Bill Hopkins, President, Hopkins Entertainment, Chair,Hospitality Partner Committee
When did you join FICP and what has membership meant for you and your business?
A: I became a hospitality partner in 1998. The relationships I have had the good fortune to develop with planners in the association have made a significant difference in my business: About half of my clients are FICP members.
What do you see as the role of the HP Committee within the FICP community? Are there any new HP initiatives to talk about?
Our role is to be advocates for the entire HP community. What I am most excited about is our relationship and influence with the FICP board of directors. Over the past three years there has been an increased sense of the value of the Hospitality Partner Committee on the part of the board, especially in the past six months. The current board truly recognizes the experience and financial contribution the HP community brings to FICP. More than ever there is a sense of inclusiveness and camaraderie. We have an equal voice at the table.
As for initiatives, at the last board meeting we worked to develop the “Buy FICP” campaign, which was launched in August. It's a reminder to planners that, if there is an opportunity to use the services of FICP's hospitality partners, to consider doing so. These are tough times for all of us, and the HP community needs to show a return on investment to our companies so we can justify the sponsorship dollars we commit to make all the programs and events possible. Remember that we are your partners. We have experience with and understanding of this market and this industry. We've been there for you in the good and challenging times — and we will be there for you in the long run, too.
As a supplier to the insurance and financial services industry, what is your outlook for meetings and events in 2010 and beyond?
I've seen events pulled back. My sense is there is still a lot of fear out there. But I'm an optimist. I believe it will come around. Even in tough times you still need to reward and recognize people.
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