IACC Looks Ahead

Association president details plans

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?
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?
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?
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 association?
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 years.