Category Archives: Industry Buzz

Cheeca Lodge & Spa Safety and Well-Being Promise

Our Safety and Well-Being Promise builds upon Cheeca’s already high standards of housekeeping, food & beverage and overall hygiene where Cheeca uses the highest-grade cleaning products and enhanced safety protocols are currently in place. The goal with the Safety and Well-Being Promise is to serve as both an assurance and a promise that the well-being and safety of our guests and team members is our number one priority. The Safety and Well-Being Promise focuses on three key pillars: Prevention. Cleanliness. Reducing Contact. During your stay, you will experience a heightened focus throughout our entire hotel – public areas, guest rooms, restaurants, bars and outlets.


Masks & Gloves

  • Team members will wear masks & gloves for safety and prevention

Temperature Checks

  • As an additional precaution all team members will have temperatures taken daily with infrared, touchless thermometers

Plexi-Shield Protective Screens

  • Shield protectors have been added to applicable areas including front desk stations, reception desks, host stands and retail outlets

Social Distancing

  • Team members at hotels will follow and enforce social distancing policies and procedures
  • Additional signage across hotels will remind guest and team members of practicing social distancing
  • Common areas have been re-arranged to follow adequate social distancing practices
  • Restaurant and bar seating have also been re-arranged to follow social distancing guidelines


Disinfecting & Sanitation Technology

  • Antimicrobial fogging sanitizing & cleaning systems will be used in all guest rooms, common areas including elevators, meeting areas, pool, bathrooms, retail, spa and F&B outlets
  • UV light cleaning technology will be used to sanitize all room keys, key card packets and credit cards

Hand Sanitizer Dispensers

  • Hand sanitizer dispensers have been added around the hotel (indoor & outdoor) and the back of house

Sanitizing Wipes in All Guest Rooms

  • All guest rooms will offer individual packet(s) of sanitizing wipes as an additional amenity

Housekeeping Services

  • Housekeeping services will only be provided upon request; additional towels and amenities are also available upon request
  • Guest rooms will remain vacant a minimum of 48 hours (based on occupancy); before guest room becomes occupied

Clean & Clean More

  • Additional guest room sanitation and cleaning procedures are also being applied to cleanliness guidelines
  • Hotel have increased the frequency of cleaning public areas including but not limited to high traffic and touch areas


Guest Rooms

  • All non-essential items have been removed from guest rooms including but not limited to decorative pillows, magazines, compendiums, pens, paper, etc.
  • Glassware has been replaced with disposable & sealed paper cups
  • Turndown service will not be offered

Food & Beverage

  • The resort may only offer food & beverage solely as a “to-go” style, using only disposable serve ware.    
  • In-room dining will be served “to-go” style, using disposable serve ware and delivered to the guestroom door or available for pick-up 
  • Where possible menus will be displayed on guest-room TV’s along with website. Disposable menus available for all outlets and in-room dining

Touchless Dispensers – Soap and Paper Towels in Restrooms

  • Touchless dispensers for soap and paper towels will be accessible in all public and team member restrooms

Additional Guidelines Include

  • No kids activities/kids camp offered
  • Spa services will be offered on a limited basis and by appointment only per local governance
  • Group fitness classes may be offered on a limited basis based on local governance. 

For more information about your visit, please contact us by phone: (305) 664-4651 or email:

*Individual item restrictions may apply 

Dive into the hub of the business events community on PlanetIMEX’s new Networking Island

Connect and do business with IMEX Introductions

Business event professionals can do business, network and find out the latest industry news – all on a desert island. Sounds too good to be true? Not when you’re on PlanetIMEX!

Networking Island, the third island on PlanetIMEX, goes live today and is the virtual hub of the business events community – the place to connect, network and keep up with the latest industry news. 

A core element of Networking Island is IMEX Introductions, which also launches today. Planners and suppliers can register – for free – to be part of IMEX Introductions which gives them access to a wide industry network with which to do business. 

This new offering is a virtual extension of IMEX’s live in-person appointment system which forms the bedrock of the shows and has already seen over 1,000 people register.  Networking Island explorers are advised to head for the Introductions Lodge to sign up. They can rest assured the island’s wildlife – this time a roadrunner – is both friendly and static. 

SITE’s Got Talent and isn’t afraid to show it

The launch of Networking Island today is rounded off with a fresh take on SITE Nite Europe. This free celebration enables incentive professionals to catch up with SITE friends, build new connections and take to the virtual stage for the new SITE’s Got Talent. Expect entertainment and fun from across the incentive industry, whether it’s magicians, ventriloquists, musicians, comedians, dancers or singers, all under the tagline – SITE’s Got Talent….and we’re not afraid to show it!

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group and President of the SITE Foundation, explains: “Building business connections and supporting the community are core IMEX values which are brought to life perfectly in our new Networking Island on PlanetIMEX. 

“We’re inviting planners and suppliers from across the globe to join those already registered for IMEX Introductions and have some really valuable business conversations. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that our industry comes together – to do business, to reconnect with friends and have fun. 

With that in mind, we are delighted to round off the day with SITE’s Got Talent – a fantastic way to bring the community together at the same time as raising funds for the SITE Foundation to benefit the incentive travel community.”

‘Watercooler conversations’ coming soon

The hive of activity on Networking Island continues with Brella, offering informal person-to-person networking. Registration is now live for Brella which is open to all and offers a virtual opportunity to enjoy casual, creative or more formal business conversations on a one-to-one basis. Think of it as a series of virtual ‘watercooler’ moments! More details will follow soon.

Networking Island is now open to explorers! Visit PlanetIMEX.

How to register for IMEX Introductions is clearly signposted and explained at Networking Island’s Introductions Lodge. 

For further information about SITE Nite Europe and to register for free to join the celebrations click here.


ASAE, MGM Resorts Announce Cancellation of Face-to-Face 2020 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Las Vegas Due to COVID-19

ASAE to Deliver First-Ever Virtual Annual Meeting & Centennial Celebration Experience in August 2020

ASAE, in close collaboration with MGM Resorts International, announced today it will cancel its in-person 2020 Annual Meeting & Exposition, scheduled to be held August 8-11, at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas due to public health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

ASAE is instead working with scheduled speakers, sponsors and industry partners to deliver a reimagined Virtual Annual Meeting & Exposition the week of August 10. Registration information, exact dates and industry partner opportunities for the Virtual Annual Meeting will be shared with the ASAE community by the first week of June. The ASAE Board of Directors will also hold a virtual meeting on Aug. 7.

“After careful discussion of every aspect of the meeting and experience with our fantastic partners at Mandalay Bay and MGM Resorts, ASAE has made the difficult decision to move the 2020 Annual Meeting & Expo to a virtual experience,” said ASAE President and CEO Susan Robertson, CAE. “As excited as we were to put on a robust, memorable in-person Annual Meeting in Las Vegas this August and to celebrate ASAE’s Centennial with the association community, the public health and safety of our attendees, staff and volunteers and the MGM staff outweighed any other considerations in our collective decision-making process.”

“Our team worked closely with ASAE to build out what would have been an incredible event in August, but we understand the hard decision they had to make in the current climate,” said Stephanie Glanzer, Senior Vice President & Chief Sales Officer for MGM Resorts. “We have long valued our relationship with ASAE and are eager to welcome the association community back to Las Vegas very soon.”

ASAE, MGM and other event partners in Las Vegas were in regular contact during the planning of ASAE’s 100th Annual Meeting and paid careful attention to the timing of federal and state of Nevada plans to ease air travel restrictions, social distancing guidelines and restrictions on large gatherings once the COVID-19 threat has abated. Given the number of still-unknown factors related to the containment of the virus, and with ASAE Annual Meeting attendees typically coming from all over the country as well as internationally, all parties concluded that cancelling the face-to-meeting meeting was the safe and responsible action.

“ASAE and MGM were beyond prepared to exceed attendee expectations for the 2020 Annual Meeting. We look forward to working with our Las Vegas partners in the future,” said Amy Ledoux, CAE, CMP, ASAE’s Chief Learning and Meetings Officer. “Shifting gears, we are now fully immersed in creating the most dynamic Virtual Annual Meeting experience for our members possible. Virtual attendees can expect the same great content that we were primed to deliver in Las Vegas, so stay tuned. We’re going to structure this reimagined experience to fit every member’s schedule and budget and there are going to be multiple options for engagement.”

Further details about ASAE’s Virtual Annual Meeting & Exposition will be communicated as soon as they are finalized and updated on ASAE’s Annual Meeting website. ASAE’s 2021 Annual Meeting is scheduled to take place Aug. 14-17, 2021, in Dallas, TX.

A Letter from the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Department of Tourism has remained committed to protecting the health and safety of our residents and visitors, and we continue to be guided by public health experts in order to minimize the spread of the virus and to make prudent decisions concerning the management of our tourism sector.

Like every other destination affected by this crisis, we are actively looking forward to and planning for the eventual resumption of tourism activity. At this time, we will not be accepting leisure visitors until at least June 1, 2020.

We greatly value our partnerships with all our colleagues in the meetings and events sector. Our local MICE stakeholders have been using this “down” time to refresh and enhance their product offerings and to ensure that each property, venue or activity is fully prepared and equipped to provide a safe, healthy and exceptional experience to arriving guests. This is a coordinated, integrated effort between local USVI government agencies, tourism stakeholders and organizations including the U.S. Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association.

Until our MICE offerings are fully reopened, the Department of Tourism continues to engage with its various audiences to share the beauty and appeal of the Virgin Islands and to encourage safe public health practices, including social distancing.

We remain fully committed to meeting your business needs once this health crisis has abated. When we are assured that the Territory is equipped and ready with all testing and containment protocols recommended by public health experts and our local authorities, we stand ready to work with you to welcome your groups back to the beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands, where a truly wonderful experience awaits your clients.

We look forward to sharing more positive news and developments in the weeks ahead.

Until we “meet” again, all the best!

Here are some highlights of our recent activity:

·   Click here to see the video message highlighting the Department’s commitment to welcoming back leisure visitors when public health experts deem it safe to do so.
·   Department of Tourism Launches New Brand For St. Croix: a vibe like no other (
·   Department of Tourism enlists iconic Mocko Jumbie to help educate travelers and residents about COVID-19 prevention measures: (

Make sure to follow our social media channels for updates.

Kay Kitchens
Director of Sales
U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism

Passageways to Offer ASAE-Endorsed Virtual Board Meeting Management Solution

ASAE and ASAE Business Services, Inc. announce its partnership with Passageways as the provider of the ASAE-Endorsed Virtual Board Meeting Management Solution. Passageways’ board meeting management product, OnBoard, serves the governance needs of an array of association and nonprofit organizations across the country and around the world. This partnership will help associations navigate the COVID-19 crisis by offering free access for all new accounts through August 31, 2020.

“During these challenging times good governance is more essential than ever. That is why we collaborated with Passageways to make the ASAE-Endorsed Virtual Board Meeting Management Solution available for free to new accounts through the end of August,” said ASAE President & CEO Susan Robertson, CAE. “Association boards, committees and other deliberative bodies need to be able to conduct secure, focused, effective, and productive meetings. They can do it by using OnBoard’s comprehensive suite of secure virtual meeting tools.”

With 95% of the U.S. population under some form of stay-at-home order, video conferencing integration has become more vital than ever. OnBoard features exclusive native Zoom integration that enables directors and CEOs to meet face-to-face directly within the platform.

“Our goal has always been to enable boards and leaders with everything they need for a successful meeting, so they can focus on governance and strategy at their institutions,” said Passageways co-founder and CEO Paroon Chadha. “This partnership is a unique opportunity for all associations to use OnBoard — the platform that ASAE uses for its own governance and board meeting needs.”

Passageways’ OnBoard meeting solution is trusted by more than 12,000 boards and committees around the world. The solution helps teams govern with eSignatures and approvals and drive ongoing collaboration with secure messaging, real-time document sharing, integrated voting, and shareable annotations.

“During this time when we are all searching for virtual solutions for our most important activities, Passageways is laser focused on providing seamless continuity for governance meetings,” said ASAE Business Services, Inc. President Betsy Piper/Bach. “This focus is in sync with our dedication to help associations succeed in fulfilling their missions by connecting with solutions that help increase efficiency, enhance their capabilities, and reduce costs.”

After undergoing ASAE Business Services’ stringent due-diligence process, Passageways’ OnBoard virtual board meeting management solution was chosen as one of ten top-quality ASAE-Endorsed business solutions.


From the outset, New Orleans was one of the first cities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and our stay-at-home policies are working. Cases are decreasing, and we remain laser-focused on the safety of our workers, our residents, and our facilities as we continue to flatten the curve.

COVID-19: Proven Successful Measures

  • Our state is flattening the curve because of the aggressive testing done in highly populated areas so far. And we are continuing to conduct testing across the state with 200,000 additional test kits being provided to us by the White House.
  • From the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Mayor of New Orleans acted swiftly with a stay-at-home mandate and stood up one of the nation’s four initial pilot testing programs, and we are currently testing faster than most other locations.
  • Both President Trump and Vice President Pence have praised Louisiana and New Orleans for the progress we’ve made putting the health of our neighbors first.

From Governor Edwards remarks at his May 4, 2020 Press Conference:

“We’ve been able to reduce our case growth and our numbers in a way that is quite frankly as impressive as anybody in the country, and the Vice President said that today as well. Because their (President Trump’s and Vice President Pence’s) eyes were closely on Orleans and Jefferson Parish a few weeks ago … and they’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the work that’s been done. Which is why, every time I talk to the Vice President he asks me to relay to the folks of Louisiana how much he and the President appreciate the work that’s been done here.

Watch the full press conference here.

From’s April 27, 2020 report:

Pence applauded Louisiana’s aggressive effort in testing with the state testing among the highest number of people per capita (in America).

“In discussions with your governor, we’ll continue not only to offer our best counsel, but we’ll continue to offer medical support, medical equipment, that personal protective equipment and we’ll continue to offer support as Louisiana continues to try to increase testing across your state. Although, I will tell you that Louisiana can be proud to have one of the highest per-capita numbers of testing of any state in the country,” Pence said.

Governor John Bel Edwards stated in his Monday news conference that while metropolitan New Orleans would meet the White House criteria for reopening, including infections, hospitalizations and the testing capacity, but due to other parts of the state that are lagging, he extended the state-mandated restrictions to May 15.  This delay will put the state in a better position to adequately test state-wide and not just the New Orleans area. Edwards also stated the Vice President’s support of delaying the start of phase one in Louisiana in his call this week with the nation’s governors.

“I have to say how proud we are, despite the heartbreaking loss of people in our community and the families who’ve lost loved ones, New Orleans has made great progress and Louisiana has made great progress by putting the health of their neighbors first,” Pence said.” 

Read the full story here

Planning to Re-open

  • Our Governor has created the Resilient Louisiana Commission tasked with safely reopening the state, with key committees led by New Orleans & Company’s Executive Counsel and Senior Vice President for Legislative Affairs Walt Leger and Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Mark Romig.
  • Our industry is developing plans with local and state officials aimed at positioning New Orleans as a model destination. We plan on being a leader in developing and implementing new protocols in safety, cleanliness, and sanitation moving forward. 
  • The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center continues to undergo its $500 million master plan renovation under the leadership of its new board chair, New Orleans & Company’s Leger.
  • Hotels, attractions, restaurants and the Convention Center are all working through plans to relaunch utilizing national guidelines to ensure the highest degree of safety possible for employees, and visitors.

Count on New Orleans leading the way in preparedness and safety as we turn the corner on COVID-19. Every step we’re taking right now is with your safety in mind as we prepare to welcome you back. 

ASAE Announces Five Association Leaders for 2020 Class of Fellows

Five association leaders have been selected for ASAE’s 2020 Class of Fellows. The Fellows program recognizes individual accomplishments and contributions to ASAE and the association sector, and it is a call to service for the profession.

“Congratulations to the 2020 class of Fellows. The ASAE Fellows program is a recognition bestowed upon less than one percent of ASAE’s membership. It represents the best of the association community, and this group truly embodies that,” said Debra S. BenAvram, FASAE, CAE, CEO, AABB (formerly named American Association of Blood Banks) and chair of the ASAE Fellows Selection Committee.

The Class of 2020 includes:

Steven Anderson, IOM, CAE

President and Chief Executive Officer

National Association of Chain Drug Stores

Lowell Aplebaum, CAE, CPF

CEO & Strategy Catalyst

Vista Cova

Patricia Montague, CAE

Chief Executive Officer

School Nutrition Association

Stefanie Reeves, CAE

Executive Director

Maryland Psychological Association

Donte Shannon, CAE

Chief Executive Officer

Association of Equipment Management Professionals

The 2020 Fellows join 268 association industry professionals who have received this designation since the program’s inception in 1986. Serving as role models and ambassadors for the association community, Fellows seek out opportunities to serve on boards and committees and participate as speakers, authors, reviewers, and mentors.

The Fellows selection process includes: endorsement by a peer; an in-depth application describing the individual’s innovation, leadership, and commitment to the profession; an interview with two members of the selection committee; and selection from among a group of highly-qualified candidates.

For more information about ASAE’s Fellows program,

A Message From Our Meetings and Events Teams

Our friends at the Universal Orlando Resorts would like to share the below message with you.

To our Friends in the Meetings & Events Industry,

While for now our parks are closed, our roller coasters quiet and hotels empty, we wanted you to know that we are still here. We are taking care of each other, our families and our community. Our hearts go out to those that have been especially impacted by this crisis.

We are also thinking about you; our partners, our clients and the entire meetings and events community. We stand with you as we navigate these unprecedented times and recognize the need for increased flexibility going forward. Our sales team is here and eager to assist you with your meetings and events needs when you are ready.

In the meantime, we are busy enhancing current procedures and developing new ones. Every decision we make begins with the health and safety of our team members and guests. Our goal is to make the best use of this time so that we are more ready than ever to deliver unforgettable experiences that engage, inspire and entertain.

So it goes without saying; we can’t wait to welcome you back to Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood when the time comes. After all, it’s the power of bringing people together that unites us. Until then, please take care of yourself and your family.

We’ll see you soon.

Your Universal Parks & Resorts Meetings & Events Team

Virtual ASAE Marketing, Membership & Communications Event Sees Three Times Normal Attendance

Over 3,000 individuals registered for the reimagined one-day virtual Marketing, Membership, & Communications Conference on April 29. The previously scheduled event on April 16-17 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual MMCC was the largest ever with registration over three times higher than the event’s highest recorded attendance in 2015. The event could not have happened without the support of ASAE’s Strategic Partner; Naylor Association Solutions; the virtual platform provider TopClass LMS by WBT Systems who made it possible for attendees to access the event free of charge, and Matchbox Virtual who provided video production services for the event.

Attendees experienced a virtual MMCC tailored to focus on relevant communications and membership issues based on the COVID-19 crisis. The virtual event kicked off with a keynote from Afdhel Aziz, Founder and Chief Purpose Officer Conspiracy of Love, a brand purpose consultancy advising Fortune 500 brands. He shared the three principles of purpose that organizations should keep in mind as they begin to envision a post COVID future. He stated purpose needs to be built from the inside out, purpose does not have to be political, and purpose must measure what matters. Aziz concluded by encouraging attendees that in these difficult times to remember to be transformational, rather than transactional and that resilience is a responsibility.

The keynote presentation was followed by 12 additional sessions that focused on proven email techniques, membership strategies, and the intersection of crisis communications and cultural chaos among many other topics. Each of the sessions was pre-recorded which allowed speakers to participate with attendees in real time during their sessions. The event concluded with a moderated virtual happy hour where attendees discussed the highlights of the day.

“Due to the extreme circumstances presented by COVID-19, marketing, membership and communications professionals were seeking ideas and solutions that can be thoughtfully applied in a rapidly evolving environment. Speakers quickly pivoted to recast and reframe their content to address the current climate. And sponsors jumped in to ensure the content could be delivered in a way that was user friendly for attendees and speakers” said Robb Lee, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, ASAE.

All content from speakers will be made available post event. For details visit:

PlanetIMEX Countdown

On 6 May IMEX will launch two of three PlanetIMEX islands. Islands where you can reconnect, talk future business and continue learning in the company of friends and colleagues from the global business events community.

Community Island – live 6 May

News, views, research and insights from our business events world – it’s all here on Community Island. Plus, this is the place to kick back and enjoy some downtime PlanetIMEX style from #imexstillrunning to laid-back island music mixes.

Education Island – live 6 May
Explore our full programme of education, designed to continue our commitment to provide high quality professional development to our industry.

  • EduMonday Live will be taking place on 11 May, where you’ll have the opportunity to register for a full day of education and interactive content. Also, hear from Ray Bloom and Carina Bauer as we embark on a new exploration into the virtual world of PlanetIMEX.
  • Don’t miss the keynote with Guy Bigwood, Managing Director, Global Destination Sustainability Index, he’ll be discussingThe big pivot: Towards a regenerative events industry’.  Futurist Rohit Talwar will present ‘The Future of Events – Three Scenarios’ and guide us towards five survival strategies for the future.
  • Be sure to join the She Means Business debate with a panel including Julia Brewing, Head of Marketing DACH at Facebook and Gabriela Suhoschi, Director of World Water Week, where they’ll be discussing the tough decisions women in business and events are making today. A joint event by IMEX and TW Magazine supported by MPI.
  • On Tuesday 12 May, our Community Day will bring together education from industry partners and associations including EIC, ADMEI, GCB, IAEE, IAPCO, ICCA, ZEUS and more.
  • The Education island is also home to our Sustainability Village and our Nature Talking Point.

Networking Island – live 14 May
Explore potential new business relationships and spark up one-to-one conversations with our global business events community.
Joining instructions coming soon…

Best wishes,

Your PlanetIMEX Team