1 Case Analysis

1 Case Analysis
Conference Decision
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In less than two weeks, an accounting system user’s conference is scheduled to be
held in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 13–16, 2005. Unfortunately, Hurricane
Katrina has struck the city leaving a wake of destruction. Based on what you see on
television, the hotel and the city cannot possibly accommodate this or any
conference for the foreseeable future.
Approximately 200 attendees are scheduled to attend, flying in from all over the
country. All attendees prepaid their registration fee for the conference.
With a lot of competition in the marketplace, getting the users to participate in the
annual user’s conference is critical to retain current customers. During the

conference, several product enhancement ideas are developed by the users, and this
input is often used in future releases of the product.
Potential new customers are invited to the event, and their involvement often leads
to securing new contracts for the accounting system as they gain confidence in the
system, seeing others use it.
As head of the group that puts on the conference, you are faced with making a
determination of what to do with this year’s conference. You are getting calls from
the registered attendees asking what to do.
Senior management feels that the conference is critical to ensure continued
customer engagement and fears that cancelling the conference altogether will lose
the momentum the company has developed over the past few years.
Other considerations:
Keeping the original dates and moving to a different city may drastically increase
costs due to the short advanced notice. Will people cancel because of the higher hotel
If the date is changed, will the speakers and attendees still be able to attend?
Having worked with the...