Meeting Mentor Magazine

December 2018

Best of MeetPete

Out of This World

A trip to outer space may be the ultimate travel reward. Boeing, the company that builds the passenger aircraft we fly every day, recently announced that it is entering the space tourism business. Flights, which could begin as early as 2015, would most likely launch from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station. According to a report in The New York Times, the U.S. government awarded an $18 million contract for preliminary development and testing of a capsule that could carry seven passengers. Each flight would require a crew of four, leaving three seats for “space tourists.” Seven people who are not astronauts have already made visits in Russian Soyuz capsules. The cost? Guy Laliberte, the founder of Cirque du Soleil, paid an estimated $40 million for a Soyuz ride and an eight-day stay in the space station…Meeting organizers continue to be challenged to preserve the integrity of their room blocks. A very smart question was asked in a survey of 642 senior meeting planners (10 years or more) conducted by the Watkins Research Group. Instead of querying year-to-year 2009/2010 attendance comparisons that produce what’s termed a “false positive,” the questionnaire used 2008 as a baseline year. The number of respondents reporting attendance increases and decreases in the two years measured was nearly equal, confirmation that overall convention business has remained flat at best…While occupancy at convention hotels was up nearly five percent through August, Average Daily Rate (ADR), according to Smith Travel Research, grew only two percent. Renegotiation to keep attendees within the room block has become commonplace…Finally, in a nod to the bedbug infestation, nearly 400 entomologists and pest control experts, as well as government, military and university officials, attended a standing-room-only conference in Chicago. Also in the house were companies that tout solutions to root out the problem. The cost of attending: $450, a bargain at that price if it helps with an epidemic that’s now on the radar of the hospitality industry. — Peter Shure

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ConferenceDirect is a global meetings solutions company offering site selection/contract negotiation, conference management, housing & registration services, mobile app technology and strategic meetings management solutions. It provides expertise to 2,500 corporations and associations through our 325 Associates globally. www.conferencedirect.com

About MeetingMentor
MeetingMentor, the leading publication for senior meeting planners, is circulated to the clients, prospects and sales associates of ConferenceDirect, which books more than 3.87 million room nights. www.meetingmentormag.com

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