AFTER YEARS OF development and testing, Data on Meetings & Events was scheduled to roll out its event measurement system in January, according to Gary Grimmer, DOME chairman, and chief executive officer of the Melbourne (Australia) Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The system tracks the hotels/room nights used by attendees during a convention (including those booked outside the block), as well as the airline/class of seat/flight segments booked by attendees. Armed with this data, convention organizers will have better negotiating clout with hotels and airlines, Grimmer says. And convention bureaus will have a better history of events.

Data is collected from delegates through emails and interviews during the pre-registration and on-site registration process — without significantly slowing the latter down, Grimmer says. “The DOME system is built on the premise that if you want good data, you have to ask the delegates.”

DOME's event management system has been beta-tested and proven successful at several large conventions, including the AsiaPacific Incentives & Meetings Expo and the annual meeting of the International Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus, says Grimmer. DOME will be offered free to meeting planners, congress organizers, and registration companies, provided the user becomes DOME-certified, which costs $500.

The first DOME certification seminar will take place in February in Melbourne at the AIME conference. Other DOME certification seminars will be held in several European cities, and also in San Diego in conjunction with the IACVB meeting on July 8, 2004.

DOME is a private, not-for-profit foundation in Washington, D.C. It was founded and funded in 1997 by several industry organizations, including IACVB, the International Congress & Convention Association, and REED Travel Exhibitions. Its mission is to improve the quality and accessibility of meetings industry data. For more information, visit www.mcvb.com.au.