The hotel dilemma: the brain drain in convention services?

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The American Hotel & Lodging Association has been very active in Washington DC since the coronavirus pandemic took hold, asking for various types of financial aid to keep hotels in business. A recent survey of AHLA members shows that relief is needed most: only 37% said they were able to reinstate half of their staff now, while only 24% were able to bring back 60% of their staff.

This article from FoxBusiness.com describes the dire situation many hotels face, especially full-service properties that depend on business and social groups to fill their meeting and event space. The more business travel is reduced due to Covid-19 – again this week, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer extended the travel ban for its employees until June 30, 2021 – the longer it will take for business events in person resume. In turn, it becomes less likely that convention service managers at full-service properties will remain hoping to return to work.

In such a scenario, meeting and event planners will have yet another hurdle to overcome when their in-person meetings start again: less on-site expertise to draw upon as they try to create a meeting environment that satisfies attendees and achieves an event’s business and sustainability goals, all at a reasonable cost.


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