Government Connections - Winter 2010 - (Page 9)

EDITOR’S LETTER G Society of Government Meeting P Government Professionals CONNECT TO GOVERNMENT MEETINGS. CONNECT T GOVERNMENT MEE NNECT GOVE NMENT MEE WINTER 2010 • VOL 2, ISSUE 2 SGMP’s Role in Per Diem By Charles Sadler, CGMP, CHSP, CHSC Executive Director & CEO Published for Society of Government Meeting Professionals 908 King Street, Lower Level Alexandria, VA 22314 703-549-0892 Fax: 703-549-0708 EXECUTIVE EDITOR Charles Sadler, CGMP, CHSP, CHSC THE PHONE STARTED ringing at SGMP headquarters as soon as the revised federal per diems were posted on the GSA website August 30, 2010. Lodging rates in 310 of the 378 so-called nonstandard areas saw a decline beginning October 1, 2010. For federal agencies and individuals traveling to popular urban city destinations, will it now be harder to find affordable hotel rooms? Will hotels be tougher on government room blocks and allocating rooms to the lower per diems? We have to recognize that these declines certainly were the result of the country’s continued economic woes and stagnation. The travel and lodging industry has been enduring a most difficult period in maintaining revenue shares in meetings and transient dollars. When the new per diem rates came out, I personally received dozens of calls and emails from supplier members. I responded to each and every one and provided the standard and the policy for a review of a per diem rate. But before I get into that, I want to talk about the GSA process evolution and commend the agency for seeking out the best metric tools for determining the rate for the 378 nonstandard areas. First, GSA most likely generated the numbers correctly based on the industry’s measurement tool, STAR (Smith Travel Accommodations Report), the benchmarking tool which is used by the majority of international and national hotel chains as well as many independently operated hotels. It enables them to track the property’s occupancy, ADR (Average Daily Rate) and RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) performance against their competition. Before GSA made the decision to use this widely-accepted report from the hotel and lodging industry, they got information the old fashioned way; they called several hotels in an area and asked the clerk for the government rate. Now I ask you, which method is most accurate and effective? The answer is obviously the industry’s own reporting system, one that is used by hotels to make business decisions based upon market area trends. GSA recognized the impact the STAR Report has on the industry and selected to use it as part of its per diem determination process. GSA calculated this fiscal year’s lodging per diems based on hotels’ average daily rates for April 2009 through March 2010 from the STAR Report. It may surprise some of you to discover that many of our supplier members are unaware of how the review process works. A new supplier member called me to “fix” his per diem and started out by telling me he understood I was the per diem “fairy” and could help him get this done. Well, after I picked myself up off the floor I told him I prefer per diem “guru” over MANAGING EDITOR Nick Stanley, CGMP ASSISTANT EDITOR Rob Bergeron, CAE, CGMP Address editorial comments and questions to Charles Sadler, editor, Government Connections, 908 King Street, Lower Level, Alexandria, VA 22314. Published by Naylor, LLC 5950 NW First Place Gainesville, FL 32607 800-369-6220 Fax: 352-331-3525 PUBLISHER Mark Migliore MANAGING EDITOR Leslee Masters SALES MANAGER Rick Jablonski MARKETING Rebecca Wentworth ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Kathryn Hillgardner ADVERTISING SALES Pam Blasetti, Rick Jones, Scott Pauquette, Beth Sheahan and Jamie Williams ADVERTISING ART Reanne Dawson GRAPHIC DESIGN Emma Law For advertising rates, information and media kits, please contact Kathryn Hillgardner at 800-369-6220 ext. 3384 or © Naylor, LLC. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the publisher. Mention of any product does not constitute endorsement by Government Connections. Government Connections assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts, photos, art, or cartoons and reserves the right to reject any advertising or editorial materials. Unsolicited materials should be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2010/SGM-Q0410/9984 One thing a weak economy should teach the meetings and travel industry is not to shut out the lower rate tiers just because the market is riding high now. Later, you are going to need that market to fill rooms. “ ” 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Winter 2010

Government Connections - Winter 2010
Table of Contents
President’s Letter
Editor’s Letter
Going Places
Education Edge
That’s Technology
Supplier Strategy
Plan Green
Travel Tips and Trends
Good to Know
Dieting on a Per Diem
The Per Diem Pendulum
Contact Sport vs. Meeting Professionals
Raining Cats & Dogs
Are You Planning to Fail?
7 Deadly Sins of Small Meetings
Meeting Follow-Up is Key to Success
SGMP Nation
Membership News
Conference Connection
Advertisers’ Index
The Meeting Minute

Government Connections - Winter 2010