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some meetings and some destinations, room block is still an accu- rate indicator of true room-night consumption generated by a group. But those now seem to be in the minority as the meeting industry reduces block to reduce risk as well as recognize the impact of mul- tiple room-booking options afforded the consumer today. It hurts us all to see a convention that will consume say, 3,000 room nights, only be credited or valued at the room block, which mostly likely will be 30–60 percent lower. Using validated attendance — factoring in arrival/departure

history, known history of the group, and taking into account local attendance — will give a much more accurate reflection of room consumption (DMAI model, more or less). — Dale Lockett, President & CEO, Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau

➊ CURRENTLY WE USE AN ESTIMATED ECO- nomic impact (EEI) value that is specific to the profile of the group and that value is applied by delegate or attendee. For example, higher value EEI for national groups versus lower EEI for state or regional groups. The total number of delegates multiplied by the appropriate EEI

number results in what the meeting or event is worth. Effective July 1, we will convert to the Oxford Economics event calculator devel- oped for DMAI as the sole source of assigning value to the meetings and events we book.

➋ OUR CONVENTION CENTER DYNAMIC IS NOT TRADITIONAL — THAT being said, our guidelines are not to underwrite (pay rent) on group business that does not produce a minimum of 250 room nights on peak. So yes, room consumption is important, as it is a universal quantifier, easily understood by stakeholders. In practice, we will evaluate every opportunity (room nights and other economic drivers) and assign an estimated economic impact value to each attendee/delegate in determining our position on rental, sponsor- ship, and related costs. We will be there to support events that make sense and add overall value to the market. — Graeme Hughes, Director of Convention Sales, Metro- politan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau

➊ TOURISM EQUALS JOBSAND IS CRUCIAL TO our local economy. Santa Monica as a commu- nity and our CVB generally measure the value of a meeting or event by the direct spending it brings to our businesses. We also place equal importance on the exposure that results from these opportunities. When groups experience

Santa Monica’s beachfront hotels, luxury shopping, and world-class dining, they leave with an experience that they want to share back home. We work very closely with our local partners and ambassa- dors to ensure that each guest feels welcomed during their stay. Santa Monica is always looking forward to what’s next so we can continue to offer planners a diverse array of unique hosting options that strengthen Santa Monica’s visibility as a premier meeting and event destination. — Misti Kerns, CMP, CDME, President & CEO, Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau

➊ EUGENE, CASCADES & COAST CALCU- lates the economic impact of conventions through a formula, multiplying the number of overnight delegates by the number of nights by a conservative daily spend amount. There are no multipliers involved. While all of our convention and meetings business is very

much valued, we do know that often an economic impact number in and of itself does not adequately reflect the true value of certain events. For example, an international, high-profile convention not only brings delegates into the region, but can also bolster the repu- tation of Eugene, Cascades & Coast as a meetings destination. This provides incalculable marketing benefits to us. Additionally, some of the conferences we’ve held have provided inroads into other con- ferences in the future, whether they are other conferences from the same association or come from affiliate associations. — Janis Ross, Vice President of Convention & Sports Marketing, Travel Lane County (Eugene, Cascades & Coast)

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pcma convene March 2012

www.pcma.org

ALBUQUERQUE BALLOON FESTIVAL PHOTOGRAPH BY RON BEHRMANN

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