The Convention Industry Council is turning its gaze on poachers—companies that exist to divert attendees away from the official conference hotel room block and into other area properties. The poachers’ tactics range from annoying to unethical, and—in cases where they misrepresent their relationship to an event—potentially illegal.

The CIC’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX)—an initiative focused on developing best practices for professional meeting management—has formed a new workgroup focused on poaching, chaired by MaryAnne Bobrow of Bobrow Associates Inc. and Michael Dominguez of MGM Resorts International. The goals of the workgroup are to raise industry awareness about the impacts of poaching and to develop best practices, tools, and education around the issue.

“Our first priority is research and data gathering, which will shape further work,” said Dominguez.

“Hotel ‘poaching,’ or ‘piracy,’ is not new but seems to be on the rise and affecting meetings around the globe.  In some instances, a meeting’s management team may be unaware that rooms are being poached,” said Bobrow.

Additional members of the volunteer APEX Room Block Poaching Workgroup are Adam Briggs, ConferenceDirect; Ronnie Burt, Destination DC; Lisa Dyson, TESOL International Association; Richard Harper, HelmsBriscoe; Michael Howe, OnPeak; Fun Lee, Cardiovascular Research Foundation–Center for Education; Michael Owen, EventGenuity; Anne Roth, InterContinental Hotels Group; Stuart Ruff, RIMS, the Risk Management Society; and Heidi Voorhees, Experient.