News for the Hospitality Executive
(Leesburg, VA ) – August 2012 – In mid-July, a meeting planner approached the Front Desk at The National Conference Center (NCC) holding a page of newspaper from The Washington Post featuring an advertisement for the NCC with the headline: An Open Letter about GSA Spending: Let’s seek long-term solutions, not shortsighted reactions. She came to book a meeting.
Recognizing that most government agencies plan and execute training meetings wisely and prudently, The National Conference Center has been critical of the government’s “shortsighted reaction to GSA overspending” by inflicting counterproductive and reactionary restrictions on meetings and travel regulations. The tempestuous story continues to bring the potential for further cuts for travel to meetings and conferences and is likely to have serious effects on the meetings and travel industry.
According to American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the world's largest association of travel professionals, “meetings and events matter to the travel industry and the U.S. economy. In 2011, meetings and events generated $99 billion in direct travel expenditures, which supports 859,000 American jobs and contributes $15 billion in tax revenue for local, state and federal governments.”
The recent ad campaign (“An Open Letter about GSA Spending”) from The National Conference Center boldy stated:
Let’s seek long-term solutions, not shortsighted reactions.
The ad was critical to the reaction of the government’s excessive spending at a scandal-plagued 2010 Las Vegas conference for employees. The controversy has continued to receive critical scrutiny and attention on Capitol Hill and in the media. According to NCC General Manager, Kurt Krause, “our industry will be severely impaired if the government continues to force unreasonable restrictions on meetings and federal employee travel. We need to work together and partner on accountability.”
A follow-up ad featured the headline:
We took a stand. We struck a nerve.The ad refers to the “overwhelmingly positive response to the ad which ran in The Washington Post in June and July. Krause comments that The National Conference Center sought to take a leadership position and work with government agencies to help assure that money is spent more wisely. He points out that the positive reaction to NCC’s stand was based on three important observations:
1. Employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Like any well-run organization, government needs training that promotes leadership development, allowing for the sharing of best practices for long-term success.
2. Productive training requires a focused setting that is designed for learning and free of distractions like golf and gaming.
3. Recent directives on slashing travel will adversely impact training, which is critical for increasing innovation and making the most of our government’s human capital.
Director of Sales & Marketing, Eric Whitson commented that there have been other strong, positive reactions to the ad and other planners are in the process of booking and planning their meetings at The National Conference Center. “The ad”, said Whitson, “is very straightforward in declaring our leadership position and stating:
NCC is dedicated exclusively to meetings and training—nothing else—and has hosted government events for more than three decades. Training on our campus is effective because participants retain information better in a true learning environment. Training at The National Conference Center is also easy and economical.
About The National Conference Center
The National Conference Center (NCC), located in Northern Virginia 12 miles from Dulles International Airport and 35 miles from Washington, D.C., is one of the largest and most comprehensive conference centers in the nation. With 917 guest rooms and over 250,000 square feet of meeting space, NCC has become a hub for productive meetings and is on the GSA schedule. NCC is also home to West Belmont Place, Northern Virginia’s largest ballroom with 16,500 square feet for holding an elegant wedding or accommodating a large trade show or special event. For information call 800-640-2684 or visit www.conferencecenter.com, or www.westbelmontplace.com
The National Conference Center is managed by ARAMARK Conference Centers. ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. In FORTUNE magazine's 2009 list of "World's Most Admired Companies," ARAMARK was ranked number one in its industry, consistently ranking since 1998 as one of the top three most admired companies in its industry as evaluated by peers and analysts. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 260,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at the company's Web site, www.aramark.com.
James M. Mahon
Director of Sales & Marketing
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