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.

Visit Anchorage “Zooms In” on U.S. Meeting Planners


Displaying their unique brand of personalized service to the meetings industry, Visit Anchorage recently held a series of Zoom discussions on how their destination is coping with and addressing the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. 2020 was forecast to be a banner year for Visit Anchorage with an economic impact of 90 to 100 million in annual meetings revenue. Fortunately, 78 million of this expected income has moved to future years.

Their presentations began with D.C. planners, 100% of whom are working from home. 30% of those attending were also open to in person meetings with suppliers. Close to 50 planners attended the webinar led by David Kasser, V.P. of Sales and Shelli Stanton, Convention Sales Manager. They were joined by a panel of industry partners from the “A-Team” of organizations representing Anchorage’s dynamic meetings and conventions task force. Included were Alex Wong – Hotel Captain Cook, Kate Sprout – Hilton Anchorage, Gemma Hawley – Alaska Airlines, Alyeska Hotel – Chris Block and Phyllis Rice – William A. Egan Civic & Convention Center & Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center.

Predictably, much of the agenda was given over to the various safety protocols and related mandates in place by the city to make organizers feel comfortable about choosing Anchorage as a viable meeting destination. Each sales manager also discussed the ways their individual businesses were adhering to CDC and local procedures.

But then Visit Anchorage took it one step further by being the first organization to actually host an in-person event in the city since February with the successful execution of their July monthly membership luncheon. Normally 75 to 150 members participate in this event. This time, 75 actually attended the            luncheon demonstrating that networking is still important – especially in times of crisis. And when queried as to whether or not they felt safe enough to be present at a future monthly luncheon, 95% of those attending voted yes.

As always with Visit Anchorage, this was a two way conversation between the CVB and their clients. So, the panel ended the session by addressing inquiries submitted by the attendees prior to the event. These questions revealed the following:

  • “Hybrid” will remain a component of most meetings moving forward
  • Covid-type clauses will need to be part of all future contracts
  • Creativity and flexibility will be the key words in any conversations between planner and supplier

Learn More about Visit Anchorage at https://www.anchorage.net/meetings/

Delta Has a Brilliant Strategy to Eliminate Fear and Get People Flying Again: Instagram

Delta, like all airlines, faces a very real, very big challenge. Right now, the vast majority of people aren’t that interested in climbing onto an airplane with 100 people they don’t know for a few hours. 

It turns out that traveling isn’t as bad as you think it would be. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t very different. For example, when I flew to New York City last month, I had no idea what to expect. Even as a fairly regular traveler during “normal” times, I had more anxiety about getting on a plane than I ever had before. 

That’s entirely natural considering that most people don’t like the “unknown.” We tend to avoid uncertainty as much as possible. Flying simply involves too many variables out of our control for most of us to take what seems like an unnecessary risk during a pandemic.  

But if you’re Delta, that’s bad news. In fact, it’s very expensive bad news. As a result, the company has made an extraordinary effort to keep passengers and crew members safe. 

In an interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle at The Atlantic Festival, Delta’s CEO made clear the cost of COVID-19 to the airline’s business:

We’re flying today at a 60 percent load factor cap. So that means 40 percent of the seats we fly, we are deliberately not filling and not selling. That is not cheap. But the more important decision we make is we gotta put people over profits. And we know that instilling confidence in our customers, as well as our own employees, is job number one. That’s our priority right now.

I’d much rather people remember Delta as the company that took care of them through the pandemic… Customers are making a decisions about who Delta is by the values that we put out on display.

All of that is great, but the key here is “instilling confidence.” None of the rest of it matters if people are too anxious or afraid to do business with your company. To that end, Delta has a brilliant strategy for providing information for customers: Instagram. This morning, I was swiping through my feed, when I came across the following post.

If you tap on it, it reveals individual profiles for each of the different steps the company is taking to make the boarding process safer. If you select one of those profiles, they provide additional information. For example, if you tap on the Customer.Face.Masks profile, it explains:

For everyone’s safety, customers must wear a mask or face covering, and extra masks and Care Kits will be available if you need one. Those with underlying conditions who can’t wear a mask or face covering are required to complete a “Clearance-To-Fly” process before being permitted to travel.

Think about that for a moment. Delta took the time to create a dozen Instagram profiles so that it could better communicate with its followers. Sure, you can argue that Delta has plenty of resources and staff to do this. That’s definitely true. But the thought behind this makes it effective for two reasons.

The first is that it helps create expectations. In that example about face masks, it provides a potential traveler with all of the information they need to know about what is required of them. It even details the process if a passenger has an issue with wearing a mask. (As a side-note, Delta’s CEO says the company has already put 350 people on a no-fly list for refusing to wear masks.)

The second reason I think this is so effective is that it’s not just about creating expectations for someone who has already decided to travel. In my article describing my flight last month, I explained the steps the company is taking to do just that. In a statement, Delta told me, “Our community management team has been highly engaged and very responsive with customers to help increase confidence and reduce anxiety.”

This, on the other hand, is meant to reach people who haven’t decided to travel. It wasn’t on their website or in an email. It was on Instagram. Remember Instagram, that place where we all used to share images of the cool places we visited when we traveled? Delta clearly wants us to get back to that, which is why the fact that it ran this content there is so effective. 

Delta is meeting travelers who have a sense of wanderlust where they are, and is helping them better understand the effort the company is taking to keep everyone safe. That, in turn, helps to reduce the anxiety and uncertainty around travel.

None of that is easy, especially now. And, it doesn’t mean people are going to suddenly start buying plane tickets. This, however, is a creative and interactive way to create expectations. In fact, I think it’s brilliant. 

BY JASON ATEN, TECH COLUMNIST@JASONATEN INC.

Delta Has a Brilliant Strategy to Eliminate Fear and Get People Flying Again: Instagram

Delta, like all airlines, faces a very real, very big challenge. Right now, the vast majority of people aren’t that interested in climbing onto an airplane with 100 people they don’t know for a few hours. 

It turns out that traveling isn’t as bad as you think it would be. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t very different. For example, when I flew to New York City last month, I had no idea what to expect. Even as a fairly regular traveler during “normal” times, I had more anxiety about getting on a plane than I ever had before. 

That’s entirely natural considering that most people don’t like the “unknown.” We tend to avoid uncertainty as much as possible. Flying simply involves too many variables out of our control for most of us to take what seems like an unnecessary risk during a pandemic.  

But if you’re Delta, that’s bad news. In fact, it’s very expensive bad news. As a result, the company has made an extraordinary effort to keep passengers and crew members safe. 

In an interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle at The Atlantic Festival, Delta’s CEO made clear the cost of COVID-19 to the airline’s business:

We’re flying today at a 60 percent load factor cap. So that means 40 percent of the seats we fly, we are deliberately not filling and not selling. That is not cheap. But the more important decision we make is we gotta put people over profits. And we know that instilling confidence in our customers, as well as our own employees, is job number one. That’s our priority right now.

I’d much rather people remember Delta as the company that took care of them through the pandemic… Customers are making a decisions about who Delta is by the values that we put out on display.

All of that is great, but the key here is “instilling confidence.” None of the rest of it matters if people are too anxious or afraid to do business with your company. To that end, Delta has a brilliant strategy for providing information for customers: Instagram. This morning, I was swiping through my feed, when I came across the following post.

If you tap on it, it reveals individual profiles for each of the different steps the company is taking to make the boarding process safer. If you select one of those profiles, they provide additional information. For example, if you tap on the Customer.Face.Masks profile, it explains:

For everyone’s safety, customers must wear a mask or face covering, and extra masks and Care Kits will be available if you need one. Those with underlying conditions who can’t wear a mask or face covering are required to complete a “Clearance-To-Fly” process before being permitted to travel.

Think about that for a moment. Delta took the time to create a dozen Instagram profiles so that it could better communicate with its followers. Sure, you can argue that Delta has plenty of resources and staff to do this. That’s definitely true. But the thought behind this makes it effective for two reasons.

The first is that it helps create expectations. In that example about face masks, it provides a potential traveler with all of the information they need to know about what is required of them. It even details the process if a passenger has an issue with wearing a mask. (As a side-note, Delta’s CEO says the company has already put 350 people on a no-fly list for refusing to wear masks.)

The second reason I think this is so effective is that it’s not just about creating expectations for someone who has already decided to travel. In my article describing my flight last month, I explained the steps the company is taking to do just that. In a statement, Delta told me, “Our community management team has been highly engaged and very responsive with customers to help increase confidence and reduce anxiety.”

This, on the other hand, is meant to reach people who haven’t decided to travel. It wasn’t on their website or in an email. It was on Instagram. Remember Instagram, that place where we all used to share images of the cool places we visited when we traveled? Delta clearly wants us to get back to that, which is why the fact that it ran this content there is so effective. 

Delta is meeting travelers who have a sense of wanderlust where they are, and is helping them better understand the effort the company is taking to keep everyone safe. That, in turn, helps to reduce the anxiety and uncertainty around travel.

None of that is easy, especially now. And, it doesn’t mean people are going to suddenly start buying plane tickets. This, however, is a creative and interactive way to create expectations. In fact, I think it’s brilliant. 

BY JASON ATEN, TECH COLUMNIST@JASONATEN INC.

The purr-fect way to kick off October! The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre all set to welcome its first two consumer exhibitions

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 September 2020 – The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) is looking forward to hosting two consumer exhibitions during October, when the venue welcomes visitors for the Beautylife Bonanza from 1 – 3 October and Ekspo Kucing (Cat Expo) 2020 from the 2 – 4 October.

The inaugural Beautylife Bonanza will provide Malaysians with great value and irresistible package deals from an extensive range of beauty and lifestyle brands.

For all the cat lovers out there, Ekspo Kucing, the largest feline-related exhibition in Malaysia, will be a must visit. With lots of great deals, massive promotions, giveaways and savings of up to 80%, this is one exhibition that your furry friends don’t want you to miss!

Both exhibitions offer free admission and will be taking place in a hygienic, controlled and secure environment with stringent safety and security measures in place, which are in line with the approved Malaysian National Security Council Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

According to the Centre’s General Manager, Alan Pryor, “Is it great to be welcoming consumer exhibitions back to the Centre and we are pleased to be kicking off with these two fun events. Being able to host exhibitions again is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Malaysia’s Frontliners and Government in combatting Covid-19 in the country.”

To enhance the visitor experience, the Centre’s Café 88 conveniently located on the Ground Level in the Centre Core will also be open for guests to savour true Malaysian tastes to grab and go or relax and enjoy local favourites with a spectacular view of the PETRONAS Twin Towers overlooking the KLCC Park. With many delicious and affordable dishes, it is the purr-fect place to take a break when attending events at the Centre.

He continued, “Since we reopened our doors on 1 July, we are grateful to have safely and successfully hosted 84 events – two conventions, two entertainment events and 80 meetings and events (up to 25 September). We have been working tirelessly to restore consumer confidence in events and are starting to see signs of recovery, with 10 exhibitions (trade and consumer) in the pipeline for the rest of 2020.”

Gerard Leeuwenburgh, Country General Manager – Malaysia, Informa Markets (Organiser of Beautylife Bonanza) shared, “We are excited and ready to bring our trade shows back in the new normal and are happy to be hosting the inaugural Beautylife Bonanza at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.”

“As part of our commitment to being a socially responsible organisation, we always aim to do more for the betterment of life in the societies we operate in while providing our customers the best possible solutions for their business. This is why we have themed this year’s event ‘Giving Back to Community’ to help alleviate the impact on the underprivileged community and to achieve and maintain a sustainable livelihood through economic opportunities. So, we hope to see a great turn out from the community to support these organisations,” he concluded.

VisitBritain COVID-19 Update & ‘We’re Good To Go’ Industry Standard

While the 14-day quarantine for US inbound arrivals remains
in place, Great Britain is one of only a few destinations in Europe that
Americans can actually enter.  The UK Government re-evaluates the
travel advisories every three weeks. For the latest details, be sure to
check the guidelines on GOV.UK. The new ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard has been a success with 38,000+ applications from UK
businesses received. The “We’re Good To Go” mark signals that a tourismand hospitality business has adapted their operations in line with
respective Government and public health guidance and has a COVID-19
risk assessment in place to aid staff training, social distancing and
cleanliness. Go to https://goodtogo.visitbritain.com/discover to view our new interactive map showing all the businesses which have received
the mark, so you can plan your client’s trips with ease.

















Malaysia Business Events Industry Commits to a Safe Event Environment

Industry bodies and government sectors engage to ensure effective compliance and adherence to Business Events (BE) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM) and Malaysia Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) with the support of Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) brought together Malaysia’s venue operators to engage with the Government on thorough monitoring and reporting as well as correct implementation and enforcement of the industry Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Present at the co-ordination meeting were Y.Bhg. Datin Sri Norfaliza, Head of Covid-19 Unit, Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture (MOTAC), Dr. Zulhizzam Hj. Abdullah, Deputy Director, Public Health Development Division, Ministry of Health (MOH), En. Hamzah b Ishak, Director of Crisis Management and National Intelligence, National Security Council (NSC), and Senior Assistant Commissioner M.V. Srikumar a/l Madhavan Nair, Department of Homeland Security & Public Safety (KDNKA), Royal Malaysia Police to share insights with the industry players on compliance and implementation of the SOPs.

“We are appreciative of this engagement with the government to help the industry implement effective measures to enforce adherence to SOPs. We would also like to acknowledge and thank Y.Bhg. Datin Sri Norfaliza who played an instrumental role in elevating our SOPs for consideration and endorsement. It is absolutely crucial for all industry players to commit to ensuring that in all stages of an event, from planning to execution to post event contract tracing, SOPs are strictly and ethically implemented and enforced. This will help the industry to instil confidence in the public and government that it is indeed possible to conduct events in a controlled, safe and secured environment,” said Alan Pryor, Chairman, BECM.

Besides emphasising on the importance of adherence to the SOPs, the engagement session also shed light on the Government’s support to the industry. Large Event Organisers were encouraged to liaise with the MOH and the Malaysia Royal Police in the planning phase of any large scale event to ensure a smooth and safe execution while the Industry itself was urged to reach out to all players, big and small, in the supply chain and to provide feedback through MyCEB on any challenges or problems faced in the implementation of the SOPs and to ensure they have access to the SOPs to ensure correct implementation.

BE industry supply chain is directly affected by no less than six SOPs covering the various activities that take place in differing facilities ranging from hotels and shopping malls to convention and exhibition centres and from special and government events to meetings, conventions and trade shows. The highest benchmark for each category was consolidated by BECM and MACEOS which culminated in the launch of the consolidated BE Guidelines late July. “The venue sector has to take the lead in ensuring conformity to the SOPs and it is imperative to ensure event organisers have ‘covered’ all the requirements in their pre-event planning. The execution in adhering to the SOPs is therefore a joint responsibility. Our primary objective is to demonstrate that events and exhibitions can and are being held in a controlled, secure and safe environment. For this, MyCEB, BECM and MACEOS will enforce strict self-regulation to ensure the BE industry can continue to operate in the new normal,” said Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani bin Daud, Chief Executive Officer of MyCEB.

“We urge all MACEOS members and other BE industry players to collaborate and adhere to the approved guidelines and SOPs.  With venue operators taking the lead to implement the best SOP practices, event organisers will be able to abide by the requirements when executing their events in accordance to the standards of our Ministry of Health”, said Dato’ Vincent Lim, President, MACEOS.

Travel bubbles and cross border travel were also discussed and it was emphasized that these developments are highly dependent on the developing trends around the spread and containment of Covid-19 around the region and the world, as the prevention and control of the pandemic remain the most important priority, as such, virtual participation continues to be an integral option in all types of business events.

PlanetIMEX Evolves With a Splash of Fun

The IMEX Group’s virtual experience returns 12 – 16 October

Business event professionals can dive into a full week of learning, networking and a splash of fun when PlanetIMEX returns on 12 – 16 October.  The playful interactive experience, launched by the IMEX Group in May, has been redesigned with a whole new look and feel, plus new functionality and features inspired by audience feedback following the launch edition.

Renowned explorer brings the outdoors online 

The October edition of PlanetIMEX offers a full week of creative content with a series of headliners delivering education sessions across two days: 

  • Monday 12 October: PlanetIMEX launches with a full day of creative virtual experiences. Ever wanted to improve your knowledge of wines, take a dance class or try your hand at cooking a new dish? This is a day for exploring, being curious and meeting new people who share the same values.
  • Tuesday 13 & Wednesday 14 October: Two days of engaging education delivered by experts from around the planet. A series of headliners share their own experiences to shed light on new ways of working, connecting and experiencing the world.  Primary will be explorer, author and photographer Daniel Fox. Fox is an ambassador for LEXUS, ARC’TERYX, SANDISK, and MANFROTTO and has been described as a “modern Henry David Thoreau with the eye of an Ansel Adams”.  Expanding on Nature, IMEX’s Talking Point for 2020 and 2021, the aptly-named Fox will demonstrate how nature has the power to transform both the individual and collective human experience. He explains: “Nature is resilient and a source of priceless teachings. It reminds us that life is not about us, and that there is something far bigger.”
  • Thursday 15 October: A day of specialist education, designed so that event professionals from various disciplines can delve deeper into bespoke learning and dialogue. The Association Leadership Forum is created by ASAE for association leadership, the Executive Meeting Forum is for corporate executives and the IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum is for budding event professionals
  • Friday 16 October: PlanetIMEX week is rounded off on with Community Day, an opportunity for connections and content from a range of IMEX Group’s association and other partners including MPI, Site and EventMB.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains: “We’ve evolved PlanetIMEX so that it continues to deliver really strong content – information that’s vital for the here and now – along with an element of surprise. PlanetIMEX has a whole new look and feel this time around and we can’t wait for business event and meetings industry professionals to dive into our wonderful new world.”

PlanetIMEX returns 12 – 16 October – www.planetimex.com

2020 ASAE Virtual Annual Meeting & Exposition Breaks Event Registration Record

The 2020 ASAE Virtual Annual Meeting & Exposition had the highest registration number in the 100-year history of the event. With 14,108 association professionals, consultants, and industry partners registered for the meeting taking place August 10-12, 2020, with 71 percent of those being first-time attendees. Participants were inspired by three engaging keynote speakers and participated in more than 92 education sessions, five Game Changers, and explored 57 virtual exhibit booths representing technology, business, hospitality, and meeting services.

The final attendance breakdown included: 12,813 executives, 544 exhibitors, 207 industry partners, 433 consultants, and 111 others including press, vendors, and staff. The ratio of buyer to sellers was 95 percent buyers to 5 percent sellers.

“I am proud to lead an organization which, even during unpredictable times of change and uncertainty, can provide a much needed space for the association community to come together, share ideas, and have critical conversations that will guide associations to future success,” said Susan Robertson, CAE, ASAE President and CEO. “Throughout the last year of ASAE’s Centennial celebrations we looked back at the lasting impact associations have had on society over the last 100 years. If the overwhelming response to the 2020 ASAE Virtual Annual Meeting is any indication, we can expect the association community to act when called upon, starting with COVID-19 response and legislation, along with the fight for racial equality. I hope the theme of Virtual Annual Meeting will inspire other associations to ‘Make Your Mark’ in this next chapter of history.”

COVID-19 is impacting the association community at all levels. When determining the pricing structure for the event, ASAE considered the potential effect on individuals’ economic ability to participate in professional development programs like the Annual Meeting. The decision to offer a free or discounted virtual experience allowed over 10,000 individuals, who had previously not been able to attend due to travel or budget restrictions, the opportunity to participate for the first time.

Throughout the event attendees shared that the price point and virtual setting made the content, and connections with fellow association professionals, accessible to them for the first time. Another benefit of the virtual event attendees took advantage of was the on-demand session recordings. Many commented that unlike the in-person experience, they were not forced to choose between sessions as they could go back to view sessions taking place in overlapping time slots, or re-watch those that they found of particular interest.

On Monday, Leon Logothetis, Global adventurer, motivational speaker, philanthropist, and author/creator of book and Netflix show, The Kindness Diaries, set the tone for the meeting with his opening keynote presentation about using kindness to find the good in others and individually. He used excerpts from his adventures traveling the globe on a yellow motorcycle to encourage attendees to stop leaving their kindness at the door as they walk into work, but instead bring it to the forefront in order to achieve goals, and create a ripple effect of kindness that will touch all areas of their organizations and beyond.

Shiza Shahid, Co-Founder of Our Place, Founder of NowVentures, and Co-Founder & Founding CEO of the Malala Fund, began the second day of the meeting with a keynote that offered attendees a glimpse into how growing up as a female in Pakistan laid the foundation for how she approached her role as a leader in uncertain times. Shahid called attendees and the organizations they represent the guardians of civilization and implored them to choose to be guided by hope, and not fear, to have the greatest impact on society.

The event’s closing keynote speaker, Duncan Wardle, former head of innovation for Disney, shared insights on how to innovate during a time of crisis. Wardle began by stating that diversity is innovation. If someone doesn’t look like you, they don’t think like you, and they can help you think differently. In addition to highlighting the importance of diversity, he shared a list of tools to encourage creativity and innovation among teams. This included scheduling time to talk through successful ideas inside and outside of your industry with your colleagues once a week. Not having time is the biggest barrier to innovation, and when you dedicate time, creativity and innovation will follow.

Next year’s ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition will be held in Dallas, Texas, August 14-17, 2021, at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center.

ASAE thanks the following Alliance Partners for their continued support of the association community:

Strategic Partners
Atlanta CVB
Destination Canada Business Events
Choose Chicago
Experience Columbus
Community Brands
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
Naylor Association Solutions
Discover Puerto Rico

Corporate Partners
Visit Austin
Caesars Entertainment
Destination Cleveland
Visit Dallas
DelCor Technology Solutions
Fonteva
Louisville Tourism
Visit Omaha
Travel Portland
Visit Salt Lake
Visit San Jose

Event Partners
IMIS by Advanced Solutions International

Bostrom
CliftonLarsonAllen
Experient
Higher Logic
Manifest

Maritz Global Events

Mighty Citizen
MemberClicks
OpenWater
Discover the Palm Beaches

Global Partners
Dubai Association Centre
Korea Tourism Organization
Singapore Tourism Board

Winner of IMEX-EIC Innovation in Sustainability Award Announced

“A unique and innovative approach to driving sustainability through competition – and with potential beyond the industry.” This is what judges had to say about the winning entry to the IMEX-EIC Innovation in Sustainability Award.

The Award was given to GDS-Index, the world’s leading benchmarking and performance improvement programme for business tourism and events destinations. The judges scored the programme highly for collaboration and commitment to continuous improvement. The GDS-Index produces a performance improvement report for each destination it surveys as well as sharing best practice through whitepapers. The vision of the GDS-Index is to engage, inspire and enable destinations to become more regenerative and sustainable places to visit, meet and thrive in, and it has grown – now implemented in 58 cities around the world.

The IMEX-EIC Innovation in Sustainability Award is presented annually by IMEX Group and the Events Industry Council. It was independently judged by Amy Spatrisano, President, AZano; Chance Thompson, ASM Global, Salt Palace Convention Center – Senior Manager, Sustainability and Public Relations / Green Team Committee Chairperson; Courtney Lohmann, CMP, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at PRA Business Events; Jan Peter Bergkvist from sustainable business advisors SleepWell and Roger Simons, Associate Director of Sustainability at Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd. Guy Bigwood, Managing Director of GDS-Movement, was scheduled to receive the Award at IMEX in Frankfurt earlier this year, but he will now be honoured at the Gala dinner at next year’s show in May 2021. 

“The IMEX-EIC Innovation in Sustainability Awards are the Oscars of the Sustainable Event world,” Guy says. “It’s a real honour to receive this recognition for all the amazing work that the team, the partners and all the destinations have been doing over the last four years. Together we have catalysed change and are extremely proud of the work we are doing inspiring and enabling DMOs to create more resilient, sustainable and regenerative destinations to visit, meet in and live in.”

Guy is an expert in the circular economy and is leading IMEX’s current ‘NATURE’ research project, which is exclusively sponsored by Marriott International. He is set to discuss his findings as part of a panel session on PlanetIMEX  during its October edition, taking place 12 – 16 October.


ASAE Installs New Officers and Directors for Fiscal Year 2021 to Begin September 1st

New officers and directors for the ASAE and ASAE Research Foundation Board of Directors were installed during ASAE’s Virtual Annual Meeting & Exposition held August 10-12.

The ASAE Board of Directors for Fiscal Year 2021 was selected by ASAE’s Leadership Committee in June and is carefully assembled to be representative of the organization’s membership profile and diversity – including geography, size, gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, skill sets and areas of expertise.

ASAE’s officers for the fiscal year that begins Sept. 1 include Chair Stephen J. Caldeira, president and CEO, Household & Commercial Products Association; Chair-Elect/Chair of ASAE Research Foundation Steven C. Anderson, FASAE, IOM, CAE, president and CEO, National Association of Chain Drug Stores; Secretary-Treasurer Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, president and CEO, National Institute of Building Sciences; and Immediate Past Chair Patricia V. Blake, FASAE, CAE, CEO, Heart Rhythm Society.

Caldeira addressed more than 13,000 members of the association community on the second day of the ASAE Virtual Annual Meeting, noting the challenges and opportunities facing ASAE in a year when in-person meetings have ground to a halt due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve as your Chair and you have my steadfast commitment that ASAE will continue to stay focused on strengthening the value proposition for its members,” Caldeira said. “This is how ASAE will build upon its proud and rich, 100-year legacy—by helping its members to successfully navigate through an increasingly complex public health, political, economic, and social climate in the months and years ahead.”

ASAE priorities for the year ahead include completing and implementing a new strategic plan, creatively helping association leaders grow and connect via a multitude of learning programs and platforms, playing an active role in critical conversations around racial inequality and injustice and pursuing a vigorous advocacy agenda on behalf of the entire association community.

“ASAE has redoubled its advocacy efforts on behalf of associations,” Caldeira said. “We are asking Congress to expand eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program to (c)(6) associations and reauthorize PPP until at least December 31. We are also asking Congress to pass the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020. This bill would establish a system of shared public and private compensation for business interruption losses and event cancellations resulting from future pandemics or public health emergencies. As associations that depend upon in-person meetings and events we (and our members) need access to this kind of insurance. And we’re advocating for the Skills Renewal Act, which would provide Americans who have been laid-off or furloughed due to COVID-19 a $4,000 tax credit to pursue post-secondary skills training and career development. If amended, Americans could use the credit to pursue and obtain industry certifications and other professional credentials.”

The following individuals were also officially installed on the FY21 Boards during ASAE’s Virtual Annual Meeting this week. All “At Large” Directors are ASAE Board members and two of the four will also serve on the ASAE Research Foundation Board.

Directors “At Large” (three-year term)

Scott Beck, FOFD
President and CEO
Tourism Toronto
Toronto, ON
(ASAE and ASAE Research Foundation)

Jay Karen, CAE
Chief Executive Officer
National Golf Course Owners Association
Charleston, SC
(ASAE and ASAE Research Foundation)

Sheri Sesay-Tuffour, PhD, CAE
CEO
American College of Nurse-Midwives
Silver Spring, MD
(ASAE)

Lynne Thomas Gordon, CAE
CEO
American Association of Orthodontists
St. Louis, MO
(ASAE)

Irving Washington, FASAE, CAE
Executive Director/CEO
Online News Association
Washington, DC
(ASAE and ASAE Research Foundation)

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Precker, CAE, lprecker@asaecenter.org, 202-626-2735.

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership
ASAE is celebrating 100 years of making society smarter, better and safer. The Centennial anniversary represents ASAE’s role as a leader and supporter of progress and innovation in the association industry.  ASAE is a membership organization of more than 50,000 association executives and industry partners representing over 7,000 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.