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 www.associationvision.com.




 Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) Launches “ALHI Global Luxury Alliance”
      Wednesday, October 29 @ 14:05:40 CDT
General News"...New Alliance to Consist of Strategic Global Companies & Service Providers for ALHI to Assist Planners & Their Programs

WASHINGTON, DC (October 2014) – Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has launched ALHI Global Luxury Alliance (GLA) as a strategic Global resource addition to the extensive luxury-level portfolio it has served throughout North America for nearly 30 years. The Global Luxury Alliance enables ALHI to better serve valued meeting professionals, incentive specialists, association executives, convention planners, and business executives managing meetings and programs beyond North America. ALHI’s Global Luxury Alliance is designed to provide luxury-level meeting and incentive hotels, resorts, cruise lines, DMC (Destination Management Company), DMO (Destination Management Organization), and similar upper-tier and luxury-level service providers, specifically poised to augment ALHI’s distinguished Membership portfolio of Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels and resorts throughout North America and in the Caribbean.

Global DMC Partners:
ALHI’s First Global Luxury Alliance Member, Expanding ALHI’s Global Markets Reach The inaugural Member of the new ALHI Global Luxury Alliance is Global DMC Partners (GDP), which is a partnership of Destination Management Companies serving over 100 destinations worldwide, which includes over 50 global DMCs, and 65 global markets outside of the U.S. The announcement was made by ALHI CEO David Gabri. Additional new Member announcements are pending, and expected to be added to the Alliance in the near future.

“We are launching ALHI’s Global Luxury Alliance to further support ALHI’s goal to be the very best Global Sales resource and provider to the North American Accounts we are privileged to serve,” said Gabri. “Through this strategic Alliance, ALHI intends to maximize efficiency, advocacy, and support for meeting professionals and their organizations with their M.I.C.E. programs worldwide, as we have done for years with our extensive portfolio throughout North America, now including those programs requiring venues and destination support for programs outside of North America. Meeting professionals and executives can depend on ALHI and our GSO team to provide expert insight, service, and reliable connectivity in the most desirable meeting and incentive destinations worldwide,” said Gabri.

Gabri continued, “Each Member of this Alliance shares an affinity for quality, a passion for superior service, and strong core values, which are some of the key characteristics which ALHI has become recognized for since 1986. Our mutual goals are for the success of the organizations we serve.”

“We are very proud to announce the launch of Global Luxury Alliance, and also the first Member to join ALHI in this strategic Alliance: Global DMC Partners,” said ALHI President Jim Schultenover. “With this Global Alliance, we are now able to assist our meeting professional and incentive specialist clients with their programs in an impressive 76 markets around the world, in addition to the many outstanding options we provide in the U.S.A. It is another ALHI service to help North American planners with their global program needs.”

“To paint the picture of this new Global Luxury Alliance, and its many benefits, it can be helpful to look at the example of Delta Air Lines’ SkyTeam Alliance, which has grown to now consisting of 20 ‘member airlines’ that provide service to over 1,000 destinations,” said Gabri. “Together they make it possible and much easier to travel the world. With this new ALHI Global Luxury Alliance, we are partnering with high-quality meetings- and incentive-focused hotel and resort companies, destinations, DMO’s, and organizations, to best serve North American planners and executives with their global programs.”

Global DMC Partners (GDP) is a global network of Destination Management Companies that support planners’ programs worldwide. GDP provides DMC worldwide support to over 100 destinations, in 65 global markets, plus in the United States. GDP’s DMCs are hand-picked for their longevity (of at least five years in the industry); financial stability (with a minimum of two bank references); proven performance (with three or more client endorsements); protection (with a minimum of $2 million in liability insurance); leadership (with involvement in industry organizations); and extensive local knowledge (as experts in their destinations). Global DMC Partners is the chosen global Destination Management Company (DMC) of the new ALHI Global Luxury Alliance.

ALHI can now extend its service to executives and planners with GDP’s prestigious group of DMCs which can assist with a range of services, including coordinating transportation, teambuilding, dine-arounds, tours, unique off-site venues, catering services, entertainment, décor, themes, spouse programs, translation services, VIP meet & greets, community give-back programs, and program logistics.

Global DMC Partners President Catherine Chaulet, who is based in Boston, said, “Our shared vision and commitment to core values, such as the dedication to service excellence, is the basis of the Alliance. We look forward to working with the professionals at ALHI to service Accounts by providing them expertise and ease of access to the best DMCs worldwide.”

“Aligning with GDP was a logical choice for ALHI, since we are broadening our global distribution and destinations for the valued Accounts we serve,” said Gabri. “We were seeking quality and reliability first and they maintain the same very high standards of quality that we at ALHI do. GDP’s responsiveness to our Accounts’ requests -- combined with an outstanding DMC partner network that possess extensive and impressive local knowledge, expertise and resources -- is truly valuable to planners coordinating meetings and programs both inside and outside of North America. When working with ALHI and our Alliance partners, we will connect planners with additional experts with a dedicated DMC Advisor here in North America, who can help anticipate the planner’s needs for their programs, and provide incremental strategic insight, and be available for creative brainstorming with local destination intelligence, and DMC assistance.”

Global DMC Partners CEO James Hensley, headquartered in Paris, added, “Global DMC Partners is honored and delighted to be the first member of ALHI Global Luxury Alliance and work together with the ALHI team. This Alliance is a real plus for the Accounts we both serve in America and around the world.”

The ALHI Global Luxury Alliance extends the impressive portfolio of hotels, resorts and services provided by ALHI to the North America M.I.C.E. marketplace. For nearly 30 years ALHI has provided reliable one-call professional Global Sales services and support for its Membership of Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels and resorts to corporate and association meeting professionals and incentive buyers in North America. ALHI’s 160+ Member hotels and resorts include extraordinary Four- and Five-Diamond quality meeting, convention, and incentive resorts on land and sea, incomparable city hotels, exclusive smaller hotels, golf resorts, historic properties, island destinations, resorts with spas, properties in international destinations, and hotels with world-class gaming and entertainment. ALHI’s portfolio features over 115,000 rooms and suites and 10 million square feet of meeting space.

There is no cost to planners’ organizations to utilize the ALHI GSO and ALHI Global Luxury Alliance services, expertise, and account advocacy for programs ranging from 10 to more than 6,500, as members’ dues fund the organizations to best serve planners with local and dedicated professionals.

For a list of ALHI’s portfolio, visit www.alhi.com, and preview details of ALHI’s Membership, including useful information on 12 defined “specialty segments” within the portfolio, which are designed to make it easy for planners to identify properties, destinations, venues, and/or ships that will best suit their programs’ objectives, unique desires and specific needs.

On the ALHI website, planners can quickly see details of the properties’ meeting, accommodation, recreational and dining offerings, as well as destination information and “Luxury on Sale” value opportunities. A photo gallery, meeting floor plans and specs, and a location map for each property are also easily available.

ALHI has 20 professionally-staffed Global Sales Offices to serve, with locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Richmond, Southern California (3), Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Washington (state). Go to www.alhi.com to identify the “ALHI Team” sales professionals in your state/area.

For more information about ALHI, to inquire about any of the ALHI Member properties, and/or to acquire a free copy of ALHI’s new “2015 Meeting Facilities Guide,” or the new ALHI app, contact your nearest ALHI Global Sales Office, or call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit www.alhi.com ...

For more information about ALHI’s Global Luxury Alliance, or to inquire about any of its services, contact your nearest ALHI Global Sales professional."




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 IMEX America hits a four year high
      Wednesday, October 29 @ 14:04:02 CDT
General News"Las Vegas - IMEX America’s fourth edition came to a close earlier today at the Sands Expo®, Las Vegas, with IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom, declaring the trade show the biggest to date with growth in all key areas.

He confirmed that the number of exhibiting companies taking part had once again risen, going up from 2694 in 2013 to 2900 in 2014. This was reflected in a 13 percent increase in the size of the show floor.

In addition Bloom described the continued expansion of the hosted buyer program: “Numbers climbed from 2000 at launch to reach 2700 last year. This year we’ve hit over 2900 for the first time,” he said.

He also mentioned that total participants for IMEX America 2014 were 10,000 and that total downloads of the IMEX App had also risen by 22 percent to 5450 compared to last year. “I am delighted with the reception the upgraded IMEX app has received. It’s a valuable tool and a real asset to everyone who uses it,” he said.

As a result of this year’s all round growth, the number of one-to-one business appointments and booth presentations taking place at the show rose to 53,000, compared to 50,000 last year. Bloom also revealed that 1250 group appointments were attended by 10,600 hosted buyers, an increase of 12% on last year. He added that a higher proportion of hosted buyers are now coming into the show from further afield and staying in Las Vegas for longer to take full advantage of the show and other industry events.

Speaking at the show’s closing press conference he talked about the huge number of co-located events and industry meetings now taking place around IMEX America, with 10 events completed even before the show opened on Tuesday morning. The IMEX Challenge, Site Young Leaders Conference and various industry fundraisers such as Site Nite, the first ever CEIR IMEX America Golf Classic, the CIC Hall of Leaders Gala plus the MPI Foundation Rendezvous were named as just some of the week’s highlights.

Bloom recapped on some of the key activities from the past few days which included the Executive Meeting Forum, a specially-tailored event for senior corporate executives which took place over two days. The event attracted its biggest group to date, with 50 buyers compared to 30 last year. It included high level representatives from Coca Cola, Microsoft, Toyota and Wells Fargo, all of whom also spent time on the show floor meeting exhibitors. “These executives are not typical trade show attendees. It is only because IMEX caters very specifically to their needs, and we run it as a high-value private event, that we are able to attract them to the show,” he said.

Referring to the live satellite interview with Global CEO of SAP, Bill McDermott, on Tuesday morning, Bloom expressed his delight that the meetings industry now had a charismatic new champion. “The fact that Bill accepted the challenge to become a spokesman and advocate for the power of meetings and live events to drive economic growth was a significant moment for us all,” he said.

Ray was joined on stage by show partner executives Cathy Tull, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the LVCVA; Chandra Allison, Vice President of Sales for The Venetian®/The Palazzo®; and Cindy D’Aoust, COO of MPI.

Concluding the press conference, Bloom then confirmed future dates for IMEX America. The 2015 show will take place 13 – 15 Oct; the 2016 edition from 18 – 20 October; and the 2017 show from 10 - 12, October."




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 Suntec Singapore Awarded Asia’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre for 9th Consecutive Year by Word Travel Awards
      Wednesday, October 29 @ 14:02:52 CDT
General News"Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre (Suntec Singapore) has been recognised as ‘Asia’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre’ for the ninth consecutive year by the World Travel Awards (WTA). The World Travel Awards (WTA) serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. WTA is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

World Travel Award’s annual Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony was hosted by The Oberoi, New Delhi, on October 10th. Attracting an audience of over 250 industry leaders from across the region, including Indian tourism minister Shripad Yasso Naik, the event this year saw nominees in over 200 categories, with 50 top winners on hand to collect their trophies.

The Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony is the penultimate event in the World Travel Awards Grand Tour, which has already visited Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Greek capital Athens, and Quito high in the mountains of Ecuador in 2014. The regional tour will be completed on the sunshine island of Anguilla on October 25th, before Moroccan tourism hotspot Marrakesh welcomes World Travel Awards to the Grand Final 2014 on November 29th.

Arun Madhok, Chief Executive of Suntec Singapore, said: “I am delighted that Suntec Singapore has been recognised once again as Asia’s Leading Exhibition Centre by WTA. This is our ninth consecutive WTA win and the second win since we completed our modernisation programme in 2013. I see this as a strong confirmation that we continue to be at the leading edge of the MICE industry and the Preferred Place to Meet in Singapore and Asia.”

Suntec Singapore’s SGD 180 million modernisation programme paid particular attention to flexibility, functionality and convertibility while integrating a high degree of advanced technology in order to adapt to clients' evolving needs while maintaining consistent quality across the board.

Since reopening in June 2013, Suntec Singapore has continued to push the industry’s boundaries including being awarded a Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest HD Video Wall. The Centre is among the first MICE venues globally to be mapped out by Google’s indoor Street View and is also the first MICE venue in Asia to offer free unrestricted high-speed WiFi throughout the entire Centre.

About Suntec Singapore
Suntec Singapore is a world-class venue located at the heart of Asia's most integrated meetings, conventions and exhibitions hub. With great versatility featuring 42,000 m² of flexible customisable space, free WiFi, digital signage, an excellent range of culinary choices and a dedicated team of service experts, this award-winning facility can cater to events from 10 to 10,000 persons. In addition, Suntec Singapore offers direct access to 5,200 hotel rooms, 1,000 retail outlets, 300 restaurants, 6 museums and Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay. Only 20 minutes from Changi International Airport, Suntec Singapore is conveniently located in the Central Business District and just minutes from the city's entertainment and cultural attractions."




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 Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Achieves Record Repeat Clients
      Wednesday, October 29 @ 13:57:44 CDT
General News"Over 538,000 Expected for 21 Events in Final Quarter 2014

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) looks to be finishing 2014 on a high with 21 medium to large-sized events with an expected total turnout of 538,000 visitors and delegates between October and December. More rewarding is the fact that 16, or 76%, of the fourth quarter 2014 (Q4) events are repeat clients.

“The loyalty afforded to us by our clients since opening has been second to none,” says General Manager, Alan Pryor. “We are grateful for their continuing support as returning clients attest to our continuing delivery of quality products and services with flexible, innovative and value-added solutions to meet their evolving needs.”

Of the 16 Q4 recurrent events, 10 have marked five editions or more (with the Centre) with the PIKOM PC Fair leading the pack with 10 consecutive appearances every December (19 - 21 December); and 28 in total since the Centre opened in 2005. Also marking a decade of annual events in the last quarter of each year at the Centre is the Malaysia International Jewellery Festival (Autumn Edition) (7 – 10 November) and UK Education Fair (8 – 9 November) while HOMEDEC Part 1 (23 – 26 October) and HOMEDEC Part 2 (30 October – 2 November) and the Malaysia Institute of Accountants (MIA) Conference (4 – 5 November) have been held there since 2006. The remaining “regulars” are International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition & Conference (IGEM) which was held on 16 – 19 October, International Baby Expo (15 – 17 November), Starproperty.my Fair (21 – 23 November) and Facon Education Fair (29 – 30 November).

“And as we prepare to celebrate 10 years in the business come 2015, we look forward to celebrating the milestone with the clients and stakeholders who have contributed directly and indirectly, to our growth and success to date,” adds Pryor.

Towards this end, several marketing and promotional packages such as discounts on ancillary charges for Day Conference Packages (DCPs), complimentary mocktails for Banquet functions and Exhibition Loyalty Value-Add Programme tier upgrades, amongst others, are on the drawing board to reward clients for their continuing patronage and support.

Since opening in June 2005 through to 30 September 2014, the Centre has served over 16.8 million delegates and visitors from 9,473 events and contributed RM5.3 billion in economic impact to the Malaysian economy.

For the latest information and updates on the Centre, visit www.klccconventioncentre.com. "




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 Projection Selected by SPIE
      Wednesday, October 29 @ 13:56:24 CDT
General News"Springfield, VA - Projection Presentation Technology ("Projection"), a national audiovisual company, has been selected by SPIE - the international society for optics and photonics ("SPIE") to provide audiovisual and computer technology services for a number of their 2015-2016 annual and biennial events.

"SPIE is pleased to be partnering with Projection Presentation Technology for our future event presentation needs," said Randy Cross, Director of Event Services & Venues for SPIE. "Their professionalism, cost effectiveness, enhanced customer-service ethic and creative skills make them an excellent business partner to bring high value to our participants and our events overall."

Projection and SPIE will collaborate on approximately 5-7 events per year, ranging in size from 500 attendees and 15 exhibition companies up to 20,000 attendees and 1,250 exhibition companies. Some of the larger annual events include Photonics West at San Francisco's Moscone Center and Defense, Security and Sensing at the Baltimore Convention Center, where Projection is the in-house audiovisual provider at both venues.

"Projection truly is the perfect fit for a group like SPIE," said Projection's Corporate Vice President, Karen Cuviello. "Not only is the combination of meeting locations and our experience a great match, but our two cultures are very similar, enhancing our cohesiveness as a part of their team. After preliminary meetings with the SPIE team at their offices in Bellingham, WA, we feel more confident than ever that we'll be able to add value to their events. Projection will help SPIE transition to Digital and HD video technology and provide a high level of technical and creative support throughout all events. We can't wait to get started."

About Projection
Projection Presentation Technology is a privately held national audiovisual company with numerous convention center contracts throughout the US, including the Moscone Center and the Baltimore Convention Center. Projection offers total presentation solutions for conventions, meetings and professional events. We strive for standards qualitatively and quantitatively above the competition. Projection's services include audiovisual equipment, computers, custom stage designs, production management for general sessions, digital signage, webcasting services, conference recording and much more. For more information about The Projection Difference, visit www.projection.com.

About SPIE
SPIE is a not-for-profit society advancing emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. Founded in 1955 and currently serving more than 180,000 constituents from 168 countries, SPIE annually organizes approximately 20 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. For more information, visit www.spie.org."




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 Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau Wins 2014 Platinum Choice Award from Smart Meetings
      Wednesday, October 29 @ 13:53:09 CDT
General News"The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), which markets all of the state as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events, has been named a winner of Smart Meetings magazine's 11th annual Platinum Choice Award. The CTCSB is the only convention bureau in New England to be honored with this award. Smart Meetings magazine is the industry's premier resource for meeting professionals.

"We are very gratified that our Bureau's intensive work to bring meetings, conventions and sports events to Connecticut has been recognized by so many in our industry nationwide," explains H. Scott Phelps, Interim President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau. "The millions of dollars in revenue generated by this business is important to our State and local economies, and greatly benefits the residents of our state."

This prestigious award recognizes excellence in service and amenities among meeting hotels and resorts in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. An additional category recognizes outstanding services by destination marketing organizations and convention and visitor bureaus across North America. Winners earn this recognition by setting exemplary standards in a range of categories, including ambience, amenities, breadth of resources, facility quality, guest services, meeting space, meeting packages, recreational activities, restaurant and dining facilities, and technical support. The honorees are chosen by Smart Meetings readers, who vote for their favorites, with additional input from editors and industry experts.

"The 2014 winners reflect the diversity of destinations and properties available to meet the needs of meeting planners," said Marin Bright, Smart Meetings founder and publisher. "These organizations, hotels and resorts exemplify the professional standards expected by event professionals and attendees. We are proud to honor industry leaders that celebrate excellence, innovation, exemplary service and facilities to help make meetings and events extraordinary for planners and attendees."

The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau and the other honorees will be celebrated in the December 2014 issue of Smart Meetings magazine and on smartmeetings.com. For the complete list of 2014 winners, go to http://www.smartmeetings.com/platinum.

The Connecticut Convention & Visitors Bureau (CTCSB) works in partnership with the state's businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and surrounding communities to market all of Connecticut - convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues - as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. The public-private partnership is funded by dues from members and by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Connecticut Office of Tourism. The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. For more information about the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, visit www.ctmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789.

Smart Meetings is published monthly in print, digital edition and online by Bright Business Media, LLC, a multimedia company based in Sausalito, Calif. BBM also hosts smartmeetings.com and produces Smart Meetings events and an educational webcast series. A personalized site research and RFP submission service, Smart Site Selector, is also available to meeting professionals."




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 Puerto Rico Top Location for Large Group Events to Escape the Conventional
      Wednesday, October 29 @ 13:51:20 CDT
General News"The Bacardi Triangle Event Kicks off the 96th event-for winter season

San Juan, PR, October 29, 2014 - Puerto Rico kicks off the Winter Season as the location for the high-profile Bacardi Triangle Halloween event, October 31-November 3, bringing 1,862 invited guests and contest winners from around the world for a three-day/two-night Halloween-themed extravaganza party at Palomino Island - a private, uninhabited island – at El Conquistador Resort-A Waldorf Astoria Resort located in the east coast of Puerto Rico. Participants will enjoy music spun by word-class artists Calvin Harris, Kendrick Lamar and Ellie Goulding.

The 1,862 number honors the year Facundo Bacardi founded Bacardi rum. This is just one of the 96 events including, conferences, annual meetings and sports activities, coming to Puerto Rico this upcoming winter. These winter events represent an estimated 40,894 room nights and a total direct spending of $23 million into the local economy, Milton Segarra, president & CEO of Meet Puerto Rico (MPR-Puerto Rico Convention Bureau), announced today. MPR is a private organization responsible for attracting meetings, conventions, trade shows and incentive groups to Puerto Rico.

"Puerto Rico has everything to make a successful meeting or convention - including a state-of-the-art convention center, prime hotels and infrastructure-and with the advantage that we are on a tropical island in the Caribbean," said Segarra. “In addition to our unconventional meetings offerings, we are also a destination for major large-scale events – from social events like the Bacardi Bermuda Triangle event to major sporting and special interest events. Now, planners are seeking locations that provide experiences that make the event memorable while maintaining an authentic experience. We are fortunate that Puerto Rico delivers that charge.”

Group experiences include trips to Old San Juan, the Bacardi Rum Factory, El Yunque Rainforest, the bio bay and zip lining, haciendas and private islands, among other offerings. Groups range from multinational companies, to medical, educational conferences and sporting events.

Segarra said that for November there are 30 groups confirmed for a total of 12,998 room nights with an impact of $7.2 million in direct spending for the benefit of the tourism industry. He mentioned the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference 2014, the Renewable Energy Latin American & Caribbean Conference & Exhibition (RELACCX) 2014 and the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation / Regional Association for the Americas 22nd Annual Conference.

During the month of December the Island will host 20 groups for an estimated total of 8,834 room nights and a direct expenditure of $5.0 million. Newark Museum Meeting 2014, Harland Clarke National Sales Meeting and the American Canoe Association National Paddlesports Conference are some of the groups escaping the conventional for their meetings.

January is the busiest month with 46 groups generating a total of 19,062 hotel nights and a contribution of $10.6 million. Groups include the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Travel Marketplace, the Harvard and Tufts University women swimming teams and the Oakley 2015 RetailAssault.

Meet Puerto Rico recently announced that it reached its annual goal by ensuring 409 groups and over 100,000 delegates who, in the next few years, will visit the island either for a meeting, conference, convention or incentive travel producing approximately $110 million to the local economy.

Editor’s Note: Meet Puerto Rico is a non-profit organization established in 1962 to drive meetings, conventions, trade shows and incentive groups to Puerto Rico. With offices in San Juan, Meet Puerto Rico strengthens Puerto Rico’s competitive position in the Americas and abroad by increasing awareness of the Island’s outstanding meeting facilities and services, and produces approximately $100 million to the local economy. Meet Puerto Rico can be reached at info@meetpuertorico.com or at its website www.meetpuertorico.com. Meet Puerto Rico is accredited by the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) as an elite destination marketing organization. DMAI is the world’s largest association of CVBs, representing more than 600 destination management organizations in more than 25 countries."




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 Take Control With Suntec Singapore’s Latest Game Changing Innovation
      Wednesday, October 22 @ 15:36:47 CDT
General News"Suntec Singapore Launches Online Customer Portal To Make Event Planning Easier

Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre (Suntec Singapore) today launched the latest in a string of technological innovations that is set to take the MICE industry by storm. The Suntec Singapore Online Customer Portal is a unique interactive service that transforms the way planners and organisers work with venues to manage their events from proposal to booking and the final delivery.

The Portal provides organisers with a ‘live’ dashboard displaying the full details and scheduling of their bookings including meeting space, furniture, equipment, F&B items and digital signage allocation. This comprehensive, integrated and interactive overview in a single, easy to use, application is a first for a MICE venue.

By allowing access to real time information of their bookings, the Online Customer Portal puts organisers and planners firmly in control of their events hosted at Suntec Singapore. Floor planning tools provide a fully interactive 2D blueprint that allows clients to visualise the layout of their spaces online, review and change the floor arrangements of furniture, audio-visual equipment and decoration items to their exact requirements.

The innovative 3D-viewer with 360-degree panning ability renders, in real time, an accurate 3D-view of the event space from any angle, giving organisers a comprehensive view from which to customise the floor arrangement of their event space.

The Portal also allows organisers to easily view and change the items in their F&B menu and request optional items like furniture, audio-visual and lighting equipment. With access to the latest specifications and photographs, organisers can be sure of exactly what they are procuring.

Arun Madhok, Chief Executive of Suntec Singapore, explains: “Our Online Customer Portal offers unequalled convenience for our clients who, for the first time, will be able to fully visualise, modify and control their event spaces. Our Experience Managers will be working closely with our clients and service teams to ensure their expectations become a reality”.

“Suntec Singapore’s smart use of technology is increasingly making the entire customer experience easier, faster and more effective for our growing client base,” said Arun Madhok, CEO of Suntec Singapore. The collaborative and real time nature of the Online Customer Portal and easy sharing capabilities ensure seamless communication between Suntec Singapore, organisers and third party suppliers, enabling all parties to be more effective, saving time and travel costs of site inspections.

In addition to the Portal, organisers are given further control options over their event space via Suntec Singapore’s Intelligent Building Management System that controls the digital signage and banners around the Centre as well as environmental conditions such as air conditioning settings and lighting controls. The Online Customer Portal complements our presence on Google Indoor Street View, which allows potential visitors to conveniently do a virtual walk-through of our halls from their computers and mobile devices.

Online Customer Portal key features
Interactive Mapping:
o 2D interactive floor planner
o Real-time 3D rendering and visualization
o 360 degree walk-through of event spaces
o Drag and drop feature for all items in the event space
o Full library of furniture and equipment

Service specification:
o Full menu selections (including buffets, plated service, bento boxes, Western and Asian menus and special dietary requirements)
o Customizable menu options (options for over 800 dishes)
o Digital signage and banner content control
o Pre-ordering of ancillary services like car parks and AV equipment

For an introduction to our Customer Portal, please click here: http://bit.ly/1tZv52H
For a virtual walk-through of our Centre on Google maps, please click here: http://bit.ly/1sF1Vud

About Suntec Singapore
Suntec Singapore is a world-class venue located at the heart of Asia's most integrated meetings, conventions and exhibitions hub. With great versatility featuring 42,000 m² of flexible customisable space, free WiFi, digital signage, an excellent range of culinary choices and a dedicated team of service experts, this award-winning facility can cater to events from 10 to 10,000 persons. In addition, Suntec Singapore offers direct access to 5,200 hotel rooms, 1,000 retail outlets, 300 restaurants, 6 museums and Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay. Only 20 minutes from Changi International Airport, Suntec Singapore is conveniently located in the Central Business District and just minutes from the city's entertainment and cultural attractions.

For press enquiries, please contact:
Marc Bakker
Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications
E: marc.bakker@suntecsingapore.com
M: +65 91683810"




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 IMEX America’s growth story powers on with biggest show yet
      Tuesday, October 14 @ 15:34:58 CDT
General News"Las Vegas – IMEX America opened for business today at the Sands Expo® in Las Vegas with the announcement that the fourth edition of the trade show for the international meetings, incentive travel and events industry is the biggest yet.

With a total of 2,900 companies exhibiting representing 150+ countries (2013: 2,694 from 150 countries) the number of exhibitors joining the show has risen by 8 percent. By the time IMEX America closes on Thursday, the number of hosted buyers and other attendees is also expected to be higher than previous years.

As a result of over 70 new exhibitor booths and 83 existing exhibitors increasing the size of their booths the show floor has also enlarged by 13 per cent.

Some of the global regions that have expanded this year are the USA & Canada, which is 16.5 percent bigger; Latin America (6.5 percent); Europe, which is bigger by 3 percent and Asia-Pacific, which has grown by nearly 8 percent.

Other sectors within the market have shown significant growth too. Space taken by the hotel groups is up by 26 percent; private sector company booth space has increased by 37.5 percent; space taken by technology suppliers is up by 20 percent and incentive products have risen by 50 percent.

Says IMEX Group Chairman, Ray Bloom: “We are delighted with the industry’s continued strong response to IMEX America. Every year we set out to add more value, fresh ideas, new partnerships and more choice while maintaining a sharp focus on high quality all round – and that covers the quality of hosted buyers attending as well as the education and networking events on offer. We want every single participant to leave in no doubt that IMEX America provided them with an unparalleled business experience.”

With buyers able to use the unique IMEX appointment system to preschedule appointments with exhibitors before the show opens, IMEX has developed a reputation as an efficient and buyer-friendly trade show that also satisfies the needs of exhibitors. Buyers pre-arranged 53,000 one-to-one appointments and booth presentations prior to today. In addition a total of 1,200 group appointments are also scheduled.

Smart Monday – powered by MPI – kicked off the week of IMEX America yesterday with a stronger than ever program that combined an opening keynote with a day of intensive professional development. This included the first ever PCMA Business School plus the show’s annual Association Focus for association executives.

Before the show opened at 10am Pacific time today 12 other events had already taken place, including several sets of industry certification programs, the CIC Hall of Leaders Gala, Association Evening, Site Nite North America, the first ever CEIR IMEX America Golf Classic, the Site Young Leaders Conference and the IMEX Challenge. "




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 Michael Hatch Featured Speaker at Meetings Technology Expo in New York City
      Wednesday, October 22 @ 15:33:15 CDT
General News"Veteran event marketing and technology executive, Michael Hatch, Director of Business Development for Digitell Inc., will be a featured speaker at next week's Meetings Technology Expo (MTE) in New York City. Mr. Hatch will be presenting "Virtual/Hybrid Events: Trends & Strategies."

"Hatch was one of the early industry technology experts and we recruited him to speak at our very first event. Now we are excited to have him back on the faculty for our New York program," said Paul Paone, Founder and Director of Meetings Technology Expo, the meetings industry's first event dedicated to event technology. It has been held annually in New York, NY, Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, and San Francisco, CA. "Mike has been one of the leading visionaries and practitioners of sales and marketing technologies in the meetings and events industry."

In keeping with the theme of the conference and expo, Hatch will be exploring the latest trends in hybrid and virtual events including live streaming, webcasting, rebroadcasting, and on-demand content.

"I'll feature case studies from a variety of event organizers that have successfully deployed these technologies recently to reenergize their events, engage greater numbers of their customers and members, and grow their events", said Hatch. "I'll also address popular topics and concerns including content management, marketing, attendance cannibalization, syndicating content and several new revenue models."

The Meetings Technology Expo & Conference will be held on Tuesday, October 28th, in New York City at the Holiday Inn Midtown 57th Street. For more details and registration information log on to http://www.meetingstechexpo.com/, or call: 212-956-4720

About Meetings Technology Expo
Meetings Technology Expo was launched in 2005 as the first conference and expo dedicated exclusively to the technology education of meeting and event professionals. MTE provides education across a broad range of technology topics and is geared for the corporate, association, independent and trade show planner. MTE's, CMP and CAE accredited sessions cover everything from registration systems to meetings spend consolidation tools. Expert speakers give event organizers and meeting planners the insight and guidance needed to make the intelligent decision on which technology solution is right for their conferences and events. The education continues with tech demonstrations for hands-on learning and luncheon round-table discussions where event managers can network with and discover new ideas from meetings industry executives and peers.

About Digitell Inc.
Headquartered in Jamestown, NY, Digitell Inc. employs 50 staff members in areas of programming, audio/video technology, virtual event technology, web and graphic design, content and social media marketing, call-center and 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 customers and members; drive conference and event attendance; engage current customers and members and attract new ones; improve the ROI for exhibitors and sponsors; create new revenue streams and improve ROI.

About Michael Hatch
Michael Hatch is Director of Business Development for Digitell Inc., Before joining Digitell, Hatch spent 10 years as Vice President, Sales and Marketing with a2z Inc., a leading technology provider of event management software for meetings and exhibition organizers. Early in his career Hatch also managed trade shows and corporate events for AT&T and Holiday Inns International, and owned an award-winning exhibit and graphics design and production company for seventeen years."




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