Geoffrey Lawson, president of the International
Association of Conference Centers in St. Louis and general manager
of the IBM Palisades, a Dolce Conference Destination, in Palisades,
N.Y., recently spoke with M&C about his agenda.
M&C: What is IACC’s greatest challenge?
Lawson: Differentiating ourselves from the hotel
business. We create great learning environments. Unlike hotels, we
look for the meetings, and the occupancy comes after that.
M&C: How are members faring in this economy?
Lawson: We’re rebounding. In hotels, revenue centers
aren’t always activated. At conference centers, we make more
revenue per customer.
M&C: How will IACC grow?
Lawson: We are enacting a global strategic plan. We
might get New York University to find out if there are like
associations throughout the world.
M&C: What legacy will you leave the
Lawson: We want to make sure our quality assurance
initiative third-party inspections is well under way. That program
goes into place Jan. 31. The goal is to inspect 25 percent of
member properties in 2004, and the rest in the following three