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An Introduction to APEX


Posted on November 12, 2007

By Rob Wilson

APEX is an initiative of the Convention Industry Council (CIC). The Convention Industry Council's 32 member organizations represent more than 103,500 individuals, as well as, 17,300 firms and properties involved in the meetings, conventions and exhibitions industries. Formed in 1949 to provide a forum for member organizations seeking to enhance the industry, the CIC facilitates the exchange of information and develops programs to promote professionalism with the industry and educates the public on its profound economic impact. In addition to the APEX Initiative, CIC is also responsible for the Hall of Leaders Program as well as the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Program.

The stated vision and mission of APEX are as follows:

The VISION of APEX
The industry will operate at the highest level of efficiency and professionalism through the use of collaborative accepted practices.

The MISSION of APEX
To spearhead an industry-wide initiative that brings together all stakeholders in the development and implementation of industry-wide accepted practices which create and enhance efficiencies throughout the meetings, conventions and exhibitions industry.

So what does this mean for you?

As accepted practices are adopted and implemented across the industry, a few of the benefits include:

--Seamless transfer of data between computer systems, which reduces duplication of efforts, increases --efficiencies of operations, and results in cost-savings.
--Streamlined systems and processes that result in time and resource savings.
--Enhanced quality of service provided to customers, including event attendees.
--Acknowledged measures of comparison and evaluation for improved decision-making.
--Consistent employee training resulting in increased professionalism industry-wide.

In short, it will make the industry more efficient and productive.

The APEX initiative started 6 years ago and to date has involved over 6,000 volunteers and resulted in a series of documents outlining the standards in seven different practice areas:

--Creating 4,000 word industry glossary
--Defining the Event Specifications Guide
--Post Event Report
--Housing & Registration Practices

--Contract Accepted Practices
--Request For Proposals
--Meeting and Site Profile

In order to implement the standards the CIC has moved on a three pronged approach.  The first is to make the standards available for free on their website and encourage their use.  The second is to develop software that incorporates the standards, encouraging planners to use the software and for venues and other suppliers to be able to accept the output of the standard.  The third is to encourage commercial software developers to embed the standards within their software on the planner side and the supplier side

This article brings you up to speed as to who is behind APEX, the vision and mission of APEX and what is already available to help the hotel industry put Accepted Practices in place in their own work environment.

In the next article, I will be highlighting the APEX Technology Advisory Council (TAC) and the different modules that are being worked on to facilitate systems talking to systems to bring these efficiencies to reality.

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