The Convention Industry Council's Project, a national, two-phase project launched by CIC this year, is researching the scope and size of the attrition problem, attendee behavior and motivators to book outside the block, and the role of the Internet in the problem and potential solutions. In addition to providing templates and timelines to help planners and hospitality professionals better manage housing and registration, the Project Attrition section of CIC's Web site includes success stories from meeting professionals. Some examples:
The American Pharmacists Association grew its 2003 annual meeting attendance — held over the first two weeks of the Iraq war — 15-plus percent over the previous year. APhA Director of Meetings and Expositions Windy Christner, CMP, is quoted on the site as crediting the success to a wider marketing reach — including a monthly newspaper and broadcast e-newsletters to members and nonmembers.
After facing attrition at its 2001 annual meeting, The American Society of Neuroradiology instituted a new exhibitor registration and housing policy for its 2002 meeting. ASNR explained the reason behind the new policies on the inside front cover of its promotional materials. The policy includes an advance payment for housing of $250 per person, due two and a half months out, a tightened cancellation schedule, and a notice that those who violate the policy will lose preferred-exhibitor status.
For more success stories, to post your own, or just to get involved with Project Attrition, go to www.conventionindustry.org, or contact Sue Pelletier at (978) 448-0377, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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