This textbook provides readers with the most current and comprehensive coverage of the convention industry, with an in-depth look at conventions and meetings marketing, how to successfully sell to groups, and how to service their business after the sale.


Prerequisites: None

Course Description: Defines the scope and segmentation of the convention and group business market, describes marketing and sales strategies to attract markets with specific needs, and explains techniques to meet those needs as part of meeting and convention service.

Objectives: At the completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the scope of the convention, meetings, and trade show industry in terms of types of meetings, who holds meetings, and emerging types of meeting facilities.
  2. Explain the steps in developing a marketing plan.
  3. Describe considerations in the organizational design of a sales department, and outline how a sales office interfaces with other departments.
  4. Identify characteristics of association meetings that are important for selling to the association market.
  5. Identify characteristics of corporate meetings that are important for selling to the corporate market.
  6. Describe SMERF groups and explain how to approach selling meeting services and products to them.
  7. List and describe the steps in making a personal sales call.
  8. Summarize the process of planning an advertising strategy and describe how public relations and publicity can help a property reach meeting planners.
  9. Describe the elements of a contract or letter of agreement.
  10. Describe considerations in determining who should coordinate hotel service to groups, and describe the duties and organizational relationships associated with the position of convention service manager.
  11. Summarize factors that hotel staff must take into consideration when assigning guestrooms to meeting attendees.
  12. Describe the format and uses of the resume prepared by the convention service manager.
  13. Describe typical function room furniture, meeting setups, and time and usage considerations for function rooms.
  14. Identify different types of food functions and types of food service, and describe beverage service issues.
  15. Summarize factors in the decision about which audiovisual requirements to service in-house and which to outsource, and describe types of audiovisual equipment and their uses.
  16. Describe programs that hospitality properties offer the guests and children of meeting attendees and the role of such programs in a successful meeting.
  17. Describe the functions of key trade show personnel and describe the elements of exhibit planning.
  18. Describe typical procedures for billing groups and for conducting a post-convention review.
Group Teaching Guidelines: This course is designed with 18 chapter sessions that can be combined or broken down to meet a variety of scheduling needs. Class activities are included in the Instructor’s Guide.

Evaluation: The student must complete a comprehensive final examination.

Learning Resource: Convention Management and Service, Eighth Edition, by Milton T. Astroff and James R. Abbey