Meetings Beat - 2005-04-18
SCMP Turns 35, Closes Doors
The Society of Corporate Meeting Professionals announced it is finally closing its doors after the association's management organization was dropped in 2002 and the volunteer board of directors slowly disintegrated. This year the organization celebrated its 35th anniversary, making it the oldest organization in the meetings and hospitality industry, said Kevin McNally, past president of the organization, on the organization's Web site. "Like many other national organizations, we had a volunteer board of directors. Without a management company to keep our focus, our day-to-day operation and marketing strategy on track, in short, we were failing," said McNally, who is also director of convention services at the Westin Chicago River North hotel, in his Web posting. During the absence of a management company, the board of directors attempted to keep SCMP alive, McNally said. "We enhanced our SCMP Web site; we revised our administrative process to survive. All the while, we continued to maintain our commitment as a member and partner of the Convention Industry Council." All activities of SCMP were stopped in 2004, McNally said. The organization's Web site will remain online and McNally will continue to answer e-mail inquiries.
Maritz Travel Cuts 8 Percent Of Staff
Maritz Travel Co. announced on March 16 that 8 percent of staff had been cut after poor business results for the 2005 fiscal year and projections of further declines in the 2006 fiscal year. The staff was reduced through unfilled resignations, retirements, transfers, outsourcing and layoffs, said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of Maritz Travel, in a company memo. "We are also proactively looking at ways to implement a more variable work force model," Duffy said in the memo obtained by Meetings Today. Proposed actions included unpaid voluntary leave without loss of benefits and a voluntary 30-hour workweek. "We are interested in implementing these alternatives on a voluntary basis and depending on how many people are interested we may or may not have to implement additional reductions," Duffy said, adding that she expected Maritz Travel employees to show interest in the voluntary measures. "We have substantial revenues, an impressive list of blue chip customers and the most experienced team of professionals in this industry," Duffy said."We cannot lose sight of that during this period of transformation."
SITE Unveils New Strategic Plan
The Society of Incentive & Travel Executives on April 1 announced the completion of a new strategic plan to direct the association in the next two years. According to an association release, the association will work to raise the global awareness of the effectiveness of performance improvement and "elevate SITE to a position of industry pre-eminence." The association also will work to enhance member value and provide business-to-business opportunities between members, strategic alliances and future SITE contributors, according to the plan. "These core objectives will enable SITE to build on our successes and open new doors that create value and growth for all players in the incentive industry," said Brenda Anderson, CEO of SITE. SITE, founded in 1973, has nearly 1,800 members in 82 countries, with 28 local and regional chapters. The association is the only international, not-for-profit, professional association in the incentive industry. Members represent corporate buyers and suppliers of incentive services.
EMCVenues Debuts Conf. Center Consultancy
EMCVenues announced last month it has formed a new conference center consulting division in response to requests from within the company's network of venue partners as well as a resurgent interest in conference centers, according to the company release. "The venue partners recognize that our team is best suited to provide them with industry-related marketing strategies, reposition plans, concept planning and development, financial analysis, and any other efficiencies that will help them maximize their sales operations," said Chuck Ocheltree, newly appointed vice president of operations and head of the new division. EMCVenues is a national sales and marketing resource for the conference center industry.