On a fam trip, you should participate in all planned activities. But you shouldn't accept gifts of more than nominal value.
Such is the path created through the murky world of right and wrong in the planner/supplier relationship by the Corporate Advisory Council of the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives (SITE). The council recently approved a code of ethics for corporate planners in the incentive industry. Here's how the council sees things.
Corporate meeting planners should:
* Deal honestly and fairly with all business associates.
* Provide suppliers with business reasons why a proposal was rejected.
* Prepare a written report of a familiarization trip experience for the host if asked.
* Honor signedin spirit as well as intent, and make every effort to honor all commitments, both written and verbal, as may be legally required.
Meeting planners should not:
* Use a supplier's complimentary services for a site inspection without specific interest in that destination.
* Ask for personal favors from suppliers that are perceived as a condition of the supplier doing business with the planner.
* Use creative ideas submitted as part of a proposal received from a supplier other than the supplier with whom the planner has contracted, unless written authority has been received by the authoring supplier.
For the full slate of recommendations, contact SITE at (212) 575-0910.
The third annual Marriott Meeting and Incentive Management Conference, held in September at Marriott's Castle Harbour Resort, Bermuda, drew 100 meeting and incentive planners and dozens of Marriott associates from properties worldwide.
The weekend, designed to build relationships between the Marriott sales force and major incentive houses (who book some two million room nights a year at Marriotts worldwide), offered many workshops on the changing hotel marketplace, with hotels in the driver's seat. A session on group pricing (see box below) and another on non-contracted commissions, gave rise to Marriott committees charged with created a corporate policy on each of the issuest.
Discounting Is Down Marriott's national account salespeople said they are not discounting room rates as in the past. However, they added, they will "stick with" their best customers and might be able to make some concessions in other areas.
Marriott's room revenues, they said, account for 67.5 percent of total revenue; f&b, 26.6 percent; telephone charges, 2.5 percent; and other departments, the remaining 3.4 percent.
Room rates are expected to climb only modestly next year, but Roger Dow, vice president and general sales manager for Marriott Lodging, said Marriott will shrink the number of deep discounts they give, which primarily affects the frequent business traveler. -Betsy Bair