Axis Changes A&E EventBy John Honovich, Published on Dec 06, 2012
For the last two years, Axis funded lavish cruises for A&Es and their spouses, hotly debated around the industry and in our 'Axis Corruption Cruise' post.
However, Axis has changed the format for the 2013 A&E event [link no longer available], dropping the cruise and requiring A&E guests to pay $720 to join. The 2013 event, in February, will be held at a Scottsdale AZ 4 diamond resort with the same mix of half day scheduled events [link no longer available] and half day of free time plus dinner.
Axis explained the move away from the ship:
"Before last year’s event the team had already decided to change venues for 2013, and one main reason was to have the space/ability to showcase all partner technology to its full extent. A major theme of the conference this year is to highlight the total solution – Axis and partner technology – and the ship did not accommodate this as much as the event team would have liked, despite the ability to get the customer/ship/port tours."
Additionally, Axis addressed the change in guest policy:
"The 2012 Royal Caribbean ship venue presented a very different cost situation than the Kierland Resort. While a cruise could be likened to a floating hotel, the main benefit to hosting the event on the ship – aside from the port and ship install tours – was that all meals are included as part of a per-room all-inclusive package, not per person as it is done in a hotel.
Note though that while attendees were allowed to bring one guest 'free of charge' last year, Axis did not pay for the entire trip. Attendees paid for the guest’s transportation/airfare, Internet usage, any excursions as well as any meals or drinks outside of the Axis-group hosted meals."
For whatever reason Axis choose to make these changes, we think it is a healthy move for the industry. If A&Es want this education, they should be willing to do it without the lure of a cruise for them and their spouses. Moreover, it makes them less beholden to Axis.
On the other hand, it will be interesting to see how attractive the event now is. On an 'entertainment' level, going to a desert resort in the Winter for a weekend alone is nowhere near as exciting.