From a CVB person who wanted to be anonymous but still share a lesson learned:
- Several years ago, when I was in convention services, we had a group coming into the city for a citywide. We were all excited since it would go back-to-back with another citywide group. We realized something was not quite right when we kept getting housing requests for the Wed. and Thurs. prior to the convention instead of Fri. The planner (who was a newbie in the industry) was called since we were running out of rooms on the shoulders and were having to go out of the downtown corridor. The planner informed us that her executive director had made the decision to move the dates forward by a day—they had told the convention center, but not the hotels or the bureau what they were doing.
Needless to say, we couldnâ€™t make reservations in the contracted hotels since the rooms were already occupied. We scrambled and got the client sleeping rooms in the suburbs, but the group then had to pay for shuttles. The hotels downtown did not achieve even half of what they were supposed to . Lawsuits were threatened. After the convention, the planner quit and the exec. dir. was fired.
Lesson learned: Always verify that if you are going to move something, all parties are contacted to make sure it will work. Never assume anything.
Do you have any lessons learned the hard way? If so, please drop me a line or leave a note in the comments below. I'd be glad to share your stories (anonymously, if you like) in the hopes that someone else won't have to learn the hard way.