The Hyatt Regency Vancouver served as a beautiful and welcoming host hotel for Hyatt's 2008 Insurance and Financial Round Table, July 17 to 20 — and the city itself served as the program's inspiration. “This was one of those events where we really tried to showcase the city,” says Hyatt's Director, Worldwide Accounts Jessica Phillips. A number of off-site activities featured Vancouver's spectacular environment. “This was a great opportunity to see what the city has to offer,” says attendee Mark Mosley, division manager, Allstate Insurance Co., Irving, Texas.

Tackling Tough Issues

Hyatt's traditional general session on “What Keeps You Up at Night — Worth It or Not Worth It,” was facilitated by Michele Wierzgac, CMM. One of the most meaningful takeaways from the session, notes Mosley, was in the area of expense management for meetings. “We continually see a lot more attention paid to every cost element that goes into a business meeting or an incentive meeting — and these expense management issues are not going to go away,” he says. “When I contract with a hotel, it is 18 to 36 months out from the meeting, and all my costs are projected. But I know that the price of some of my budgeted items will go up, largely due to the rising price of oil. I came away with some good tactics on how to monitor these variable costs.”

More education included a general session with Hyatt's, Vice President, Revenue Management John Shields, back by popular demand with an expanded presentation, and a choice of several breakouts on a number of topics, including leadership by Terri Breining, CMP, CMM; financial management by Michele Wierzgac; and green meetings initiatives by Shawna McKinley of Meeting Strategies Worldwide.

The renamed 2009 Hyatt Hotels Insurance/Financial Business Exchange will be held July 23-26 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Resort and Spa in Monterey, Calif.

Multiple Meetings Rewards

Hyatt's Vice President of Sales Gus Vonderheide explained the company's recently launched Multiple Meetings Program at the 2008 Financial and Insurance Round Table in July. Under the program, planners can qualify for various rewards for every meeting booked that consists of 200 or more room nights at participating properties.

There are nine different reward options, including the use of complimentary meeting space, a complimentary guest room per 40 paid room nights, a complimentary post-meeting attendee survey, and a 20 percent discount on in-house audiovisual services. Planners who book three large meetings of more than 500 peak room nights and 2,000 room nights per meeting can receive a complimentary board meeting for up to 20 attendees at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts.

The meetings must be booked by June 30, 2009, and may include dates through 2015. For more information go to