No topic was too hot to handle at the Krisam Group's first Executive Summit, held September 7-10 at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. At the opening session, moderated by Corporate Meetings & Incentives' Editor Barbara Scofidio, roundtable groups spent the morning focused on subjects including electronic RFPs, attrition, procurement, and exploring ways to ease the strain on the hotel-planner relationship as a result of the seller's market.

Before the meeting, Krisam, a hotel rep firm based in Washington, D.C., surveyed its members about trends and found that the vast majority expect increasing rates to continue into next year. An accompanying survey of the approximately 100 meeting planner registrants to the Summit found that, in addition to rising rates and limited occupancy, mitigating the damage from attrition and cancellation was a key concern. They also wanted more honest communication about why hotels are unable to book their business (and what they can do to make it more attractive), and for their hotel partners to have a better understanding of the many paths a contract takes before it receives approval from procurement and internal corporate clients — and how that affects planners' jobs.

The opening session also included a question-and-answer session with a panel of planners and hoteliers — Jen Honan-Luther, director, global conference group, Deloitte Services, LP, Wilton, Conn.; Lynn Ridzon, director, global meetings management, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, N.J.; Scott Flexman, vice president of sales and marketing, Fontainebleau Resort, Miami Beach; and Tyra Hilliard, Esq., CMP, associate professor, Tourism & Convention Department at the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Krisam Group represents more than 200 hotels around the world, including Charleston Place Resort in South Carolina, Elbow Beach in Bermuda, and the Hotel Cipriani in Venice. Its sister company is Global Events Partners, a worldwide partnership of destination management companies. Last year, Krisam celebrated 30 years in the meeting business. For more, visit www.krisam.com.

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