Author : Heywood T. Sanders, Trinity University
The analyses and forecasting presented in convention center feasibility studies rest in part on assumptions about future demand and supply of convention space at both the national and local levels, developed from data supplied by trade groups. Facility size, amenities, and location combine to give specific venues some degree of market appeal and perceived competitiveness. These attributes are quantified through surveys and other means and used to predict event bookings and attendance for each venue, given either current capacity or a planned expansion. These predictions, in turn, inform the calculation of likely direct and indirect economic benefits to the community of building or expanding a convention center. This paper takes a hard look at each feasibility study component to gauge its utility to policymakers and others who rely on these studies to make public investment decisions.