This year, Convention South magazine released its annual Meeting Trends in the South Report for 2010, in collaboration with PKF Hospitality Research, exemplifying “light at the end of the tunnel” for the corporate group sales segment. According to Convention South’s report, the next 18 months will yield increased meeting business with demand for more events. This and other top meeting trends are evident at The Resort Collection of Panama City Beach. Steve Bailey, Director of Sales for Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort, a property of The Resort Collection of Panama City Beach, understands these trends and uses every opportunity to utilize his unique approach for keeping his team motivated to book meetings. Although the corporate market has been the last to recover in the hospitality industry, positive signs show that things are looking good for corporate meetings. “We are on target and anticipate a gradual increase by the end of 2010 in our forecast for group business,” said Bailey. Also one of the trends for booking meetings, Bailey sees growth in “smaller and consolidated meetings versus larger conventions.” With over nine years of experience in sales and marketing, Bailey currently oversees all group sales aspects including corporate accounts and business development for The Resort Collection of Panama City Beach. A native of Panama City Beach, Bailey graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in hospitality management and a minor in psychology. He is also involved with the Alabama and Georgia Meetings Associations and Sports Market. Some of Bailey’s unique tactics to motivating his sales team include: · Aggressive Incentive/Sales Bonus—change from quarterly to monthly payouts. · Small prizes for conversion ratios—measure closure rates in addition to the revenue produced. Incentives include prizes such as spa treatments, rounds of golf and dinners for two. · Sales and personal movie days once a month—this includes motivational movies such as The Blind Side, Remember the Titans, Jerry McGuire and others. In 2009, Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort completed an extensive $250,000 renovation of its meeting facilities. As one of the largest conference center properties in Bay County, the resort has more than 32,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space and currently hosts more than 2,000 meetings, conferences, weddings and sporting events each year.