The Truth About Training: Sharper Skills Increases Service Value

By Marilyn Healey President , Association for Convention Operations Management | May 21, 2010

While the first and foremost objective of a Convention Services Manager (CSM) at a hotel, convention center or convention and visitors bureau (CVB) is to give meeting planners, their clients and attendees an outstanding customer service experience, CSMs and planners agree that a commitment to continuing education is key to keeping their verve for customer service sharp.

Over 80% of corporate and association meeting planners report CSMs "greatly affect" their perception of a venue and 100% of planners feel CSMs have a "significant impact" on the successful execution of their meetings, according to a recent survey conducted by the Association for Convention Operations Management (ACOM), which serves the continuing education needs of convention services professionals.

Once a meeting venue is booked by a meeting planner, the CSM functions as an "in-house meeting planner," orchestrating unique meeting options and customized services on the supply side by working synergistically with the planner to effectively achieve meeting or convention goals in their facility.

"A successful meeting is a team effort here, but every team needs a leader," says Devon Sloan, director of events at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador. "In a hotel, that leader is the CSM. We work with both the meeting planner and the property's team to make sure the goals of the meeting are communicated and that we're all focused on those goals."

Interdisciplinary continuing education opportunities, meaning those that explore best practices in working together with other meeting professionals, can therefore only increase one's expertise and value to their organization.

Many nonprofit associations such as ACOM and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) provide valuable continuing education opportunities including various conferences and live webinars that feature industry leaders or experts in a related industry. CSMs, meeting planners and hotel executives alike should take a proactive interest in their careers and keep a finger on the pulse of the industry's changing trends.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.


Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.