Battling for Business

Meetings & Conventions: Newsline newsline.gif (8042 bytes)CONVENTION CENTERS USE PRICING, PERKS TO LURE PLANNERSBattling for BusinessWith the proliferation of new and newly expanded convention centers, the potential for a lot of empty exhibit space is very real for many cities and as a result, centers are becoming more aggressive to attract business.

In an exclusive online survey of 278 meeting planners, 42 percent said that convention center pricing has become more competitive over the past two years. In other words, convention planners are seeing discounts.

Twenty percent of planners collected monetary incentives for their organizations, but they are being wooed by a more than just dollars: More than one in four (27 percent) say they have received travel and entertainment perks for themselves and others. In all, 41 percent of planners reported being offered more incentives than they saw two years ago to book convention business.

While the graft might be high-quality, a majority of respondents said some convention-related prices have increased over the past two years. Three-quarters of planners have seen rates rise for food and beverage; 73 percent are paying more for union labor; 64 percent noted hikes in in-house telecommunications services and A/V rental; 57 percent point to in-house security; and 50 percent said they found space per square foot is more expensive.

What factor is considered to be most important when choosing to book a particular city? Hotel room rates were ranked at the top of the list (91 percent), followed by the cost of the convention center itself (89 percent) and the cost of air transportation (78 percent).



Art Pfenning is the 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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