CVB develops discounts for delegates

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NEW YORK -- This city is offering business travelers and convention attendees a number of services aimed at making it more cost-effective -- and a bit more fun -- to come here on business.

The VIP Delegate Program, created by the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau, provides discounts for trade show delegates at establishments throughout the city that are members of the bureau.

The program is open to all delegates and exhibitors attending shows at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. To receive discounts, delegates must show their badges at participating restaurants, cultural institutions, theaters, clubs or sightseeing companies. The program also provides discounts to certain major sporting and cultural events throughout the year.

For information, call the bureau's Convention Services Department at (212) 484-1207.

For meeting planners, the city upgraded its convention services via a central hotel reservations program managed by Housing On-Line, a company that arranges housing, registration and travel services for trade show and convention attendees.

Planners can access the company's Web site at www.houseol.com for information on hotels that includes prices, business amenities and graphics. Customers can send e-mail inquiries to account executives via the site, and reservations can be made by mail, fax and the Internet.

Each event is assigned a dedicated toll-free number that planners can call Mondays to Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays and holidays, Pacific Time. For information, call (800) 915-9931 or (702) 798-6381.

According to experts, more and more meeting and convention attendees are bringing their kids along on business. Responding to the trend, meeting and convention planners are turning to temporary child-care companies to meet their clients' needs.

KiddieCorps offers services for kids primarily between the ages of 6 months and 12 years, said a company spokesman. Its staff offers arts and crafts projects, board games and participation games and can set up shop at the Javits Center. "Most of the activities are based on kids' being able to play with other kids," he said. For information, call KiddieCorps at (619) 455-1718 or visit the company's Web site at www.kiddiecorp.com.

The other provider of on-site child care for youngsters from 6 months to 12 years is New York-based Convention Kids Inc. The company, which also arranges to baby-sit for children at hotels, can be reached at (212) 861-6033.

Corporate events planners looking for an alternative to standard giveaways might consider "One-on-One with Greg Norman," a personalized video golf lesson in a traveling van.

Each One-on-One van is equipped with state-of-the-art video and computer technology and can come directly to the meeting venue. The golfer's swing is filmed and analyzed via computer, then evaluated using 21 split-screen computer-generated comparisons that put the swing of Norman -- one of the world's best and most popular pro golfers -- side by side with that of the client's. For more information, call Visual Edge Systems Inc. at (888) NORMAN-1.

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