Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from the ConventionPlanit.com Team!

We offer our thanks for your continued support, and wish you much peace and great joy during this holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Some of the ConventionPlanit Team at our Holiday Luncheon last week

Some of the ConventionPlanit Team at our Holiday Luncheon last week

CP Heads to Expo! Expo!

This is your traveling blogger reporting in from L.A. after attending the IAEE 2015 Expo!Expo! held Dec.9-11 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Beginning with the Opening General Session and CEM presentation, the event moved on to the Tradeshow in the Conference Hall and then to the Opening Reception occurring next door at Nokia Plaza near the Staples Center.

ConventionPlanit.com recently signed a collaboration agreement with IAEE, and Deborah Shepard and I were on hand as “first-timers” to the event.

Deborah Shepard readies the ConventionPlanit.com booth for the first day of the Expo!Expo! trade show at L.A. Live.

Deborah Shepard readies the ConventionPlanit.com booth for the first day of the Expo!Expo! trade show at L.A. Live.

David DuBois, President and CEO, welcomed the audience by greetings in English, Japanese and Spanish, demonstrating that 30 countries were represented by the attendees. The group was then addressed by Ernest Wooden, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, a CP.com member.

The trade show opened in typical L.A. style with the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band escorting attendees to the show floor by playing Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk.” The exhibition offered a combination of business and education and the planners on the floor represented the best of the exhibitions and events industry.

CP.com member United Airlines hard at work during Expo!Expo!

CP.com member United Airlines hard at work during Expo!Expo!

Deborah and I walked the show floor and were interested to find a number of CP.com members exhibiting. Of course we have photos to share with you!

Mark McMinn and Wendy Frank of Team San Jose decorated their booth with some early holiday spirit!

Mark McMinn and Wendy Frank of Team San Jose decorated their booth with some early holiday spirit!

At the various tradeshows ConventionPlanit participates in throughout the year, it is always a treat to catch up with our member hotels and cvb’s.

Kendra London of the Sheraton Memphis Downtown and Nicole Seltzer of the Memphis Cook Convention Center found a moment to relax in between clients.

Kendra London of the Sheraton Memphis Downtown and Nicole Seltzer of the Memphis Cook Convention Center found a moment to relax in between clients.

In between stints on the tradeshow floor, I was able to check out the educational session focusing on “Exhibition Marketing – Asian Practice.”


Most interesting were mentions of CP.com members Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre and the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

It was demonstrated how Asia has become the hub of the global exhibitions and events market and that these world class facilities are the reasons why Singapore and Malaysia are known as superior M.I.C.E. destinations.

The closing party was held at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live. The last chance to meet with colleagues before heading home is always a fun time, and all are excited to meet up again for Expo!Expo! 2015 in Baltimore.

See you there!

IMEX America Wrap Up

I found a few more photos floating around on my devices that I wanted to share with you all. The third and final day of the show, I had a chance to check out some of CP’s partners amazing booths.

Associated Luxury Hotels International had a very large space at the show, and with 160+ member hotels, it was easy to see why the extra space was needed!

ALHI's Stand

ALHI’s Stand

One of CP’s newest CVB members, Team San Jose, had a great display. Stay tuned to learn more about their great destination on CP.com!

San Jose Stand

Team San Jose Stand

Visit Anchorage was busy with appointments when I stopped by, but rest assured, their booth was filled with their famous adorable stuffed moose giveaways.

Visit Anchorage

Visit Anchorage

Los Angeles had an amazing display of photography at their booth that showcased some of their great attractions that make the city so unique.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Maureen attended the IMEX America Closing Press Conference, which this year expanded to include the three representatives pictured with their partner, Ray Bloom. Obviously the 4th edition of IMEX America surpassed all records previously established.

Allow me to share some year over year statistics with you:

  • Exhibiting companies representing 240 countries  (13% increase)
  • 2900 hosted buyers (8% increase)
  • 53,000 one-to-one business appointments (6% increase)
  • 1250 group appointments attended by 10,600 hosted buyers (12% increase)

L to R: Cindy D’Aoust – COO of MPI; Chandra Allison – Vice President of Sales The Venetian|The Palazzo; Cathy Tull – Senior V.P. Marketing, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Association; Ray Bloom: Chairman of IMEX

Maureen also had a chance to explore some of the other stands, and wouldn’t you know, she decided to take a nap! The Delta Air Lines stand brought all the comforts of flight to Las Vegas with this plush bedding and seat.

A Delta flight attendant tucks Maureen in

A Delta flight attendant tucks Maureen in

Last, but certainly not least, I wanted to share a picture of the “Three Amigas” as we dubbed ourselves – the ConventionPlanit IMEX America 2014 Team!

Ashley, Maureen, Sandra

Ashley, Maureen, Sandra

Mark your calendars for October 13-15, 2015 for the fifth anniversary of IMEX America!

IMEX America Hotel Stay

Now that I have returned to the East Coast, I could not resist sharing one more post from my trip to IMEX America last week.

Thanks to The Palms Casino, I attended the show in style!

My room was in the recently renovated Ivory Toewr, which has won awards for its design. The Ivory Tower is also home to the (in)famous Real World Suite from MTV”s popular show!

My room at The Palms Casino

My room at The Palms Casino

After all of the hustle and bustle from learning, networking and attending the  expo each day, my comfortable room was the perfect place to relax and rest. The hotel was a quick taxi ride away from The Sands Expo Center.

My room, on the 24th Floor, had a pretty spectacular view. It was amazing to see the mountains by day and the lights of Sin City by night!

View from my room

View from my room

In addition to stellar accommodations, The Palm is home to over eight restaurants, a basketball hoop, two bowling lanes, one recording studio, a 2,500 seat concert theater, and 60,000 square feet of new meeting spaces including a new ballroom.

Be sure to check it out on your next trip to Las Vegas!


IMEX America Day 3

Yesterday was an even busier day than Tuesday for us at IMEX America, believe it or not! Wednesday was full of appointments at the booth with meeting planners, including two with members of our Advisory Council.

In true fashion, they were able to provide some excellent suggestions on features to add to RFP Organization, our RFP response system that displays responses on customized spreadsheets. Stay tuned for those suggestions to be coming soon to the website

For the attendees, the robust education here at IMEX America, provided with a partnership with MPI, was a huge draw. Several of our Hosted Buyers will be sharing their reflections and findings from some of these education sessions in future blog posts.!

While I was busy with our appointments, Maureen was busy with appointments of her own, presentations and press conferences, too!

First up was a press conference for the Prague Convention Bureau. Martina Fundaro spoke to the group about Prague’s new destination branding, which will present a unified visual of the city. The bureau launched a redesigned website earlier this year – be sure to check it out!

Prague Press Conference

Martina Fundaro at the Prague Press Conference

She then joined our Hosted Buyers for a group appointment with the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. They presented our group with beautiful Malaysian sarongs, an indication of true Malaysian hospitality.

Hosted Buyers

Hosted Buyers listen to a presentation

After the show closed for the day, we were off to our next reception, which was sponsored by Delta Air Lines. Through Delta’s Meet and Global Meetings programs, meeting planners can receive discounted flights for their groups. We had a great time seeing many of our friends from the Delta Team as well as some of our Hosted Buyers and other CP Members.

To top it off, I won a raffle for a trip to Minneapolis. Thanks Delta!

IMEX America Day 2 Recap

The expo hall at IMEX America opened yesterday and the show floor was certainly the place to be. The attendees were waiting at the entrance for the floor to officially open and then they flooded in!

The CP Booth was decked out with our new banners and linens from GNP Branded Gear. The banners reflect the design of our new homepage (launched earlier this month!)

CP  Booth      CP Booth

Throughout the day, we spoke with many planners who made appointments to learn more about ConventionPlanit’s RFP services. The planners were happy to know that CP is 100% commission-free and they also loved the 24-hour RFP response guarantee.

Maureen and I realized we unintentionally coordinated our outfits for the day.

Maureen and I unintentionally coordinated our outfits!

Maureen and I at the CP Booth

After the show, CP sponsored a reception for our hosted buyers and supplier clients at the Bar Helix, located inside the Venetian | Palazzo. The reception was exactly what the doctor ordered after a long day at the show!

We had the chance to catch up with some of our long time members of CP, including Visit Berlin.

Me, Heike from Visit Berlin  & Maureen

Me, Heike from Visit Berlin & Maureen

We were so thrilled that so many of our guests were able to attend.

Guests mingled at the CP Reception

Guests mingled at the CP Reception

After the reception, it was time to call it a night and begin preparations for Day 3!

IMEX America Makes Impact with IMEX Challenge 2014

imex americaGreetings, dear readers! Today the ConventionPlanit Team landed in Las Vegas for this year’s IMEX America trade show. This year,  Maureen Pickell, CTC, Sandra Reed, and I are in attendance.

We got right to work setting up our booth, which is now ready to meet all of the meeting planners we have appointments with Tuesday-Thursday during the expo hours.  (Make an appointment with us  – we are Booth #3659!)

Many industry planners and suppliers hit the ground running earlier than the CP Team, volunteering Saturday and Sunday at the Shade Tree center for abused women and children as part of the IMEX Challenge 2014. The group created new healing gardens,  and they spent time digging, planting and building storage sheds.

The gardens were sponsored by Sands Cares and GES (Global Experience Specialists), and the project was designed and managed by The Venetian® l The Palazzo’s® Horticultural Department who have committed to maintaining the gardens in the future.

The Shade Shelter is one of two local non-profits that IMEX America has supported since its launch in Las Vegas.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post to see how the first day of the expo goes!

Fall Special Meeting Offers

Securing good rates for short term meetings can be difficult and stressful, which is the last thing planners need as summer winds down and you begin to prepare for the busy fall tradeshow season. We have you covered though, with a variety of special meeting offers, available exclusively to planners using ConventionPlanit.

Tropicana Las Vegas, a Doubletree Hotel (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Book and actualize an event or conference at the New Tropicana Las Vegas – a DoubleTree by Hilton for the months of September and October 2014 and you can earn up to Triple HHonors Event Planner Points! 

Planners also receive:

·         Complimentary Internet: Enjoy complimentary wireless Internet access in our breezy, residential-style hotel rooms and suites for you and all of your attendees. 

·         15% Savings on Equipment: Save up to 15% on all of the latest technology and equipment that you may need for your event with rentals through Encore Event Technologies. 

·         VIP Suite Upgrades: Book your meetings at our property and you may be eligible to receive special VIP suite upgrades and amenities based on availability! 

Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center (Scottsdale, Arizona)

What’s Your Pleasure?

Meetings at Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center are always a great value, but we’ve made our Benchmark Conference Plan (BCP) rates even better with even more value. Book your 2014 meeting now and receive up to four of these exclusive value additions! 

·         5% Rebate of Total Guest Room Revenue

·         50% Attrition Policy

·         No Cancellation Penalty up to 30 Days Prior to Arrival

·         50% off Private Dining Package

·         Surcharges or 25% off A La Carte Dining

·         1:35 Comp Room Ratio

·         No F&B Minimum

·         One Hour Welcome Reception (Beer, Wine & Chef’s Choice Appetizers)

Turf Valley (Ellicott City, Maryland)

Pick Your Perk at Maryland’s Only Golf Resort-Conference Center in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor!

Choose from:

·         $300 Visa Gift Card

·         50% Off AV

·         Kindle Fire HDX

·         Two Nights Stay: To include a $200 Turf Valley Gift Card

·         10% off the bottom line of the master account 

Some requirements and restrictions apply to the above offers. To learn more about these special offers and to see even more great deals, visit the Special Meeting Offers Section on ConventionPlanit.com!


Atlanta Hotel Renovation

Westin Atlanta PeachtreeThe AAA Four Diamond rated Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta has just undergone a $70 million transformation.

The hotel has nature-inspired designs, flexible lobby seating, the new Bar 210, FedEx Office, and Tangent™.

The Westin Peachtree Plaza features 200,000 gross sq. ft. of meeting space, including 53 mindful meeting rooms and Building 1 at AmericasMart. It’s perfect for your next meeting in Atlanta!

Learn more about the Westin Peachtree Plaza’s renovation.

Get Organized

checklistA successful conference needs a highly organized meeting planner running the show. Make sure your event is up to par and ensure no detail is overlooked by making an event binder. This will be your lifeline onsite at the event. Below we share some of our must-have items to include in your binder. Be sure to let us know what you would add!


  • Schedules
    • Personal Schedule: day-by-day works best for larger conferences
    • Meeting Schedule: be sure to include room numbers
    • Staff Schedule: include who is working check in, registration, etc. and the shift time
  • Venue Information
    • Event Contract
    • Venue Contact List
    • Rooming List: ask for an up to date list on arrival day
    • Room Set Ups: highlight any changes from the version the hotel received
    • Food & Beverage Order Forms
    • Hotel Floorplan
    • AV Requests
  • Exhibits
    • Exhibiting Company Lists: alphabetical & by booth number
    • Exhibitor Contracts: include copies of check or credit card numbers
    • Set-Up Instructions: include all drapery colors and any other set-up details sent to the venue
  • Signage: a list of all signs and placement locations
  • Speaker Information: contact information and arrival times
  • Additional Details
    • Last minute action list
    • Security schedule
    • Insurance certificate

    What additional information do you include in your binder? Send a tweet to @conventionplani with the hashtag #cpeventbinder and let us know!


    Information compiled with the help of the National Council of Teachers of English