Author Archives: Ashley Chalmers

About Ashley Chalmers

ConventionPlanit.com is a completely search directory and RFP portal for meeting planners. This blog will feature meetings industry tips and news geared toward meeting planners and an inside look at the tradeshows ConventionPlanit.com participates in.

IMEX America 2021 Gets the Band Back Together!

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The 10th edition of IMEX America held November 9-11 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas was as much a global homecoming as it was the annual bringing together of thousands of buyers and suppliers in the meeting, convention, and incentive travel market. The IMEX team headed up by Carina Bauer and Ray Bloom did a superhuman job of planning and executing an event that was in danger of being derailed by many “new world” challenges along the way…not the least being the uncertainty of border reopening’s and the certainty of Covid 19 protocols. To quote Carina, “ We were buoyed up knowing you were watching, waiting and willing it into life because it means so much to our global industry.”

As always, along with face to face business, IMEX America offered a wide range of education sessions, a new People & Planet Village with a fruit and vegetable juice bar serving healthy drinks made from imperfect and surplus fruits and vegetables, sustainability and diversity themed panels, one of the largest ever Tech Therapy Hubs and a daily wellbeing program.

However, as the industry’s very first international event to open once the U.S. travel ban was lifted (in the nick of time) on Nov. 8, regeneration and recovery were the main order of business. Roundtables were formed where planners and suppliers offered the wisdom they gained professionally and personally throughout the 18-month interruption of in-person meetings to become better able to thrive in the post-pandemic environment.

The ConventionPlanit.com team (Katherine and David Markham, JoAnn Hoffman, Maureen Pickell and Lynne Wellish) is still reeling from working an exhibition that gave approximately 8,500 participants the long awaited opportunity to do business face-to-face. The 2,220 exhibitors representing 200 countries along with 3,000+ buyers saw strong business produced for the exhibiting companies as a result of the 50,000 appointments. These business statistics are admirable but what was even more impressive (yet immeasurable) was the sheer joy and energy generated throughout the exhibition hall as business professionals came back together to pick up right where they left off two years ago.

Final note: The upbeat mood only increased over the three day event as the absolute scope and scale of this year’s show paid testimony to the resilience and adaptability of the global events industry. Thus IMEX America 2021 provided the “shot in the arm” needed by all that could never be duplicated by any vaccine known to modern medicine!

Mark your calendar and see you next year for IMEX America #11 – to be held October 11-13, 2022 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

CCH-Congress Center Hamburg

Since January 2017, the CCH has been undergoing comprehensive remodeling and modernization. Upgraded to the most advanced standards, and offering a wealth of flexible options, the new CCH will be an ideal venue for the varying requirements of today’s conventions and events when it reopens in 4th quarter of 2021. What can our customers expect:

• 12,000 sqm of exhibition space
• 12,000 sqm of foyer space – Hamburg’s largest venue for special events
• 12,000 seats in up to 50 halls and rooms
• CCH team with many years of congress and events know-how and solid expertise across a wide range of modern event formats
• new services + sustainable CCH catering concept

The new CCH will be able to accommodate several concurrent events practically without limitations.

Situated in the immediate vicinity of the city center, yet surrounded by lush vegetation – time and again our guests are enthusiastic about the privileged location of the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg. The local infrastructure available to our customers is exceptional: The CCH is located next to the Dammtor mainline train station and various public transit stations as well as numerous hotels, and Hamburg’s popular city center surrounding the Alster lakes are just a few hundred meters away.

With its economic power, a brilliant scientific community, with its impressive cityscape including the new HafenCity district, the Elbphilharmonie complex and the iconic Alster lakes, and with its rich cultural life, Hamburg is well known as a highly attractive city for events of all kinds.

Welcome to the new CCH, it will be one of Europe’s leading convention centers!

IMPORTANT: IMEX in Frankfurt date change: 31 May – 2 June 2022

Like everyone in the global meetings, events and incentive travel industry, we’re now well practiced at knowing when – and when not – to push ahead with a plan!

The recent rise in Omicron cases combined with our desire to give our business community certainty has led us to push IMEX in Frankfurt back by five weeks. 

Rather than 26 – 28 April 2022, our 20th anniversary show will now take place Tuesday 31 May to Thursday 2 June. Read our news announcement here (in English and German).

Thanks to Messe Frankfurt’s flexibility, these new dates will give our clients, their customers, suppliers and partners more leeway and time to prepare.

We’re announcing our decision today to give you the time and space to plan with confidence and to do so to your desired event standards.  

Rest assured, now that we’ve delivered a successful IMEX America for 8,500 people under carefully controlled health and safety conditions, we’re on your side and confident in our experience and ability to deliver a business-strong, safe, secure and enjoyable 20th anniversary IMEX in Frankfurt this May.  

We look forward to seeing you there! 

To your continued health and business regeneration in 2022,

IMEX Group Chairman, Ray Bloom
 CEO, Carina Bauer

AMP’s Summer Bash

The Association of Meeting Professionals (AMPs) is getting back  to what their members and the Industry wants…live events!  The much anticipated and long awaited Summer Bash was held on Tuesday, July 13 with 150+ participants. Held at the American Institute of Architects @aiaspecialevents it was a HOT event in more ways than one.  Although it was originally scheduled to be held outdoors, the heat was the driving factor in bringing the party indoors.  AIA provided a great live event space where attendees were spread out on two levels in an open atrium to allow for physical distancing if attendees felt more comfortable.

Going inside didn’t stop the fun of everyone being together and feeling comfortable to hug friends and colleagues and respecting those that wanted to maintain social distancing.

It was a great event that included music by Scott Kurt, food and beverage by Root and Stem .  A menu of summertime salads, sliders, cones and mini desserts, attendees cooled themselves down with light summer drinks.  We even offered an outdoor seating area where attendees could comfortably watch a cornhole competition!

Attendees came not only from the DMV but as far as California to participate in this annual event.  It was a much needed event as we slowly re-enter the live event space comfortably and safely.  For more information on AMPs, please contact info@ampsweb.org or visit:  https://ampsweb.org/

ASAE Board of Directors Announces Selection of Michelle Mason as Next President and CEO

June 1, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               

Association Forum CEO will Start on September 1, 2021 

WASHINGTON, DC— Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE, current President and CEO of the Chicago-based Association Forum, will become ASAE’s next President and CEO effective September 1, 2021, Stephen J. Caldeira, ASAE Board Chair and Co-Chair of the Search Committee, and President & CEO, Household & Commercial Products Association, Washington, DC, announced. She succeeds Susan Robertson, CAE.

“After a thorough and extensive search process, the Board of Directors has voted unanimously to name Michelle Mason as its next President and CEO. Throughout her career, Michelle has demonstrated a commitment to the association community and ASAE, and a proven ability to drive alignment and results in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment,” Caldeira said.

“Michelle is a strategic thinker, proven consensus builder, effective communicator, and fearless advocate. We are confident that Michelle is the right leader at the right time, who will bring visionary leadership to ASAE at a critical juncture in the association’s history,” added Caldeira.

“I am honored to build upon the successful foundation at ASAE. I look forward to collaborating with a dynamic board of directors and a dedicated staff team as we create an accessible, inclusive, and transformational community for members and industry. A heartfelt thank you to Susan Robertson for her leadership and paving the way for women in the industry,” said Mason.

Since March of 2020, Susan Robertson, the first woman to lead ASAE as President and CEO in its 100-year history, has been serving on an 18-month contract. She had previously served as Executive Vice President of ASAE and President of the ASAE Research Foundation.

“The ASAE community owes Susan a debt of gratitude for navigating the organization following the unfortunate death of longtime President and CEO John Graham IV, FASAE, CAE in January 2020 and COVID-19. Susan has served with distinction for over 20 years, and she helped the organization to shepherd all Centennial-related activities and a new strategic plan. We wish her all the very best, moving forward,” said Caldeira.

In addition to Caldeira, the CEO Search Committee included:     

  • Steven C. Anderson, FASAE, CAE, IOM, Co-Chair, Search Committee and President & CEO, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Arlington, VA, and Chair-elect of ASAE, and Chair, ASAE Research Foundation.
  • Patricia V. Blake, FASAE, CAE, President & CEO, Heart Rhythm Society, Washington, DC, and Immediate Past Chair, ASAE.
  • Shawn E. Boynes, FASAE, CAE, Executive Director, American Association for Anatomy, Rockville, MD, and Past ASAE Board member.
  • Rita Chen-Fujisawa, MBA, CAE, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, California Association of Health Facilities, Sacramento, CA, and ASAE Board member.
  • Julie Coker, President & CEO, San Diego Tourism Authority, San Diego, CA and ASAE member.
  • Michael Dominguez, CHSE, President & CEO, Associated Luxury Hotels International, Plano, TX, and ASAE Board member.
  • Thomas R. Kuhn, CAE, President, Edison Electric Institute, Washington, DC, and Past ASAE Board Chair.
  • Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, President & Owner, AMPED, Madison, WI, and Past ASAE Board member and current member of the ASAE Business Services, Inc. Board.
  • Stefanie Reeves, MA, FASAE, CAE, Executive Director, Maryland Psychological Association, Columbia, MD, and ASAE Board member; and
  • Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, President & CEO, National Institute of Building Sciences, Washington, DC, and Secretary-Treasurer, ASAE.

The search was led by Leslie Hortum, Keri Lindsay, and Ellen Pennow from Spencer Stuart. Hortum manages Spencer Stuart’s Washington, DC office and is a member of the firm’s Education, Nonprofit and Government Practice. Lindsay is based in the firm’s global headquarters in Chicago, IL and is a member of the firm’s Consumer/Hospitality & Leisure practice. Ellen Pennow is a member of the firm’s Education, Nonprofit and Government practice.

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Vest, CAE, 202-626-2798, cvest@asaecenter.org

About ASAE

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 48,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations. Since it was established 100 years ago, its members have and continue to lead, manage, and work in or partner with organizations in more than a dozen association management disciplines, from executive management to finance to technology. With the support of the ASAE Research Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge, and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession and provides resources, education, ideas, and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. Visit ASAE at asaecenter.org.

IMEX announces a new reason to Smyle

The IMEX Group has partnered with award-winning creative agency Smyle to produce a series of digital activations for the global business events community leading up to IMEX America in November.

The full programme, which will run between May and September, will be announced next month.

The new concept is designed to give tangible business value to IMEX’s traditional buyer and supplier audiences who have now missed a year of face-to-face trade shows. It also aims to unlock fresh business opportunities and attract a new online audience.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, says: “Where 2020 was all about massive disruption and creativity in the face of chaos, in 2021 we’re focused on delivering digital experiences that generate business momentum and connections as we look towards IMEX America in November.

“Together with Smyle, and having learned huge lessons from PlanetIMEX, we’re planning a four-month activation with two clear advantages for the industry. First, it will be a time and a place for buyers and suppliers to build networks, nurture business leads and enjoy a sense of community and camaraderie. Second, for those who wish to use it this way, it will be a springboard for face-to-face engagement at IMEX America. Our partnership with Smyle, with their strong creative heritage, will enable us to deliver this ‘best of both worlds’ in a way that’s powerful, relevant and responsive to current business needs.”

Dominic Thomas-Smith, Managing Director of Smyle, adds: “We’re really excited to be working with the IMEX Group in building an all-new communications platform for event professionals globally. The boundaries of digital know no limits – we can’t wait to bring innovative thinking and a load of creativity to deliver engaging, interesting and rewarding experiences for all who participate.”

More details about the IMEX Group’s digital solutions will be announced next month.

IMEX America takes place 9 – 11 November at its new home of Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

www.imexexhibitions.com

Senate Travel and Tourism Caucus Co-Chairs Klobuchar, Blunt Introduce Legislation to Drive Tourism Industry Across the Country

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), co-chairs of the Senate Travel and Tourism Caucus, introduced legislation that will help improve the tourism industry across the country by studying the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel and tourism industry and identifying policy recommendations to assist struggling businesses. The Protecting Tourism in the United States Act builds upon Klobuchar and Blunt’s efforts to support the travel and tourism industry and workforce, including securing the reauthorization of Brand USA through 2027. Brand USA is a public-private partnership that enhances tourism and job creation across the country. The program, which was established under the bipartisan Travel Promotion Act of 2009, brings in millions of additional international visitors to the U.S. each year at zero cost to taxpayers.

This month, Klobuchar and Blunt, along with Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND), reintroduced bipartisan legislation to provide economic support for organizations involved in promoting and hosting tourism, travel, or other special events. The Sustaining Tourism Enterprises During the COVID–19 Pandemic (STEP) Act would modify existing Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant programs to provide direct support to the hard-hit tourism and travel industry to promote economic recovery and help increase public confidence as these industries look to reopen safely in the future. These programs help drive local economic development projects, develop new industries, build vital infrastructure, and enhance tourism and travel.

#PCMACL – Convening Leaders: Recovery, Discovery, Resiliency Heading into 2021

As a long time attendee of the PCMA Convening Leader’s annual January event, this year’s “virtual remake” Jan. 11-15 did not disappoint. Noted as the best way for participants to kick off the New Year, its traditional format of stellar education and networking was only slightly diminished by the lack of face-to-face interaction.

A total of 3,500 people from 36 countries registered to watch the content online through the Juno AI platform, interacted in The Kitchen conversations and as part of micro-communities and satellite gatherings keeping the level of engagement very high.

The event moved from its planned location in Houston to Singapore, with 19 official network partners hosting watch parties from United Arab Emirates, where 300 people joined the event, to a Marriott International gathering in Denver and a Hilton event in Dallas with 50 attendees each.

For those accustomed to the standard industry vernacular that we’re used to hearing from speakers, a new vocabulary surfaced as a result of the various education sessions highlighting the new virtual reality. Terms such as Gamification, Tik-Tok, Zoom Room, Fun Format, Bandwidth Considerations, and Twitch and Cyberpunk 2077 as streaming platforms (a.k.a. video games) are on track to become part of our professional conversations.

Counteracting these highly technological assemblies were opportunities to join wellness groups practicing Guided Meditation, Zen Yoga, and a Pranayama Breathing Session all sponsored by Puerto Rico. For the virtual side of this hybrid event, in person networking was replaced by chat rooms and scheduled groups for conversations highlighted by the opportunity to replace your facial expressions with those of various emoji’s when conversing online.

In conclusion, PCMA retained its reputation for soliciting a high level of involvement from the attendees. This was aided by the fact that the virtual format produced an enhanced number of global speakers as well as those participants able to attend due to the elimination of the travel component. It’s a testimony to the organizers that the energy of the audience was not diminished by the pivot to a hybrid event.

Sherrif Karamat, President & CEO of PCMA said face-to-face meetings are starting to come back…with full recovery in 2023. “Recovery is on its way, but we can’t expect to go back to what it was. We have changed, and we have to help people face that new reality.”

See you (hopefully in person) Jan. 9-12, 2022, when PCMA Convening Leaders brings its flagship education and networking event to Las Vegas. Meanwhile, be safe – innovate!

Conversations with Carina of IMEX Group

In the first of a series of catch-ups with our CEO, Carina Bauer, we set out our 12 commitments for 2021-2022 {well six of them at least) including the return to IRL, sparking joy and connection through micro experiences, nurturing innovation, embracing Nature+, living our diversity, equity and inclusion values, and cherishing analogue moments. We’ll be back with the next six next month.
Watch