Category Archives: Trade Shows

RFP’s ‘Valet’ at ASAE Annual

This year the ASAE Exposition trade show floor buzzed with extra energy both Sunday and Monday with association planners and exhibitors interacting face-to-face to build business relationships (Twitter definitely took a back seat).

ConventionPlanit.com, already known as a class act,  had a very special booth upgrade this year to explain the popular (and free) RFP Valet service. RFP Valet helps meeting planners easily source their RFPs to the hotels and destinations of their choosing, and organizes the responses on a virtual chart.

Al Rickard, CAE

Our very own live Valet (Al Rickard, CAE, of Association Vision) was on hand to explain how it all works. Al was a “vision” himself in an elegant tuxedo, complete with the customary white towel on his arm. He may become a permanent fixture as David Markham had trouble keeping up with the demand for demos!

Jo Ann Hoffman, Regional Director of Sales, Maryland & Mara Hill Buckner, Regional Director of Sales, Chicago of ConventionPlanit.com

In attendance were also a few of the ConventionPlanit.com Account Managers. “Newbie” Jo Ann Hoffman, Regional Director of Sales, Maryland joined Mara Hill Buckner, Regional Director of Sales, Chicago in staffing the booth.

We also noticed CP.com supplier members Team San Jose, Tourism Memphis, Delta Air Lines and Visit Vail Valley busy educating planners on their destinations and services. AND, for the umpteenth year in a row, Visit Anchorage won another “Best in Show” Second place!

Look for the ASAE Annual to head over to Columbus next year…see you all there!!

ASAE Opening Reception features an Unusual Talent

On our industry calendar, “A” is for August and the ASAE Annual. No passport necessary this year as the event was held in the Windy City. So off went your intrepid blogger to report on the 2018 Conference & Exposition held Aug. 18-20 in Chicago.

ASAE’s opening nights are always epic, but the reception this year was a fabulous kick-off party at the Wintrust Arena.  Barbecue and country music shared the menu for a rousing good time as attendees networked with colleagues both inside the arena and outdoors (as the weather more than cooperated.) It truly was a “Chi-town Chow Down” enjoyed by all.

New! A sign of the times was the upgraded security to enter the hall as well as the advance warning to make sure ladies handbags were regulated to a specific “clutch purse” size. This proved to be a bit of a challenge as clutch purses were designed well before the arrival of the oversized smart phones!

McCormick Place hosted the annual meeting and exposition and the opening general session set the tone for this year’s theme, “Get Focused.”

John Graham reiterated ASAE’s focus on standing firmly against legislation resulting in any type of discrimination.” We will fight for the right of all people to come to our meetings, participate in our programs and serve our organizations.” He was enthusiastically applauded by the 3,554 Executives, 2,120 Exhibitors and 418 staff, press and guests who attended THIS meeting!

IMEX America 2018 – Expanded, Exciting & Experiential

Experiential innovations, learnings, industry trends and new exhibitors are among the hundreds of reasons to attend IMEX America, taking place October 16 – 18 at the Sands® Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian®| The Palazzo® in Las Vegas.

Memorable Masterclass

A new partnership with C2 International, the ground-breaking leader in business conferences, will bring a huge dose of creativity and excitement to the show. Following an enthusiastic response to their Learning Labs at IMEX in Frankfurt, C2 will be presenting a suite of different Learning Labs at IMEX America, as well as a Thursday morning, open-to-all, Masterclass on the show floor.

More exhibitors and opportunities to do global business

Driving business success remains at the heart of IMEX and with over 3,300 destinations, venues and suppliers from 130-plus countries under one roof, this year’s show is no exception.

IMEX America has moved into a larger hall to accommodate new and expanded exhibitors, such as Meet New York, Malta Tourism Authority, Nobu Hotels and Visit Dallas, Pacifica Hotels – all at the show for the first time. Many exhibitors are increasing the size of their booths including Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, DMI Hotels, Croatian National Tourist Board, Mexico, Royal Caribbean International and Bermuda Tourism Authority who have all doubled their presence.

Powerful and personalized – education for all

In line with tradition, the show kicks off on October 15, Smart Monday – a full day of complimentary, cutting-edge professional development, which is powered by MPI.

Additionally, an Association Leadership Forum, created by ASAE exclusively for association leaders and an Executive Meeting Forum dedicated to senior corporate executives with a focus on SMM program management, procurement leadership or meetings management are also on offer on Smart Monday.

Once again IMEX America 2018 will live out its mission to ‘educate, innovate and help all its clients to make powerful connections with the right people’ by presenting easy-access professional development each day of the show. The Inspiration Hub, situated on the show floor, will be the central point of focus for hundreds of sessions on hot topics including security, sustainability, creativity, innovation, technology, experiential events and legacy – IMEX’s Talking Point for this year.

Recognizing personal impact and legacy

Various aspects of legacy will be covered throughout the program – political, personal, environmental, CSR and social impact/knowledge legacy – all designed to help planners produce more engaging, topical events with longer-lasting positive outcomes.

Following great feedback, a ‘Legacy Wall’ launched at IMEX in Frankfurt will also premiere at IMEX America, showcasing heart-warming and inspiring stories and case studies from exhibitors, partners and IMEX staff.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains: “With an expanded show floor, new exhibitors and numerous networking events, the opportunities to do business at IMEX America are second to none this year.

“As always, we’re committed to putting on a great show – one that ignites fresh thinking, explores new trends and encourages people to connect and do business easily. In a fast-changing world, we believe that coming together in the same place to see, hear and talk commerce – and to understand the wider forces shaping our industry – is fundamental to business success.”

IMEX America takes place October 16 – 18 at the Sands® Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian®| The Palazzo® in Las Vegas, preceded by Smart Monday, powered by MPI, on October 15.

Registration is free.  

ConventionPlanit.com recommends attending IMEX America as a hosted buyer to learn the latest in the international meetings world

IMEX America is approaching fast and we know you will benefit from being a hosted buyer in Las Vegas.  ConventionPlanit.com colleagues, Susan Sarfati and Liz Jackson, are offering participation in their hosted buyer group.  Here’s what you need to know now: 

  1. IMEX will cover the cost of air fare to Las Vegas, hotel and airport shuttles to bring you to this global meeting, incentive, convention, exhibition trade show and education program.  Expand your meeting industry knowledge and contacts plus attend education programs and earn certification points. 
  2. Dates are October 15-17, 2018. Mark your calendar! 
  3. Requirement is booking meetings outside the US or book a minimum of 1,000 attendees annually to US destinations. They can register up to two hosted buyers per organization.  Bring a colleague or pass this invitation on to qualified staff members. 
  4. Want to invite a qualifying friend, colleague or client?  It will be done! 
  5. ConventionPlanit.com will be exhibiting at IMEX America and we look forward to meeting you there. 

RSVP now to Liz Jackson ljackson262@msn.com 

In addition to a great IMEX learning experience, enjoying being with new friends and colleagues,  our group will be dinner guests of Caesars Palace’s new restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen.  It’s the world’s first Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen restaurant drawing inspiration from the global hit reality television show starring world-renowned Chef Gordon Ramsay and we will feel like we are on his studio set.  Many thanks to our long-time Caesars Entertainment sponsor, Shelley Williams, for this wonderful invitation. 

PCMA 2018 Continued

The theme of this year’s conference was “Amplifying Engagement” and outgoing PCMA President and CEO, Deborah Sexton made sure that all participants were positioned to learn how to “electrify their experiences, elevate their conference’s brand and truly engage with their audience.” Interspersed throughout the Center’s standard meeting rooms were a Media Studio Stage housing the Video Capture Lounge, a Future of FACE2FACE area featuring a TECHBAR, (RE)ALITY ALLEY and The Mix – a 65-foot-by-18-foot video wall where delegates could tune into a session, get live breaking news or access prepared content. Add to this already heady combination of engagement opportunities the Braindates knowledge transfer opportunities as well as the Networking Luncheons and you have a potpourri of audio and visual stimulation that will no doubt become the standard for future conferences!

I was pleased to encounter the following CP.com supplier partners in attendance:  Angeline van den Broecke from the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre; Gerry Kingston of Delta Air Lines; Marie McKowan, Meet In Ireland; Andrea Schmidt, Visit Anchorage and Sandra Reed, Meetings Alliance. Also seen were CP.com Advisory Council members Leslie Zeck and David Williams. There may have been more of our colleagues in the hall, but I was lucky to find these few among the 4,500 of our closest friends! Hope to see them again (and you) at next year’s Convening Leaders in Pittsburgh!

PCMA 2018

Greetings from your CP.com intrepid blogger reporting on the recent PCMA Convening Leaders Conference held in Nashville, TN Jan. 7-10.

Known throughout the industry as THE premier opportunity to “jump-start” the year professionally, the 2018 version did not disappoint. Music City welcomed approximately 4,500 delegates with a strategically planned program that combined efficiency with southern hospitality.

Some of my favorite features were conference registration at baggage claim, complimentary souvenirs of hometown delicacies such as Goo Goo clusters (taste like they sound!) and Belle Meade Bourbon, bus transfers to the various hotels from the airport, hand lotion and mouth wash available in the Music City Center ladies rooms and frequent seating therein to break up the miles between meeting areas.

Just to give you an idea of the importance of this last attribute, the high-performance convention center is located on a 16-acre site! And, the grand ballroom for the general sessions was cavernous enough to provide for the world’s largest “air guitar” outlined in red lighting and anchored to the ceiling.

IMEX America Stats and Show Floor

IMEX America is consistent in its attempts to reduce their environmental footprint resulting from hosting 12,000 attendees, 3,250 exhibitors and occupying 19,575 room nights in local hotels.

This was actioned by initiatives that ranged from encouraging attendees to donate books to a local literacy program to helping to build hygiene kits for the Clean the World project.

Recyclable carpet was used in the aisles and some of the booths and only an abbreviated version of the show catalogue made it into print.  Ray Bloom, IMEX Group Chairman is one of the best at having his organization lead by example!

Representatives from CP.com supplier partners had a good showing in the hall. Among them were:

  • Martina Fundaro  – The Prague Convention Bureau
  • Marie McKown – Meet in Ireland
  • Angeline van den Broecke and Alan Pryor – Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre
  • Julie Dodds and Jim Henderson – Visit Anchorage
  • Laura St. Germain – United Airlines

Malaysia’s Colorful Booth

Ireland’s Booth featured an authentic looking sheep!

Dan O’Neil, vice president strategy and sales for the Bloomington CVB, headed up a press conference announcing a new “Under One Roof” meeting experience. This program packages together unique luxury meeting space in partnership with the JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America, Radisson Blu Mall of America and the Mall of America itself.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Ray Bloom talked about breaking records for the sixth year in a row! Here are a few of the more impressive stats:

  • 12,000+ exhibitors, hosted buyers and attendees
  • 70,000 individual and group appointments along with stand presentations took place
  • 72% of appointments were based on RFP’s
  • 250 educational sessions took place covering 10 tracks
  • 450 exhibitors and buyers participated in the IMEXrun Las Vegas routed along the famous Strip

Congratulations to the IMEX Team for a great show. ConventionPlanit loved participating!

 

 

ConventionPlanit Attends IMEX America

The ‘power of live experience’ was a theme that resonated throughout this year’s IMEX America held in Las Vegas October 9-12. Through the participants coming together as one, the exhibition reinforced its role as a celebration of all that is positive, regenerative, empathetic and optimistic about the meetings and events industry.

Employing our own special antidote to the unfathomable disaster of the previous week, the hugs were more heartfelt, the conversations more optimistic and the overall energy focused on supporting Las Vegas…#VegasStrong. Again it was proven that there is no better industry for promoting solidarity in the face of turmoil and tragedy than the hospitality marketplace.

Your intrepid blogger was on site to bring you the “show buzz” for this annual extravaganza’s seventh edition.  The event boasted more than 3,300 exhibitors representing 150 countries interacting with 3,200 buyers who participated in 70,000 individual appointments and booth presentations. Participating buyers had the opportunity to:

  • Conduct up to a year’s worth of global business in only 2-3 days… without needing a passport
  • Learning from the extensive Education sessions and Inspiration Hub interaction
  • Enjoy both professional and personal networking

At the ConventionPlanit.com booth, David Markham was kept busy introducing new planners to RFP Organization as well as the amusing cartoon strip starring Misty and Happy.

conventionplanit at imex america

Interactive experiences were augmenting the standard educational formats with opportunities for the planners to sample dynamic activities such as:

  • Instant personalized song writing
  • Enjoying lunch from food trucks
  • Experiencing virtual reality of Ski Jumping (some advice – do this before lunch!)
  • Instruction from a (hotel) master florist on arranging flowers at home
  • Mixing it up with a champion Sumo Wrestler (don’t try this at home!)

Next up – IMEX America’s green efforts!

Update from IMEX America

Update from IMEX America:

We are shocked and saddened at the events that have taken place in Las Vegas over the past 24 hours. 

We can confirm that IMEX America will be going ahead at the Sands Expo next week from Oct 10 – 12 (Smart Monday, Oct. 9). 

Both IMEX America and the Sands have very strong security in place, with both visible and plain clothes security teams in the venue and at the tradeshow. Over the coming days we will be working closely with the Sands, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the Las Vegas authorities to assess any additional security measures that are needed at this time. We will take their full advice in ensuring the best possible security and safety of our guests. 

We will send you further information as it becomes available. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact us and we are very much looking forward to welcoming the industry to IMEX America next week. 

With Best Regards, 

Ray Bloom, Chairman and Carina Bauer, CEO IMEX Group.

More From ASAE!

As usual, the ASAE Exposition trade show floor buzzed with activity Sunday and Monday with both Association planners and exhibitors interacting face to face to build business relationships (luckily this timeless format is still alive and well:)) Along with putt-putting to win a stuffed animal, strapping on VR goggles to participate in a horse race and scoring an adorable camel from Dubai and/or a black bear from Anchorage, planners who over extended themselves could stop by the Puerto Rico booth for a relaxing massage!

Pictured are a few of the ConventionPlanit.com supplier members in attendance.

Maureen Pickell visiting Kyle VanAlstine and Rebekah Biddle at the Delta Air Lines booth

Paul Astleford, President & CEO, Visit Jacksonville and The Beaches, has a cheery smile for planners.

Also we noticed Team San Jose, Memphis CVB, Experience Columbus and Hargrove Inc., busy educating planners on their destinations and services. And Visit Anchorage won 1st Place for Inline Booths…AGAIN!

Look for the ASAE Annual to head back to the lower 48 next year…see you all in Chicago (no passport necessary!)