ALEXANDRIA, VA – To address the influx of room block piracy and poaching, the Convention Industry Council (CIC) has developed a new suite of resources to assist meeting professionals in preventing businesses from actively recruiting attendees and exhibitors away from hotel bookings and to mitigate the impact should it occur. Room block pirates and poachers use a range of techniques to approach event participants and gain their business. Affecting multi layers and stakeholders, room block piracy and poaching results in negative effects such as loss of time, money and brand reputation for the meeting professionals and the hospitality industry.
In response to these issues, the Convention Industry Council’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) initiative, assembled a workgroup to delve into the issue, chaired by Michael Dominguez, MGM Resorts International and MaryAnne Bobrow, CAE, CMP, CMM, CHE, Bobrow Associates, Inc. In their initial research survey conducted in 2014, CIC found that 73.1% of responders had events or meetings that had been targeted by piracy or poaching yet the majority of them (70.5%) had not developed prevention or mitigation best practices. In response this workgroup hosted a Poaching Summit of industry experts at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to identify the extent and effects of this issue and ultimately developed a toolkit to combat its effects.
Bobrow states “When we first came together to approach this vexing issue, we did so with open minds and looking for new resolution to an age-old problem. The volunteers who worked on this project, including the workgroup and those who participated in the December 2014 Summit in Las Vegas, contributed greatly to the work products being launched on the CIC website and offer new strategies for avoiding, coping with, and combatting piracy and poaching. We take pride in the work accomplished to date and appreciate our peers who worked should-to-shoulder to help those in the meetings industry.”
APEX examined the issue from the perspective of a variety of stakeholders: including hotels, event organizers, housing bureaus, destination marketing organizations and industry associations to create definitions and resources for planners as well as overall education.
The toolkit provides an overview of the issues, implications for stakeholders, a list of state attorneys general, guidance and resources on how to handle the issue.
Co-Chair Michael Dominguez states “We wanted to create a practical and usable toolbox that meeting professionals can use today to help combat the complex issue with a variety of practices.”
For toolkit and resources visit: www.conventionindustry.org/StandardsPractices/APEX/roomblocks.aspx