Industry Buzz

Read the latest news from industry trade press articles and press releases selected by industry expert Al Rickard of Association Vision, a PR/Marketing/Publishing company in the Washington, DC area. For more about Al and his company visit

 Mission Inn Offers Unlimited Golf—At Nearly Half Price!
      Wednesday, October 08 @ 15:18:33 CDT
General News"Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. - It’s Mission Inn Resort’s fiftieth anniversary this year, but it’s the guests who are having the party. Especially golfers. This means unlimited golf for the length of their two-day (or longer) visit.

Yes, that’s unlimited golf for the full length of the stay on the challenging El Campeon— one of the first 18-hole courses in the South, with classic design elements and a surprising amount of elevation change and the more forgiving Las Colinas, which opened in 1992 and was renovated in 2007.

From October through the end of January 2015 (limited availability; blackout dates apply), Mission Inn’s unlimited golf package offers an incredible deal to play the resort’s two outstanding golf courses and enjoy related services. To take advantage of this limited time opportunity, reservations must be booked by October 31, 2014 by calling the resort at 800-874-9053 or by booking online.

For just $130 per night per person (two-night minimum, double occupancy, taxes and resort fee are additional) golfers and their guest receive a 40% savings over regular pricing.

The unlimited golf package includes:
• Unlimited daily golf on the resort’s two award-winning courses, El Campeon and Las Colinas (up to five rounds during a two night, three day stay)
• Unlimited use of practice range and putting green
• Complimentary club cleaning and storage
• Daily buffet breakfast
• Discounts on pro shop merchandise and spa services
• Use of the on-site fitness center
• Free parking

Mission Inn’s two championship courses include 36 holes of rare tee-to-green elevations of 85 feet, towering forests and sparkling spring-fed lakes. Revered as one of Florida's finest, El Campeón (The Champion) was designed by George O'Neil of Chicago in 1917 and further enhanced in 1926 by Charles E. Clarke of Troon, Scotland. The course is consistently ranked in the top 10 of Florida's 1,500+ courses and is featured on the Florida Historic Golf Trail. Las Colinas (The Hills), the resort’s second 18-hole layout, was designed by former PGA Tour player Gary Koch and opened in 1992 to immediate acclaim.

Both courses are rated Four Star and recognized as "Best Places to Play" in North America by Golf Digest. Whether it’s the snowbird coming down from the north or locals looking for a chance to play two of Florida’s top courses, and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere just far enough away from the theme-park craziness, guests will find everything they want at Mission Inn, and at a price that’s worth celebrating.

Mission Inn Resort—just 45 minutes from Orlando—is celebrating its 50th year of family ownership by offering affordable, family-friendly accommodations and activities on 1,100 beautiful acres of rolling citrus hills in Central Florida. For additional information, call Mission Inn Resort & Club at 800-874-9053 or 352-324-3101 or visit the Web site"

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 Wyndham Worldwide Ranks 31 in Newsweek Magazine’s Greenest Companies Survey
      Wednesday, October 08 @ 15:17:06 CDT
General News"Wyndham Worldwide Ranks 31 in Newsweek Magazine’s Greenest Companies Survey

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Once again Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN), one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, was recognized for its sustainability best practices, and was ranked among the greenest companies in the U.S. by Newsweek Magazine, one of the foremost corporate environmental rankings.

Ranked among the top 50 greenest companies in the U.S., Wyndham Worldwide was evaluated on a number of criteria including its environmental footprint and management, environmental policies, programs and initiatives.

“Our inclusion in the rankings is a great reflection of our commitment to our core values, and is the result of tremendous collaboration and innovation by our associates, franchisees, suppliers, business and community partners,” said Stephen P. Holmes, chairman and chief executive officer, Wyndham Worldwide. “We are proud to be recognized for our work in sustainability, but more importantly, we are excited that we continue to see the impact our sustainability and corporate social responsibility efforts have in our operating performance and the value created for our shareholders.”

Wyndham Worldwide’s sustainable practices are created and developed by the Company’s Wyndham Green program, which is in its eighth year, and is one of the top five strategic priorities at the Company. The program, which is focused on education and innovation, works to deliver “triple bottom line” results for the people, planet and profits, while driving leadership in the industry, encouraging engagement among key stakeholders, and providing the mechanism to turn innovative ideas into achievable results.

“We believe it is our people, our culture and our strategies that have enabled us to get where we are today. The dedicated efforts of associates at every level of the Company embody our culture of responsible sustainable practices and reflect the strong values that guide our company,” said Faith Taylor, senior vice president, sustainability and innovation, Wyndham Worldwide. “This focus enabled us to reduce our operationally controlled asset water usage globally by 11 percent per square foot and reduce our carbon emissions by 13 percent per square foot from the 2010 baseline.”

Believing that it can “do well” for business, while “doing good” for the people and the community, Wyndham Worldwide has maintained a focused investment in its Corporate Social Responsibility programs since its introduction on the NYSE in 2006. Its teams have collaborated to integrate the strategic areas of sustainability, diversity, human rights and ethics, and community support directly into how it operates. Most recently, Wyndham Worldwide was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for the first time, and was recognized as a 2014 Silver Class Sustainability Leader in RobecoSAM’s annual Sustainability Yearbook.

Using the G4 GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, the Newsweek rankings are the result of a rigorous review by a leading sustainability ranking organization and an advisory board that includes sustainability experts. Wyndham Worldwide will release its 2012 Sustainability Report following the G4 guidelines later this month.

For more information on Wyndham Worldwide’s environmental and sustainability programs, please visit

About Wyndham Worldwide
One of the world's largest hospitality companies, Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) provides a wide range of hospitality products and services through its global portfolio of world-renowned brands. The world's largest hotel company based on the number of properties, Wyndham Hotel Group is home to many of the world's best-known hotel brands, with approximately 7,500 franchised hotels and 646,900 hotel rooms worldwide. Wyndham Exchange & Rentals is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and the world's largest professionally managed vacation rentals business, providing more than 5 million leisure-bound families annually with access to over 107,000 vacation properties in over 100 countries through its prominent exchange and vacation rental brands. The industry and timeshare ownership market leader, Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops, markets, and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing to owners through its network of over 190 vacation ownership resorts serving approximately 907,000 owners throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. Based in Parsippany, NJ, Wyndham Worldwide employs approximately 32,800 associates globally."

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 Digital Huntsville History Tour offers 24/7 online, guided tour of city center
      Wednesday, October 08 @ 15:11:37 CDT
General News"History tour includes 40 stops with narration, photos and more

(Huntsville, AL) – The Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) in conjunction with the Huntsville History Collection announced today the launch of the free-to-use Huntsville History Tour: A Digital Guided Tour of Historic Huntsville, Alabama. With a mobile device, users can now discover downtown Huntsville’s storied past online, on their own time. Covering 40 historic locations in the downtown Huntsville area, the tour provides narration, photos and information pertaining to each location. The voices behind the narration are Huntsvillians Jacque Reeves, John Malone and Nancy Rohr.

The Digital Huntsville History Tour can be found online at

“In the Rocket City, we have an abundance of offerings attractive to leisure travelers and meeting planners, and this new digital walking tour will be yet another fantastic draw,” Vice President of Tourism for the Huntsville/Madison County CVB Jennifer Moore said. “Convenience is key, and that is one of the best features of the Huntsville History Tour. Folks can begin and end the tour on their own time and learn about Huntsville’s compelling history along the way.”

Deane Dayton, author of the Huntsville history website, created the Digital Huntsville History Tour on a mobile-friendly website using information compiled by the Huntsville/Madison County CVB and the Huntsville History Collection.

“The Digital Huntsville History Tour combines Huntsville’s rich heritage in history and technology,” Dayton said. “It allows anyone with a smart phone to explore Huntsville’s historical sites on their own. The GPS capabilities, interactive map, audio narration and related photographs make the journey easy and accessible.”

The Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau will also be sponsoring free, guided fall walking tours of the Five Points Historic District on Saturday, October 4 and the Old Town Historic District, Saturday, October 11. More information is available at

Jennifer Moore explained the new digital tour complements and even creates a synergistic cycle with existing in-person guided tours such as the fall walking tours.

“Huntsville and Madison County thrive when it comes to our tour offerings,” Moore said. “From ghost tours to history, dining and brew tours, there is a comprehensive offering for visitors and residents alike. We hope the Digital Huntsville History Tour will add yet another layer of excitement to existing tour offerings and that folks will be so intrigued they will follow up the digital tour with an in-person guided tour. Nothing quite replaces being able to interact with and ask questions of a knowledgeable guide.”

Deemed a Healthy Huntsville activity by the City of Huntsville, the Digital Huntsville History Tour can be enjoyed on foot or by car. Healthy Huntsville, a city and community-wide partnership, focuses on the core concepts of nutrition and exercise to encourage residents to embrace healthy lifestyles.

For more information, please contact Jessica Carlton, Marketing Manager at the Huntsville/Madison County CVB at or by phone at 256.551.2294.

Be sure to connect with the Huntsville/Madison County CVB on Facebook and Twitter for updates on what’s going on in Huntsville/Madison County, travel-related news and upcoming meeting and conference information.

About Huntsville/Madison County CVB
The Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization which was developed in 1970 to create economic growth for Huntsville/Madison County by marketing the city as a top-of-mind convention and visitor destination. As the official city/county agency which promotes the area as a tourist destination and convention site, the CVB partners with an array of hospitality industry partners to market our destination to visitors of all types."

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 Prague Convention Bureau will be at IMEX America, Stand 2505
      Wednesday, October 08 @ 15:10:17 CDT
General News"As IMEX America quickly approaches, we wanted to send you a personal invitation to stop by and meet with PRAGUE CONVENTION BUREAU.

Czech Republic`s capital PRAGUE is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is the city of the thousand spires because of its profusion of grand, beautifully-preserved historical monuments dating from practically every period in history. Whether you want to hold your event in an ancient monastery, opera house, Art Noveau industrial palace, contemporary gallery or modern conference centre, Prague is the place for you. With more than 42,000 hotel rooms, the city can accommodate all your needs.

Come visit us and learn more about:
• entire renovation of the Prague Congress Centre,
• renewed financial support for congresses,
• complimentary public transport,
• special congress airfare,
• new conference centers and hotels and more!

We are looking forward to seeing you at our stand which is part of the Czech Tourist Authority 2505. Please, set an appointment with us through the IMEX schedule, or respond to this email for an individual appointment."

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 PCMA Focuses On Business Intelligence
      Wednesday, October 08 @ 15:08:41 CDT
General News"Robert Haas joins PCMA to bring a data driven marketing approach into their current print and digital solutions.

CHICAGO, IL – PCMA has announced the hiring of Robert Haas in the newly created position of Vice President of Business Development and Data Intelligence.

Robert will immediately focus on business development opportunities while integrating business intelligence and a data driven marketing approach into their current print and digital solutions. As the meetings industry’s leading professional organization, PCMA will be utilizing this intelligence to accelerate delivery of personalized content and solutions for members, customers and marketing partners – Ultimately adding value to both the industry’s buyers and sellers.

Robert was most recently the Principal Consultant of a division within the Tribune Company, Datagrated Services. In that role, Robert consulted with companies in the direct marketing industry on how to assimilate data into their organization and how to use it effectively to build 1 to 1 marketing campaigns. Robert joined Tribune Company in 2001, where he has served in many roles during his tenure. Robert has a strong background in both print and digital media, as well as integrating data as means of developing highly relevant personalized direct marketing campaigns.

"Robert brings his extensive marketing and data intelligence to PCMA and the results are already evident," said Sherrif Karamat, PCMA COO. "His talents will benefit both PCMA and our marketing partners."

Robert holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a focus on International Business from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. As part of Robert’s education, he lived and studied in Brazil and Spain.

About PCMA
PCMA is the multi-channel professional resource and premier educator for leaders in the meetings, conventions, events and trade show industries. PCMA provides their 6,000+ members with a community of likeminded colleagues, innovative education and creative global solutions to enhance both their professional development and their organization's face-to-face and virtual connections. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 35 countries. For additional information, please visit the PCMA Web site at"

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 IMEX America hits new highs and more growth
      Wednesday, October 08 @ 15:05:43 CDT
General News"The fourth edition of IMEX America, the largest trade show for the international meetings, events and incentive travel industry in the US, will be 13 percent bigger when doors open on Oct 14 at the Sands Expo®, Las Vegas.

Both hosted buyer numbers and the number of US and international attendees are also expected to exceed last year’s levels.

On the show floor, the growth is reflected in new exhibitors as well as larger booths from some key global suppliers. USA & Canadian representation has increased by 16.5 percent; Latin America by 6.5 percent; Europe by 3 percent and Asia-Pacific by nearly 8 percent.

In other areas of the show, hotel groups are up by 26 percent; private sector companies by 37.5 percent, technology suppliers by 20 percent and incentive products by 50 percent.

70 new booths also add to the line-up of new global and US exhibitors giving buyers an even broader perspective on the marketplace.

83 of the show’s previous exhibitors have increased the size of their booths and of these over half have expanded their booths by 50 percent.

Looking ahead to the show’s opening day, Ray Bloom, Chairman of the IMEX Group stated: “The fourth IMEX America is set to offer increased business opportunities for the US and global meetings and events industry. Aside from the confirmed growth in exhibitor numbers and the expanded show floor, we are set to bring in even more hosted buyers and more attendees next week. Anticipation is high and we’re looking forward to a packed show with its usual strong focus on business appointments, networking and, of course, high quality education.”

IMEXlive and Live TV
There will be a number of different ways to stay up to date with IMEX America during the show. IMEXlive, sponsored by Hilton Worldwide and The Events Network on, will provide rolling video interviews and social media coverage (#IMEX14) on the IMEX America homepage and via the show app. IMEX America TV live will broadcast daily from the show floor at 12 noon Eastern Time (produced by Sonic Foundry, PRG and CNTV). Daily TV headlines will also be broadcast on the IMEX YouTube channel and in the hotel rooms of the host hotels, The Venetian ® | The Palazzo®, on channel 3. IMEX America starts with its traditional preshow day of professional development and education - Smart Monday, powered by MPI on Monday Oct 13. This is followed by the three-day trade show starting Oct 14. IMEX America takes place at the Sands Expo®, Las Vegas.

Visitors who haven’t registered in advance can still register in-person and onsite for no charge.

The IMEX Group runs two award-winning, annual trade shows for the international meetings, incentive travel and events industry. IMEX America is October 14-16, 2014 with Smart Monday, Powered by MPI – a free, pre-show educational day -- kicking off business Monday October 13, 2014. IMEX in Frankfurt 2015 will run May 19-21 at the Messe Frankfurt. For releases, images and information go to IMEX America Onsite Press Center -
Social media - #IMEX14"

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 Mission Inn Resort Unveils Good as Gold Meetings Package
      Wednesday, October 01 @ 12:02:58 CDT
General News"Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. – Meeting planners looking to break away from the “same old, same old” corporate sessions will find Central Florida’s Mission Inn Resort & Club is “good as gold.” The Resort’s newly launched “Good As Gold” meetings package includes use of the Adventure Learning Center, which provides an interactive environment that leads to new levels of group discovery and corporate learning.

The Good as Gold meetings package also pays tribute to the resort’s 50th anniversary of family ownership and management, being celebrated all this year, and showcases Mission Inn’s commitment to eco-friendly practices. The attractively priced Good as Gold Meetings

Package includes:
• One complimentary room night for every 50 full-revenue room nights
• $50 per-day meetings package include full buffet for breakfast and lunch, as well as morning and afternoon breaks
• Evening banquet menus at $50 per person (plus tax and gratuity)
• $50 for 18 holes of golf
• $50 for a spa treatment
• $50 for trap and skeet events

The Good as Gold Meetings Package must be booked and used between now and September 30, 2015.

Located in the rolling hills of Central Florida’s citrus country, only 35 minutes northwest of Orlando, Mission Inn Resort offers a host of outdoor activities – on the grounds and within a mile of the resort - close enough to take advantage of everything on-site, but also allowing groups to get away and focus on key corporate issues such as leadership, communication skills, and camaraderie. For additional information about the Good As Gold meetings package, please contact Brandy McDonald, Sales Coordinator at 800-523-2289 or or access the web site at

About Mission Inn Resort & Club: Mission Inn is a four season resort located in the rolling hills of Central Florida’s Lake County in the town of Howey-in-the-Hills, 35 minutes northwest of Orlando, celebrating its 50th year of family ownership and management. The destination resort features classic Spanish Colonial architecture, 176 graciously appointed guestrooms, suites and villas, two championship golf courses, three restaurants, two lounges and poolside bar. Recreational amenities include eight tennis courts, trap and skeet shooting range, jogging and bicycling trails, volleyball courts, outdoor pool and hydro-spa, fitness center, nautical center with 52-slip marina, fishing, and powerboat and go eco-touring. The 6,200-squarefoot Spa Marbella provides an extensive menu of treatments and services. More than 30,000 square feet of well-appointed indoor and outdoor event space is available for meetings, banquets, holiday parties, weddings and special occasions. For more information, guests may call (800) 874-9053 or visit the resort’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Karen Moraghan
Hunter Public Relations
(908) 876-5100"

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 HSMAI'S MEET National Conference a Success, 2015 Dates Announced
      Wednesday, October 01 @ 11:59:47 CDT
General News"NEW YORK ? As the 25th annual HSMAI's MEET National event came to a successful close this month at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, Questex Hospitality + Travel announced that next year's event will be held Sept. 9-10, at the Marriott Wardman Park, Washington.

Questex, which manages the MEET series of events under a strategic agreement with Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), said the 2015 show will feature a trade show, conference program and one-to-one appointments.

Also next year, HSMAI's MEET MidAmerica event will head to Texas, a first for the event, Feb. 2-3 at The Fairmont Dallas hotel, with 80 suppliers and 80 fully hosted buyers. HSMAI's MEET West event will be held May 5-6 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County in California, also with a trade show, conference program and one-to-one appointments.

Marilyn McHugh, Questex Hospitality + Travel vice president, global events, said the 2015 format is similar to Questex's Global Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchanges (GMITE) events, which cater exclusively to the MICE market and have proven successful by offering one-to-one meetings and top-of-the-line training and networking opportunities for meeting and event-planning professionals.

"We will continue to build upon the proven popularity of the MEET series of conferences in 2015 with new locations, enhanced meeting formats and top-of-the line training opportunities," she said. "Our innovative program puts buyers and suppliers together – face-to-face – in a fun, engaging and effective format designed to generates leads."

Fran Brasseux, HSMAI executive vice president, said next year's events will offer new ways to do business, high-quality education and more face-to-face appointments."The evolving format of the shows will add value to both our suppliers and buyers," she said.

MEET brings together meeting planners with suppliers representing hotels, resorts and meeting venues, convention and visitors bureaus and technology, event services and promotional and marketing products vendors.

The 2014 MEET National program attracted more than 800 attendees and more than 110 suppliers and featured peer-to-peer networking, educational sessions, team-building activities and a standing-room-only keynote address by Juliet Funt, humorous business speaker and daughter of the late Allen Funt, creator and host of the TV show Candid Camera. She urged the audience to become more engaged and creative despite their too-busy, over-committed lives.

Connie Del Signore, president & CEO of the Annapolis & Anne Arundel Conference & Visitors Bureau, has been attending MEET National for over 10 years. "It's always been a great show," she said. "The difference in the show this year has created a lot of excitement. We meet the right type of planners for us – association planners. We're in a great market and really need to let people know we are serious about meetings."

Karen Holsendorff, meeting manager at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, said the show was "wonderful and very educational" with great sessions and new information for planners. "The one-on-one meetings were great, because it's always good to meet people face-to-face," she added.

First-time attendee Nancy White, executive director of the Southeastern Association of School Business Officials, said the show was "fabulous," adding, "I loved the supplier area and visiting the vendors from different cities we'd want to visit in the future. You just make a lot of connections."

HSMAI's MEET (Meetings, Events, Education, & Technology) expos are trade shows designed for hospitality sales and marketing professionals to present their properties, destinations and services to the industry's leading planners and decision-makers.

For more information about HSMAI's MEET series of events, visit

About Questex Hospitality + Travel
Questex Hospitality + Travel, the largest multimedia organization in the world dedicated to travel and lodging, drives revenue, productivity and value-creation for these related industries through strategic investment and deal-making forums, powerful lead-generation tools, interactive online business solutions, world-class events and industry-leading publications.

Questex Travel Group, a division of Questex Hospitality + Travel, serves travel marketers globally through its,, TravelAgentUniversity and International Meetings Review online portals. It operates the leading luxury travel booking site,, publishes Travel Agent and Luxury Travel Advisor magazines and produces leisure events: Luxury Travel Exchange International, ULTRA Luxury Summit, Young Travel Leaders Conference and Hawaii Travel Exchange and MICE events: Global Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchanges, MEET and CONFEC conferences.

Questex Hospitality + Travel also provides business development, marketing and training services to national tourism organizations/destination marketing associations, hotel, gaming, resort and cruise companies, online travel agencies and travel advisors worldwide. Questex Hospitality + Travel is a division of Questex Media Group LLC, headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, with offices throughout the world.

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners and is the industry's leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI's MEET, Adrian Awards and Revenue Optimization Conference. HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at,, and "

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 IAEE Announces 2014 Individual Award Winners
      Wednesday, October 01 @ 11:56:51 CDT
General News"Honorees to be Recognized at Expo! Expo! in Los Angeles

DALLAS – The International Association of Exhibitions and Events™ (IAEE) proudly announces this year’s recipients of the IAEE Awards program, which recognizes professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the exhibitions and events industry. The recipients will be honored at the IAEE Annual Networking Luncheon and Awards Presentation to be held during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition on 9-11 December 2014 in Los Angeles, Calif.

“The IAEE Awards Committee is very proud of this year’s honorees,” says 2014 IAEE Awards Committee Chairperson David Audrain, CEM. “The dedication shown by these exhibitions and events professionals is truly outstanding, and we look forward to honoring their achievements at Expo! Expo! in Los Angeles.”

This year’s award winners were selected after careful consideration and review by the IAEE Awards Committee and approval by the IAEE Board of Directors, following an open call for nominations earlier in the year. The following outstanding individuals were selected for recognition:

The Pinnacle Award recognizes an individual who, over the years, has furthered IAEE's objectives of advancing exhibition management through the promotion of education, the dissemination of knowledge and the introduction or development of innovative techniques; and who has been dedicated to the perpetuation of the highest ideals, trust and professionalism in this highly specialized field. This year’s recipient is Vinnie Polito.

The Merit Award recognizes those whose ideas and/or work have benefited IAEE as an organization in some special way and is generally reserved for those who have stepped forward at the chapter/local level. This year’s recipients are Tesa Harding, CEM, Exhibits Manager at the Texas Music Educators Association; Carolyn Hilderbrand, National Sales Manager at AVTS; Tom Malek, CEM, National Sales Manager at GES; and Jennifer Kimball, Senior Vice President, Operations at OnPeak.

The Educator of the Year Award honors IAEE members who possess outstanding creativity, a positive attitude and the ability to transfer knowledge through good communication skills and innovative teaching to promote life-long learning to exhibitions and events industry professionals. This year’s recipients are Bob Kelley, CEM, CMM and Curtis Love, Ph.D., Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The Outstanding Achievement in Industry Leadership Award recognizes individuals who have made an extraordinary personal or professional commitment that materially contributes to the advancement of the exhibitions and events industry. This year’s recipient is Johanne Belanger, President of Freeman Audio Visual | Canada.

The Outstanding Achievement in Innovation in Business Solutions Award recognizes achievement in the creation of new and innovative business solutions. This year’s award recipient is Amandeep Sandhu, Vice President of Customer Insights at UBM Tech.

The Young Professional of the Year Award honors individuals in the exhibitions and events industry 40 years of age or younger. The award recognizes excellent professional performance by someone who has committed his/her time to advancing the standing of young professionals in our industry. This year’s honorees are Jennifer Paine Pekowski, CEM, Business Development Director at Freeman and Barbara Myers, CAE, Vice President of Association Services at IMN Solutions.

The Rookie of the Year Award recognizes excellent professional performance by an individual with three or less years of full-time exhibitions and events industry experience. This year’s award recipient is Sarah Soliman, Producer/Talent at Convention News Television (CNTV).

For more information about the IAEE Individual Awards, visit Details about Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2014 can be found at

About IAEE
Trusted since 1928, IAEE provides quality and value to its members through leadership, service, education and strong relationships. IAEE is the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry in the world, with a membership of show organizers, exhibitors and exhibition suppliers. Organizers of more than 20,000 exhibitions and buyer-seller events around the world are members of IAEE, and the organization advocates and promotes the awareness of face-to-face exhibitions and events as the primary medium for business development and growth. IAEE provides relevant, timely and innovative education to its members and the industry. IAEE recognizes its strategic partners: American Airlines, Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, BearCom, Mexico Tourism Board, New Orleans Morial Convention Center, New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, Orange County Convention Center, San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visit Baltimore and Visit Orlando. Visit for more information."

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 Signature Boston Announces Two Innovative Partnerships to Improve Customer Experience
      Wednesday, October 01 @ 11:53:17 CDT
General News"Signature Boston partners with Digitell Inc. and to bolster position as a client-focused, technology leader

Boston, MA – Signature Boston is pleased to announce the addition of two innovative partnerships that will strengthen the portfolio of services available to meeting planners working at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center by offering Digital Event Solutions and Registration Services. The new partnerships come as part of an ongoing effort of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority’s (MCCA) Strategy & Product Development Team to improve the customer experience, supporting the promise of a Signature Boston experience.

Through a partnership with Digitell Inc., a web-streaming industry leader committed to helping clients leverage content to drive attendance and increase revenue, the BCEC and the Hynes will now offer more digital event capability. Meeting planners will be able to host webinars, live streaming, and capture content. In addition, planners will have access to Digitell’s expertise in overall digital program development to help them enhance content and engage attendees.

Through a partnership with, a local Boston start-up that provides online software to help event organizers streamline the event management process, the BCEC and Hynes will now offer an easy and convenient approach to registration needs. will help Signature Boston simplify and automate management of small to mid-size events to decrease costs and free-up onsite resources. The registration service will include internet, hardware, and access to a wide array of registration functions. These include wireless nametag printing, mobile attendance tracking, text-message alerts for VIP arrivals and access to data and analytics following the event, all ordered at one rate through one point of contact.

“Meeting planners have hundreds of contacts to deal with when it comes to procuring services for their events and making sure those services arrive and operate as planned during the show. Our partnerships with Digitell and allow us to help our clients streamline some of that work,” said James E. Rooney, executive director of the MCCA. “If we pair our customer service skills with these two exceptional products, we alleviate some stress for our clients and make it easier for them to do business in Boston.”

“When we sought to partner with a digital program developer and explored the idea of managing registration services in-house, we didn’t want to just offer the same types of services planners are used to working with,” said Johanna Storella, the MCCA’s chief strategy officer. “ and Digitell don’t just do registration and live streaming. They offer resources and knowledge, plus innovative, cutting-edge solutions to challenges that modern event planners face. We are excited to roll out these new services and look forward to working closely with our new partners.”

“As a legacy operator with a solid reputation in the $280 billion meetings and events industry, MCCA recognized that established event management tools were no longer sufficient. With traditional solutions, planners must take a siloed approach to the management of activities and the collection of data needed to prove the return on investment of their events,” said Matt Engel, chief executive officer of “Our strategic partnership with MCCA will provide organizations across multiple industries with an end-to-end event management solution that gives the insights needed to streamline the planning and execution of events by actually making them measurable."

"We couldn’t be more thrilled to be entering into a partnership with MCCA to provide Digital Event Services,” said Jim Parker, president of Digitell. “They are a forward thinking organization that shares a similar vision as we do regarding the future of meetings. We believe that together, we will impact the meeting industry for the better by providing organizations access to the technologies that will allow them to leverage their content and affordably reach an international audience. We see this as a win-win opportunity for everyone involved." In both cases, the MCCA’s Strategy & Product Development Team has created packages that address the industry desire for accessible, pioneering technology at cost effective rates. They will be available to clients at both the BCEC and Hynes Convention Center beginning this month.

For more information about these services contact the MCCA’s Director of Business Strategy, Mark Michaud at 617-954-2138.

About the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA)
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority owns and oversees the operations of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA and the Boston Common Parking Garage. The BCEC and Hynes have earned a rare gold standard from the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC), making Boston only the fourth city in North America and the 12th worldwide to have been awarded this top standard, the highest certification level a convention facility can achieve under strict AIPC guidelines. In 2013, the MCCA hosted 254 events at the BCEC and Hynes with 770,000 attendees, generating 462,000 hotel room nights and $620 million in economic impact. The MCCA is currently in the midst of its Top 5 campaign to launch Boston into the top five convention destinations in North America. For more information, go to

About Digitell Inc.
Headquartered in Jamestown, NY, Digitell employs 45 staff members in areas of programming, virtual event technology, web design, graphic artists, marketing and social media staff, audio/video technicians, tech support, administration and management. In addition, Digitell contracts with a team of experienced and veteran freelancers around the country for on-site capture, streaming and support.

It is Digitell’s mission to help clients leverage their most valuable asset, their content, to provide valuable educational resources to their members, drive attendance, engage their members, attract new members, improve the ROI for exhibitors and generate non-dues revenue. For more information, go to

About provides online software that helps event organizers produce high quality events by simplifying and automating event management processes. The company's innovative software eliminates the time-consuming tasks of onsite event management and has proven to increase attendance, decrease event costs and free up onsite resources. Dalhousie University, Northeastern University, United Way, BMW, and the University of Virginia are just a few organizations that are using's solutions. The company is backed by .406 Ventures and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. For additional information, please visit"

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