Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Hospitality Management

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair


Convention facilities, United States, Corporate meetings

Date of Defense




The United States today has become "meeting-conscious." The complexity of conducting business has led to the need for sophisticated coordination of decision-making processes on all levels of the organization. Company meetings have played an increasingly important role in the success and future of many companies. Strategies and decisions are developed at meetings that can determine future policies of crucial importance. Executive training can mean the difference in whether the company will even survive.

Large and growing companies have increased their off-premise meeting budgets annually in spite of the state of the economy. however, the rising costs of travel and lodging have made management monitor these budgets more closely than ever. Thus, the need to use every dollar efficiently has compelled companies to examine newer methods of running meetings and alternatives to the usage of typical off-premise meeting facilities. The importance of off-premise meetings in the United States economy has greatly increased due to the billions of dollars spent annually. These factors make it vital to explore the effectiveness of time and monetary expenditures.

Up until the mid-1960's, company meetings were held in facilities of various design and purpose, none of which were specifically designed for the small to medium corporate meeting. Upon gathering information concerning the meetings market and the corporate meeting planner, certain individuals endeavored to change the situation. This study is designed to investigate this new concept, which will hereafter be referred to as "conference center." For the purpose of this study, the following two definitions will be used.

1. Conference center - that meeting facility primarily marketing its facilities for the small to medium-sized corporate meeting. The center is operated by specialists aware of market needs in as much detail as are those people working for the company involved. On-premise sleeping rooms are not mandatory provided such facilities are within easy access.

2. Meeting planner - that person within an organization who has primary responsibility for arranging off-premise meetings and all other related items necessary for meeting effectiveness. This person may spend anywhere from 10 to 100l of his time in this capacity.

The conference center has effectively satisfied the need for specialized corporate meeting facilities. This study will show the depth of the corporate meetings market and trace the growth and development of this relatively new conference center concept. Information will also be compiled on the top centers in the country. It is hoped that by presenting this research meeting planners will become more aware of the nature and location of these centers, especially for use by the small to medium-sized company. Such exposure of the centers will hopefully increase existing demand and enable the construction of new, innovative centers.




Thesis does not include an Abstract nor information on faculty advisers.



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