Meeting News - January 28, 2008 - (Page 1)

INSIDE THE INDUSTRY MPI’s new ‘school principal’ p. 6 CHEF TALK ‘Iron Chef’of Seelbach Hilton p. 8 TRANSPORTATION & SVCS New DMC accreditation p. 15 MeetingNews w w w. M e e t i n g N e w s . c o m January 28, 2008 July 16, 2007 ‘Sales Force One’ Alters Marriott’s Reps Structure By Robert Carey Hotels/Resorts A $17.5-million revise intends to energize the Windy City hotel. see page 10 International MPI, ICCA, UNWTO task force is creating way to measure meetings’ global economic impact. see page 16 SWISSÔTEL PUTS MONEY EFFORT TO DETERMINE IN CHICAGO PROPERTY MEETINGS’ NET WORTH Bethesda, MD—On Dec. 3, Marriott International launched a new companywide sales structure that changes the way the hotel firm deals with most of its meeting planner clients. Dubbed “Sales Force One,” the new framework moves the majority of sales reps out of individual properties and into centralized sales offices in metropolitan areas. Clients have one contact person at the nearest office, who helps place meetings among Marriott’s brands, including Marriott, JW Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Courtyard, and Residence Inn. That sales rep also negotiates the contract for each meeting, regardless of where the chosen property is located. In December, the first centralized office, in Gaithersburg, MD, opened. This year, Marriott plans to open offices in Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and St. Louis. No announcement has yet been made on other offices. Large meeting clients who already have a Marriott national sales contact are not affected; they continue to work with their existing salespersons. Michael Murphy, senior vice presicontinued on page 40 LOEWS GIVES MEETINGS SOME SPLASH OF COLOR Company introduces color-themed programs designed to improve attendee focus. see page 10 SHANGRI-LA TO PLANT THREE IN SHANGHAI Heavy-duty meetings properties are planned to come onstream starting in mid-2010. see page 16 DALLAS-SUBURB HILTON IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS Hilton Bella Harbor, on Lake Ray Hubbard, looks to make meetings sweet with 231 suites & 25,000 sf of meeting space. see page 10 MICE VENUES SPREAD IN ASIA’S LION CITY Singapore welcomes new hotel, off-site infrastructure while Sands casino project heats up. see page 18 MeetingNews Exclusive Research How are you incorporating green strategies in your meeting programs for 2008? Adding green criteria to RFP I reduce, reuse, recycle materials Prefer suppliers with green programs but won’t pay more Not implementing green in 2008 Other 22% 7% 22% NBTA’s Hotel RFP Puts Green in Play By Christopher Hosford CVBs Bureau wants to shore up city’s low season by bringing in more ethnic groups. see page 12 Insider Report major casino destinations around the country. see page 24 22% 27% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Source: MeetingNews online poll of 47 meeting planners Volume 32/Number 2/$10.00 Not So Green Yet By William Ng Everywhere you turn, green strategies for meetings seem to be the talk. But not all planners are incorporating eco-friendly components into see page 20 events. Why? Alexandria, VA—The National Business Travel Association rolls into 2008 with a decidedly greener cast to its standard hotel request for proposal form. The business travel association, which represents corporate and government travel and meetings managers, has updated its RFP to include questions about hotel environmental programs, which now will be weighed against all the other major factors buyers use in negotiating hotel contracts. “This is really new for the hotel industry,” said Alisa Blanco, key account director of global sales at InterContinental Hotels Group Americas, who also is a member of the NBTA committee that developed the new RFP. “Some chains are already growing by leaps and bounds in expanding green initiatives.” Typically, corporate meeting planners or corporate travel managers send NBTA’s RFP to hotels or chains directly, or to third-parties like travel agencies, to continued on page 41 JACKSONVILLE PURSUES GAMING DIVERSE EVENT CULTURE Five-page report on the latest at the IT’S ‘GO TEAM!’ FOR SAN JOSE TOURISM City gives Team San Jose—made up of the CVB, hoteliers, and local partners—new five-year contract. see page 13 Destination Insider SAN ANTONIO Grand Hyatt HQ hotel books big preopening volume; River Walk attraction to expand. see page 34

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Meeting News - January 28, 2008