Editorial Board   

Mr. Blanc

Eric Blanc

President, ACOM

Eric Blanc is President of ACOM - the Association for Convention Operations Management. A tenured professional with over 18 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Mr. Blanc is a graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and Marketing.

Mr. Blanc is a Certified Meeting Professional and graduated from the International Association of Assembly Managers Public Assembly Facility Management School.  He was recently named the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida after serving as a National Sales Manager with the Freeman Companies, based in Orlando, Florida.

Prior to his time at the Freeman Companies, Mr. Blanc served as Senior Convention Services Manager at the Tampa Convention Center and Tropicana Field (formerly known as the Florida Suncoast Dome) in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Mr. Blanc has been actively involved in the hospitality industry and is a member of ACOM (Association for Convention Operations Management), NCBMP (National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners) and PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association). He has also served on the PCMA Annual Meeting Planning Committee.

Please visit http://www. for more information.

Mr. Blanc can be contacted at +1 813-274-7773 or Eric.Blanc@ci.tampa.fl.us

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.