by Cathy Breden, CAE, CMP, CEIR
With just six weeks to go until the annual CEIR Predict Conference, on the 12 September at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, the Program Committee and panels are busy holding conference calls to discuss session content and the key points to focus on during each session.
I’m especially excited about City Talk, during which the mayors of Baltimore, Dallas, Houston and Orange County will discuss the creative steps destinations have taken to attract major events and create a better experience for attendees and exhibiting companies. Publicly-owned convention hotels, work rule changes and special districts dedicated to economic development with the features convention delegates seek are examples of what leading destinations have undertaken.
One of the points that CEIR President and CEO Doug Ducate makes in every presentation he makes is that the future is going to be challenging for some destinations and their convention centers. When cities are cutting budgets, and when a decision has to be made between maintaining a police force or fire department, or funding a convention center, something has to give. Certainly, the cities of Baltimore, Dallas, Houston and Orange County represent great destinations and products, and it will be interesting to hear the perspectives of each mayor.
Probably more interesting will be the session dialogue between the mayors and the audience. In the end, we want the audience to understand the challenges major city mayors face and the desired business relationship between those that organize events and those that host them.
What do you think are the key issues facing destinations?