Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bloomington, MN Enhances their Under One Roof Meeting Solution

During IMEX America’s recent 2022 Exhibition held in Las Vegas, the Bloomington CVB held a press conference announcing enhancements to their Under One Roof meeting solution allowing groups to create customized team-building experiences during events at Mall of America.

The following newly created experiences with Mall of America partners can be added to take events above and beyond the ordinary:

  • Lululemon Yoga Experience
  • M Health Fairview Mall of America One-Mile Walk Experience
  • Yankee Candle Experience
  • Tumi Luggage Packing Experience

Under One Roof bundles together unique luxury meeting space at JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America, Radisson Blu Mall of America and the Mall of America, with built-in entertainment and dining in one convenient package.

“The hospitality marketplace continues to evolve, and planners are looking for tailored experiences that are truly memorable, “stated Dan O’Neil, vice president of strategy and sales for the Bloomington CVB. “We’ve had success offering this large, unique space at Mall of America with its built-in entertainment. Adding custom experiences really takes it to the next level.”

For more information about Under One Roof, contact Dan O’Neill at doneill@bloomingtonmn.org.

Forty Years of Serving the DMV and Beyond!

After 40 years, the Association of Meeting Professionals (AMPs) continues to stand strong. Founded in Alexandria Virginia, it sits alone as the premier local organization of powerful DC, VA, and MD meeting professionals and supplier partner members from around the country.  Even through the height of the pandemic, AMPs was solid in its footing and did what it does best…provide education and networking opportunities to its members. I recently had the opportunity to speak to Annette M. Suriani, CMP, CFMP, DES, Business Events Strategist, AMS Meetings Solutions, and AMPs’ Executive Director what kept AMPs going.

As the Executive Director, what is your vision for AMPs?

My goal is to move forward the mission of the organization and that of our current Chairman’s vision.  I believe the passion our leadership and volunteers have for this organization is its driving force.

What is AMPs’ purpose and what makes it so unique?

It is a true community of industry meeting and events professionals that gather for quality educational opportunities and networking with peers and suppliers. We make it affordable so planners who join the organization obtain complimentary registration for our quarterly education meetings. Because we’re an independent organization, we do not have to get approval from a “corporate office” on initiatives that make sense for our members. The Board is strategically made up of planners and suppliers that have a deep understanding of what our members face on a daily basis.     

How did  AMPs cope during the pandemic?

It was hard, especially for smaller organizations like AMPs.   We held monthly virtual education programs to stay connected.  When we couldn’t meet in person, we held 5K fun runs/walks. Everyone enjoyed the camaraderie and just being outside even though we required them to wear masks! AMPs truly is a community in unity.

Who can join AMPs and how do they sign up?

Anyone in the meetings and hospitality industry can join.  We are very affordable and don’t charge extra for most of our programs.  Just visit www.ampsweb.org or email us at info@ampsweb.org.  We have a very active committee scene and we’re always looking for members to join and provide new ideas and insight.

Advocate for the Meetings Industry

Maintaining a thriving meeting industry is a personal passion for Annette M. Suriani, CMP, CFMP, DES, Business Events Strategist, AMS Meetings Solutions, and Executive Director for Association Meeting Professionals (AMPs).

As PCMA’s Capitol Chapter President in 2015, Annette reinstated the government relations committee because she saw a need to educate our representatives and even those in our industry of the importance of the meetings and events industry.  Who knew how much more important this committee  would be in 2020?

According to Annette…“The meetings and events industry provides a major impact for local, national and global economies. Yet, we are often overlooked when it comes to legislation that can help us. In the most simplistic terms, It is incumbent upon all of us in this industry to stay on top of our elected officials and educate them on the numbers of jobs that employ their constituents, let alone solutions and discoveries that are made when people collaborate when they meet face to face.

IMEX America October 11-13, 2022 Las Vegas

Booking events outside the US or have US meetings of 1,000+ attendees annually?

Come to IMEX America in Las Vegas

Susan Sarfati and Liz Jackson invite you to join our hosted buyer group October 10-12, 2022.

The IMEX America is complimentary and so much more: 

  • Complimentary single accommodations for you with our group
  • Once confirmed, book your preferred air travel, and claim a refund
  • Add to your CMP and CAE credits with the many free education programs. 
  • Enjoy our group’s sponsored breakfasts and dinner
  • Join a community of professional planners to engage with during the show and make connections that last after the event.
  • Receive ongoing updates and news about IMEX happenings so you don’t miss a thing.
  • Get guidance from experienced group leaders so your experience will be productive and enjoyable.

Come to IMEX. Connect with the world. Continue your industry growth!  RSVP today to ljackson262@msn.com

A glittering night of celebration, reconnection and recognition

Professionals from all corners of the global business events industry were honoured at the IMEX in Frankfurt Gala Dinner Awards at the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel last night.

As part of IMEX in Frankfurt currently taking place, the awards brought together meeting and event professionals in a glittering gathering to celebrate the achievements, innovation and resilience of individuals within the industry.

The evening started with a huge round of applause, as Destinations International President and CEO Don Welsh handed over the Global Ambassador Award to Adam Burke, president and CEO of Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board. Burke was recognised for his commitment to developing equity, diversity and inclusion best practices as well as for strong leadership within his community. Attendees heard how Burke drives initiatives that support workforce development within the destination and introduced the concept of the city’s convention centre serving as a space to support future leaders.

The roll of honour continued with the IAEE International Excellence Award, presented by IAEE President and CEO David DuBois to Simon Wang, executive vice president, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA). Wang has been at the forefront of various government projects promoting the meetings and events industry and is project director of Taiwan’s MICE Promotion Program – MEET. An experienced and devoted promoter, he’s one of the opinion leaders in Taiwan’s MICE industry.

With sustainability continuing to be high priority, especially as the 2050 Net Zero target edges closer, this year’s IAPCO Innovation Award was particularly fitting.  Ms Ok Hyojung, director of Ezpmp Korea, was honoured for her use of innovative digital technology to deliver a flawless carbon neutral event to a virtual audience. The P4G Summit in Korea in 2021 was the first multilateral environmental event to be hosted by the South Korean government and brought together government representatives and international organisations to focus on ‘Inclusive Green Recovery Towards Carbon Neutrality.’

New for this year, The ICCA Global Influencer Award acknowledges an outstanding contribution to the association meetings industry and was won by Thomas Reiser, executive director of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) and chair – ICCA Association Advisory Committee. ICCA President James Rees presented the award in recognition of Reiser’s leadership role and the impact of his personality, knowledge and expertise throughout the association community.

As JMIC President, Rees also presided over the JMIC Unity Award, given to Rod Cameron, president of Criterion Communications Ltd. The award recognised Cameron’s significant contribution to the development of the industry and consistently high level of professionalism.

Next, the awards looked ahead to the event professionals of the future:Panashe Mahakwa, a student at Vistula University in Warsaw, won the MPI Foundation Student Scholarship Award, which celebrates and supports the next generation of meeting planners as part of the IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum International University Challenge.

The PCMA Global Business Events Executive of the Year Award is always hotly anticipated. PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat recognised Patrizia Buongiorno, vice president, AIM GROUP International. She truly exemplifies the sentiment with which this award was created by holding herself and her team to the highest standards, mentoring, training and creating opportunities for her team to be recognised for their achievements. In addition to her role at AIM Group International, Buongiorno also dedicates her time to teaching the next generation of industry professionals at several universities.

One of our industry’s most valued skills is the ability to motivate, and it was the duty of Rebecca Wright, SITE executive director, to hand over the Jane E. Schuldt SITE Master Motivator Award to the brilliant Paul Miller, CIS, CITP, managing director of Spectra DMC.  Before his current role with Spectra, an award-winning DMC based in the UK, Miller has had four years of service in the Royal Household at Buckingham Palace. This award honours a SITE member who upholds the highest standard of excellence in creating and delivering successful incentive travel events and exudes enthusiasm and a collaborative spirit in support of the global incentive travel community.

The global pandemic has elevated legacy from optional add-on to fundamental requirement. The Copenhagen Convention Bureau won the hotly-contestedIMEX EIC Innovation in Sustainability Award for its Copenhagen Legacy Lab (CLL). Amy Calvert, CEO of EIC, presented the award to Bettina Reventlow-Mourier, Copenhagen CVB’s deputy convention director. The CLL connects international congresses held in Copenhagen with local business and science communities, thereby integrating legacy before, during and after events.

The Paul Flackett IMEX Academy Awards, named in tribute to the former IMEX managing director, were a fitting climax to the dinner. Three outstanding women were recognised for their long-term commitment to the industry and for pushing boundaries around innovation.   

The 2022 roll call: 

  • Carlotta Ferrari, Convention Bureau Italia
  • Barbara Jamison-Woods, London & Partners
  • Karen Bolinger, Bolinger Consulting

Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO, said: “A huge congratulations to all our Academy Award winners. These awards are a timely reminder of the sheer innovation, professionalism, skill and resilience that our industry is renowned for and should, rightfully, celebrate.”

Malaysia is ready to connect at IMEX Frankfurt

Frankfurt, Germany – Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) will be staging its presence at the 20th IMEX Frankfurt worldwide exhibition happening from 31 May – 2 June 2022 held in Messe, Frankfurt. The national bureau acts as Malaysia’s leading representative partaking a tradeshow to showcase its timely business events’ offerings projecting significant breakthrough in restarting the business events industry amidst endemic times. 

Paving the way, MyCEB will be introducing Malaysia’s campaigns and initiatives responsible to revitalise business event activities in 2022 such as the 3R Initiative – Reset, Restart, Responsible, Meet in Malaysia Campaign, and MySafe Business Events Planner. The 3R initiative includes supporting Malaysian companies to maintain membership with international associations, comprehensive upskilling programmes and certification, and provide incentive to international delegates. MyCEB is glorified to share that a list of private sector’s participation from the business events industry is covered under the 3R initiative for this particular trade show.

The pinnacle of MyCEB’s participation lays the essence of the business events economy aimed at knowledge sharing, networking, future research capacity, and showcasing the destination’s reputation all of which leads to boost business opportunities at a global scale. Malaysia will be showcasing a strong showing of 9 exhibitors namely World Trade Centre (WTC) Kuala Lumpur, Business Events Sarawak, Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK), Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre (MITEC), Sabah Tourism Board (STB), Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC), Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB), Setia SPICE Convention Centre and Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).

IMEX Frankfurt is designed as a powerful platform for business event industry players to come together; display and demonstrate the latest updates and services for over 1500 exhibitors from more than 90 countries. 

IMEX Frankfort Announces Germany COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted

On 2 April Germany lifted ALL Covid-19 restrictions (known as 3G) on live meetings, events and trade shows. This milestone marks a turning point for the economic regeneration of the global meetings and events industry and, importantly, for the German market. 

The IMEX team knows you want to feel productive at IMEX in Frankfurt this May, and you also want to feel physically and psychologically safe. So, we’re KEEPING our health and safety plan in place. (Read about it here). 

  • Generously-sized aisles 
  • Use of multiple outdoor spaces 
  • 2 entrances to Hall 8 (our exhibit hall) to minimise queueing or over-crowding 
  • Home badge printing 
  • Widely-spaced, plentiful seating areas 
  • 2 Messe Frankfurt halls – 8 and 9 

You can also choose to wear a mask and keep your distance all day long and, rest assured, Messe Frankfurt’s own hygiene standards include fresh air ventilation, disinfection stations and enhanced cleaning. 

So, whether you’re an exhibitor, buyer, supplier, partner, student, journalist or speaker, remember the thrill of a shared experience and know that you’re in safe hands with IMEX.

IMEX Frankfurt 2022 Post-Trip to Paris Invitation

Is Paris a prospect for your future meeting?  It’s waiting for you to book at the top of the ICCA list of most popular European meeting cities.  Join Susan Sarfati and Liz Jackson on their IMEX hosted buyer 3-night post-IMEX trip June 2-5 to Paris sponsored by the Paris CVB.  (No need to be part of their IMEX hosted buyer group but are invited to join if you have not yet confirmed for IMEX.)

Criteria:

  1. Association or AMC buyer with a European meeting prospect for Paris                                                                                  
  2. Not held a recent meeting in Paris
  3. Not been on a recent site visit to Paris
  4. Meeting prospect of 100-400+ attendees

The plans include a Thursday evening transfer from Frankfurt to Paris after the IMEX show.  Two full days of visiting Paris landmarks which make this great city a wonderful choice for meeting attendance plus stops at several hotels and conference centers large enough to accommodate meetings.  Transportation, hotel, meals and sightseeing are covered by the Paris CVB.  Fly home from Paris on Sunday or stay in Europe longer on your own. 

Join us and contact Liz Jackson to RSVP 703.964.6030 or ljackson262@msn.com

Refreshed Meetings Property in Southwest Florida

HyattCocunutPoint0222b.png

In January, Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs, Fla., completed a multimillion-dollar guest-room renovation to mark its 20-year anniversary, about a year after updating its meeting and public spaces.

The latest updates include a full transformation of the property’s 426 guest rooms and 28 suites. These showcase a tropical feel with new hardwood flooring, coconut-wood bed frames, and modern furnishing and décor featuring light greens and vibrant ocean blues. In addition, the resort updated its corridors with wavy light-grey and green carpeting plus dark-brown furniture and fixtures.

The new guest rooms complement the resort’s recently renovated meeting spaces and lobby. Across the 40,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, updated features include light-grey carpeting with ocean-blue curved lines to complement the resort’s waterfront location. The two ballrooms—14,000 square feet and 7,000 square feet—feature new lighting, stages surrounded by deep grey and bright blue drapes, and red chairs. The eight breakout rooms of 600 to 1,480 square feet have new lighting and seating as well.

The property’s 42,000 square feet of outdoor event space includes a 12,000-square-foot courtyard framed by large palm trees plus a 5,400-square-foot terrace off the smaller ballroom. Groups can also host receptions in the resort’s smaller grassy courtyards or at its lakeside putting green.

The resort has a three-acre water park featuring a lazy river, five water slides, and several pools.  Of particular interest to meeting and incentive groups: The water park has an adults-only section with a pool and hot tub in a tranquil setting as well as several cabanas. Also, there’s the Stillwater Spa on site.

Guests can explore a quarter-mile boardwalk that winds through the mangrove forest and ends at the resort’s marina, which provides ferry service to Big Hickory Island, a private island that’s part of the Estero Bay Ecological Preserve. On the 15-minute boat ride, guests can keep an eye out for local marine life including manatees and dolphins. Set across the island’s white-sand beach are dozens of chairs and umbrellas.

Five on-site restaurants and a permanently stationed food truck provide F&B options for groups. Guests can watch the sun set while having dinner in the lakeside screened porch at Tarpon Bay restaurant or enjoy coastal comfort food with an international twist in Tanglewood restaurant.

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point is 18 miles from Southwest Florida International Airport, a 25-minute drive.

HyattCoconutPoint0222d.png

Great Britain is Easier to Visit!

As 2022 has kicked off, we bring good news. Britain is open and easier than ever to visit. From February 11, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to test or quarantine after arrival (check out our COVID-19 update below). As travel restrictions continue to lessen, many airlines are reintroducing service or launching new routes to Great Britain.

We’re also excited to share VisitBritain’s new brand campaign, ‘Welcome to another side of Britain’ which is set to launch in the US on February 10Scroll down for details.  

Birmingham and the West Midlands are buzzing this year. A six-month cultural program of art and community-led projects will start in March to celebrate creativity across the West Midlands as Birmingham prepares to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games this summer.  On February 6 this year, The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the UK and Commonwealth. Key celebrations will take place in June and continue throughout the year. Check out Tours International’s Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Tour and finally, don’t forget to tap into loads of Great Britain itinerary inspiration on Travefy!

IMEX America 2021 Gets the Band Back Together!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 687809b9f9f7398f76a1809e4d88de8ae98c103581cfe5665ce3bc357b20286c.jpeg

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.