Convention Industry Council Targets Room Block 'Poaching'

Poaching isn’t a problem reserved for the wilds of Africa. It also happens in the staid confines of hotels, according to the Convention Industry Council (CIC), whose Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) has formed a new workgroup to address the issue of room block “poaching” in the meetings industry, it announced last week.

“In the meetings industry, room block ‘poaching’ refers to businesses that actively seek to recruit or divert event attendees away from official room blocks and into other hotel bookings,” explains CIC, which has appointed MaryAnne Bobrow of Bobrow Associates Inc. and Michael Dominguez of MGM Resorts International to co-chair the new APEX Room Block Poaching Workgroup. Under their direction, the volunteer committee will raise industry awareness on the impacts of poaching and develop best practices, tools, resources and education to aid individual meeting professionals in managing and protecting room blocks.

“Hotel ‘poaching,’ or ‘piracy,’ is not new but seems to be on the rise and affecting meetings around the globe. In some instances a meeting’s management team may be unaware that rooms are being poached,” Bobrow said in a statement. “The stellar group of individuals that form this workgroup won’t be able to eliminate the practice, but we can develop awareness and best practices for minimizing its impact.”

The workgroup will utilize the APEX Workgroup model, which brings together a diverse cross-section of stakeholders to conduct research and devise knowledge-based responses to issues affecting the meetings industry.

“Industry professionals can expect the workgroup to produce the high-quality content APEX is known for, whether it is in the form of research, ‘how to’ guides, articles or education,” Dominguez said. “Our first priority is research and data gathering, which will shape further work.”

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