Key Teaching Elements/Chapter Outline

Chapter Thirteen
Meetings, Conventions/Exhibitions, and Event Management
Key Teaching Elements/Chapter Outline
Historical Review
People have gathered for meetings for hundreds of years. Meeting
purposes have been and are very diverse.
Associations go back many centuries; they originated in the United
States at the beginning of the 18th century. Associations spend about
$53.5 billion holding meetings and conventions that attract 22.6
million attendees (approximately).
The hospitality and tourism industry consists of a number of
associations. (These are listed on page 446 in the student text.)
Associations offer the following benefits for members:
government/political voice, marketing avenues, member services, and
Meetings are conferences, workshops, seminars, or other events
designed to bring people together in order to exchange information.
There are various forms that meetings can take – Clinic, Forum,
Seminar, Symposium, or Workshop.
2, 3
Meetings are mostly organized by corporations, associations, social,
military, educational, religious, and fraternal groups (SMERFs).
2, 3
The purpose of meetings is to affect behavior. A successful meeting
requires careful planning and organization as well as attention to the
wishes of the client. The three main types of meeting set ups are
theater style, classroom style, and boardroom style.
2, 3, 4
Expositions are events designed to bring together sellers of products
and services in an environment in which they can demonstrate their
products and services to attendees at a convention or trade show. The
intent of the exhibitors is to generate sales.
Types of Meetings
Conventions are meetings combined with expositions. They are
generally larger meetings with some form of trade show included. (A
typical convention profile is outlined on text pages 450-51.) The
majority of conventions are held in large hotels over a 3 to 5 day
period, rather than in a convention center.
2, 4
2, 4
Conventions are annual gatherings of a group of individuals, with no
limit of numbers, who meet for a common interest.
Typically, exhibitions are either consumer shows or trade shows.
Consumer shows are open to the general public; admittance to trade
shows is available only to people who work in the particular industry.
Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions
Whether a meeting planner is organizing a meeting, a convention, or
exhibition, the primary sources of revenue are:
–Attendee registration fees
–Exhibit space rentals
–Sponsorship fees
–Conference program advertising fees
Meetings are often held as a marketing tool as well as a revenue source
by associations, nonprofit entities, museums, performing arts
organizations and educational institutions.
Goals for meetings developed by the need to:
–Increase awareness of a particular issue
–Raise money for an activity or organization
–Provide information to colleagues or clients
Over half of all meeting planners are involved in organizing incentive
travel. The incentive market continues to experience rapid growth as
meeting planners and travel agents organize incentive travel programs
for corporate executives to reward them for reaching specific sales
New technology continues to drive changes in the industry. Planners
utilize technology as a means of producing meetings more efficiently
by managing attendee registration, marketing, travel and housing, as
well as delivering program proceedings.
Special Events and Off-Premise Catering
The special events facet of the hospitality industry is the business of
conceiving, designing, developing, and producing ideas as well as
details, timing, logistics, special mechanics, and organization. Special
events include sporting events, festivals, corporate, convention, and
Meeting planners may be independent contractors who contract out
their services to both associations and corporations as the need arises,
or they may be full-time employees of corporations or associations.
The professional meeting planner not only makes hotel and meeting
bookings but also plans the meeting down to the last detail. The
meeting planner must remember to ensure that the services contracted
for have been delivered.
The meeting planner’s role varies from meeting to meeting. Typical
responsibilities include meeting with the client before the event
occurs, meeting on-site during the event, and conducting a postmeeting debriefing.
Convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) are major players in the
meetings, convention, and expositions markets. Among the industry
sectors represented by CVBs are transportation, hotels and motels,
restaurants, attractions, and suppliers.
The primary responsibilities of a CVB are to encourage groups to hold
meetings, conventions, and trade shows in the area; to assist groups
with meeting preparation and support; to encourage tourists to visit the
historical, cultural, and recreational opportunities the city or area has
to offer; and to promote the image of the community it represents.
The Special Event Job Market
Becoming a special event consultant or an off-premise catering/event
specialist requires a variety of experience in different facets of the
industry and balancing skills.
Key Players in the Industry
The need to hold face-to-face meetings and attend conventions has
grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. Major players in the
convention industry are convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs),
meeting planners and their clients, the convention centers, specialized
services, and exhibitions.
Meeting Planners
Convention and Visitors Bureaus
The outcome of the CVBs activities should be increased tourist
revenues for the area. Bureaus generate leads from a variety of
sources. They will often make cold calls on potential prospects such
as major associations, corporations, and incentive houses. The sales
manager will invite the meeting, convention, or exposition organizer
to make a familiarization (FAM) trip for a site inspection.
Convention centers are huge facilities where meetings and expositions
are held. Usually convention centers are corporations owned by
county, city, or state governments and operated by a board of
appointed representatives from various groups having a vested interest
in the successful operation of the center.
Convention centers have a variety of exposition and meeting rooms to
accommodate both large and small events. The centers generate
revenue from the rental of space. Additional revenue is generated by
the sale of food and beverages.
Larger convention center events are planned years in advance. It is
important that the CVB and the convention center marketing and sales
teams work closely together. Once the booking becomes definite, the
senior event manager assigns an event manager to work with the client
during the sequence of pre-event, event, and post-event.
The booking manager is critical to the success of the event by booking
the correct space and working with the organizers to help them save
money by allocating only the space really needed and allowing the
client to set up on time.
The contract must be carefully prepared because it is a legal
document. After the contract has been signed and returned by the
client, the event manager will make follow-up calls until about 6
months before the event, when arrangements will be finalized.
The event manager is the key contact between the center and the
Two weeks prior to the event an event document is distributed to
department heads. This document contains detailed information
needed to ensure that things run smoothly.
Approximately 10 days before the event a Week at a Glance meeting
Convention Centers
Event Management
is held (WAG meeting). This is a very important meeting as it often
provides an opportunity to troubleshoot in advance.
At about the same time as the WAG meeting, a pre-convention or preexpo meeting is held with various support contractors such as shuttle
bus managers, registration operators, etc.
Specialized Services
A number of companies offer specialized services such as
transportation, entertainment, audiovisual, escorts, tour guides,
convention setup, and destination management.
Trends in Conventions, Meetings, and Expositions
Globalization/international participation
The cloning of shows
Shows are growing at a rate of 5-10% per year.
Check Your Knowledge, p. 449
1) Question: Define the five types of meetings:
a. Forum
b. Seminar
c. Workshop
d. Clinic
e. Symposium
Answer: (page 447)
a. Forum – an assembly for the discussion of common concerns. Usually
experts in a given field take opposite sides of an issue in a panel
discussion with liberal opportunity for audience participation.
b. Seminar – a lecture and a dialogue that allows participants to share
experiences in a particular field. An expert discussion leader guides a
seminar and usually thirty or fewer persons participate.
c. Workshop – a small group led by a facilitator or trainer. It generally
includes exercises to enhance skills or develop knowledge in a specific
d. Clinic – a workshop-type educational experience in which attendees learn
by doing. A clinic usually involves small groups of people interacting
with each other on an individual basis.
e. Symposium – an event at which experts discuss a particular subject and
opinions are gathered.
2) Question: What are the purposes of associations?
Answer: Associations are the main independent political force for industries like
hospitality, offering the following benefits: government/political voice, marketing
avenues, education, member services, and networking. (p. 446)
3) Question: Name the major hospitality associations.
Answer: American Hotel & Lodging Assoc; National Restaurant Assoc; Int’l
Assoc of Convention & Visitors Bureaus; Hotel Sales & Mktg Assoc Int’l;
Meeting Planners Assoc; Assoc for Convention Operation Mgmt; Club Managers
Assoc of America; Professional Convention Mgmt Assoc. (p. 446)
4) Question: Describe the main types of meeting room setups.
Answer: Theater style, generally for large audiences, consists of a raised platform
or lectern from which the presenter addresses the audience. Classroom style is
used for more instructional meetings, where participants need to take notes. In
boardroom style setups, small meetings take place around a table.
Check Your Knowledge, p. 463
1) Question: What are the primary sources of revenue for meetings, conventions, or
Answer: Attendee registration fees, exhibit space rentals, sponsorship fees, and
conference program advertising fees (p. 452).
2) Question: Describe the incentive market.
Answer: Meeting planners and travel agents organize incentive travel programs
for corporate executives to reward them for reaching specific sales targets.
(p. 455)
3) Question: What is the difference between a consumer and a trade show?
Answer: Consumer shows such as a Boat Show or Auto Show are open to the
public. A trade show such as the Gift Show is available only to people employed
by retail establishments selling gift items. Attendance at trade show events
requires precertification and registration. (p. 456)
4) Question: Explain what a CVB is.
Answer: Convention and Visitors Bureau – organization responsible for
promoting tourism at the regional and local level. Also, a not-for-profit umbrella
organization that represents a city or urban area in soliciting and servicing all
types of travelers to that city or area, whether for business, pleasure or both.
(p. 463)
Check Your Knowledge, p. 472
1) Question: What are the functions of a meeting planner?
Answer: The professional meeting planner not only makes hotel and meeting
bookings but also plans the meeting to the last detail. Functions include:
Pre-meeting Activities
 Plan meeting agenda
 Establish meeting objectives
 Predict attendance
 Set meeting budget
 Negotiate contracts
On-site Activities
 Conduct pre-event briefing
 Prepare executive plan
 Move people in/out
 Troubleshoot
 Approve invoices
Post-meeting Activities
 Debrief
 Evaluate
 Provide recognition
 Arrange shipping
 Plan for next year
(pp. 460-461)
2) Question: Explain a FAM trip.
Answer: FAM is a familiarization trip. It is offered to the meeting organizer to
inspect and become familiar with the site. (p. 464)
3) Question: Describe the functions of a booking manager.
Answer: The booking manager is critical to the success of the event by booking
the correct space and working with the organizers to help them save money by
allocating only the space really needed and allowing the client to begin setting up
on time. This is covered in a written contract. (p. 472)
Answers to Chapter 13 Review Questions
1) Associations are an independent political force for hospitality industries and offer
benefits of education, marketing avenues, networking, member services, and a political
2) SMERF stands for Social, Military, Educational, Religious, and Fraternal groups, which
are the main organizers of meetings.
3) There are three main types of meeting setups. Theater style is intended for a large
audience that does not necessarily need to take notes. The second style is a classroom
setup and is used for instructional meetings where participants need to take notes. A
boardroom setup is used for a small number of people who are grouped around a
rectangular table.
4) a) A workshop is a small group led by a facilitator or trainer and may include exercises
to enhance skills on the topic discussed.
b) A seminar is a lecture that allows participants to share experiences, and is usually
guided by a discussion leader.
5) Expositions bring together purveyors of certain products and services and enable them
to demonstrate these to a group of people at conventions or trade shows. Exhibitors are
able to interact with the attendees and establish contacts. Expositions are usually
divided up into booths for the individual manufacturers. Conventions are large meetings
in combination with some form of exposition or trade show. They are held in
convention centers or large hotels usually over a three- to five-day period and usually
include speeches, meals, expositions, workshops, and receptions.
6) The county, city, or state usually owns convention centers. Convention centers and
hotels are the key locations for meetings, conventions, and expositions and make up a
large revenue source for a city. They provide meeting space, accommodations, and food
and beverage service.
7) The Convention and Visitors Bureaus are comprised of various industry sectors such as
transportation, hotels, restaurants, attractions, and suppliers. Their responsibilities
include attracting conventions and tourists to the community and increasing tourist
industry revenues.
8) a) The event profile outlines and specifies in writing all of the client’s requirements. It
is a legal binding contract.
b) An event document contains all the detailed information for each department to
ensure the success of the event.
9) The most important promotional tools are sales promotion, advertising, and public
–Sales promotion includes any activity aimed at giving guests an extra incentive to
buy the product or service and creates excitement about the product.
–Advertising is any form of paid communication used to encourage guests to use a
certain product or service.
–Public relations includes all communications aimed at increasing good will in the
user communities. Its goal is to create and maintain a positive image of the company.
Marketing Mix = product, price, place/location, promotion, and people.
–The product must suit the wants and needs of the target market and is positioned to
do so.
–Price impacts the success or failure of product; must be associated with value.
–Place/location means the market can access the product.
–Promotion’s goal is consumer awareness of the product’s existence; then, need to
know how product or service will meet their needs. Consumers must like it and
prefer over the competitor product.
–People = Hospitality is a people business and the service given to guests makes the
To be a successful marketer, it’s vital to understand differences among people’s
preferences in different areas as well as the need for proper research before
introducing a new product.
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