Are you seeing signs of a meetings or incentives market rebound for 2010? What does it look like quarter by quarter? How about for 2011?
We leave it to the professional forecasters to speculate about broad recovery trends and projections. Locally, we are pleased with the recent strong interest demonstrated by planners in Washington, D.C., as a meetings destination. We all remain hopeful that the positive trends will continue to improve throughout 2010.
What types of business/programs seem to be strongest for 2010?
In Washington, D.C., demand is often influenced by issues that are topical and that are high priorities for the federal administration. As a result, we have seen strong interest from the healthcare, defense, and technology sectors. Additionally as a central, affordable destination with great attractions, nightlife, and overall amenities, we have seen a sharp increase for short-term incentives and corporate sales meetings in lieu of other more exotic locations.
Are you dealing with different kinds of meeting decision-makers, perhaps more third parties? Or people within companies who carry titles other than meeting planner?
We have in the past and continue to work very closely with a variety of strong third-party partners.
Will the deals and promotions from 2009 carry into 2010?
We believe that finding alternative ways — more than just special promotions — to add value to the relationship between the meeting organizer and hotels will carry more weight in 2010 and beyond.
Working together through difficult economic times has allowed for collaboration and some really great ideas to emerge that support the business objectives of both parties. This will only continue.