Case Study

Assignment Instructions- this is for a Convention Sales and Services for Meeting and event planning.

Objective: Determine client and attendee needs and resources based on shared attributes as well as individual characteristics of organizations within major market groups and subgroups as well as analyze purpose and functions of convention elements, including food, room arrangement, technology, services, and security.

**Your aim for this case study is to select, with a solid rationale, the best conference center for the group and meeting described below. This meeting is entirely fictional; it is based on several meetings held by several corporations. The meeting, though, presents a scenario that could fit at any one of the three conference centers described in this case study. Differences between the facilities, though, will have an impact on the meeting (as well as the planning decisions made). After careful study of the meeting requirements, and the requirements of the client, you should be able to select one of the properties and you should be able to successfully defend that selection.
The writing will provide your selection and justification. If you used any criteria not provided below, identify, explain, and justify that criteria.

Submission Instructions:
Refer to the grading rubric for expectations
APA format should be followed for title page, reference page and citation format. An abstract should not be included.
A specific page requirement is not necessary, but you will be graded on completeness of analysis without “fluff”. You should be able to adequately analyze the topic in 3 pages of content.
Once the assignment has been submitted, turnitin.com will generate a similarity report automatically. You should be aiming for a similarity score of less than 20%, excluding the reference page. This means that 80% or more of the content of your paper is written using your own thoughts and conclusions.

Case Study II
The Tale of Three Conference Centers
Overview of the IACC
http://www.iaccnorthamerica.org The International Association of Conference Centers (IACC), North America, is an organization of member conference centers that have met the “Universal Criteria” for conference centers worldwide. The IACC mission is “to assist members in providing the most productive meeting facilities around the world. These facilities represent the highest-quality venues available to meeting professionals on a global basis” (“About IACC: Our Mission,” 2008, par.
1). A 21-member board of directors, representing various conference centers around the world, leads the organization, with a full time staff of five, headquartered in St. Louis, MO. The organization has a current membership in excess of 300 conference centers. A convenient searchable database is available on the website (see above). To explain the difference between conference centers and other meeting venues, the IACC wrote: “TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS… That’s what you want for your meeting – and that’s what you’ll get when you choose a genuine conference center. A uniquely designed setting, superior services and support, plus dedicated, professional staff to give you maximum results” (“About IACC: The Conference Center Difference,” 2008, par. 1).
The standards for recognized conference centers. The “Universal Critical Criteria” are explained in the handout available on the IACC website; that handout is included at the end of this case study. For this case study, three conference centers were selected from the list on the IACC website. These three centers were selected at random, with the potential to host the meeting described below. They are only briefly summarized here; to learn more about the three facilities, examine their websites in detail.
Venues
Overview of the Q Center, St. Charles, IL
http://www.qcenter.com You’ll want to review “Q Facts,” “Quick Tour,” and “Planning Tools,” on the website for the Q Center in St. Charles, IL. The Q Center’s website claims meeting planners will, “Accomplish more with our smart space, stay focused in our distraction-free setting, benefit from our experienced on-site team, and enjoy peace of mind” (Q Center home page, 2008). The web site offers the kinds of information meeting planners need, with testimonials, photos, floor plans, a link to IACC standards for meeting space, information about dining, guest rooms, and activities at the Center, and more. The Q Creative link is an interesting option for meeting planners and a clear indicator of how service-oriented the staff at Q center can be. The Q Center can be summarized with this description: “Complementing the strength of our team is the sheer size and scope of our Chicago conference center. Located due west of Chicago in a secluded, distraction-free environment, Q Center has more than 150,000 square feet of IACC-certified, versatile meeting space, plus 1,042 guest rooms. As one of the largest conference centers in the world, we can accommodate big groups, but small regional businesses find Q Center a private and productive place to meet as well. We mean it when we say groups of two to 2,000 receive the same high level of personal attention” (Q Center home page, 2008, par. 2).
Overview of the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel
http://www.missionpalms.com/ Located in downtown Tempe, the Mission Palms Hotel is one of the premier conference centers in Arizona: “We understand the needs and expectations of the professional meeting and planner and are able to develop an exciting program for you. Certified by the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC), Tempe Mission Palms is the perfect setting for groups and meetings from 25 to 500” (“Conference Center,” 2007, par. 3). The Mission Palms offers a corporate gift and amenities program, as well as group special events planning services. Phoenix tours are available and a professional catering staff. The Southwestern décor permeates the facility and the fare, and creates a beautiful backdrop for conferences held here. Of course, the weather is superb. Complete floor plans and specs for each room are available on the website, as is an online RFP link. Why Mission Palms? Consider this: “All of our Phoenix lodging accommodations at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel offer a long list of standard amenities and services that you would expect at a luxury hotel or resort. This is one of the many reasons that the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel is one of the highest rated conference meeting resort hotels in Arizona” (“Amenities,” 2007, par. 1). That rooftop pool looks awfully inviting!
Overview of Millennium Broadway Hotel New York
Who hasn’t heard of New York, Broadway, and the “Big Apple”? If you haven’t been there, you may have heard of it, but being there is a whole new experience. The Millennium Broadway can help your conference attendees gain that experience: “Millennium Conference Center, the only IACC-accredited hotel conference center in New York City, glows with new style and life. The expansive conference center has been completely transformed. Now your group can utilize the 45 meeting rooms that span 7 floors, superior connectivity including on-site Audio/Visual team, WiFi in all public spaces, Internet kiosks on each floor and T1 lines in every meeting room. One of our dedicated and experienced meeting planners will walk you through each step of your meeting. Our luxury leather seating, continuous food and beverage service and private conference dining help make us a Broadway standout. Millennium Conference Center is proud to be home to the 1903 landmark Hudson Theatre” (“Banquets and Meetings Overview,” 2008, pars. 1 and 2). The Millennium Broadway is located in the heart of Times Square, with easy access to numerous attractions, including world-class museums, Broadway shows, and unparalleled shopping opportunities. An extensive RFP and planning form is available online.
Case Study
Your mission for this case study is to select, with a solid rationale, the best conference center for the meeting described below. This meeting is entirely fictional; it is based on several meetings held by several corporations. The meeting, though, presents a scenario that could fit at any one of the three conference centers described in this case study. Differences between the facilities, though, will have an impact on the meeting (as well as the planning decisions made). After careful study of the meeting requirements, and the requirements of the client, you should be able to select one of the properties and you should be able to successfully defend that selection.
The Cecil Manufacturing Company, LLC
This company manufactures ergonomic chairs, benches, couches, and tables for businesses worldwide. The office furniture business is highly competitive and the company relies on an “army” of sales people in 15 different countries, including the U.S. Each country outside the U.S. has at least one regional sales manager and each state in the U.S. has at least one regional sales manager. These regional sales managers have never been brought together in one place before; the company realizes this is necessary to foster communication across locations. The new meeting is organized to develop incentive plans for all sales representatives for the upcoming fiscal year. The meeting will consist of the regional sales managers (175), top-level managers of the company (5), and support staff (10). In addition, the top twenty sales representatives in the world are invited to attend, as a reward for their efforts over the past year. All of these people are encouraged to bring their significant others to the event, as family values are highly encouraged by this company. Some employees may bring their entire family (kids, too). The business portion of the event is for 210+ people. Another 200 people are expected (they will need sleeping accommodations), but these additional people are not included in the business portion of the event. The largest business meal function is for 225; the largest business meeting is for 225. However, one planned function will be for the entire group, estimated at 450 (or slightly less). Some employees will want to meet on their own, in rooms that accommodate 5-10 comfortably, at odd times. Those should be accommodated on site. These impromptu meetings do not appear on the schedule below. The “Sales Incentives Planning Event” will meet for four days, Monday through Thursday in July (any week in July will be okay, but the company wants to avoid July 4). One day is set aside for family activities, so no business meetings are held that day. That day is in the middle of the 4-day period (Tuesday or Wednesday). Organized tours and activities are set up for these attendees on that day. Only one function, as stated above, is for everyone. All of the other functions are by demand (could be as few as 25 or as many as 250). The group asks employees to sign up for the functions well in advance, so guarantees for all functions can be made at least one week before the meeting is held. All meetings are held to encourage input from the employees. Audience response systems are key for meetings of 50 or more. All meetings use computers (for a meeting of 50 or less, everyone has their own computer and will connect to the Internet; for larger meetings, only the speakers have computers). The entire meeting must be recorded (all sessions, all days) and will be disseminated to meeting attendees after the event.
The agenda is “fluid” (it isn’t firm at this point), but looks like this:
Day 1 Employees enjoy breakfast with their families (on their own) Employees meet at 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. for business review Lunch for employees, 11:30 a.m. -1 p.m. Employees meet from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for marketing review The rest of the day is open
Day 2 (or Day 3, depending on decisions made) Employees enjoy breakfast with their families (on their own) Four to five tours/activities are planned for the morning (8:00 – 11:00 a.m.) Lunch is held 11:30 to 1:00, for all attendees, with family entertainment; can be off-site, but prefer on-site Four to five tours/activities are planned for the afternoon (1:30 – 5:30 p.m.) Evening is open
Day 3 (or Day 2, depending on decisions made) Families are on their own today Employees have breakfast together (no families) at 7:00 Employees meet in planning groups of 25+, 8:00-11:00 Lunch for employees, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Employees meet in larger groups of 50+, 1:30-5:30 p.m. Employees are free for the evening
Day 4 Employees have breakfast together (no families) at 7:00 Employees meeting in planning groups of 100+, 8:00-11:00 Employees meet for lunch, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Employees meet together in one group, 1:30 – 5:30 p.m. The evening is open.
The entire group will arrive at least the day before Day 1 and the entire group will leave no sooner than the day after Day 4.
All flight arrangements will be made by the company; all hotel arrangements will be made by the company (headquarters in Indianapolis). When tours require it, ground transportation will be provided by the company. The company does prefer to have ground transportation provided by the conference center from the airport. Since this company has not held the meeting before, numerous questions must be asked by the meeting facilities before costs can be estimated and contracts can be signed. At this point, the group is committed to one of the three destinations (Chicago, New York, or Tempe), for a variety of reasons. Now, they want to determine which of the three facilities can realistically and comfortably accommodate their meeting. So, your task is to rank order the three facilities on each of the question sets below. Then, determine which facility ranks highest, which ranks as second, and which ranks third overall as the best site for the first “Sales Incentives Planning Event” for Cecil Manufacturing.
Keep in mind that the company wants to treat these key employees, while fostering family values.
Points of Consideration
The following has been modified for APUS class. These are not specific questions you are required to answer in your essay [do NOT list and respond], but they provide points of consideration as you evaluate and compare locations in regard to the needs of the group. The answers you determine for the questions below should be used as support to show why you chose the venue you did for this meeting. Again – these questions should NOT be included in your essay, they are a tool for you to use when considering the venues.
1) Transportation to/from the destination
a. Is ground transportation from the airport provided by the facility?
b. How far away is the airport (from the facility)?
c. Does the airport accept international flights?
Facility one: ____________ Facility two: ____________ Facility three: ___________

2) Sleeping accommodations
a. Can the conference centers provide sleeping accommodations for this group?
b. Are the sleeping accommodations appropriate for families?
c. Are the sleeping accommodations flexible with options?
d. Do all rooms provide Internet access?
e. Does facility provide amenities for VIPs and families?
Facility one: ____________ Facility two: ____________ Facility three: ___________

3) Dining facilities
a. Can the facility provide dining facilities for several groups?
b. Can the facility provide dining for 450 at one time (not in the same room, necessarily)?
c. Can the facility provide space for the one function where everyone is together, with entertainment space?
d. Can the facility provide refreshment breaks (these aren’t scheduled in the plan above, but will be necessary)?
Facility one: ____________ Facility two: ____________Facility three: ___________

4) Meeting facilities
a. Can the facility provide all of the breakout function space needed?
b. Can the facility provide the large group meeting space needed, with classroom seating?
c. Can the facility provide additional small meeting rooms (for 5-10), if needed?
d. Can additional activity space be available, if the activities for families are held on site?
e. Will other groups be able to meet at this facility at the same time?
f. Is the facility offering meeting rooms with a business-level environment, but where families will also feel comfortable?
Facility one: ____________ Facility two: ____________ Facility three: ___________

5) Ancillary activities
a. Is the facility at a destination that provides options for ancillary activities (for the tours/activities day)?
b. Is the facility capable of hosting any of the ancillary activities on site?
c. Does the facility offer special packages to include local attractions/activities?
d. Does the facility and its location have broad-based appeal for families?
Facility one: ___________ Facility two: _____________ Facility three: ____________

6) Planning services
a. Does the facility provide meeting planning services to help the company with this first-ever event?
b. Does the facility provide a dedicated service provider (contact)?
c. Does the website offer RFP functionality? If yes, how useful is that function?
d. Does the facility offer other services that facilitate planning of the event? What are those services?
Facility one: _____________ Facility two: ___________ Facility three: ___________

7) A/V options
a. Does the facility offer WiFi and broadband Internet connectivity?
b. Does the facility offer projection, audio, and video capabilities in the meeting space?
c. Can the facility offer support for video/audio capture of the meeting?
d. Does the facility offer an audience response system?
Facility one: _____________ Facility two: ___________ Facility three: ___________

8) Other considerations
a. Since each facility is unique, what unique feature does this facility offer that could help the company host a successful event?
b. What other options does this facility provide that would appeal to families?
c. What other options does this facility provide that will appeal to the company?
d. What other options does this facility provide that will appeal to the employees?
Facility one: ____________ Facility two: ____________ Facility three: ___________

9) How do the facilities rank overall?

10) Which is your favorite facility and why?

Case study contributed by:
B. J. Reed, Ed.D., APR, CMP Professor, Department of Communication Technologies University of Wisconsin – Platteville reedb@uwplatt.edu
Provided for educational purposes by:
Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) 2301 S Lake Shore Drive, Suite 1001 Chicago, IL 60616
Copyright 2009 – Professional Convention Management Association Permission granted for reproduction for educational purposes

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