A yearlong study by a coalition of convention center managers and convention and visitors bureau executives culminated in the release of a 14-page report on how the two entities can work together most effectively to serve the meetings and conventions industry.
The report, “Best Practices for Convention Center Sales and Convention Center Operations,” was released September 17 by a 14-person study group, with an even mix of members from the International Association of Assembly Managers and Destination Marketing Association International.
The need for the research project arose from a disconnect between publicly owned convention centers, which are facing more pressure to turn a profit rather than simply serve as “loss leaders,” and independent, nonprofit CVBs charged with filling hotel rooms and using centers as a tool to accomplish that aim.
The report suggests best practices in nine “critical areas”: convention sales, convention center operations, joint accountability, joint advocacy, funding and finance, technology, training and human resource deployment, conflict resolution, and certification and accreditation.
With respect to convention sales, for example, the group recommends a team approach. “Delineate market and segment responsibility across sales teams from both sales teams and insist on joint accountability for the performance of the enterprise,” advises the report. p> Among the best practices for technology: “Ensure that the DMO customer relations management system and the Convention Center event management system are compatible and that the data can be accessed at least on a “read only” basis. The entire sales and marketing team must have 24-7 access to the booking calendar and file data.
“The report is a tool for destination marketing organizations and convention facilities to better serve the destination customer, providing a seamless, positive experience from the beginning of the sales cycle through move out,” said Steve Moore, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Phoenix CVB, in a statement. Moore is co-chairman of the task force, along with Peggy Daidakis, executive director at the Baltimore Convention Center.
Download a copy of the white paper at DMAI’s Web site.