Industry Update
Press Release27 August 2010

Planners Trying To Balance Hard And Soft Meeting Metrics

HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National Pre-Show Survey Respondents Cite Pressure to Prove the ROI of an Event

share this article
1 min

MCLEAN, VA -- A strong majority (60 percent) of meeting planners attending the 21st Annual Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) Affordable Meetings® National Conference & Exposition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. on Sept. 8-9, 2010, responded to the event’s pre-show survey by stating they feel increased pressure to show metrics that exemplify the success and ROI of an event.


These findings also remain consistent with findings from the pre-show surveys conducted prior to this year’s Affordable Meetings® Mid-America and West. The specific outcomes requested by meeting planners attending the National show fell into three categories: event satisfaction rate, attendance-repeat attendance rates and metrics related to net revenue.

"A strong trend emerged from the survey. Planners appear to face the increased challenge of quantifying and rectifying "hard" or financial variables with "soft" or evaluative metrics when it comes to planning and assessing events in today's economic climate,” stated Dr. James Houran, president of 20|20 Assessment™. “Driving the bottom line at any cost is not the approach in today's market. The focus of planners is more strategic and takes into account, in a balanced methodology, the logistical and interpersonal aspects of events. It's about transforming conference experiences into brands."

Also according to the conference’s pre-show survey, conducted by J. Spargo & Associates and analyzed by 20|20 Assessment™, respondents feel modern technology is most helpful in the planning industry for online registrations, social networking, eRFPs, email blasts, marketing, blogs, conducting virtual meetings and utilizing e-commerce through online stores. Respondents suggested that technology saves time and enhances organization, while at the same time streamlining business processes, more accurately capturing or manipulating information and allowing a database of legacy data to be built. It also allows a wider audience to be reached, they said. Planners attending the show this year expressed interest in learning new innovations in the technology area both in the educational sessions and from the exhibitors that would help them better manage their show outcomes.

Attendees at Affordable Meetings National have the opportunity to choose from 28 educational seminars addressing advanced, intermediate, medical, government and technology issues. These cutting edge seminars are presented by an outstanding faculty of educators who understand the rewards and challenges of the meetings and events industry. HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings National will also feature the Event Technology Expo ™ (ETE). Attendees can discover the latest in online registration, video-conferencing, social networking, web-and podcasting, lead management and much more. Special exhibits and seminars cover the most vital tech-related issues and trends.

Nearly 1,800 attendees, representing meeting and event planners from a variety of organizations, with a majority representing corporate, association and independent sectors and the balance from government, non-profit, education, religious and medical/health care organizations, trade show management and the military, are expected to visit HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National 2010 show. Attendance at HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National is free-of-charge for qualified meeting planners.

Prior to this year’s Affordable Meetings® National, attendees can utilize HSMAI’s One-to-One Meeting Concierge which works individually with planners to schedule appointments with exhibitors they are most interested in meeting with during the show. The One-to-One Meeting Concierge program is just one of the new features of the 2010 Affordable Meetings shows. In addition, HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings has introduced a Meeting Guarantee program which gives each exhibitor a customized report of qualified meeting and event planner buyers, CMP and Senior Leader breakfasts, a geographically organized trade show, and educational tracks geared toward today’s meeting planners.

Booth space is still available at the National Show and can be obtained by contacting Craig Baker, account manager, J. Spargo & Associates, (703) 679-3942, e-mail: [email protected]

Attendee information for HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National is available by calling 800-564-4220. For additional information and a complete program schedule, visit .

About HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National and Event Technology Expo (ETE)

HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings National will once again offer attendees the opportunity to meet and do business with more than 300 exhibiting companies during a unique exposition that will showcase venues, products and services to help produce various types of meetings and events. Year-after-year, the highly-acclaimed trade exposition is a main attraction for attendees looking to meet and network with knowledgeable suppliers who are determined to help produce valuable meetings and assist with purchasing decisions. Exhibitors represent hotels and resorts, university conference centers, unique meeting sites, convention and visitor bureaus, transportation companies, trade publications, software and audio/visual businesses, and other meeting and convention suppliers. HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings National will also feature the Event Technology Expo ™ (ETE). Attendees can discover the latest in online registration, video-conferencing, social networking, web-and podcasting, lead management and much more. Special exhibits and seminars cover the most vital tech-related issues and trends. HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings is owned and presented by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International Americas region and managed by J. Spargo & Associates. Visit for more information.


HSMAI is the hospitality industry source for knowledge, community, and recognition for leaders committed to professional development, sales growth, revenue optimization, marketing, and branding. With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry, and bringing together customers and members at annual events, including HSMAI's Affordable Meetings®. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. For more information on HSMAI, contact the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, Va. 22102; (703) 506-3280; fax (703) 506-3266, or visit the website at .

About 20|20 Assessment™

20|20 Assessment – a service of HVS – is the leader in performance management and enhancement tools and solutions for the service-hospitality industry. Founded in 1998 on the principles of superior science, service and specialization, the company’s research has since been featured by a myriad of media including the BBC, Wilson Quarterly, USA Today, New Scientist, Psychology Today,, CNN, Court TV and Rolling Stone. To find out more about, please visit .

Bo Morris
Edelman for HSMAI
Phone: 407-377-6867
Send email
Latest News