The Krisam Group's Insurance Advisory Board, which met in June, continued its tradition of using the annual meeting as an opportunity to seriously discuss industry issues. “It was a group conversation between planners and suppliers,” says Doris Dallow, Krisam Group vice president. “And it was a very open and frank discussion.”

This year's meeting was held at The Sagamore in Bolton Landing, N.Y. Nestled in the Adirondacks along the shores of Lake George, the luxury resort boasts a Donald Ross golf course, a sailing school, and 26,000 square feet of meeting space.

During business meetings, moderated by Krisam Group President Jim Schultenover, the group identified key industry trends, including

  • More on-site supervision of meetings from the meeting department. Senior management is confident that problems will be dealt with efficiently by having their own staff on site — and the execs can focus on their meeting. On the other hand, planners are not being asked to attend as many small corporate meetings.

  • Continuing mergers and acquisitions. As companies merge cultures and practices, there will be more short-term meetings.

  • Increased emphasis on loss prevention and security. Planners not only want verbal reassurance, they want to see in writing the kinds of loss prevention and emergency procedure plans hotels have in place. Hurricane Katrina has helped to make this a big issue.

  • Flat budgets. With escalating hotel room rates and a continuing seller's market, flat meeting budgets mean that planners have to cut back in other areas of the program.

  • Meeting attendance is still on the rise.The insurance industry is booming, so more agents are qualifying for incentives.

  • Contract frustrations continue. This continues to rankle planners and hoteliers. The involvement of legal and procurement departments can make contracting an ordeal, but neither planners nor hoteliers are ready to do away with the complex contracts and addendums that lengthen the process.

Krisam News

As this issue went to press in late August, Krisam was preparing to hold its first Krisam Group Executive Summit at The Venetian in Las Vegas, September 7 to 10. More than 100 planners and 50 hoteliers were scheduled to attend the inaugural event. Krisam now also represents all of the Gaylord Hotels properties, including the Gaylord National on the Potomac, Prince George's County, Md., which will open in 2008.

Next year's KRIAB meeting will be held at The Loews Miami Beach Hotel, May 31 to June 3.