Upcoming ACOM Event Calendar

October 2008

October 16, 2008
1:00 PM EDT
Revenue Management

November 2008

Idea Network
November 20, 2008
1:00 PM EST
All Tracks: Current Trends of the Industry

January 2009

2009 Annual Conference
January 9-11, 2009
New Orleans, Louisiana
Westin New Orleans

A special thank you to the Annual Conference Sponsors:



Don’t miss the opportunity to have your name listed above. If you have any questions or are interested in sponsoring ACOM, please contact ACOM Headquarters.

CSMs Can Improve Client Communication Using the Event Specification Guide

By Sue Tinnish, APEX Director, Convention Industry Council

A sales person sold the dream meeting and it’s now up to you to help the client make it a reality. The convention services manager (CSM) is critical to making an event successful. Clear communication between a client and a CSM is the foundation underlying every successful event.

And yet, as a CSM you probably experience these situations in helping clients plan their events:

1. The client does not know what or how to communicate their meeting specs to you.
2. The client has never planned a meeting like this one.
3. Meeting specifications are incomplete or missing key details.
4. You receive specifications in such a variety of formats that it’s challenging to know where to look for what information.

The Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) has a tool to help you improve that all important communication. APEX was formed by the Convention Industry Council (CIC) to reduce the inefficiencies between planners and suppliers. The APEX Event Specifications Guide (ESG) is the document to communicate meeting details in a streamlined and clear manner. Anyone can customize the ESG which is available as a free download in Microsoft Word from the CIC website.

You are in a position to influence your clients and improve their experience. Be proactive, be professional:

  • Recommend to your clients that they send you their meeting specifications using the Event Specification Guide (ESG).
  • Customize the ESG to your venue. Add your venue’s logo or tagline to the document.
  • Put the ESG on a branded memory stick or flash drive and give it to clients and ask that they submit their meeting specs using the ESG.

APEX is industry developed and industry endorsed. Once you make the conversion to the industry standard you will save time and streamline your processes. Other CSM professionals have experienced real benefits from using the ESG:

“The ESG was extremely clear and concise and contained all the information needed to plan a successful meeting. The format was user-friendly, and as a CSM it made my job much easier. I could virtually cut and paste the information from the ESG into the Caesars Group Resume format and feel completely confident in distributing it to the hotel.”

- Derrod McKinney, Convention Services Manager at Caesar’s Palace

“In my capacity of detailing multiple programs at the same time, this document (the ESG) helps me be a better event manager… You saved me so much time in putting together my hotel resume with the ESG. Thank you!”

- Robert Puskarik, Senior Event Manager at JW Marriott Orlando

Start with clients who don’t have established processes for communicating meeting specs. Over time, you will find that planners are sending you the ESG. Both suppliers and planners benefit. Make your organization one of the industry leaders; adopt the ESG as a standard now.

Learn more about the ESG by listening to an archived webinar on the topic at http://www.conventionindustry.org/apex/learningtools.htm. You can find out more about APEX at www.conventionindustry.org/apex. For additional information or questions, please contact Sue Tinnish, APEX Director at 847.394.9857 or stinnish@conventionindustry.org.

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