April 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Newsline newsline.gif (8042 bytes)THE CORNERSTONES OF MEETING CONTRACTS COME UNDER QUESTIONDo You Need a Block?IMAGEUncertain times have heightened meeting planners’ concerns about room blocks, attrition and cancellation. Unable to predict the effect political and economic turmoil might have on their events, many would rather do away with the industry’s most contentious clauses.

In a poll of 358 meeting planners conducted in mid-March by M&C, close to two-thirds (63 percent) report they are having trouble filling their hotel room blocks for most or at least some meetings.

Among those whose room blocks are falling short, the number-one reason cited is lower attendance (67 percent). Among other important factors are cheaper area hotels (45 percent) and Web deals (44 percent). How off are the numbers? Respondents are missing their room blocks by an average of about 18 percent.

IMAGESome meeting planners are avoiding penalties simply by not blocking rooms. Drastic as it might seem, one-quarter (24 percent) have planned a meeting without blocking any rooms for attendees, and another 21 percent are considering doing so.

Others are choosing to opt out of attrition clauses. One-third of the planners polled have signed contracts without the clauses, and another 38 percent say they have tried to, without success. Almost 80 percent of respondents indicate they would rather sign contracts without attrition clauses.

A smaller 17 percent have inked deals without cancellation clauses. Yet a much larger 62 percent would prefer deals that did not carry cancellation penalties.

An overwhelming majority of survey respondents 93 percent would be either much more likely or somewhat more likely to bring a meeting to a hotel that has waived its cancellation and attrition fees. Only 7 percent say the waiving of such fees would not make a difference in their choice of hotel.


By Art Pfenning, corporate research director for NORTHSTAR Travel Media, LLC, M&C’s parent company.

What Association Executives Earn The gender gap in earnings grows in relation to size of organization, according to a 2001 compensation survey. Male CEOs Female CEOs Trade association $136,775 $92,125 Individual membership association $139,241 $85,204 Total staff size: 2 or fewer $75,000 $60,000 3 to 5 $95,640 $77,000 6 to 10 $116,550 $108,000 11 to 20 $138,200 $126,000 21 to 50 $201,923 $159,280 51 to 100 $237,900 $145,518 More than 100 $287,600 $249,233 Total annual budget: $300,000 or less $67,600 $54,789 $300,001 to $500,000 $75,600 $68,579 $500,001 to $750,000 $90,000 $72,800 $750,001 to $1 million $102,000 $87,525 $1,000,001 to $2.5 million $118,800 $112,425 $2,500,001 to $5 million $170,000 $137,100 $5,000,001 to $10 million $227,750 $160,585 $10,000,001 to $15 million $225,994 $171,750 More than $15 million $285,000 $256,269 Source: American Society of Association Executives

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