The SGMP Link
Mar. 6, 2014

Replacing hotel CRCs with mobile service centers
Linchi Kwok
Not long ago, central reservation centers, or CRCs, brought in the most sales for the hotel and lodging industry, but people now plan trips online and use online travel agents such as Expedia and Priceline. Many hotels have developed enhanced e-commerce sites and guaranteed travelers they could find the best deals on the hotel websites, but hotels are not winning any consumers from OTAs. What is the problem? What can hotels do to get more direct sales? In my opinion, hotels fail to compete with OTAs in the most important battleground — mobile devices.More

Breaking down spending in Obama's budget proposal
The Washington Post
Readers of The SGMP Link will stay abreast of the latest federal budgetary and funding developments that will affect our industry. This week, President Barack Obama unveiled the Administration's 2015 budget submission, which claims to continue the present downward trend for agency travel and conference attendance. Currently, it is viewed as unlikely the Senate will pass a budget this year, content to proceed with the 2015 spending levels contained in the budget deal signed with the House late last year. Rest assured that SGMP will keep our members appropriately and effectively informed of critical budget news.More

Obama's fed-friendly budget blueprint
Government Executive
President Barack Obama promised to "unlock the full potential" of the government workforce by striking a conciliatory tone in his 2015 budget blueprint. Rest assured that SGMP will keep our members appropriately and effectively informed of critical budget news. More

Are government attendees an endangered species?
Meetings & Conventions
It has been a rough year for government meeting planners. But the meetings industry is pushing back against federal travel restrictions. According to executive director & CEO Rob Bergeron, SGMP has begun a concerted effort to partner with other entities in adding its expertise to the struggle, which marks new ground for SGMP. “We are bridge-building more than ever.” More

Good spots still available in SGMP 2014 NEC Expo Hall
SGMP
Registration for the 2014 NEC continues to pick up, but there are still spaces on the expo floor. All large island exhibitors have confirmed their space, opening a few prime 10x10 locations close to food & beverage stations as well as the SGMP Central booth and the expo lecture area. Visit the SGMP website for information and registration. If you have any questions contact Mark Harvey at mark.harvey@sgmp.org or 703-566-3632.More

To succeed in hospitality, focus on the customer
The Guardian
The hospitality industry is a notoriously difficult industry to survive in. It is judged by people who are using their disposable income and free time to do something they seek pleasure from, so they are definitely less forgiving. As a several billion pound industry encompassing everything from restaurants and bars, to hotels, amusement parks, cinemas and transportation, there is no "one size fits all" method of finding success. So the question remains, what makes this industry tick?More

Register now for SGMP webinar on April 3
SGMP
"What You Don't Know About 'System Award Management (SAM),'" the second of SGMP's 2014 Webinar Series, will be presented on Thursday, April 3, 2014, from 2-3 p.m. Eastern time. Beau Barnett of Stafford Consulting Company will share with you expert knowledge of what you didn't know and what you need to know about this critical federal system. Education is paramount. Knowledge is power. Register NOW.More

Is your agency set up to drive performance?
Government Executive
The familiar refrain to cut government red tape has become almost cliché. To be fair, much progress has indeed been made. President Bill Clinton's National Partnership for Reinventing Government attempted to root out waste during the 1990s while George W. Bush targeted pork barrel spending at the onset of the 21st century. President Barack Obama has continued the crusade against red tape and government waste by naming the nation's first federal chief performance officer, Jeffrey Zients, in 2009. These efforts have all produced a steady evolution toward improved quality and performance.More

Nominations open for SGMP National Elections through March 11
SGMP
Nominations are being accepted for all six elected trustee positions for the 2014-2016 SGMP Gilmer Institute of Learning (GIL). Would you like to be considered as a candidate? Would you like to nominate someone else with their consent? The GIL mission is to enhance the purpose and goals of SGMP by providing support to our members and chapters through educational opportunities and certifications, training, resources scholarships and endowment funding. The official call for nominations and the nomination form are posted on the SGMP homepage.More

Lessons from Sochi: What a difference volunteers make
Associations Now
There's no denying the impact volunteers can make. Some 25,000 volunteers helped put on a successful Winter Olympics in Sochi, despite the Games' rocky start. You may not have (or need) that many at your event, but volunteers can bring local flavor and extra hands on deck to your next meeting.More

More top meeting and event trends for 2014
Successful Meetings
As the president of destination management company ACCESS Destination Services in San Diego, Jennifer Miller has seen her share of a variety of meeting and event trends. Taking a closer look at this year, Miller sees a heavy emphasis on meetings and events that "play on the senses" as well as those that play up a destination’s local resources. Here are her top 10 predictions for the biggest meeting and event trends that we'll see this year.More

After government shutdown, dozens of lawmakers gave to charity
The Washington Post
From the very outset of the 16-day government shutdown last fall, members of Congress recognized its potential for political damage. Many of them, seeking to contain the possible fallout, pledged to give back some of their federal salaries earned while the government was not functioning. At the time, there were questions about the sincerity and political expediency of the ­pledges and whether it was even possible for lawmakers to decline their pay.More