September 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Newsline newsline.gif (8042 bytes)   WEB BOOKING WREAKS HAVOC ON ROOM BLOCKS
Planners, CVBs Seek New Ways to Count
Room service: San Diego’s CVB offers a new formula. As more attendees seek hotel deals online, planners are having an increasingly difficult time predicting room block needs. In response, industry players are testing new formulas for gauging the true value of business generated by meetings.

Attrition penalties are the most immediate byproduct of the problem, according to industry sources. “For major citywides, we’ve found as many as 2,000 room nights that had not been identified,” said David Peckinpaugh, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Conferon Inc. in Twinsburg, Ohio.

In addition, “A decrease in [room counts] because of bookings going to Internet channels will have an impact on future room block negotiations,” warned Peckinpaugh. Not only will planners end up with smaller blocks, he noted, but concessions such as free receptions and suites also might be at risk.

Convention and visitor bureaus also have a stake in the issue, as CVBs depend on accurate figures to attract citywide conventions and spur participation among member hotels. But the growing number of attendees who book outside the block, combined with those miscoded by hotels, has made the traditional way of counting rooms insufficient, according to Kevin Kamenzind, vice president of sales and marketing for citywide conventions at the San Diego CVB.

To obtain more realistic numbers, the San Diego bureau has devised an equation that relies on an audited registration list, not on proprietary information from hotels, thus alleviating the need for planners to beg for rooming lists. Here’s how it works:

• The bureau eliminates (per zip code) any registrants living within a certain radius of the meeting and thus not likely to need hotel rooms.

• The CVB then asks the headquarters hotel for its double-occupancy ratio (the ratio of double- to single-occupant rooms over the given dates of the meeting).

• The registration list (less those who don’t need rooms) is divided by the double- occupancy ratio, resulting in an approximate pickup figure.

“I think we’ve come up with something the industry will embrace,” said Kamenzind, who will head a seminar on the topic at the Professional Convention Management Association convention in January 2003.


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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