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IAVM releases white paper on convention center exclusives

IAVMIAVM has released a white paper and survey report on the business practice of exclusive services offered in convention centers.

The IAVM Convention Center/Exhibition Hall sector committee finalized a white paper that explains the use of exclusive services and maintains the 2001 IAVM position that it must remain an option to convention centers as it accomplishes many objectives for convention center operations, including ensuring safety of guests and staff, maintaining the quality of service, as well as providing an important revenue stream that allows convention centers to meet budget goals and expectations of stakeholders and its community.

The white paper, “Exclusive Services in Convention Centers,” was written and published in conjunction with an IAVM Convention Center/Exhibition Hall commissioned survey and coincides with a panel session, “Freedom of Choice,” at IAEE’s Expo! Expo! in Las Vegas. IAVM member Frank Poe, executive director of the Georgia World Congress Center, with representatives from Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA) and Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO), discussed the practice of exclusives.

IAVM also published the “2011 IAVM Convention Center Survey Report on Exclusives.” The survey found that exclusive services are a significant source of revenue for convention centers, accounting for an average of 37 percent of operating revenue.

When asked the reason that venues have exclusive services, 95 percent of the respondents stated to ensure consistent service quality, followed by produce revenues, then to protect venue infrastructure and life safety. Ensuring competitive pricing is accomplished primarily by “doing their own research” or by “listening to feedback from exhibitors, show managers and contractors.”

“Venue managers must have the freedom to operate their venues in the way that best meets the directives of the owners and the unique characteristics of the local market, and protects the brand image of the destination” was agreed on by all who answered the question.

Also noteworthy, 94 percent cited an increased emphasis from show managers on discounting rent, including caps on total rent charged for the event and 86 percent indicated there is increased emphasis on providing discount or complimentary Wi-Fi services for attendees.

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