Professionals needed

Posted: Friday, August 09, 2002

Emily Wescott's June 17 article, "Hall may pose problems for future conventions," should have read "Hall services pose problems for conventions."

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Hall may pose problems for future conventions

It is not the size of the hall that keeps conventions away; it is the lack of current convention practices and services that clients want. A recent dissatisfied client of the hall had problems which could have easily been avoided by professional event services. To expand the size of the hall and not to have the infrastructure of basic services needed for larger conventions is how businesses go under, or in this case, how cities have budget deficits.

It may be that the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau is the organization that should manage the hall, but it is not a convention services expert by today's standards. Audiovisual and other production services are not usually handled by the in-house management; they are contracted services that work directly with the client. This poses a problem in Juneau, however, as it takes the revenue away from hall and into a private enterprise - heaven forbid!

Five or six small, yet upscale incentive trip conventions a year could raise the economic impact of a convention attendee from $1,999 to over $3,000. This translates to an additional millions per year in revenue to the local economy, which in turn gives the city its fair piece of the tax pie. JCVB does have the marketing skills and basic meeting planning abilities to attract the business, but JCVB has the responsibility to promote the basic private services convention clients have come to expect in today's market as well.

Juneau has the potential to be an excellent incentive travel destination, but the city needs to get out of the way and let the professionals handle it.

Joe Quarto


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