Government Connections - Fall 2013 - (Page 18)

QUESTION FOR OUR MEMBERS How Have Changes in Government Meetings Impacted You? “With the decrease in government travel, we have made some changes to the way we sell to the government market, ensuring our rates are value added to make us the best choice for government travelers in our city. We have increased our focus on other market segments to make up for the falloff in the “VisitNorfolk has made adjustments to offset the reduction in meetings due to sequestration and changes in government meetings. We are partnering with our hotels to offer concessions that help keep our government groups within their limited budgets. VisitNorfolk has also made modifications to our sales efforts. For government segment.” example, I have shifted my focus for the time being from the federal government market to government-related associations. Government meetings remain Norfolk’s most important market segment, and we look forward to the future return of federal, state and local government meetings.” Carolyn Barrett, CHSC, CGMP Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport Louisiana Chapter “We have always had a ‘State Travel Policy’ in effect for us to go by. We have to make sure we get government rates on lodging anywhere we travel. When I plan a meeting with food, I ask the hotel for a government meal menu. At my division of the State of Missouri, we have to hold meetings. I plan board meetings, exams, seminars, workshops and training meetings. This works out to about 167 meetings a year. Really, no changes have been made, it just made us more aware of what ‘not’ to do.” Cathy Easton, CGMP Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration Missouri State Capital Chapter “The change in government meetings has not had that much of an impact on my agency as much as the economy. How we spend money on government meetings, such as location, meeting space, and food and beverage is closely monitored. With all that has happened with the economy and government meeting scandals, I am responsible for ensuring that the locations are suitable for government meetings (casino hotels and some resorts are not allowed) and does not give the wrong impression to the tax payer. If meals are provided, they would be meals the average worker would purchase if they were paying for the meals on their own. The economy has also determined what meetings are deemed important for state employees to be granted permission to travel. If the state does not see a ROI, the meeting is deemed non-essential.” Kimberly Hinds Department of Child Services Crossroads of America Chapter 18 GOVERNMENT CONNECTIONS | FALL 2013 Maria Herring, CGMP VisitNorfolk National Capital Chapter & Old Dominion Chapter “The reduction and elimination of federal and state dollars for meetings and travel has impacted our meetings by lowering attendance. In an effort to maintain attendance levels, we are reducing the expense of attending meetings by promoting ‘lunch on your own’ or ‘on your own’ for dinner in the evenings to keep registration fees low. In some instances, we have reduced the number of meeting days by one day to save on lodging as well. We are also expanding fundraisers to put more money in to scholarships to allow members to get either full or partial scholarships to attend meetings.” Rob Casias, CMP National Guard Association of Texas Texas Lone Star Capital Chapter “With all of the changes in the government meetings business, our hotel has been seeing a lot more short-term business. The government planners I work with have smaller budgets this year and so the meetings held are smaller. Other repeat meetings are simply not being held at a hotel location but instead at a government facility where they are not required to pay for room rental or food. There seems to be a lot of uncertainty with government planners, and so our hotel has become more flexible to adapt to the changing needs of the industry.” Melinda Mintz Houston Marriott South Hobby Airport Texas Lone Star Capital Chapter & Houston Gulf Coast Chapter

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Fall 2013

President’s Letter
Editor’s Letter
Going PlacesTee Off in Texas
Finding Contract Solutions and Savings
Three Rules for Working with Difficult and Nasty People
Meet a MemberNick Hussein, DoubleTree by Hilton Bay City-Riverfront
Conference ConnectionMeeting Planners by the Numbers
CGMP Corner
Question for Our MembersHow Have Changes in Government Meetings Impacted Your Company?
National Updates
SGMP Nation
Advertisers’ Index

Government Connections - Fall 2013