The Convention Industry Council is closing the year with two big announcements. First, it approved accepted practices for two key areas of its APEX (Accepted Practices Exchange) initiative: terminology and history/post event reports. Later this month, it will also release a white paper that will detail the findings of its Project.
On the APEX front, the CIC's Council of Delegates met in November to approve reports on history/post-events and terminology — the first in a series of seven that seek to establish industry “standards” or best practices.
The highlight of the terminology report is the formation of APEX Industry Glossary, a list of 3,780 words and definitions covering all aspects of event management. The lexicon will serve as the foundation for clarifying language and terms used in event management.
The history/post-events report addresses the “how” and the “what” of event reporting. A post-event report, or PER, is intended to be the preferred document to log details and activities of a meeting. After each event, a planner should fill out the 10-page PER along with representatives from each facility and venue involved. The most recent PER for an event should accompany any request for proposal. The full details on PER, and on the APEX Industry Glossary can be found at CIC's Web site: www.conventionindustry.org
The reports are the culmination of two and a half years of effort by the respective APEX panels. Up next, the final report on Resumes and Work Orders is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2004. In the third quarter of 2004, Housing and Registration will be unveiled, followed by RFPs in late 2004, and Meeting and Site Profiles in early 2005. The final report,, is slated for release in late 2005.
Juli Jones, APEX project director, says the post-conference report has been well received by the hotel community. Some hotels, including Starwood, have already started incorporating it into their processes.
How to Curb Attrition
In December, CIC is also expected to introduce its much-anticipated report on attrition, authored by the Project Attrition task force. The white paper identifies reasons why guests book outside the block, and offers strategies on how planners can reduce attrition. The recommendations will then be forwarded to the APEX Housing and Registration Committee for inclusion in its report, which will be released in late 2004. (See related article on this subject, page 16.)
A key recommendation of the report focuses on bundling housing and registration, explains Dave Radcliffe, leader of the CIC-appointed committee. Research and case studies have shown that inflating registration costs and refunding the difference for those that book inside the block has been very effective, he says. Guests who book outside the block would not get the refund, and the money would be used to offset attrition fees. “In effect, it becomes an insurance policy,” says Radcliffe.
The paper also delves into the impact of technology, and the role that online, outside agents are playing. “Interestingly, we've found that some of the intermediaries, such as Hotels.com and Expedia.com, are entering into the fray because they've been solicited by meeting planners looking to them for help,” Radcliffe says. The paper addresses the positives and negatives of such relationships.
The last piece of Project Attrition, the results of the attendee behavior survey, will be released in March 2004, according to Radcliffe.