Conference centers do meetings better than hotels do, according to a survey released by Cornell University researchers, and commissioned by the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC). Timothy R. Hinkins and fellow researcher Bruce Tracey surveyed meeting planners and trainers about 20 factors of importance to meeting professionals.
"The three critical success factors are security and safety; staff competence, responsiveness, and courtesy; and meeting room attributes--temperature, lighting, noise, comfortable chairs and tables, and appropriate room size," Hinkins said.
The results were announced at the 17th Annual Conference of IACC, held April 4 to 7 at Oak Brook Hills Conference Center and Resort in Oak Brook, Ill. IACC's 400-plus worldwide members must adhere to a strict set of standards. The conference was attended by a record 500-plus conference center professionals.
In other IACC news, Tom Silvestri, former president of Harrison Conference Services, which was sold to Doubletree Hotels last year, received the 1998 Mel Hosansky Award for Distinguished Service at the final banquet. Under Silvestri's leadership, Harrison grew from 500 employees to 1,400. The award is the highest honor bestowed in the conference center industry. --Betsy Bair