MAR 2015

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 5 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m To address the influx of room block piracy and poaching, the Convention Industry Coun- cil (CIC) has developed a new suite of re- sources 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 par- ticipants and gain their business. Affecting multiple 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, co-chaired by MaryAnne Bobrow, CAE, CMP, CMM, CHE, Bobrow Associates, Inc. Bobrow states "When we first came to- gether to approach this vexing issue, we did so with open minds and looking for a new resolution to an age-old problem. The prod- ucts launched on the CIC website offer new strategies for avoiding, coping with, and combatting piracy and poaching." APEX examined the issue from the perspective of a variety of stakeholders: hotels, event organizers, housing bureaus, destination marketing organizations and industry associations to create definitions and resources for planners as well as 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. Visit n N E W S I D E A S How To Prevent Room Block Piracy & Poaching 73% of respondents had events or meetings targeted by piracy or poaching, yet the majority of them (71%) had not developed prevention or mitigation best practices. —CIC research, 2014

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