Hats Off to the Revolutionaries
Dear Editor: It's very gratifying to see that these issues are being discussed so openly and at such a high level. [See “Busting Up the Block,” page 22, October.] It's also wonderful that our industry is blessed with forward-thinking convention bureau folks like Christine Shimasaki and Bill Peeper. They realize that the “housing wheel” doesn't need to be repaired — it needs to be reinvented. The old “square” model is ready for the trash heap!
Stuart Aizenberg, CEM
Director, Trade Shows & Allied
National Automatic Merchandising Association,
Dear Editor: I really enjoyed reading the article in the October 2002 issue about the roundtable at ASAE in Denver. While I think you all covered the problems very well, and there were a couple of potential solutions offered, I didn't read any debate about what I feel is the most basic aspect of the situation.
As negotiatingclauses becomes more and more complex and as the time frames for negotiating meetings change radically depending on the market, I have always been struck by the contrast between booking a meeting in the United States or Canada and booking one most anywhere else in the world. I have for several years been a proponent of paying to rent the meeting space I need and letting the hotel market the hotel rooms. I want to have a meeting. You have meeting space and hotel rooms to sell. I'm not in the business of marketing your rooms — until I sign a holding me financially responsible for a set number of rooms based on my getting “free” meeting space. So don't give me the space “free” — rent it to me. I'll tell my attendees where the meeting is and they can decide where they want to spend the night. That's the way they do it in much of the rest of the world.
I'm sick of talking about attrition; figuring out when my business should be booked; guessing what a fair room rate will be four or six years out, based on an unknown rate of inflation. It's not what I call core business, so why do we spend so much time and energy on it?I know that renting meeting space and letting you all market the rooms sounds too simple — but I would love to see the bean counters figure out how to make it work. We are in a revolution, so let's lead it.
Leigh Wintz, CAE
Soroptimist International of the Americas
Dear Editor: I found your article on the roundtable very interesting and timely. We're going to do a workshop on the topic at the annual ASAE meeting next year. I really enjoy the articles in your magazine — they are always cutting edge.
Wendy Robinson, CASE
Director, National Accounts
Marriott Global Sales Organization
Dear Editor: Interesting guest commentary on the [possibility of an MPI/PCMA] merger. Being a member of and fairly active in both organizations (more PCMA), the personalities of each organization are quite different, as are the people who are attracted to participate. It seems to me that MPI is more for the meeting planner whereas PCMA has more higher level individuals. The age group in MPI is much younger, while PCMA has a more seasoned group. From the supplier perspective, a merger makes good sense: It would eliminate a lot of duplicative sales and marketing dollars, and eliminate some difficult choices.
Glen Ramsborg, PhD
Ramsborg Group Ltd.
Arlington Heights, Ill.
Dear Editor: What an awesome idea to make two [associations] into one!Why wouldn't these two organizations consider such an option, even if they are both strong in membership drives and financial stability? This needs to be explored more.
Auntie Anne's Inc.
Dear Editor: I always find your Bair Essentials stimulating but [the column on merging PCMA and ASAE] was really “in your face.”
I don't think a merger of PCMA and ASAE would turn out to be the best idea, but I do think a joint ASAE/PCMA hospitality meeting and show would help everyone, especially the exhibitors. Now merging MPI and PCMA, well, that's not such a bad idea at all!
Jill M. Cornish
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