of commissions, lack of information and being involved too late in the process are
the main ‘irritations’ in the relationships between professional conference
organisers (PCOs), venues and convention bureaus.
session at the annual conference of the Association of British Professional
Conference Organisers (ABPCO) saw the three groups thrash out what caused the
most friction. Venues were criticised for hidden
costs, lack of free Wi-Fi, insisting on in-house suppliers and automatic release of
provisional space by PCOs; while convention bureaus were singled out for inappropriate
contact with clients and membership fees.
head of business tourism Steven Small remarked upon the increasing likelihood
of convention bureaus being private/public models and the tensions that created
in terms of being seen as “a public cash cow” for subventions to attract organisers;
as well as the need for transparency in commissions given they were seen as a "free
criticised for failing to give enough information
at the beginning of the process and requiring fast tenders and then giving slow
responses, while lack of transparency with commissions was a bugbear across all three sectors.
the issue came down to clear communication, said MCI’s Jennifer Jenkins. She
added: “I think the commission issue will be solved by the client. I think clients
will demand transparency across their event and we can stop having that awkward