: In-depth instructional meeting providing intensive education on a particular subject.
• Lecture: Informative and instructional speech.
• Panel Discussion: Instructional technique using a group of people chosen to discuss a topic in the presence of an audience, or for a virtual event, such as a Webinar.
• Incentive Travel:
II. What is a meeting?
A gathering for business, educational, or social purposes.
- Associations often use the term to refer to a combination of educational sessions and exhibits.
-This can include seminars, forums, symposiums, conferences, workshops, clinics, etc.
The Organization Structure of the Hospitality Industry
There are six major divisions, or segments, of the tourism and hospitality industry
• Food & Beverage
- Air transportation
- Water transportation
- Ground transportation
- Person made attractions
I. Accepted forms of Exchange (APEX)
Convention Industry Council (CIC) is at the forefront of efforts to advance the meeting, convention, and exhibition industry.
-34 member organizations represents more than 103,500 individuals
-More than 17,000 firms and properties
-Formed in 1949 to provide a forum for member organizations seeking to enhance the industry, the CIC facilitates the exchange information and develops programs to promote professionalism within the industry and educates the public on its profound economic impact.
An initiative of the Convention Industry Council (CIC) to create and enhance efficiencies throughout the Meetings, Expositions, Events and Conventions (MEEC) industries.
-Each panel was charge to develop work in its specific areas.
• APEX Industry Glossary
• APEX Event Specifications Guide
• APEX Request for Proposals (RFP) Forms
• APEX Housing & Registration Accepted Practices
• APEX Contracts Accepted Practices
• APEX Post-Event Report
• APEX Meeting and Site Profile Report
Industry terminology and Practice
-If one adds displays of materials or products to a meeting, the meeting then has a trade show or exposition or exhibit component.
- When sporting, social, or life cycle activates are added, then a generic term that encompasses them is events.
- Even broader and more generic is the term “gathering”
Background of the History
-Gatherings, meetings, events, and conventions, have been a part of people’s lives.
-The MEEC industry has also been a part of American culture and development.
- Americans have also made festivals and celebrations of every sort a part of their lives since the early days of this country, and events like these can also be part of the MEEC industry.
- Meeting planning as a recognized profession did not develop until 1972, when MPI was founded.
-There were two factors that contributed to the rapid development of both industry workshops and academic programs during the 1980s.
-Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)
- Convention Liaison Council (CLC)
Smart industry professionals plan for contingencies and their impact.
• Uncertainty is high, relative to one’s ability to adjust
• Many costly surprises have occurred
• Insufficient new opportunities are perceived
• Quality of thinking is deemed to be low
• Common language is desired, without stifling diversity
• Major differences of opinions exist, each having merit
• Competitors use scenario planning
When implementing scenario planning, planners and executives alike should consider the forces that are shaping the future of their organization or industry, and then build a scenario matrix relative to these forces.
Six-step process for formulating strategies in uncertain conditions
• Consider general scenarios
• Examine the organization’s market
• Assess the organization’s internal core capabilities
• Put the pieces together
• Identify tactical initiatives to support strategic directives
Why Have Meetings and Events?
• People prefer to meet face-to-face
-They have the benefit of including all forms of communication, including verbal and nonverbal.
• People meet with and learn from peers
• Build “Communities of Practice”
We use social media to develop communities of practice, which then often want to meet face to face.
• Strengthen skills
• Impact change
• Observe accomplishments
• Renew acquaintances
• Learn new products/services
Employment In and Around the MEEC Industry
MEEC industry is a sub-segment of the hospitality industry, which itself is part of the larger services industry. Some of the careers in MEEC include the following:
• Event Planner
• Meeting Planner
• Wedding Planner
• Hotel or Conference Sales
• Restaurant Sales
• Entertainment / Sporting Venue Sales
• Destination Management
• Convention Centers
• Exposition Services Contractors
• Destination Marketing Organizations
-MEEC is often said to be a “relationship industry” that is, one built on who you know and with whom you do business. Relationships are built over time and always with the understanding the first and foremost, ethical business practices will be the most important aspect of how we relate.
What Does a Meeting or Event Planner Do?
-The job of a planner is ideal for those who love to multitask, who have broad interests, who enjoy problem solving, and who cares passionately about building community through meetings.
Today the jobs of a planner are strategic. Planners are in charge with supporting the work towards an organization’s bottom line. A planner may do any or all of the following and more:
• Overview of Site Selection
• Transportation Arrangements
• Function Rooms
• Guest Rooms
• Food & Beverage
• Negotiating & Legal Considerations
• Speaker Arrangements
• On-Site Management
-Meeting professionals is a person whose job is to oversee and arrange every aspect of an event. This person can be an employee of hired ad hoc by large companies, professional associations, or trade associations to plan, organize, implement, and control meetings conventions, and other events.
-The future for the MEEC industry is put forth each year by MPI and its “futurewatch”.
• A steady market
• Year over year increases
• External issues and trends
• Conservation and environmental concerns
• Labor shortages
• Budget increases
• Technology availability
Chapter 2: Meeting, Exhibition, Event, and Convention Organizers
Major types of organizations that hold gatherings
Types of meetings held by the different categories of organizations
Typical lead times for planning the various types of gatherings
Differences between the marketing strategies used to build atmosphere
Associations that support the professional development of those responsible for producing gathering
Types of Corporate Gatherings and Events – Their purpose and objectives
-Corporations have a variety of needs that can be satisfied by scheduling a gathering. These are rather an indication of the types of gatherings sponsored by corporations.
Board of Directors’ Meetings
Sales Training and Product Launches
Professional and Technical Training
-Most of the attendees of a corporation gathering or event are members of the corporate family an persons who have close business relationship with the company.
• Need for Marketing to Build Attendance
-While the purpose of corporate meetings should be carefully crafted, attendance at these meetings is mandatory for the majority of the attendees.
• Department and/or Individual Responsible for Organizing and Planning
-Corporate planners are a hybrid group.
-The majority of the people who plan corporate meetings have responsibilities beyond or in addition to the planning of meetings.
• Corporate planners spent 53% of their time planning meetings
• Only 30% had job titles as meeting planners
• 24% had titles such as “corporate executive” or “manager”
• 17% identified as sales and marketing
• 19% identified as “general administrative”
• Professional Associations Supporting the Corporate MEEC Industry
-Many corporate meeting planners join associations to support their professional development.
-The associations many join include:
• Meeting Professionals International
• Professional Convention Management Association
• Society for Incentive & Travel Executives
• Society of Meeting Professionals
Who Holds the Gatherings
-The three most significant entities that organize and sponsor the MEEC gatherings are (1) corporations (2) associations and (3) the government
-All businesses have needs that require them to plan and execute gatherings.
-The purposes of this term will refer to legally chartered enterprises that conduct business on behalf of their owners with the purpose of making a profit and increasing value.
- Public Corporations – sell stock, have a board of directors, and are owned by stockholders
-Private Corporations – owned privately; stock is not sold
• Number and Value of Corporate Meetings
-When a corporation decides to hold a gathering, it determines what the budget eill be, where the gathering will be held, and who will attend.
-Attendance by corporate personal is usually mandatory.
• Decision Making
-The decision to hold a corporation meeting is typically made by persons in positions of key responsibility within the corporate hierarchy.
Entities that help Organize Gatherings
-There are number of categories of organizations which are key players in aiding corporations, associations, and government in producing meeting and events. These include: exhibition and meeting management companies.
• Exhibition Management Companies
-Trade shows are not generally open to the public.
-Expositions are usually open to the public.
-Expositions provide the opportunity for face to face marketing.
-The companies are paid for services they provide.
-Government entities all levels have continuing needs to hold gatherings, since they have continuing needs to communicate and interact with many constituent bodies.
• Decision Makers
-Managers of agencies provide the funds through departmental budget or locate other sources
• Types of Government Gatherings and Events and Their purposes and Objectives
-The purpose of many government meetings is the training of government workers. On the federal level, many of these meetings will be replicated in several areas of the country to maximize travel expenses.
-Other government meetings may involve both agency employee and those in the general public who may have an interest in the topic of the meeting.
Attendance by employee at government meetings would generally be mandatory, while attendance by the general public would be voluntary.
-Implies the act of being associated for certain common purposes whether for professional, industrial, educational, scientific, or social reasons.
- Types of gatherings held for association members, conventions, topical conferences, world congresses, topical workshops, and seminars.
-Many associations have an affiliated exhibition held in conjunction with their convention at which products or services interest to the attendees are displayed.
• Number and Value of Association Meetings
-Major difference between associations and corporate gatherings is the attendance at association meetings is voluntary, not mandatory.
-Association meetings, especially conventions, tend to be very large, ranging from several hundred to tens of thousands of attendees.
-Top cities to hosting meetings in 2007
2. Las Vegas
5. San Francisco/Oakland
6. Washington, DC
7. San Diego
8. Dallas / Fort Worth
10. Phoenix/Scottsdale & Boston
• Decision Makers
-The decision making process for association meetings is rather complex and goes through several distinct stages.
Types of Association
• Not-for-profits or Nonprofit Associations
Types of Association Gatherings and Events – Their purposes and Objectives
• Board Meetings
• Committee Meetings
• Regional Conferences
• Training Meetings
• Educational Seminars
There is no segment of the MEEC industry more attuned to safety and security than government.
The following suggestions were made for implementing security:
• Plan and prepare
• Refine the pre-convention meeting to emphasize security issues
• Be sure that there is coordination of all parties involved
• Establish a security team and its decision makers
• Provide education on security for attendees
• Be protective than reactive
• Stay informed and alert to all incidents
• Need for Marketing to Build Attendance
-Marketing of Government Meetings has Characteristics of both
-Mandatory attendance by government employees requires only that sufficient notice be provided so that participants can adjust their schedules in order to attend.
-Attaching voluntary attendees may require additional promotions
Professional Associations Supporting the Government MEEC Industry
-Meeting planners who work for the government and/or independent meeting management companies are likely to join associations to support their professional development.
-Owners and senior managers of company-owned shows decide where, when, and how often they will produce their shows.
-Too many shows could lead to a cannibalization of the market
-Too little shows could lead to the opportunity for competitors
• Types of Gatherings-Their Purpose and Objectives
-Depending on the nature of the exhibition, the attendees will vary.
-Trade show the market is well defined y the trade or profession
-Public shows the attendees are defined by their interest and geographic proximity to the show location.
• Need for Marketing To Build Attendance
-Marketing into two groups
-Members of Trade or Public (buyers)
• Department and/or Individual Responsible for Organizing and Planning
-The entire exhibition company is dedicated to the organizing and planning of the exhibition.
• Professional Associations Supporting the Exposition Management Industry
-Associates that support the exhibition management industry
-International Association of Exhibits and Events
-The Association for Exhibits and Event Professionals
-Exhibit Designers and Producers Association
- Exposition Service Contractors Association
-Healthcare Convention and Exhibitor Association
Association Management Company
-Type of company that is contracted by an association to assume full or partial responsibility for the management of the association based on its needs.
-Other employees of the association management company support the main contract and provide services as contracted.
• Meeting Management Companies
• Association Management Companies
• Meeting Management Companies
• Independent Meeting Managers
• Event Management Companies
• Professional Congress Organizers (PCO)
• Professional Associations Supporting Independent Planners
Other Organizations Arranging Gatherings
-There are a number of other entities that organize or sponsor gatherings and events.
• Labor Unions
• Fraternal Groups
• Educational Groups
Some changing patterns are:
• Shortening meetings
• Changing frequency of annual meetings
• Creating more value for members
• Increasing interactivity of meeting sessions
• Merging of sponsoring organizations
• Cyber conferences
• Virtual trade shows
• Focus on ROI (Return On Investment}
Chapter 3: Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO’s)
The role and functions of DMOs
The history of DMOs
How DMOs can be organized and funded
The activities of DMOs relative to convention marketing and sales
An overview and definition of DMO services for meeting professionals
The Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) and its services to member DMOs and meeting professionals
What a DMO Can Do for Meeting Professionals
• What Meeting Planners Need to Know about DMOs
-DMOs are not-for-profit organizations representing a specific destination.
-They have many responsibilities which include:
Serve as the official point of contact for convention and meeting planners.
It encourages groups to hold meetings in the city and assists groups with meeting preparations.
Provide promotional materials to encourage attendance and establish room blocks, among other things.
DMO services for Meeting Professional
-General services that DMO’s provide meeting professionals include the following:
• Offer unbiased information about services and facilities
• Serve as a vast information database
• Act as a liaison between planner and community
• Help organize special activities and after hours events
• Provide hotel room counts and meeting space statistics
• Help with meeting facility availability.
• Function as a transportation network – shuttle service, ground transportation.
• Provide information on local events, activities, sights, restaurants, and tours.
• Provide housing services and reservations for delegates.
• Serve as a liaison to local government officials.
• Can provide access to special venues
• Assist in the creation of collateral material
• Assist with on-site logistics and registration
• Can develop spouse tours and pre- and post- meeting events
• Provide local speakers
• Help secure auxiliary services such as catering, security, etc.
DMAI’S Services to Members and Meeting Professionals
• Destination Marketing Association International
-The world’s largest resource for official DMOs.
-Mission is to enhance the professionalism, effectiveness, and images of DMOs.
-Serves over 1,300 professionals from more than 600 DMOs in more than 25 countries.
-Offers comprehensive year-round education programs.
-Publishes a weekly electronic newsletter.
-Sponsors DMO-focused research studies through its foundation.
-Actively promotes DMOs worldwide.
-Links DMOs directly to consumers and meeting planners.
DMAI Professional Development Offerings.
The DMAI provides professional development to DMOs and their employees. It offers the following: meeting, convention, training, and certification opportunities
• Annual Convention
• Destination Management and Marketing Institute (DMMI)
• CEO Forum
• Global Executive Forum
• COO/CFO Forum
• Sales Academy (Parts I & II and Online)
• Shirtsleeve Sessions
DMAI & DMAI Foundation Research Studies
• DMO Compensation and Benefit Survey
• DMO Organizational and Financial Profile
Destination & Travel Foundation
-It was created in 1993 to enhance and complement the DMAI and the destination management profession thought research, education, visioning, and developing resources and partnerships for those efforts.
The Role and Function of Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs)
What is a Destination Marketing Organization?
-Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) often called convention and visitor bureaus are a not-for-profit organization representing a specific destination and helping its long-term economic development through its travel and tourism industries.
-The DMO has three prime responsibilities.
-Encourage groups to hold meeting, conventions, trade shows in the city or area represented.
-To assist those groups with their meetings and meeting preparations
-To encourage tourist to visit and enjoy the historic, cultural, and recreational opportunities.
-It does not organize meetings, events, and conventions. It assists planners and visitors in learning about the destination and area attractions, in order to make the best possible use of all the services and facilities the destination has to offer.
• The Purpose of a DMO
-DMOs are primarily non-for-profit organizations charged with representing a specific destination helping the long-term economic development of communities throughout travel and tourism business.
-Usually membership organizations bringing together local business that rely on tourism and meetings for revenue.
-They are valuable to a meeting planner which include:
-unbiased information about a destination’s service and facilities
- Are a one-stop shop for local tourism interests and save meetings professionals’ time and energy.
- Provide a full range of information about a destination and they do not charge for most of their services.
• If DMOs Do Not Change for Their Services, How do they Make Money?
Most DMOs are funded throughout a combination of hotel occupancy taxes and membership dues. If the DMO is a government agency, then funding comes from a local government
• Why are Meetings and Tourism Important?
-Travel and Tourism provide jobs which brings in tax dollars for the improvement of services and infrastructure.
• Why Use a DMO?
-They make planning and implementing a meeting less time consuming and more streamlined.
• Advantages of Using a DMO to Plan a Meeting
-Many things a DMO can do to help an organizer, sponsor, or planner put together a meeting or event.
-Can be an invaluable resource when putting meetings together.
• Activates of DMOs Relative to Convention Marketing and Sales
-Professional who work in DMO serve as a sales representative.
-Membership base of DMO include:
• Site Review and Leads Process
-DMO is the central information source for advice on the site selection, transportation, and available local service with no cost or obligation to the meeting or event manager.
-Representative have the knowledge and information to provide up-to-date data.
-Determines if a site or location can accommodate a meeting’s requirements. The DMO sales manager can help gather information about meeting dates, the specifications of preferred facilities, the number of available hotel rooms and meeting rooms, and the logistics of moving the meeting facilities in and out.
-The DMO sales manager circulates meeting specifications to facilities and lodging entities that can accommodate the needs. The lead sheet can also set specific parameters for the meeting that limit which sites are invited.
-The DMO sales manager will then work closely with the meeting planner to decide which facilities and vendors to use. The DMO also may be the planner’s representative in the site city for conforming to codes and regulations.
• Site Inspections
-Physical review of proposal venues, services prior to the actual program
-Site inspection many be required at any point in the sales process.
-Site inspected by the planner may occur prior to the proposal, after the proposal.
-The premier conventions and meetings online database
-Houses information on over 34,000 meetings from 17,000 organizations
-Over 150 DMOs report detailed meeting history information on events held in their cities
-Provides critical marketing and sales direction to DMOs and the convention industry
• Destination Showcase
-One-day exhibition and conference by DMAI.
-Meeting planners can meet face-to-face with representatives of destinations around the world.
-Attendees can attend education sessions, network, explore destinations, and “shop” with RFPs.
• The role of DMO’s will continue to expand
• Destination Marketing and Management
• Destination marketing, Tourism services and Convention centers merge into one giant umbrella.
• Continuing importance of Face-to-face meetings and educate the community and stakeholders
• Will become more like a Chamber of Commerce
• Continued budget threats
• Greatest increase will be in China & Africa. Will take place in developing regions.
Chapter 4: Meeting and Convention Venues
The importance of the physical attributes of the meeting venue to your ability to use it for your current event
How the venue’s financial structure impacts your ability to negotiate for your meeting
The variations in service levels and service availability in different facilities
Potential hazards often overlooked by novice planners
What questions need to be asked of a facility in order to ensure the success of your meeting
-Cruise ships are a floating hybrids of hotels, conference rooms, and full-service resort.
-Quality of planning on a cruise event has a greater impact on the success of the meeting than it does with any other type of venue.
-Cruise ships have long been considered ideal venues for incentive trips.
-The size and availability of meeting rooms varies widely among different ships.
-Many cruise lines offer complete meeting packages which exclude the bar tab and taxes.
-The relative isolation of many conferences and retreat centers is one of their greatest strengths as meeting facilities.
-Can be viewed as a special group, much like a rural conference center.
-They are more likely to be owned by a family or closely held corporations than the other facilities and focus on smaller portion of the conference center market.
-The challenge of using these facilities derives from one of their greatest strengths-their relative isolation.
-Many of the most critical meetings determining the health of an organization involve fewer than 25 people.
-Conference centers are small, well-appointed facilities specifically designed to enhance classroom –style learning. Provides a dedicated environment for events, especially small events.
-Conference centers can be either resident or nonresident.
-Offers Complete Meeting Package – “CMP”
-May comply with guidelines of the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC)
-Attrition; fees still apply even if not attending
-Conventional wisdom has it that convention centers are huge. They are getting bigger each time.
-Convention centers are designed to handle larger events.
-Convention centers are more likely to devote the majority of their space to exhibit halls and utilitarian spaces to plus ballrooms.
-Host meetings and their exhibits have no sleeping rooms.
-Offer banquet and concession food & beverage service.
-Have large, flexible space; host large and small trade shows, as well as meetings and banquets.
-Usually owned by city, county, or local government.
-Most conventions are owned by government entities.
-Meeting planners work in a variety of facilities. They can range in size from hotels suites to major convention centers and outdoor festival that can accommodate thousands of guest. Any location where two or more people gather is a meeting site.
-Most events and meeting are appropriate for only a limited range of facilities.
-The planner must be sure to appropriately research the group and facilities that may fit the group’s needs, understandings, and expectations from the group, communicate the benefits offered by the facility that meets the needs of the group, and verify the arrangements between the group and the venue.
-Needs analysis is conducted to help guide the planner in formulating meeting objectives and in narrowing down the list of potential venues to those best suited for the event.
-Second most common type of place for a meeting. They vary in size and quality.
-The most common type of event held in a tent is a meal function or themed party.
-Hotels tend to be owned by major hotel companies or a franchised by a hotel company to a local owner who manages the facility in accordance with corporate guidelines.
-Hotels are intended to be businesses and not charities, thus their mission is to generate profit.
• Types of Space:
• Board rooms: Typically seat fewer than a dozen people, and the more elegant examples have permanent large tables and furniture that would be appropriate in the conference rooms of any major corporation.
• Ballrooms: Are generally planned as part of the initial construction of the facility and are often divisible by the use of movable air walls.
• Break-out rooms: Vary from a little larger than boardroom up to about half the size of a main ballroom.
• Exhibit space:
• Temporary structures:
• Outdoor space:
• Prefunction space: Such as corridors or lobbies adjacent to meeting rooms may provide a location for ancillary event needs.
• Revenue Sources
• Guest Rooms
-Primary business of almost all hotels is the sale of sleeping room nights.
• Restaurants, Bars, and Room Service
• Concessions at Pool, Spa, or Beach –smaller percentage
• Telephone and Business Services
• Food and Beverage
• Space Rental
• Vendor Commissions
• Audio Visual
Destination Management Companies (DMC’s), service contractors, musicians, disc jockeys, florist, and bus companies can all be contracted to the hotel as an exclusive vendors of their specialized services.
• Enterta inment
Convention center charge for everything they provide on a pay-per-day basis.
-Room rental is the center’s biggest signal revenue source.
-Center makes additional revenue from catering and concessions.
-Convention centers has a relationship with vendors for service which include the following: parking, buses, audiovisual, power, data, telecom, and florist.
Specific Use Facilities
-Theaters, amphitheater, arenas, stadiums, and sports facilities tend to be underused as a meeting facilities, but depending on the needs of the meeting they can support a variety of events.
Planners must remember that entertainment is the primary business.
-Most of these facilities are focused on events for the general (ticket-buying), public, and a closed event for an invited audience can be a welcome change for their staff.
-They are owned by the government agencies or are public-private partnership.
Colleges and Universities
Available mostly in summer months and at lower cost.
Quality of housing, food, and meeting space not as high as hotel or conference center.
Possibilities: College art museums, Student centers, Campus theaters, etc.
Meeting planners continually insist on having meetings in places that were never designed for meetings.
• A variety of locations
• Parks and nature preserves
• Airplane hangers
• Tented parking lots
• Athletic fields
• A variety of challenges
• Restrooms/trash removal
• Electricity/sound systems
• Catering issues – i.e. disposal of ice
• Obstacles (i.e. inadequate parking, time restraints)
• Special or additional requirements
• Use of a generator
• The support for the hanging of lighting trusses and lights
• Floor load
• Carpeting of exhibit halls
• Dance floors
• Hardwood floors
• Loading Docks
Function Rooms and Setups
• Auditorium or Theatre Style
-Useful for attendees to interact during event.
-Can be in various arrangements of rows.
• Classroom Style
-Useful for attendees to take notes or tests.
-Arranged in various styles with a table.
-Fosters conversations / good for food service.
-Crescent Rounds – not have seats all around
• Mass utilization of unique venues.
• Size and composition of convention centers.
• Adding space that can double as business or entertainment venues.
Chapter 5: Exhibitions
Define the different types of exhibitions
Identify the key players of exhibition management
Categorize the components of show planning
Identify the role of the exhibitor and fundamentals of exhibit planning
Recognize trends in the exposition industry
-With more than 14,000 trade shows and exhibitions annually in North America alone, the long history of exhibitions has turned into a thriving, ever-changing industry.
Trade fairs began in biblical times and became popular in Medieval Europe and in the Middle East.
-It was an opportunity for craftsmen and farmers to bring their products to the center of town.
-Leipzig fair in 1165
-Dublin fair 1255
-Eventually the buyer-seller format was termed exhibition.
-In the early and mid-century, trade associations grew and saw the potential of trade shows being held in conjunction with their annual meetings as a way to stimulate communication in the industry and expand their revenues.
Exhibition Management: Key Players
-Regardless of the show type, there are three key players that ensure that the components of the show come together to accomplish the objectives if each stakeholder.
• Exhibitor Organizer
-May be a trade association, a company subcontracted to the trade association, or a separate company organizing the shows as a profit making venture.
-Additional programs to consider include:
• Educational and Entertainment programs
• Availability of exhibitor demonstrations and training programs
• Special sections for new exhibitors or technologies
• Celebrity or industry-leading speaker
• Meal programs
• Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and industry certification programs
• Spouse, guest, and children programs
• Internet access and e-mail centers
-The trade show and exhibition market is facing a challenging time, but as the economy rebounds from a difficult time period, reports are showing initial signs of positive recovery.
-Attendance, number of exhibits, amount of space, and revenue has declined since 2007, according to CEIR.
-Many corporations reported increasing funding for business-related travel.
Types of Shows
-Trade shows is typically a business-to-business event. They are private and not open to the public. The definition of a trade fair has become close enough to that if a trade show that the terms are used interchangeably.
• National Restaurant Show (NRA in Chicago)
• Consumer Electronic Design and Installation Association
• International Builders Show
• American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)
-Exposition has also evolved to be similar in a meaning to trade show.
-An association meeting may include an exposition or expo.
-The exhibitor is usually a manufacturer or distributor of products or services specific or complementary to those industries represented by the sponsor or organizer.
-The most common form of marketing to potential exhibitors is advertising in trade publications.
-Consumer or Public Shows are expositions that are open to the public and offer a wide variety of products for sale.
-This type of show is used by consumer-based industry to bring their goods directly to the market’s end user.
-Marketed throughout advertisement in trade or local public media.
• Gulf Shore Flower, garden and Home Show
• The Kansas Sports, Boat & Travel Show
• The 2010 Michigan Golf Show in Novi Michigan
Consolidation Shows (Also called Combined or Mixed Shows)
-They are open to both industry buyers and to the public.
-Hours may differ based on the type of attendee, allowing the trade professional to preview the show prior to the consumer buyer.
• Facility Manager
-They can range from small hotels with limited space to large convention centers.
-Include adjacent lodging and entertainment facilities
-They will assist the show manager in arranging the show’s logistical details.
• General Service Contractor
-Known to be as an official exhibit service contractor or decorator, provides products and services to the exhibition management company and the show’s exhibitors.
-Types of services the general service contractors provide include:
• Floor plan development and design
• Aisle carpet and signage
• Custom and modular booths
• Freight handling and shipping
• Storing and warehousing materials
• Installation, maintenance, and dismantling
• Lighting, electronics, sound, a/v, plumbing
• Telecommunications and computer requests
• Coordination with specialty contractors
Considerations in Planning the Show
• Shipping and Storage
• Marketing and Promotion
• Risk and Crisis Management
Exhibit Design Principals
• Standard Booths
• 10’ x 10’ (100 sq. ft.) or multiples
• Peninsula – four or more standard booths back-to-back with an aisle on three sides
• Island – four or more standard booths back-to-back with an aisle on four sides
Staffing the Exhibit
-Most important part of exhibit
-Staff must be trained to:
• Meet and greet warmly
• “Qualify” a visitor and ask the right questions
• Conduct product demonstrations that focus attention on the main message
Measuring Return on Investment
Calculating ROI for each show is more critical than justifying whether or not a company is participating in the right shows and using the right strategy and planning techniques.
• ROI includes expenses such as:
• Space rental
• Service contractor services
• Personnel travel and time
• Customer entertainment
• Preshow mailings
• Freight charges
• Brochure printing and shipment
• Promotional items
• Post-show mailings
A simple method to obtain revenue from a trade show is to set a time limit on business that was the result of leads from the trade show.
• Other methods for measuring ROI include evaluating results versus objectives:
-Cost per lead
-Percentage of the sales goal achieved
-Percentage of leads converted to sales
-Lower attendance at shows, but buying power is greater.
-Companies not sending multiple representatives, but only the decision makers.
-Virtual tradeshows will become more popular but not replace live shows.
-Exhibitors will have to be more creative in their booth design.
-More shows may merge.
Chapter 6: Service Contractors
Service contractors and their role in MEEC
General services contractors compared with specialty contractors
Associations in service contracting
Definition of the Service Contractor
-Anyone who provides a product or service for the exhibitors or show management during the actual show or conference
-Not all events and conferences have an exhibitor component.
-Some service contractors are hired by the show organizers to assist with their needs, and others are hired by the exhibitor.
-Service contractor: An outside company used by clients to provide specific products or services.
-Historically referred to as “decorators”
-Their earliest primary function was to “decorate” the empty space of a convention center or hotel ballroom.
-For exhibitions and events to be produced smoothly and efficiently, the producers and managers must rely on professional service contractors to give the event/show manager and the exhibitors the tools necessary to be successful.
Organization of a Services Contracting Company
- Service contractors are businesses, and like most businesses are organized into functional areas.
-Different departments are grouped by a common activity or function that support the mission of the company.
-The department that controls and directs the company can be called “administration” and may include the general manager (GM) or CEO, marketing, assistants, etc.
-Divisions of departments are as follows:
• Drayage and warehouse
• Event technology
• Event services
• Accounting and finance
Evolution of Service Contractors
-One of the major changes has been increasing the scope their work to center on meeting the needs of exhibitors. As in the case with organizers of events, GSCs have come to the conclusion that it is the exhibitors who are the driving force of the trade show segment of MEEC.
-In the long run, service contractors must deliver quality service and products to the user, whether it is the organizer or the exhibitor.
-Another change for GSCs is that many facilities are now offering to do in-house what used to be the exclusive domain of GSCs.
-Realizing that exhibition is the driving force of trade shows
-Exhibitions are more specific about wants and needs
-Exhibitors want service contractors to help them get the best return on investment to justify expenses
-Competition between service contractors and EACs has encouraged more specialized, streamlined, and efficient services
Service Contractor Responsibilities
-Service contractors are involved in every aspect of the event from move in, to running the show, to teardown, to move out.
-Service contractors are also involved before the setup of the show by sending out exhibitor kits and other information.
• General Service Contractors
-Also called the Official Show Contractor or Exposition Services Contractor
-Hired by event management and exhibitors
• General Service Contractor (GSC)
-An organization that provides event management and exhibitors with a wide range of services, sometimes including, but not limited to:
Installing and dismantling
Creating and hanging signage and banners
Providing booth/stand furniture
• Official Contractor
-Organization appointed by show management to provide service such as set-up and tear-down of exhibit booths and to oversee labor, drayage, and loading docks procedure
-They are responsible for assisting the show organizer with graphic treatments for the entrance and all signage, putting up the pipe and drape or hard wall exhibits, placing aisle carpet, and creating all the official booths.
-Valuable service of hiring and managing the labor for a particular show.
-It is their responsibility to move the freight in and out of a facility, manage the flow of the trucks coming in and out of the facility, and the storage of the crates and boxes during a show. This is called material handling or drayage.
Drayage: Delivery of exhibit materials from the dock to an assigned exhibit space, removing empty crates, returning crates at the end of the event for re-crating, and delivering materials back to dock for carrier loading.
Drayage charge: the cost of moving exhibit materials within the hall, based on weight. Charge calculated in 100 pound units (or hundredweight, abbreviated cwt). Usually a minimum.
Drayage contractor: Company responsible for handling exhibit materials.
Drayage form: form for exhibitor requesting handling of materials.
-Today, the transport vehicles can be a truck or a plane, and the fee includes many aspects of the transport service. Service contractors may charge for services like crating an exhibit in a box, using a forklift to get the box into a small truck.
-The price for drayage is based on the weight, not the size or material in it.
-Many GSCs have expanded into specialty areas.
-GSCs not only serve the show organizer, but also are the official service contractor for exhibitors.
-On-site, GSC work with both the show organizer and exhibitor to ensure a smooth move in and move out.
The services provided can include:
Pipe and drape
Setup and dismantling of booths
Planning, layout, and design of exhibit area
Interface with labor and unions
Exhibit design and construction
Booth setup and dismantling
Furniture and accessories
Interface with labor and unions
Customs brokerage when dealing internationally GF: Good addition
• Trade Unions
-Exhibition service managers as well as show/event organizers will make use of tradespeople in the community to help set up and tear down the show.
-Many of these tradespeople will be members of a trade union.
-Is it a “right-to-work state or province?”
-You may be limited in some basic work tasks to use the unions exclusively.
-Trade unions do serve valid purposes
Specialty Service Contractors
-Specialty contractors deal with a specific area of show/event production, whereas the GSC tends to be broad and generic.
-Specialty service contractors can be official or EACs.
-They handle all the services to complete the production, whether a special event/tradeshow/conference/or general meeting, including:
• Business Services
• Cleaning Services
• Communications & Computers
• Drayage & Freight
• Labor Planning & Supervision
• Models/Hostesses and Spokespersons
• Postal/Package Services
-Each show has its own needs.
Exhibitor-Appointed Service Contractor
-As companies do more and more shows, their exhibits become more involved, and they often want one service supplier working with them throughout the year.
-Most times, show/event organizers will allow other companies assuming they meet qualifications for insurance and licensing. This company is called an EAC.
-EAC performs the same duties as a specialty contractor but only for that exhibitor, not the show manager.
Exhibitor Appointed Contractor (EAC): Any company other than the designated “official” contractor providing the service to an exhibitor. Can refer to an Install & Dismantle company (I&D House), photographer, florist, or any other type of contractor
Relationship between Contractors and Event Organizers
-One of the first actions that show/event organizers take when developing an event is to hire the GSC.
-Partnership develops as the show develops. GSC will recommend cities where a show could be held, the times of the year, and the facilities that fit the event.
-The process for hiring service contractors is through an REP.
-As the show developed, GSCs watch closely to suggest how marketing themes and associations can be used in entrance treatments and signage so that when a show comes alive, it looks and feels the way the show organizer wants it to.
Resources in the Service Contractor Industry
There are several associations for individuals and companies in the service contractor industry including the following:
• Canadian Association of Exposition Management (CAEM)
• Exhibit Display Producers Association (EDPA)
• Exhibition Services and Contractors Association (ESCA)
• Exhibitor Appointed Contractors Association (EACA)
• International Association for Exhibition Management (IAEM)
• National Association of Consumer Shows (NACS)
-Healthy relationships between service contractors and planners will continue to be crucial.
-Competitive pricing and flexible contracts will build lasting relationships with suppliers.
-Preferred supplier programs are gaining more and more importance.
-Service contractors can play a key role in the “greening” of meetings and its sustainability.
Service contractors will develop relationships to produce meetings and events in multiple locations
Chapter 7: Destination Management Companies
Identify the needs that destination management companies meet for their clients
Explain how destination management companies interact with meeting planners, local hotels, event participants, and various suppliers within a destination.
Describe how destination management business is conducted.
List the competitive factors at work in the business process used by destination management companies.
Evaluate what projects destination management companies should pursue.
Detail how destination management companies deliver their contracted services to clients.
-One of the many career opportunities within the MEEC industry is providing destination management services.
-These services include activities such as onsite meeting management, hotel services, convention centers and bureaus, airlines, and catering.
Business Structure of DMCs
-Some of the perquisites are essential to the destination management process:
• Temporary Field Staff
• Licenses and Insurance
• Community Contacts
• Customer Contacts
• History of Success
• Destination Resources
-A strategy located office is a basic necessity to winning and operating business.
-DMCs must have access to the best possible technology.
-They must be legally insured for business liability as well as other standard coverage such as workers’ compensation and automobile insurance.
- DMC’s compete in a relationship driven industry and must keep up with contacts
Destination Management Company Vs. Destination Marketing Organization
-The DMC business process has been compared to, and often confused with, the services provided by destination marketing organizations (DMO).
-DMOs optimize the exposure of a destination, leading to develop innovation experience for tourists, enabling the community to develop a sustainable infrastructure to ensure positive returns on investment.
-DMOs work with the interest of both the community at large and the private companies that provide many of these services.
-DMC’s get leads on new accounts from planners that have gone through a DMO.
-Two or more DMC’s provide proposals.
-Responding to clients RFP’s take considerable time.
Services Provided by Destination Management Companies
-Meeting and event planners work closely with DMCs to provide recommendations for destination resources that will best fit and satisfy the goals for a gathering.
-After these services are determined, a contract is written for the DMC to plan, set up, and deliver those services. They often include the following:
• Hotel and event venue selection
• Creative itineraries
• Special event and creative theme concepts
• Event production
• Sight-seeing options
• Team building activities
• Meeting support services
• Transportation planning and delivery
• Dining programs
• VIP services
• Staffing services
• Budgeting and resource management
-DMCs service facilities network among attendees, celebrating accomplishments, or the introduction of new ideas and/or products.
-DMCs are often reliable resource for entertainment solutions, from a small trio for background music at an intimate cocktail party to the headlines of entertainment for a large special event.
-Transportation logistics are often a key service provided by the DMCs.
Definition of Destination Management Company
-Destination Management Company is a professional company possessing extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources, specializing in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and program logistics.
-A DMC offers, but is not limited to, guest tours, special events within the meeting, VIP amenities, transportation, staffing for conferences, entertainment, décor, on-site registration, and housing.
-Destination management companies may also go by the title of professional congress organizer or ground operations.
-They offer a critical layer of services and are hired by meeting and event planners to provide local knowledge, experience, and resources for corporate and association gatherings.
-DMCs work cooperatively with airlines, hotels, resorts, convention centers, alternative venues, and transportation companies.
-When discussing DMCs and their service, the industry denotes this as a client project, which, will be it a meeting, exhibition, event, or convention is typically referred to as a program.
The Destination Management Company Organization
-Destination Management companies come in a variety of sizes and organizational structures.
• Independent Operator – Good when only a limited or specific service is needed for the success of the event.
• Multi-services Operator – Typically larger with established networks of service offerings.
• Destination Management Networks – pool resources to achieve economies of scale.
Business Model of Destination Management Companies
-DMC clients who plan meetings, exhibitions, events, conventions, and incentive travel programs.
-When describing s business model of DMCs the terms customer, clients, and planer are used to describe the person, organization, or company for which the DMC is providing services.
-A DMC may be contracted directly with an organization whose employees or members will be participating in the program, or it may contract with a professional meeting planner who is offering their meeting services to the participating organization.
-Most meeting and event planners consider the DMC local extension of their own offices while in the destination.
• Clients: Destination management companies receive business from several categories from customers. Their contracted programs may come from corporate, association, incentive-based, or special event clients.
• Corporate accounts: In the past, corporate meetings holding half day of meeting while spending the remainder of the day on the golf course would not generate much attention. In addition, corporate clients are reassessing the value of holding face to face meetings. It is very important that DMCs focus on working with their clients to ensure that the meetings and events have a higher level of value than could be achieved by not knowing a face to face event. The following is a list of sample event programs that DMCs work on with corporate clients:
-National sales meetings
-Dealer and/or customer
• Association Accounts: Associations are organizations that ae created to support an industry, common interest, or activity. Associations can range from local, state, regional, national and international groups. Most associations can provide networking and educational opportunities. DMCs can provide considerable resources and support to their clients create events that will be offered to their membership with the highest impact. The following list is a sample event program that the DMC works on with associated clients:
-Industry trade shows
-Professional trade shows and conferences
• Incentive-Based Organizations: Incentive based meeting and events are organized to recognize and reward employees who have reached or exceeded company targets. The following is a list of sample event programs that DMCs work on with incentive-based clients:
-Service manager incentives
. Destination Management Company Process
-Primary responsibilities and job titles for a DMC vary from company to company. Many DMCs are small, stand-alone, single-office companies that are locally owned.
- DMCs job tasks including finding business leads, proposing appropriate services, contracting services, organizing the group’s arrival, delivering the contracted services, and following up billing and program reconciliation.
-These areas are carried out by contracting with supplier companies, hiring field staff, and assigning program staff.
• The Sales Process
-For DMCs to be successful, new business projects must be continually found and secured for the company.
-The infrastructure and appeal of the destination will often dictate which of the above market segments DMCs will do business with. A destination’s infrastructure such as its convention centers, convention hotels, resorts, and airport facilities all play in the equation.
• Identifying New Business Opportunities
-The first stage of the sales process is to discover new business opportunities and pursue those leads.
-Some customers, particularly corporate customers, incentive companies, and meeting management companies will designate a “preferred” DMC in selected destinations. For DMCs, this is known as house accounting.
-Sales efforts at the destination level are considered by most DMCs to be an important part of the sales plan. Creating relationships with local industry representatives who are conducting businesses with the same customers and planners is an efficient way for DMCs to identify new business opportunities.
• Request for Proposal (REP)
-Destination management companies will prepare detailed proposals for services, which are based on the planner’s specifications and budget. A meetings and events planner will provide the DMC information so the DMCs proposed itinerary can be designed to best suit the group’s purpose, demographic, and expectations. The following items must be considered and addressed in this proposal stage:
• Project Specifications
• Research and Development
• Creativity and Innovation
• Response Time
A great deal of detailed information is usually included in these specifications, such as:
• Group size
• Choice of hotel / meeting space allotment
• Dates / Types of services required
• Attendee demographics
• Approximate budget
• Past history / current deadlines
A final and critical step in the proposal process is pricing. Several factors must be considered when pricing the proposal such as:
• Total estimated costs for services
• Staff time necessary before, during and after program
• Amount of DMC resources necessary
• Supplier choice and availability
• Time of year and local business activity
• Costs of taking staff off of market during season
-Given the variety among proposal elements offered by the competing DMCs, a client may not choose a winning bid based solely on price. The client, in awarding a bid, may consider the other important factors such as:
• Revenue potential / value of future relationship
• Amount of proposal work
• How many companies and competitors are bidding
• Success rate of you and your competitor
• What are the odds of winning contract
• How profitable will it be?
• Program Development
-The execution and civility of business transaction are supported through contractual agreements and are essential in all aspects of the meeting and event industry.
-After a program is contracted, a transition begins, moving from the active selling of the program to the operations and production of the program.
-During this phase of the business process, the participants that are actively engaged can fluctuate, requiring the DMC management to consistently monitor costs and other details.
• Program Execution
-Destination management companies require the coordination of staff and suppliers into one cohesive program of products and services.
-After finding the opportunity, creating proposals, earning the planners confidence, contracting the program, and careful preparations, it is up to the operations and production staff to successfully deliver the program.
-The successful execution of the clients program is very important.
-Transportation Management is often a major part of a DMC’s business. It encompasses routing vehicle use, staff requirements, special venue consideration, equipment staging area, staff scheduling, and briefings, maps, and signing.
-Corporate programs usually begin with airport transfer.
-When airport transfers are run properly, the participants receive a friendly welcome by someone who knows their name, after which they are directed to the proper baggage belt to identify their luggage.
-Transportation requirements of clients often include shuttle services between event venues and the participating hotel(s).
• Production of Events
-Event production is also typically a major part of a destination management company’s service. Events can be large or small, on a hotel property, or in a remote location. Some examples of events are:
• Cocktail receptions and networking events
• Breakfasts, luncheons, and dinners
• Dining events at unique venues
• Gala dinner events
• Extravagant theme parties
• Outdoor and indoor team-building events
• Events for staff to meet and mingle
• Events for sales staff to meet and mingle with clients
• Events on final night of incentive program to “fire up.”
• Events to promote casual networking
-A big challenge for DMC’s is a large extravaganza events.
-Operational staff must be familiar with all the necessary municipal regulations regarding insurance, fire safety codes, crowd control, and police requirements.
-Meeting and event planners will often have to deal with on-site questions and request for VIP arrangements with little advance notice, and the DMC staff will support them in securing appropriate arrangement.
• Wrap-Up and Billing
-Final invoice reflects the contractual agreements
-Additions or deletions indicated
-Try to get planners approval of billing on site
-Follow-up evaluations of DMC services by client
-Debriefing of staff
Finding and Selecting a Destination Management Company
-When the time comes that meeting and event planners need to find and select a DMC, there are several steps and guidelines that are helpful in ensuring a successful outcome. When searching for DMC candidates, it best to begin with contracting industry professionals that are managing and executing meetings on a regular basis.
-Once a list of potential DMCs has been identified, it is time to identify the best of the group. Factors that may be important before soliciting the RFP selection include:
• How long the company has been in business
• What are the experience levels of the management and staff
• What are the personalities of the management team
• Is the DMC an affiliated member of a professional organization
• Is the DMC adequately bonded
• What is they quality of their references
Destination Management Company Resources
-As local experts positioned to assist planners with their programs in a destination, DMCs are expected to provide vital resources for meeting and event planners. The following is a list of examples of what DMCs are called upon to provide recommendations and guidance on.
• Suppliers and Vendors
• Credit and Buying Power
• Take the lead in Green Practices
• Work together in Consortiums
• Identify and develop new business from Drive-To Markets
• Develop Crisis Networks
• Emphasize standards of conduct and organization
• Build relationship management strategy
• Becoming attentive to Competitive Forces
Chapter 8: Special Events Management
A working definition of a special event
Understanding the importance of relationships in a special event management
The importance of a workable plan for staging a special event
The planning tools used in special event management
The importance of city and community infrastructures when hosting a special event
The merchandising and promoting of a special event
Sponsorships for special events
Target markets for procuring attendance at a special event
The basic operations for preparing a special event
The components of a special event budget
The breakdown components of a special event
A working Definition of a Special Event
-The definition of a special event is an umbrella term that encompasses all functions that bring people together for a unique purpose.
-A special event, such as a city festival or fair, can mean working with community infrastructure, merchandising, promoting, and in some cases dealing with the media.
-Special events are imbedded in meetings, expositions, events and conventions (MEEC) and at amusement parks, parades, fairs, festivals, and public events.
• Special Event – A one-time event that is staged for the purpose of celebration; a unique activity.
• Special Events Company – A company that may contract to put on an entire event or parts of one.
-A special event can bring organizations together for the purpose of fund-raising, establishing a city or community as a local, regional, or national destination, and to stimulate the local economy.
Preparing for the Special Event
-Basic operations for staging an event need to be established and include the following:
• Secure a venue
• Obtain permits
• Parade, liquor, sanitation, sales, fire safety
• Involve government agencies
• Use of space, health department, security, and police
• Work in person as much as possible
• Involve the Health Department if food / beverage
• Meet all parties in person
• Secure all vendors and suppliers
• Recognize complexities of dealing with public sector
• Recognize logistics community must contend with such as road closures.
• Set up a security plan
• Secure liability insurance
• Determine ticket prices and sales distribution
• Determine ticket sale distribution
• Developing other basic business support functions
• Develop Basic Business Support Functions
• Financial Accounting Systems
• General ledger, accounts payable and receivable, reporting and payroll
• Human Resource Support – paid and volunteer
• Recruiting, personnel records, job classifications/descriptions
• Talent, media, officials, support staff, audience/guests
• Registration and Ticketing
• Scoring and Results
Planning Tools for a Special Event
-Special events management, like any other form of managing, requires planning tools. The first of these tools is a vision statement of your event.
-The “who” of planning an event are those people or organizations that would like to host and organize it.
-Some of the management tools that are used in staging events are as follows:
• Flow Charts and Graphs for scheduling.
• Set-up and Break-down schedules
• Policy Statements
• Human resources
• Volunteers and paid staff
• Understanding Community Infrastructure
-Another key ingredient for planning a successful event is an understanding of the infrastructure in the community where the event is to take place.
-Early on it must be recognized whether or not a community or a company is truly committed to hosting any type of special event that will call on its support not only with the financial commitment but also in the physical and emotional commitment it will take to manage an event from start to finish.
History and Background
-Festivals and special events have been part of human history since time immemorial.
-Most historians credit the use of the term “special events” in modern history to a Disney imagineer named Robert Janni.
-A special event is a celebration of something- that makes it special. Goldblatt defines a special event “as a unique moment in time celebrated with ceremony and ritual to satisfy specific needs.”
-Special Events can include:
• Civic Events
• Festivals and Fairs
• Sporting Events
• Social Life Cycle Events
• Meetings and Conventions
• Retail Events
• Religious Events
• Corporate Events
It All Begins with a Relationship
-All are very special events, through very different. All are planned by someone who must understand goals, the needs, and the desires of the client they are serving.
-The planner has a responsibility to the client to do everything in his/her power to reach the goals of the client, while working within the parameters of the given location, city, or facility.
-Special events management begins and evolves by developing a very important relationship between the client and the planner.
-A planner and a client must have clear lines of communication between them.
-No matter what the profile of the event, each and every special event is, indeed very special to someone, or to many.
• Merchandising and Promoting the Special Events
-Merchandising and promoting special event is another planning tool for attracting attendance and increasing overall profitability for the event.
-Understanding and utilizing the promotional mix model is pivotal in order to meet the goals of the event marketing plan. The role of promotion in special events management is coordination of all the seller’s efforts to set up channels of information and persuasion to sell or promote the event.
• Distinctive Roles of the Promotional Mix Model
-Advertising is defined as any paid form of nonpersonal communication about the event.
-Advertising is best known and most widely discussed form of promotion because it is the most persuasive, especially if the event is targeted towards mass consumers. It can be used to create brand appeals images or symbolic for the brand, and generate immediate response from prospective attendees.
-Direct marketing is a form of advertising that communicates directly with the target customer with the intent of generating a response.
-Sales Promotion – Marketing activities that provide value or incentive with the intention of stimulating sales.
-Publicity and public relations is divided into two components. Publicity is the component that is not directly paid for, nor has an identified sponsor.
-Publicity is considered a credible form of a promotion, but is not always under the control of the organization or host of the event.
-Social media has exploded as a preferred strategy for promotional incentives. Social media reaches the masses with minimal expense and relative ease of effort.
• Public Relations
-The purpose of public relations is to systematically plan and distribute information in an attempt to control or manage the image or publicity.
-Personal selling is the final element of the promotional mix model, and is a form of person to person communication in which a seller attempts to assist and or persuade prospective event attendees.
-Unlike advertising, personal selling involves direct contact between the buyer and seller of the event, usually through face to face sales. Therefore, personal selling is more appropriate and feasible by meeting face-to-face with a group representative, while meeting face to face with each individual prospective attendee is not.
• Sponsorship for Special Events
-Sponsorships help to ensure profitable success for an event. They are an innovative way for an event organizer to help underwrite and defray costs. Sponsorships should be considered more than just a charitable endeavor for the company – they can be a strong marketing tool.
-Every sponsor provide funds or “in-kind” contributions and receive consideration in the form of logo usage and identity with the event.
-There are five compelling reasons why company sponsorship are important option to consider:
• Economic changes
• Ability to target market segments
• Ability to measure results
• Fragmentation of media
• Growth of diverse population segments
-Changes in the economic climate of the country will affect the goals, spending, and expectations of the sponsoring organization.
-When looking for a sponsorship for a special event, organizers must determine if the event fits the company.
-“Cross-promotional opportunities” allow the sponsor to achieve the greatest visibility possible by capitalizing on more than one promotional opportunity with one event.
• Working with the Media For an Event
-Generating media coverage for a special event is one of the most effective methods for attracting attendance. Ideally, an event organizer wants to garner television, radio, and print coverage.
-Within the promotional mix model, the biggest way to attract attention to the event is with television, radio, and print media throughout publicity. This “free” type of promotion offers something that advertising cannot match – credibility. These media sources are an excellent way to reach mass consumer.
-Event organizers try to present the unusual to the press.
-Promoters of special events have long recognized what TV and radio coverage can do for an event. Here are some helpful hints for attracting television and radio coverage:
• Schedule earlier in the day to make evening news
• Friday is best day of the week – slower news day
• Saturday and Sunday may be limited due to smaller news crew
• Provide Advance notice:
• Three days via press release – phone follow-up
• Seven days for interviews
V. Understanding the Target Market for your Special Event
-Consumers have changed. They are more selective and sophisticated about the events they will attend.
-Since prices have risen, consumers are much more discerning about how they spend their entertainment dollars. This creates a demand for quality for any special event.
-Understanding your target market is one of the most important components in the overall success of an event.
-The most valuable outcome of a special event can generate a community is positive word of mouth.
-Target market is defined as clearly identifying who wants to attend a certain type of event.
-A successful event has two vital components. One is that the community is supportive of bringing the event to the city, and second is that the event meets the customers’ needs.
The Special Event Budget
-For any event to be considered to be a success, it must also be considered profitable. Profitability required understanding the six key elements involved in the cost of an event.
• Rental Costs
-Depending on the type of event, renting a facility such as a convention center or ground space to put up a tent requires payment of a daily rental charge.
-Variations to the rental cost of event space.
• Security Costs
-Most convention centers, rental halls, and hotels provide limited security.
-Actual cost will depend on the city and the amount of security needed.
• Labor Cost
-The city where the special event is being held will affect the labor costs involved in the setup and breakdown of the event.
-When selecting a city for an event, the role of the unions has been important influence. Most special event organizers will pass the higher costs on to the exhibitor or will increase ticket prices.
• Marketing Costs
-The costs associated with attracting attendees can make up the large portion of a budget.
-Most organizers use a combination of promotions to attract attendees.
• Talent Cost
-Virtually all special events use some type of talent or performers.
-Before an event, it is essential that a planner do a projection of all costs and revenue. These projections are essential to whether a community will host another event.
Breakdown of the Special Event
-Breaking down the event usually involves a number of steps. Once the attendees have gone, there are a variety of closing tasks that an organizer must complete.
-Considering having the following sources add information to the report:
• Participant - interviews
• Media and the press – ask about coverage
• Staff and management – involve them in feedback
• Vendors – how can the event be improved?
• Submit documentation as needed to insurance companies and government agencies
• Final report
-The following should also be included in a final report on the events:
• Prepare final written report/summary/evaluation
• Finalize Income and Expense Statement
• Finalize all contracts and compare to final billing
• Send media final press release
• Appropriate thank you notes
• Vendors, talent, sponsors
• Staff, volunteers
-Less is the new More (Simple with flare)
-Quality is paramount, with cost as a “value”
-Frivolous events seen as wasteful; have a purpose
-Events targeted to service or charitable causes
-Clients looking for an entire “package” / experience
-Going green – environmentally friendly events
-Technology (i.e. internet promotions)
-Unique client needs and wants
-Balance of quality, cost and relationship
Chapter 9: Planning and Producing MEEC Gatherings
The differences in association and corporate meeting planning
The motivations that influence meeting objectives
Writing clear and concise meeting objectives using the SMART technique
The purpose of a needs analysis
The process of site selection
The information needed on an RPP
Establishing budgetary goals
The importance of evaluation
The process of registering for a meeting or event
The process of arranging housing for a meeting or event
The elements of a meeting and event specification guide
The importance of a pre- and post-convention meeting
-The first thing a planner needs to determine is (1) who is the group? (2) Why are they here? The followed is asked by asking “What is the objective of this event?”
-Objective is “something aimed at or strived for” along with the “being the aim or goal”
-All events begin with a clear, concise, and measurable objectives.
-Meeting objectives are the basis for virtually all components of the planning process, whether it is for corporate meetings, association meetings, special events, trade shows, or virtual meetings. held via mail.
--The objective of the meeting will impact site selection, food and beverage requirements, transportation issues, and especially program content.
-Most people attend meetings for three reasons: education, networking, and to conduct businesses.
-The site selection process can being after meeting objectives are developed. The objectives will guide the planner in deciding the physical location for the event, type of facility to use, transportation options, and many other meeting components.
-Depending on the type of meeting, site selection may take place days, weeks, months, or years before the actual event.
-Contrary to popular behalf, the association planner is usually not the final decision maker when it comes to which city will be selected to host a convention.
-Meeting planners are regularly bombarded with site selection information. There are several trade publications.
-Other factors to consider in site selection are the rotation of locations and the location of the majority of the attendees.
-Cost is another consideration. In addition to the cost incurred by the meeting planner for meeting space and other essentials, the cost to the attendee should be considered.
-The mode of travel is another factor in site selection.
-They type of hotel or meeting facility is another major consideration.
Developing Smart Objectives
-Objectives must be written in a clear and concise format so that all parties involved in the planning process understand and are focused on common goals.
-A method of writing effective meeting objectives is to use the SMART approach. Each letter in SMART approach reminds the planner of critical components of a well-written objective.
• Specific: Only one major concept is covered per objective
• Measurable: Must be able to quantify or measure that you have, or have not, achieved the objective.
• Attainable: Is it possible to accomplish the objective?
• Relevant: Is the objective important to the overall goals of the organization?
• Time-based: The objective should include when the objective must be completed.
• Examples of Meeting Objectives
• Generate attendance at specific levels
• Create a program by a certain date
• Conference for specific attendees
• Complete designs, plans or graphics for meeting by a certain time
-Designing well-written meeting objectives can be a very positive activity for the meeting planner. Objectives serve as signals to keep the planning process focus and on track
-As part of setting objectives for a meeting, a needs analysis must be undertaken. A need analysis is a method of determining the expectations for a particular meeting.
-A needs analysis can be as simple as taking senior management what they want to accomplish at a meeting then designing the event around these expectations. It should remember that the needs of corporate and association meeting attendees are very different.
-The planner keeps a detailed group history of who attended the meeting, their likes and dislikes, and all pertinent information that can be used to improve future meetings. Questions to consider include the following:
• Age and gender of past attendees
• Level of expertise
• Position within organization’s hierarchy
• Hotel amenities preferred
• Medical or dietary needs
• Organization paying
• Guests of attendees (spouse)
• Importance of networking
• Distance attendees travel
• International guest special needs
• Special accommodations for disabled (ADA)
• Educational outcome expected
Importance of Education
-A key component of MEEC is to provide an environment conductive to education.
• Professional Certifications
-Increasingly, people within a particular industry seek to differentiate themselves by becoming “certified” or “licensed” in a specific skill or to recognize that they have achieved a certain level of competence in a career field.
-Programs may be offered at the annual convention, at regional seminars, or through distance education over the internet.
-Individuals receive continuing education units for each workshop they attend, and these CEUs will be part of the qualifications to become certified or licensed.
Request for Proposal
-Once the meeting objectives are clearly defined and the basic location and logistics are drafted, the meeting manager creates RFP. The RFP is a written description of all the major needs for the meeting. The convention Industry Council, has created a standardized format that may be used.
-RFP allows hotels to examine economic impact of meeting and decide to create a bid
-Fam Trips are another method to promote a destination
-Following the objectives, budgetary issues are usually the next major consideration in planning a meeting or event.
-At the event that is a repeated benefits by having some historical data to compare and project cost. The basis for a meeting budget can be developed by establishing financial goals, identifying expenses, and identifying revenue sources.
• Step 1: Establishing Financial Goods
-Financial goals are important and should incorporate SMART. They may be set by the meeting planner, association management, or by corporate mandate. Basically what are the financial expectations for this event?
-The financial goal for an annual meeting may be based on the increases or decreases in membership, general economic trends, political climate, competing events, location of the event, and many influence. For any even there are three possible financial goals:
• Step 2: Identify Expenses
-The CIC manual suggest categorizing expenses by their different functions:
• Indirect cost
• Overhead or administrative items
• Fixed cost
• Expenses incurred regardless of number of attendees
• Variable cost
• Cost based on the number of attendees
-Expenses will vary according to the overall objectives at the meeting and will be impacted by location, season, type of facility, services selected, and other factors.
• Step 3: Identifying Revenue Sources
-There are many ways to fund meetings and events.
-Depending on the city and association, this amount could easily double. It is a complex process to create an exceptional and affordable event. If the registration fee is too high, people will not attend. If it is too low, the organization may not achieve revenue exceptions. But there are more possible outcomes of funding available other than registration fees. They include the following:
• Registration fees
• Corporate or association funding
• Private funding from individuals
• Exhibitor fees
• Logo merchandise
• Advertising fees
• Government assistance
• Sales of banner adds or links on official Web site
• Renting of membership address list for marketing
• Partnerships to promote other companies’ products for a fee
-To stay within budget and reach the financial objectives, it is important to exercise control measures.
-Control measures are tools for monitoring the budget.
-The most important factor is to make sure that the facility understands which person from the sponsoring organization has the authority to make the additions or changes to what has been ordered.
The CEO and the meeting planner staff are the only ones who have this signing authority.
-Another cost control measure is to accurately estimate the number of meals that will be served. The guarantee is the amount of food that the planner has instructed the facility to prepare and will be paid for
Control in MEEC
-Creating and implementing most meetings is a team effort. Meeting planners will conduct an evaluation after each meeting to obtain feedback from the attendees, exhibitors, facility staff, outsourced contractors, and anyone else involved in the event.
-Evaluations may collect data on such things as the comfort of the hotel, ease of transportation to the location, desirability of location, quality of food and beverage, special events and networking opportunities, and number of quality of exhibitors at trade show convention.
• Designing the Evaluation
-A good evaluation form is a simple, concise, and can be completed in a minimal amount of time.
-A good source of questioning can be to review your event goals and objectives. If the meeting is an annual event, it is important to ask similar questions.
-Timing is also an issue with administrating evaluations.
-The process of evaluating a meeting should begin in the early stages of meeting planning and tie-in with the meeting objectives.
-Once the objectives of the meeting have been identified, the site selected, and the budget set, the meeting program can be developed in detail. To address concerns, the planner must consider several factors, including:
• Program type
• Content, including track and level
• Session scheduling
• Speaker arrangements
• Refreshment breaks and meal functions
• Ancillary events
• Evaluation procedures
• Program Types
-Each type of program or session is designed for a specific purpose, which may range from providing information to all attendees, discussion of current events in small groups, hands-on training, and panel discussions.
• General or Plenary Session
• Concurrent Session
• Workshop or Break-Out Sessions
• Roundtable Discussion Groups
• Poster Sessions
• Program Content
-The average attendee will only be able to sit through three to six sessions on any given day. It is critical that the attendee be as well informed as possible about what each session will offer and the appropriateness of the session to his or her objectives for attending the meeting.
-Track refers to separating programming into specific genres, such as computer skills, professional development, etc.
-Levels refers to the skill level the program designed for, whether it is the beginning, intermediate, or advanced.
-Timing is critical in program development.
-Variety of Activities
-Don’t double-book events over same time period
-Coordinate trade shows and workshops
-Allow enough time between sessions for restroom, travel time, checking messages, etc.
Refreshment Breaks and Meal Functions
-Important to provide breaks
-May be more productive to keep attendees in facility rather than eating outside
-Refreshment breaks foster connections
-Cocktail receptions and dinners – be careful with alcohol consumption
-For the larger conventions, it is almost impossible for the meeting planner to independently arrange for all the different sessions and speakers. The meeting department often works together with the education department to develop the educational content of the meeting.
• Volunteer Speakers
-Most associations cannot afford to pay all of the speakers at a large convention.
-Benefits of using Volunteer Speakers
• Reduce expenses, are knowledgeable, and may increase attendance, build relationships.
-Challenges of Using Volunteer Speakers
• May not adequately prepare, not be a good presenter, may have personal agenda.
• Paid Speakers
-A more expensive but often more reliable source of speakers is to contract one of the many speakers’ bureaus who represent thousands of potential speakers for your event.
• Speaker Guidelines
-Speaker guidelines or speaker kits should be developed to inform the speakers (paid or nonpaid) of the logistics required to speak at an event as well as to clearly define the expectations of the organization. Speaker guidelines vary from one group to the next, but should include the following:
• Background information
• Date and location of meeting
• Special events speaker may attend
• Date, time, location of room
• Presentation topic and duration
• Demographic and estimate of attendees
• Room set and A/V availability
• Request for short biography
• Names of other speakers
• Remuneration policy
• Dress code
• Location of speaker ready room
• Instructions for preparing final abstracts
• Instructions / format for handouts
• Transportation and lodging information
• Maps and diagrams of hotel or facility
• Deadlines for all materials to be returned
• Guidelines for speaking to group
• Presenter Contract
• Tape, CD-ROM and internet waiver
-Many meetings do not allow speakers to bring their own A/V
-Controlling A/V costs is very important
-Reduce handouts by making available online or by emailing
-To attend most conventions or trade shows, some type of registration is typically required.
-Registration is the process of gathering all pertinent information and fees necessary for an individual to attend the meeting.
-After a meeting, registration data can be used to update association membership records, solicit new members, or sold to interested parties. Most importantly it can help the planner with logistics and to promote the next meeting.
• Registration fees
• On-site registration
-Not all meeting require housing arrangements. But if housing is needed there are basically four methods of handling housing for attendees.
• Attendees arrange for their own room
• Group rate is arranged at multiple locations
• Meeting sponsor handles all housing arrangements
• Third party Housing Bureau
-Having attendees make their own hotel reservations is the easiest method.
Pre- and Post-Con Meetings
What is certain for all meetings is that changes to the Spec Guide are unavoidable. In fact, one of the chief responsibilities of a good meeting planner is to react and manage change- often unexpected change.
• Pre-con Meeting = Important to coordinate between all the major players.
• Post-con meeting = Important for planning the next meeting.
-Focus on meeting and event ROI will become more intense
-Planners will need to keep “wow factor in mind.
-Technology will play an increasing significance in in planning and producing events
-Small event lead times will get shorter while long events will get longer.
-Corporations and associations will continue to downsize in-house meeting and event staff, outsourcing to third party planners.
Chapter 10: Food and Beverage
Types of catering operations and types of caterers
Relationships between the catering department and other hotel departments
Purpose of the meal function
Types of meal functions, menu planning, menu design, and pricing
Types of beverage functions, beverage menu planning, and pricing
Liquor laws and third-party liability
Space requirements and room setup
-Generally have one host and one bill. Most attendees eat the same meals.
-A mandatory gratuity is added to the check that can range from 18% to 24% of the total bill, and taxes can add another 5% to 9%
-A gratuity differs from a tip, as a tip is voluntary and is given all at the discretion of the client for service over and above expectations
-Catered event can be held in just about any location. Off premises catering transports food either prepared or to be prepared onsite- to a location such as a tented area, museum, park or attraction.
-On-premise is defined as being held in a facility that has its own permanent kitchens and function rooms, such as a hotel, restaurant, or convention center.
-Allows the facility to keep the permanent furniture, such as banquet tables and chairs in inventory.
-Many meetings have at least one off premise event, often the opening reception or closing gala or a themed event
Food and Beverage is an area that many meeting planners shy away from by outsourcing its planning and negotiation to third party planners.
• Caterer: (1) A food service vendor, often used to describe a vendor who specializes in banquets and theme parties. (2) An exclusive food and beverage contractor within a facility
-The quality of the food and beverage functions can impact the overall impressions of a meeting.
-From planning menus to negotiating prices, catering is one area not to leave to chance. It is one of the major expenses of a meeting and an area where Murphy’s Law prevails.
-The importance of cuisine must be emphasized.
-Beverage revenues may be declining because sponsors of events do not want to assume liability for alcohol assumption.
Styles of Service
-There are many ways to serve a meal, from self-service to VIP white glove service.
-However, because of the confusion of the area, it is important to be sure that the planner and the catering representative agree what the service style mean for the event.
• Attended Buffet/Cafeteria
• Combination Buffet
• Plated Buffet
• Action Stations
• Family Style/English Service
• Plated/American Service
• Russian Service
• Banquet French
• Cart French
• Hand Service
• Waiter Parade
• The Wave
• Mixed Styles
-Most meals are catered on premise during a meeting. Serving attendees all at once prevents strains on the restaurant outlets, keeps attendees from leaving the property, and assures that everyone will be back on time for the following sessions.
-Conference centers offer a complete package, which includes meals.
--Convention centers and stadiums usually have concessions open.
-The above venues generally have full service restaurants on property.
-Meeting planners also need to stay abreast of current food trends.
-As a meeting planner you may be responsible for simultaneously coordinating both off-premise catering events.
-Many notable and excellent restaurant have banquet rooms and bigger restaurants
-In many cases, off premise events will be outsourced with a DMC. DMCs are familiar with the location and have relationships established with unique venues in the area.
-Destination Management companies also know the best caterers, decorators, shuttle companies, entertainment, and any other supplier of products or services you may require.
-Two of the challenges with off premise events are transportation and weather.
-During the initial site inspection, obtain a copy of the facility’s banquet menus and policies.
-Other important considerations include the demographics of the group.
-Here are some questions to ask when planning for food and beverage:
• Who will I work with planning the event?
• Who will be on site during the event?
• When can I expect your written proposal?
• What is your policy regarding deposits and cancellations?
• When is the final payment due?
• Are there other charges for setup, delivery, overtime, etc.?
• Do you take credit cards? Do you take personal checks?
• When must I give you my final guarantee?
• What percentage is overset above the guarantee?
• What is the sales tax, and what are your gratuity and/or service charge policies?
• What are the chef’s best menu items?
• What are your portion sizes?
• Will wine be poured by the staff or placed on the tables?
• How many staff will be working the event?
• What are your substitution policies for vegetarian plates and special meals?
• Could you pass wine or champagne as guests arrive?
• How many bartenders will be used during the cocktail hour?
• Do you provide table numbers?
• What size tables do you have?
• What are the options for linen, chair covers, china, stemware, flatware, and charger plates?
• What decorations do you provide for tables, buffets, and food stations?
• Are you ADA compliant?
• Can you provide a podium, mike, and overhead projector?
-In the past, menus rarely changed. Today, change is necessary to keep pace with the changing taste of the public. Most food trades journals run features on “What’s Hot and What’s Not”.
Food Consumption Patterns
-A pretty goof determination can be made based on previous years. If this is a new group, or the history is not available, then consider the following demographics of the attendees.
• Some General Guidelines
-Guest will eat an average of seven hors d’ oeuvres during the first hour. They will generally eat more during the first hour of a reception.
-The amount of food consumed may also depend on how many square feet of space is available for guest to move around in.
-Banquet servers should know the ingredients and preparation method of every single item on the menu.
• Diet and health concerns
• Religious restrictions
-There are three basic types of vegetarians:
• Type 1 – no meat but will eat poultry and fish
• Type 2 – “lacto-ovo” - no meats, poultry, or fish
• By-products OK – cheese, eggs, milk
• Type 3 – “vegans” no animal source at all
• No by-products, including butter and honey
-Other dietary restrictions include people who are lactose intolerant.
-It is a good idea to have attendees fill out a form indicating if they have a menu restriction. This information can then be communicated to the catering manager, who will ensure that the proper number and alternative menu items are available.
Food and Beverage Attrition
-Most planners do not like attrition clauses, although they benefit both planner and hotel because they set down obligations for both sides and establish liability limits.
-Attrition hits the planner in the pocketbook if the guarantee is not met. The planner agrees in the contract to buy a specific number of meals or to spend a specific amount of money on group food and beverage; the caterer’s obligation is to provide the service and the food.
-The planner may also lose concessions that he or she has negotiated.
-Catering sales managers must strive to maximize revenue per available rooms.
Amenities or Gifts
-Many hotel CSMs, the DMC, and so like to say “thank you for your business” with a token of appreciation that may be an in-room amenity. The meeting planner may also offered the opportunity to send in room amenities to meeting VIP.
-Cut fruit and cheese do not last, so only send whole fruit and small packaged cheeses.
• Reasons for a Beverage Event
-Beverage events are popular and include refreshments breaks and receptions.
-Receptions are slightly different because most include alcohol and probably more variety and quantity of food options. Reasons for receptions include:
• Categories of Liquor
-The three categories of liquor are beer, wine, and spirits. Beer and wine are considered soft liquors, and spirits are considered hard liquor. There are three categories of spirits, well, call and premium brands.
• How Beverages are Sold
• Per Bottle
• Per Drink
• Per Person
• Per Hour
• Flat Rate Charge
• Open Bar
• Cash Bar
• Combination Bar
• Limited Consumption Bar
-Extra charges are usually leveled for bartenders and/or barbacks, cocktail servers, cashiers, security and corkage.
-A “barback” is the bartender’s helper- restocking liquor, keeping fresh ice, clean glasses, and so on-at the bar so that the bartender will not have to do it himself during services.
-Gradual and sustained efforts to embrace and integrate “green” products and practices.
-More focus on big / bold flavor profiles.
-Trend toward fresh, local / specialty foods.
-Trend toward clean / slick / simple presentations and efficient service.
Chapter 11: Legal Issues in the MEEC Industry
The fine points of negotiation between the organizer and suppliers
The concept of risk management and ways to deal with risk
The concept of intellectual property and how it relates to MEEC
Ethics and unique applications in MEEC
-Negotiation is the process by which a meeting planner and a hotel representative (or other suppliers) reach an agreement on the terms and conditions that will govern their relationship before, during, and after a meeting, convention, exposition, or event.
-While many believe that the goal of negotiation is to create a “win—win” situation, one in which both parties feel satisfied about the outcome, in fact the real “winner” may be the party who is better prepared entering the negotiation and has a good idea of what he or she wants.
-One negotiator has offered these tips:
Do Your Homework
• Develop a “game plan” of the outcomes sought and prioritize your needs and wants. Learn as much about the other side’s position as you can.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
• Don't forget the outcome sought.
Leave Something on the Table
• It may provide an opportunity to come back later and renew the negotiations.
Don't Be the First to Make an Offer
• Letting the other person make the first move sets the outside parameters for the negotiation.
Bluff, But Don't Lie
When There's a Roadblock, Find a More Creative Path
• Thinking "outside the box" often leads to a solution.
Timing is Everything
• Remember that time always works against the person who doesn't have it, and that 90% of negotiation usually occurs in the last 10% of the time allocated.
Listen, Listen, Listen...and Don't Get Emotional
• Letting emotions rule a negotiation will cause one to lose sight of what result is important
When negotiating meeting contacts- or any agreements—it is wise to keep some general rules in mind.
-The following general rules will help with the negotiation of a meeting contract:
• Go into the negotiations with a plan
• Always go into a contract negotiation with an alternative location or service provider in mind
• Be thorough
• Do not assume anything
• Be specific
• Beware of language that sounds acceptable but not specific
• Do not accept something just because it is preprinted on the contracts of proposal is given to you by the other party.
• Read the small print
• Look for mutuality in the contract’s provisions.
In addition to the general “rules” applicable to all contract negotiations, there are some special rules about hotel contracts that should be kept in mind:
• Remember that a meeting contract provides a package of funds to a hotel.
• Never sign a contract in which major items like room rates are left to future negotiation.
• Specify special room rates – such as staff and speakers – and indicate any upgrades for them.
• While it is preferable to have specific meeting and function rooms designated in the contract, they should be assigned at least six to nine months prior to the meeting, depending on the time of the first promotional mailing.
• Do not agree to any changes that are not spelled out either in the contract or in later addendum.
One of the most frequently overlooked yet most important parts of a hotel contract includes the names of the contracting parties.
-But the hotels name is merely a trade name – that is the name under which the property’s owner or management company does business. In today’s hotel environment, it may actually be a franchise of a national “chain” operated by a company that the planner has never heard of.
-Primary source of hotel revenue is sleeping rooms
-More than 73% of room profit goes to bottom line
-Rooms generate 67% of all hotel revenue
-Food and Beverage is the second largest source at 25%
-Rack Rate is the published room rate
-Most properties use Yield Management Program Methods
-Guest Room to Meeting Space ratio
-To understand how a hotel approaches a meeting negotiation, the planner must first know about the hotel. Some of the necessary information is obvious:
• The hotel’s location
• The hotel’s type
-However, some of the information that is important to know is not so obvious, and may on fact change depending on the time of the year.
-Seasonal functions may be driven by outside factors, such as events in the city where the hotel is located.
-The arrival and departure patterns of the majority of a hotel’s guests are also important for a planner to know.
-Contracts for meetings, conventions, and trade shows, and the ancillary services provided in connection with these events, contain self-serving statements, lack specificity, and fail to reflect the total negotiations between the parties. This is understandable since neither meeting planners nor hotel sales representatives generally receive training in the law governing these agreements.
-Contract is an agreement between two or more persons consisting of a promise or mutual promises that the law will enforce, or the performance of which the law recognizes as a duty
-The essential elements of a contract are:
• Offer by one party
• Acceptance of the offer as presented
-Offers can be terminated prior to acceptance in one of the several ways:
• Expiration of specific time
• Expiration of reasonable time
• Specific revocation by offeror
-A rejection of the offer by the offeree or the proposal of a counteroffer terminates the original offer, but a request for additional information about the offer is not construed as a rejection of the offer.
- Acceptance: unequivocal; in same terms as the offer
-Acceptance must be communicated to the offeror using same means as the offeror used
-Offer made in writing; acceptance must be in writing
-Silence on the part of the offeree is never construed as acceptance
-Offeror cannot impose an agreement on the other party by stating that the contract will be assumed if no response is given by a specified date
- Price negotiated and paid for the agreement
-Generally involves money paid for the other party's promise to perform certain functions
-Can be exchange of mutual promises (barter)
-Must be based on whether the act or return promise results in a benefit to the promisor or a detriment to the promise.
-Important that both promises be legally enforceable to constitute valid consideration.
• Parol Evidence
-Parol evidence (or evidence of oral agreement) can be used in limited instances, especially where the plain meaning of words in the written document may be in doubt.
-Many contracts, especially meeting contracts, contain addenda prepared at the same time or sometimes subsequent to the signing of the contract. In cases where the terms of an addendum differ from those of the contract, the addendum generally prevails, although it is a good idea when using an addendum to specifically provide that in the event of differences, the addendum will prevail.
-Attritions, cancellations, and termination provisions in a hotel are frequently confusing. If not carefully drafted, they can lead to many problems if a meeting organizer does not fil the room block or wishes to change his or her mind for some reason.
-Attrition clauses (sometimes also referred to as a performance or slippage clauses) provide for payment of damages to the hotel when meeting sponsor fails to fully utilize the room block specified in the contract.
-Damages should never be payable if hotel is able to resell the rooms
-Contract should impose a specific requirement on hotel to try to resell the rooms
- Require the hotel to resell the rooms in the organization's room block first
-This is the provision that provides for damages if the meeting is canceled for reasons other than those specified, either in the same clause or in the termination provision.
- Cancellation is provided without damages if it occurs within a specified time period prior to the meeting.
-Damages sometimes stated on a sliding scale; greater damages being paid the closer to the meeting date that the cancellation occurs.
-Sometimes called a force majeure or Act of God clause, this provision permits either party to terminate contract without damages if fulfillment of obligations imposed in agreement are rendered impossible by occurrences outside the control of either party
- Includes such things as strikes, severe weather, transportation difficulties, etc.
• Dispute Resolution
-No matter how carefully a contract is written, disputes may occur either because the parties might disagree as to their individual rights and obligations or because one of the parties may perform less than had been promised.
- Specify damages to be awarded in event of a breach by either party
-Damages typically stated as "liquidated damages"
-Damages that parties agree to in advance as a result of a breach
-Four Methods of Resolution:
• Privately and informally
In a businesslike way that encourages continued business relationships.
• Give up possibility of reaching a solution and walk away from the problem
• Go to court and sue
• Resolve the dispute through other means
• What is Risk? What is Risk Management?
-All meetings involve an element of risk. Risk is the possibility of suffering loss or harm.
-Risk management is the process of assessing, analyzing, mitigating, and controlling risk.
-Risk is the “what” and risk management is the “how”. Risk is used here as an umbrella term to including loss or harm caused by everyday occurrences as well as emergencies, diseases, disasters, crisis, and catastrophes, all of which are defined differently based on the scope and impact.
-The stages of risk are:
• Preparedness (assessment and analysis)
-Despite the recognizing the importance of risk management, research suggest that less than half of all MEEC planners have a risk management plan in place.
• How Risk Management Affects Your Meeting or Event
-Risk management isn’t just another thing that planners have to do; it is just part of the meeting planning process. It should inform decisions on a myriad of meeting and event logistics.
1. Preparedness and Mitigation
a. Contracts – narrow or shift liability to responsible party or specify damages.
b. Insurance – shifts some liability to insurance company.
c. Security – hiring security guards mitigates risk of injury or loss.
a. Not everything is in the control of planner.
b. Planner needs to have a risk team ready to respond after incidents.
c. Simple – sending an announcement. Complex – coordinating evacuation and providing first aid.
a. Paying insurance claims for losses suffered by organizer.
b. Actions to overcome any bad press, upset members or exhibitors.
c. Main goal – organization can survive financially and through public relations.
-Planners should review the definition of who is the “insured” under the policy, since it may be important to extend coverage to the organization’s employees and volunteers as well as the organization itself. Frequently a hotel or convention center will require that it be designated as an “additional” named insured” this is easily done through the insurance broker who procured the policy.
-How much insurance to carry is also a concern for planners.
• Association professional liability (APL)
Protects the organization and its officers, directors, staff, and volunteers.
• Convention cancellation policies
Are a specialized form of protection insuring against unforeseen circumstances, such as labor disputes, inclement weather, or damage to the convention or meeting facility.
• Exhibitors’ liability policies
Provide protection to the organization for damage caused by exhibitors.
IV. Americans with Disabilities Act
-Federal legislations make it illegal to discriminate against or fail to provide a “reasonable accommodation” for people with disabilities.
-The legislation resulted in passage of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, which places responsibility on the owners and operators of public facilities to make reasonable accommodations for people with many types of disabilities.
-A disability is a “physical or mental impairment that sustainability limits a major life activity of an individual.”
V. Intellectual Property
-The right of the authors of “original works of authorship” includes literacy, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.
-Regardless of how music is provided, it is important to remember that under the federal copyright act, the music is being “performed” and according to many court decisions, the entity organizing the event is considered to be controlling the “performance” even if that “control” means hiring an orchestra without telling them to play.
-Under copyright law, an organization cannot meet its obligations by requiring the musicians performing the music or the booking agency or hotel that provided the musicians to obtain ASCAP and BMI licenses. The entity organizing the even must obtain the requisites license.
• Recording or Videotaping Speakers
-An organization organizing a meeting will often want to make audio or video recordings of certain speakers or programs, either for the purpose of selling copies to meeting attendees to those who could not attend, or for archival purposes.
-Permission can be obtained by having each speaker whose session is to be recorded sign a copyright waiver, a simple document acknowledging that the speakers sessions is going to be recorded and giving the organizing entity permission to sell the recordings made of the speakers presentation.
VI. Labor Issues
-Preparation for on-site work for a meetings and trade shows often involves long hours and the use of individuals on a temporary or part-time basis to provide administrative or other support.
-The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act is a more commonly known as the law that prescribes a minimum wage for a large segment of the working population.
- Requires workers subject to minimum wage must receive overtime pay unless specifically exempted by the statute.
- "Comp time" is legal when
• Given in the same week the extra hours are worked
• Given in another week of the same pay period
• The extra time off offsets the overtime worked (i.e., at the time-and-one-half rate).
-Overtime cannot be limited to situations where extra work is approved in advanced.
-It is important to remember that the exemptions only apply to those whose actual work activity falls within the definitions; job titles are meaning less in determining whether an employee is exempt:
VII. Ethics in MEEC
- Guides our personal and professional lives
-Harmonize ethics on three levels: personally, interpersonally, and professionally
-Loyalty to personal friends vs. employer
-Huge and important topic.
VIII. Supplier Relations
-Many planners feel suppliers are out to make a buck and will do anything they can to get the right contract for an event. Some believe that suppliers and vendors will promise anything but may not deliver in their promises.
XV. Future Trends
-Legal issues continue to vary by geographical region.
-As developing countries mature, complexity of legal issues will increase.
-Who has upper hand in negotiations – organizer or vendor will depend on the economy.
-Attrition penalties will vacillate with the economy.
-Because of APEX, MEEC contracts will become more standardized
-Need for competent legal advice will remain for organizers and vendors.
Chapter 12: Technology and the Meeting Professional
Recognize how technology currently impacts meeting professional
Identify new technologies that support meeting marketing and communications
Understand the critical technology terms that apply to the hospitality industry
Recognize the best Web portals for researching industry information
Understand how social media is impacting the meetings industry
I. Before the Event or Conference
-Technology savvy meeting professionals have more tools than ever before to help research, promote, and organize their event. Once the primary use of technology in our industry, it still can be said that technology applications are of great support to the conference planner in this phase of the event’s lifecycle.
• Virtual Sites Selection and Research
1. Online RFPs
-As the World Wide Web developed in the mid late 1990s, one of the first tools available, both through Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Web sites and hotel and third party planning sites, was the one that allowed the planner to create an efficient online RFP.
-Tool many planners use to distribute information to hotels about potential meetings
-Without standardization, each RFP has its own nuances, which could cost the planner time in completing each one required.
II. Meeting Industry Information Portals
-While less elegant, but still can enormously useful, industry information portals continue to thrive.
-Any discussion of information portals for the hospitality industry begins with the Web site.
-Convention and visitors Bureau pages are rich with information for the planners to orchestrate their meeting. This information available through drop down menus on their sites replaces the more archaic printed city guides.
-The only difficulty with the CVB sites is finding their web addresses. Sometimes they are obvious, but not always.
-While its website location has shifted a few times, an essential resource for planners is a searchable database with information on tens of thousands of hotels.
-The searchable database is essential tool for planners in their site selection quest.
III. Marketing and Communications
-Another revolution in the past years has once again shifted the nature of this aspect of the planner’s job.
-Real-time communication is now the expected norm, and organizations who grew up using technology and sees its inherent value.
• Websites and Strategic Communications
-It used to be all about one-way communication: information sent from the event organizers to the (potential) attendees.
-In the past few years, as social network sites have become synonymous with real-time communication, the model of event communication has clearly become a two way model.
-Websites are still an important part of the communication conversation.
• Event Web Sites
-Overshadowed in the social media revolution is that one-way tools still have importance. The event Web site is to today what the conference marketing brochure was a generation ago; a place to provide information, create interest, and hopefully, get people to register for the conference.
-The best Web sites integrate a two-way strategy, but having that site that can allow people to find out everything they need to know about the event is of critical importance. The core rules of successful conference Web site include:
-The need for a clear, easy way to find information.
- Focus on the 5 W’s about the conference.
- The ability to make the sale (in the MEEC industry, the payment process on the registration form)
-A frequent issue with event organizer is not getting information on the Web site early enough.
• Web 2.0 and Social Media
-The website is one facet of the e-marketing strategy of the technology-savvy meeting professional. Social networks are the hottest, but not only tools available to the planners to enhance their event marketing and communications.
-The term Web 2.0 refers to all of the online tools where the operative word is interactivity.
-Any Web site that allows two-way communication, as well as all social media is considered to be Web 2.0
• Social Media
-Social networks have always been at the root of the MEEC industry’s success.
-For the past years, organizations such as Meeting Professionals International (MPI) have used customized social networks to create an incredibly useful tool for attendees, both prior to attending the event and on-site and post event networking.
-The only difference is now the social network is online, as well as face to face.
- A tool where a Web site creates or gathers a feed of information about a specific topic and publishes it as an RSS feed that can be accessed on the site.
-Constantly provides updated information
-Customer then returns to get latest data/updates
-Google and Yahoo have free personal services to gather and customize a home page to provide pertinent data to the user
-Allows anyone a forum to voice their opinion
-A two-way medium that allows readers to respond and further the discussion
-Many blogs use RSS feed information
-Maintains a dialogue with your peers and customers
-Keeps your organization in the front of the minds of potential customers
-The method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio or video programs, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers.
-Allows listeners/customers access to content that they can listen to at their leisure
-Marketing to customers who are interested in your product or services and can control their access
-Allows a more intimate contact as it uses MP3 sound technology
• Event Wikis
-A wiki is a collaborative web site that can be edited by anyone. The pillar of wikis is of course, Wikipedia.
-In fact, you could consider the shared documents in Google Docs that we discussed as nothing more than a wiki.
• E Blast
-Instead of just blasting the audience with emails after emails, planners may be wise to head a different set of marketing rules to best promote her conference to her audience.
-Don’t overdo it
Keep it simple
IV. Room Design Software
-Another level of more efficient communications is how the planners share information with the facility to ensure that their wants are translated into the actions of the facility.
-Certain aspects of your event as not as efficiently communicated by the written work. In these cases, planners use CAD.
-Our industry has many versions of this type of software.
-The latest in room design enhancements is the 3D room tour.
V. Selling the Show Floor
-Another way technology is enhancing the event communications and marketing is by assisting the trade show manager in selling the show floor.
-Traditional exhibit sales were focused on a document called the Exhibit Prospectus, along with a generic layout of the show floor.
-Almost every trade show now uses some kind of virtual enhancement to the trade show floor selling process.
• Online Registration
-One of the first critical benefits of the technology to the MEEC industry, the ability to register for the event online, enhanced the marketing and communication of the event organizer.
-Another issue that is raised by organizations using online services is in the added, unexpected expense.
• Desktop Application
-While there are a dozens of industry specific software packages on the market, the clear leader in our industry is still the basic MS office suite.
-Most important these tools allow for real-time sharing of documents
VI. During the Event
• Setting Up Your Infrastructure
-The meeting professional understands the importance of negotiations with hotels.
-The technology savvy planner, however, understands enough about the technologies that supports their event that they know what they need to plan for during the initial stages for planning.
-Bandwidth is the amount of information that can pass through a communications line. The more bandwidth, the more information can occur simultaneously.
-Here is a partial list of tasks where the planner needs to use bandwidth (and understand how much) at the event:
-HQ office and press room bandwidth for office communications
-Speaker Internet access for presentations
-Live Web-conferencing (streaming audio and video) for sessions
• Wired Vs. Wireless
-Most attendees will want to access their email whenever they go in the hotel. With the proliferation of 3G mobile phones the attendee can typically get that on their mobile device.
-A facility that allows for the attendees computer to pick up a wireless signal, whether it is in their guest room or in the public space, it still an important service to provide.
• Digital Recording and Steaming Media
-The General Session is a critical part of any annual meeting or conference. The marketing success of many conferences depends on the quality of the keynotes, who establish the tone of a conference.
-The organization can extend its key tones to those who cannot attend by digitally recording the event, and streaming it over the Internet.
• To VoIP or Not to VoIP?
-Is the more accurate term used for your high speed Internet connection to make and receive phone calls. This model may ultimately replace traditional telephones, due to its significantly cheaper calling cost.
-Planners can also choose to establish VoIP as their main approach in making phone calls while at the event.
-Some mobile phones manufactures have begun to package VoIP software with their phones.
• NFC and RFID
-The two acronyms are at the core of many of the interactive technologies available onsite at conferences. NFC stands for Near Field Communications, which is a short-range, high-frequency wireless technology, allowing for information exchange between certain devices. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification.
-RFIDs and NFC are finding a use in our industry as well, mainly in use in interactive nametags.
• Interactive nametags and Networking Devices
-The most widely used RFID is occurring in nametags. Either attached to slim piece of paper behind you badge or as part of a slightly larger wearable nametag device, the RFID services better networking and interactivity between conference attendees, as well as between attendees and vendors.
-If it isn’t enough the interactive RFID driven nametag, has two more meeting specific uses:
-Interactive Message Centers
• Lead Retrieval Systems
-Information coded onto a badge for each attendee and then retrieved electronically for use
• Audience Response Systems and Speaker Interaction
-Similar to technology in an audience participation game show
-Can be tracked online as a survey or poll
-Can be streamlined into PowerPoint presentations
• Attendee Blogs and Tweets
-AKA “microblogging” – provide wireless broadband in all meeting rooms and pre-function spaces.
-Twitter – 140 characters and access from any mobile device.
-Tweeting during a meeting may indicate level of boredom with presentation.
-The hash tag (#) establishes a threaded conversation that attendees can join.
• Mobile Technologies and Mashups
-Smart Phones (3G & 4G) high speed transmission
-Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) – incorporates Internet access, calendars, etc.
-Bluetooth – a telecommunications standard allows mobile devices to communicate with each other.
-The combination of two services to create a third hybrid tool serving a specific need (i.e. Google Maps and Craig’s List)
V. Post-Conference Technology Applications
-Technology has clearly served a great purpose in the marketing and running of the meeting.
• Evaluations and Surveys
-Many organizations have moved the meeting evaluation process from a paper-based process on site to a post conference, online approach.
-Regardless of one’s position, it is a system in use by many planners. In fact, Web-based tools such as Zoomerang have become increasingly popular for this process.
-This process should not be limited to conference evaluations.
• Marketing the Media
-The essence of post conference technology is to extend the event past the traditional time boarders.
-A conference is no longer bound to a Monday and Thursday frame. It can begin with attendees networking months prior to the opening session, by using tools such as pre-event networking.
-After the conference the planner can provide content to those who didn’t attend (or event those who wish to view it again).
VI. Virtual Gatherings
-The creation of a successful webinar is very different than a live event. All day live events are rarely successful.
-There are many webinar providers that a planner can use.
• Second Life
-Second Life is a 3D virtual community, where people use representation of themselves, called Avatars to navigate and explore.
-It is free service to join, but commerce is readily available, with over $300,000,000 in money transacted for people to create and buy Second Life elements.
• Virtual Trade Show
-Second Life is not the only service that can offer virtual events. A number of providers are now making virtual trade shows a reality. At its most basic, a virtual trade show can be an outline trade show for floor plan, with hypertext links to the sites of the exhibitors for the attendees to visit.
-While some people fear that these virtual events will replace face-to-face ones, it is pretty clear for the foreseeable future, these services work best as an adjunct to actual events, or used when a face-to-face event isn’t possible to hold.
VII. Future Trends
Corbin Ball recently listed the top ten trends in technology for the MEEC industry. They are:
10. Mobile phones are morphing into advanced mobile meetings technology platforms.
9. Social networking technology finds numerous meeting applications
8. Micro-Blogging (Twitter) is proving particularly well suited for events.
7. Social review sites are moving to meetings
6. Strategic meetings management program (SMMP) options are increasing.
5. More video to promote and improve the meeting experience.
4. Audience response technology gets cheaper and more diversified.
3. Low cost, two-way, mobile lead retrieval options for meetings and tradeshows attendees are emerging.
2. Telepresence is finally gaining a foothold at hotels for virtual meetings.
1. Despite the economic downturn and the increased use of virtual meetings technology, face-to-face meetings and tradeshows remain viable
Chapter 13: Green Meetings and Social Responsibility
Understand the definitions of “green meetings”
Understand the meaning of “social responsibility”
Be able to describe best practices in green meetings
Understand where there are opportunities for meetings and events to be more environmentally sensitive
Understand the costs of “being green”
Be able to define and discuss “greenwashing”
I. Introduction to Green Meetings
The Green Movement, as it was initially referred to, was first started in the 1960s with environmentalist advocating the sustainable management of resources and the protection of the natural environment through changes in public policy and individual behavior.
-The movement toward green meetings within the industry is impacting all areas of meeting planning.
-Definition of green meeting: A common expression meaning environmentally responsible.
II. Why Go Green – The Bottom Line
-The industry of professionals take on the extra challenge of going green include:
-It makes good business sense to go green, and companies that choose to do so are reporting higher gross margins, higher return on assets, and stronger cash flow than their less sustainable competitors.
-Taking small steps to go green can make an enormous difference in a company’s bottom line, as well as in the environment.
-While the concept of social responsibility is not necessarily a new one, the idea that businesses should contribute to the welfare of their communities both locally and globally is one of the trends of the millennium.
-Employees who work in organizations that support the green efforts could be healthier due to working in an office that is naturally lighted or better ventilated for energy savings.
-In addition to obvious health reasons, employees like to be in part of something that is good overall.
-Encouraging employees to become participants in green efforts often means encouraging them to live a healthier and more active lifestyle, thus leading to happier and more productive individuals in the workforce.
-Meeting and event attendees are also positively impacted by sustainable efforts and enthusiastically participate in reduce, reuse, and recycle programs.
III. Opportunities to Go Green
-All major events held by the Meeting Planners International (MPI), the directors purposefully considers the eight areas of “green meetings” as defined by the Convention Industry Council.
-Planning a green meeting used to be though as a difficult and expensive, when in reality, it is simply paying attention to the decisions that make you regarding your company policies and then applying them to your planning practices.
-Here are more simple steps to making your next meeting green:
• Create Standards
• Use Technology
• Choose a Local Destination
• Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
• Volume Up
• Eat Local
• Decorate with Nature
• Use Paper Wisely
• Save Energy
• Inform Everyone
-Green washing refers to any misrepresentation by a company that leads the consumer to believe that its policies and products are environmentally responsible, when it is claims are false, misleading, or cannot be verified.
-Greenwashing is also used to identify the practice of the companies spending more money on the campaign to notify customers of their environmentally friendly efforts, than the efforts themselves.
-Another term, green sheen, has also been used in a similar way. It refers to companies that are making a concerted effort to show that they are adopting green practice regardless of whether their claims are true.
-Today consumers are becoming more and more aware of environmentally sound practices, companies are responding by incorporating these green efforts into their business standards.
-As awareness grows, it is becoming more difficult for even the consumer to distinguish between those companies that are actually implementing green practices and those who are greenwashing
-The meeting industry continues to respond to this challenge in many ways. One of the first steps was to identify green washing.
-Here is a list of the “sins” with an example to illustrate each point
• Sin of the hidden trade-off
• Sin of no proof
• Sin of vagueness
• Sin of irrelevance
• Sin of fibbing
• Sin of the lesser of two evils
• Sin of worshipping false labels
-First, meeting planners must be aware, knowledgeable, and not afraid to ask questions.
-Meeting planners must take responsibility for understanding what is being said and ensuring that the terms being used are credible and make sense.
-Understanding the criteria for certifications and labels is also important.
-A back-of-the-house tour should be part of the due-diligence process of the meeting planner and can be very helpful in validating the green claims being stated by any given company.
-Once a planner is aware of the obstacles greenwashing can present, it is easier to identify those areas of concern and proceed in a positive manner with the planning of a green meeting.
V. Green Meeting Standards
-The hospitality industry is moving quickly toward the very real possibility of green meeting becoming the norm of the future.
-As greenwashing becomes less of an issue within the industry, meeting planners will have the ability to ask the right questions with more confidence that the answers they receive will be within their expectations.
-Greenwashing may never disappear completely, but once industry standards are in place, the threat is reduced.
-These green meeting standards will help identify, unify, and contain these efforts.
VI. ASTM/APEX Green Meeting Standards
- According to Karen Kotowski, chief operating officer of the Convention Industry Council, the Convention Industry Council (CIC)’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) Panel on Green Meetings and Events is in the final stages of the development of standards for sustainable meetings and events.
-The standards cover nine individual topic areas: accommodations, audiovisuals, communication, exhibition, food and beverage, on site office, destinations, meeting venue, and transportation.
VII, Industry Certifications
-Preceding these standards. There have been numerous (eco-friendly) certifications within the industry that are currently recognized. The Green Meeting Guide offers a fairly inclusive list:
• Catering / Food and Beverage
• Décor / Trade Show Rentals
• Event Logistics
• Printing / promotions / Gifts
• Transportation / Tours
-In addition to the certification that suppliers, vendors, and venues can earn, meeting planners themselves can earn a certificate in green meetings. The certification in Green Meetings and Events is designed to assist meeting professionals with all stages of the meeting planning process in a way that promotes social and environmental responsibility.
VIII. Evaluating Efforts
-Evaluating the return on investments is crucial to the efforts of going green.
-It is important for meeting planners and companies to set clear goals in the beginning so that it is possible to measure the success or failure of an event.
-Fortunately, because of the growing interest in conducting green meetings, several tools have been created to help in the evaluation process.
• Carbon Footprint Calculator
-The carbon Footprint Calculator allows planners to easily see which destination sites have the least amount of carbon emissions generated by air travel based on points of origin.
• City Scorecard
-The scorecard ranks cities according to environmental programs that are administered by the local convention and visitor’s bureau, convention center, and hotels offered in the city’s conference package.
-With this instrument it is easy to see the top “green cities” and know that their efforts have been verified by a third party. MeetGreen, and have been found valid.
IX. Going Green versus Sustainability
-Going green is a “phrase referring to individual action that a person (or company) can consciously take to curb harmful effects on the environment through consumer habits, behavior, and lifestyles.”
-The term green is usually a product it service specific; and while taking the current state of the environment into consideration, it is usually not associated with the overall impact of future generation.
-Sustainability is more encompassing term that includes implementing and executing a plan to save resources while improving performance.
-The industry of green meetings is quickly growing and all indicators pint to these practices eventually becoming the norm within the meeting industry.
X. Future Trends
-Green meetings and social responsibility are the future of MEEC.
-Green meetings and social responsibility will be incorporated into increasing numbers of events.
-Many national governments are likely to demand that meetings and events they organize and sponsor incorporate “green elements” and that these elements are measurable.
-There will be increased accountability and requirement that planners prove their meetings and events are green.
-There is increased focus on cost versus benefits of “going green.” Being able to document and calculate the true cost of going green versus the true benefits is crucial