Housing Technology: Ensure a Smoother Process for Your Client
By Marilyn Healey President , Association for Convention Operations Management | July 30, 2010
With the demand for technology continuing to grow throughout the meetings industry, convention services managers (CSMs) throughout hotels, convention centers and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) have adapted to this demand by utilizing web-based applications and programs to help ensure a smoother event process for their clients.
"The housing experience, many times, is the first experience the client will have with a city," said Madonna Carr, CMP, Vice President of Destination Services at Meet Minneapolis. "So if the process isn't smooth or flawless from the beginning, then it sets the tone for the rest of their experience with us."
Housing programs have simplified the process for convention services professionals - gone are the days of running pick-up numbers for a conference or convention, transposing them to grids and emailing them to clients on a weekly basis. These web-based applications greatly reduce the time CSMs spend on reservations and housing tasks, therefore providing them with the quality time necessary to exceed the expectations of their clients and their clients' attendees in the planning and execution of their events.
"CSMs have the ability to set up a group campaign to target a specific event in their city or to track any venue changes," said Tina Stark, Director of Housing Sales at The Housing Connection, an Affiliate of the Salt Lake CVB. "It enables faster dissemination of information in a time sensitive environment and gives meeting planners 24 hour access to their groups."
Susan Gosz, CMP, Housing Services Manager at Meet Minneapolis adds, "Web-based systems are crucial to the success of an event as it allows the meeting planner to target a large audience at minimal or no cost to the association."