Wosk centre meets targets in first year

Sep 19, 2002, vol. 25, no. 2
By Diane Luckow

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While last fall's terrorist attacks in the U.S. noticeably diminished this year's hotel bookings in Vancouver (down 1.2 per cent in 2001), they had a surprising affect on SFU's Morris J. Wosk centre for dialogue.

Despite an initial loss of $88,000 in cancelled meetings, the one-year-old international conference centre began attracting increased videoconferences and local corporate bookings.

As well, in response to 9-11, U.S. and Canadian associations began booking smaller annual general meetings closer to their head offices, providing the centre with an opportunity to bid on events that would have been too large in the past.

Overall, the centre celebrates its second anniversary Sept. 20 having hosted 688 events in the past 12 months, worth $1.7 million.

“With every hotel in the city competing for the same local markets for meeting rooms, we feel extremely fortunate to have achieved our targets this year, despite our relative newness and the economic climate,” says marketing director Ann McCaw.

She attributes much of the centre's success to the careful planning and detail in the building's original design, which features an ergonomic environment and International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) standards.

“Our clients know their delegates will be comfortable, that our technological capabilities are state-of-the-art and that we take care of all the details so they can focus on their agendas,” she says.

Corporate bookings accounted for two-third's of the centre's revenue base in the past 12 months while the federal government, which booked 205 events, is the largest single client. Internal SFU bookings accounted for 252 event days.

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