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.




 Suntec Singapore Is Now On Google Indoor Street View
      Wednesday, September 17 @ 15:19:52 CDT
General News"Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre (Suntec Singapore) has worked with Google to provide Street View, or panoramic digital imagery, of the Centre’s interiors, becoming one of the first convention centres in Asia to be digitally showcased on Google Maps.

Our visitors and clients can now more easily explore the Centre, before they travel to the venue, through Street View on Google Maps, which show comprehensive 360-degree indoor panoramic views of our indoor facilities.

Visitors can access the imagery directly on Google Maps by selecting the “See Inside” option that appears when one searches for Suntec Singapore.

The Google Views of our Centre include a virtual tour of the entrance driveway, The Big Picture (the World’s Largest HD Video Wall), the 36 meeting rooms on Level 3, a stroll along the Concourse area and a visit to the halls on Level 4 and Level 6. It’s the next best thing to visiting us without actually being here. Working with retailers, airports and transit stations around the world, Google provides virtual tours of business locations through Street View on Google Maps. Visitors can pan around and explore the exterior and interior of different venues at their leisure from the comfort of their own homes.

This collaboration with Google is our latest effort in implementing technology in support of outstanding client and visitor experiences. Much like the integrated network of digital way finding screens that provide directions on site, Street View showcases the Centre from a computer or smartphone allowing them to explore Suntec Singapore at their leisure. Suntec Singapore leads the MICE industry in the deployment of innovative technology, such as the 28 sound-proofed operable walls across 12,000 m² of carpeted MICE space on Level 3, the state-of-the-art LED lights on Level 4 capable of transforming an exhibition hall into a conference room or ballroom setting and the free high-speed high-density WiFi covering the entire Centre.

Visitors can start their virtual tour of Suntec Singapore on Google Maps here: http://bit.ly/1tXC5P1.

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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 Prague Belongs to Congresses
      Wednesday, September 17 @ 15:15:48 CDT
General News"Prague, 17th September 2014 – Prague congress season is in full swing. September is traditionally the busiest and most important month of the year when Prague is flooded with thousands of congress delegates. This year, the capital of the Czech Republic hosts a number of significant congresses in the field of medicine, science and research or education. The largest one, the 26th Annual Conference of European Association for International Education (EAIE), will be attended by more than 5,000 delegates from all over the world.

This year, the congress season in Prague has started a little earlier than usual. Several major international events took place in the second half of August which, according to the statistics from previous years, is not a typical convention month. The season continued in early September when the 18th International Microscopy Congress was held; it was focused on research problems of atoms, molecules, nanostructures and cells using multidimensional microscopy. About 2,500 delegates had, among others, opportunity to attend specifically designed walk across Prague inspired by different microscopy applications in everyday life. The congress was organized by GUARANT International.

In mid-September, a thousand of criminologists from all over the world came to Prague to attend the 14th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology (ESC) and discuss organized crime or the development of crime in Central Europe after the fall of communism.

The ongoing four-day EAIE Conference organized by C-IN is focused on higher education, its stimulation, quality increase and implementing its principals in practice at the international level. One of the main speakers at the conference is Jan Muehlfeit, President of Europe Microsoft Corporation.

These events will be followed by Prague European Days of Internal Medicine (PEDIM), 22nd Congress of the European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery (EACMFS) focused on issues of serious facial defects surgery, or the 12th International Symposium on Concrete Roads. Last week in September there will be the 17th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Clinical Virology (ESCV) which will take place in Prague after long 19 years.

Congress season in the capital of Prague, however, will not end in September. The following month will offer other significant international events of larger format, such as the 11th European Conference of Non-Destructive Testing (ECNDT 2014) or the 15th European Congress of Neurosurgery (EANS 2014). At the end of October, Prague will host the 16th Biennial Meeting of the European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID 2014)."




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 Berlin – Popular Location for Events in Science and Medicine
      Wednesday, September 17 @ 15:13:19 CDT
General News"Half-year statistics: continuous growth of events and attendee figures

Berlin, the successful congress location: according to current statistics*, in the first half of 2014 about 4.75 million people (+2% compared to the same period for the previous year) attended 61,100 congresses, conventions and events (+2%) in the German capital. About 17 % of the events had an international presence (+2%). Berlin has therefore secured its good position on the national and international market as a convention and congress destination.

The German capital has increasingly positioned itself as a location for events in science and medicine. The number of events in the industries “medicine, science and research” increased from 7.1 per cent in the first half of 2013 to 10 per cent in the same period of the current year. Measured by the number of attendees, this field makes up 12 per cent of all events.

“We market Berlin specifically to these industries because the city has a lot of potential with its well-known institutions for medicine and health management,” says Heike Mahmoud, Director of the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office. This also applies to technologies in the field of IT: “Berlin startups are again and again conquering the world. The city has exactly the right atmosphere for congresses which deal with innovation,” explains Mahmoud.

The Berlin convention and congress market generated 3.2 million overnight (+3%) stays in the first half of the year (2013: 3.1 million). This makes up about one quarter of all hotel overnight stays in the capital."




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 Fall Festival Season in Alexandria, VA
      Wednesday, September 17 @ 15:06:00 CDT
General News"Creative Events, Scenic Runs and Historic Haunts

Alexandria, VA—Changing leaves aren't the only things coloring Alexandria's streets in the fall—come autumn, the city brims with activities like art-filled festivities, Halloween events at historic haunts and heart-pumping runs equipped with picturesque glimpses of the Potomac River. Kicking off the fall arts season, the King Street Art Festival brings more than 300 artists to Alexandria's main thoroughfare, while in the always colorful Del Ray, live music and local artisans gather for Art on the Avenue. Gorgeous views abound as runners dash through Alexandria for the Woodrow Wilson Half Marathon and the .US National 12K, while history seekers tour scenic homes for the Alexandria Historic Homes Tour or George Washington’s Mount Vernon during popular autumn events.

Minutes from Washington, DC but a world away, Alexandria especially shines in the fall, the city's most colorful season. With luxurious accommodations just steps from festival and event venues, galleries, boutiques and restaurants, visitors transform a culture-centric afternoon into a creativity-filled weekend.

Find fall events and more at www.visitalexandriava.com/fall
Book your hotel stay at www.visitalexandriava.com/hotels

King Street Art Festival
September 13-14, 2014
Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
King St., from Washington to Union sts, Alexandria, VA 22314
703-746-3301
Free
www.visitalexandriava.com/artfest

At this popular art festival, King Street from Washington Street all the way to the Potomac waterfront is transformed into a gallery filled with art from more than 300 artists from the US and abroad. Visitors can purchase original artwork, participate in hands-on art activities at the Torpedo Factory Art Center and enjoy a scoop of ice cream at The Art League’s annual Ice Cream Bowl Fundraiser.

A Streetcar Named Desire
September 13-28, 2014
Wed-Sat at 8pm and Sun at 3pm
$19-$22, plus service fees
Little Theatre of Alexandria
600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
703-683-0496
www.thelittletheatre.com

This Pulitzer-Prize winning American masterpiece by Tennessee Williams will transport you to hot, steamy New Orleans, just after World War II. An electrifying battle of wills ignites between Southern belle and fading beauty Blanche DuBois and her working class brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. Friction continues to escalate when Blanche witnesses the turmoil of her sister’s marriage to Stanley. This classic and tragic play grapples with the deepest, most persistent challenges of our never-ending quest for connection: love and desire, sex and violence, loss and loneliness.

7th Annual Old Town Boutique District Scavenger Hunt
September 18-21, 2014
During regular store hours
Boutiques throughout Alexandria, VA
Free
www.oldtownboutiquedistrict.com

To celebrate its anniversary, the Old Town Boutique District will hold its 7th annual Scavenger Hunt. From Thursday to Sunday, visit all of the Old Town Boutique District stores and get your passport stamped to receive goodies and enter for a chance to win big prizes!

Mount Vernon Colonial Market & Fair
September 20-21, 2014
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon, VA 22121
703-780-2000
Event included with general admission ($17/adult, $8/children, free/ages 5 and under)
www.mountvernon.org/calendar/view/2014-09-20/9159

The annual Colonial Market & Fair at Mount Vernon features dozens of America’s finest craftspeople and family fun. Fifty colonial-attired artisans will demonstrate 18th-century crafts and sell traditional wares such as baskets, woodcarvings, tin and ironwork, leatherworkings, weavings, furniture and much more. “General Washington” will be on hand overseeing the lively Revolutionary War military drills and 18th-century entertainment including music, fire-eating, sword-swallowing, puppet and magic shows, while costumed interpreters will demonstrate the 18th-century chocolate-making process using an authentic colonial recipe. This weekend only, Potomac River sightseeing cruises, courtesy of Spirit Cruises and the Potomac Riverboat Co. are free of charge.

Historic Alexandria Homes Tour
September 27, 2014
10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-746-3301
Advance/$35, Day-of/$40
www.thetwig.org/homes-tour

For the 73rd annual Historic Alexandria Homes Tour, the public can step inside and get a glimpse of six gorgeous homes and gardens in Old Town Alexandria, all within walking distance of one another. Tickets are $35 each in advance and may be purchased online through September 25th. Thereafter, tickets will be $40 and available at The Twig's Thrift Shop (106 N. Columbus St.) or at various locations to be determined. Proceeds will go to Inova Alexandria Hospital.

Mount Vernon Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour
October 3-5, 2014
6-9 p.m.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon, VA 22121
703-780-2000
$38/Friday and Sunday, $44/Saturday
www.mountvernon.org/calendar/view/2014-10-04/9161

Enjoy live blues, tours of Mount Vernon’s basement where George Washington stored his wine, plus spectacular views of the Potomac River while sampling wine from 16 Virginia wineries. Visitors learn about the successes and failures of our Founding Father’s wine endeavors and meet “George and Martha Washington” on the mansion's piazza.

Art on Tap
October 3, 2014
7-10:30 p.m.
Art League Gallery at the Torpedo Factory
105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA
$35 ($45 after September 19)
703-683-1780
www.theartleague.org

Seven craft beers from six local breweries have been artfully paired with a work of art from an Art League instructor. Local restaurants have chosen a brew/artwork coupling to serve as their muse to create the perfect complementary appetizer. Enjoy the numerous brew, bite, and artwork trifectas on Friday, October 3 from 7:00 to 10:30 pm at The Art League’s first Art on Tap event. Sample the creative combinations while drinking from a take-home Art on Tap beer tasting glass, and then vote for your favorite and the end of the event! Featuring live music by Shark Week and Greenland.

Art on the Avenue
October 4, 2014
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA 22314
703-746-3301
Free
www.artontheavenue.org/

This annual family-friendly festival includes more than 300 juried artists selling handmade wares across ten blocks of Del Ray's Mount Vernon Avenue, along with four stages for live entertainment plus food vendors and interactive art activities.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon
October 5, 2014
Race starts at 7 a.m.
From George Washington’s Mount Vernon to National Harbor, MD
Registration/$105 (price increases to $115 on October 4th)
www.wilsonbridgehalf.com

Ranked amongst the top 27 best half marathons in the United States by Runners World magazine, this 13.1-mile foot race sanctioned by USA Track & Field treats runners to eight-plus miles of the beautifully scenic George Washington Memorial Parkway to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, which arches over the Potomac River. This race benefits several non-profit organizations and is supported by various local and national running, civic and business organizations. Registration fee includes parking and bus transportation.

19th Annual Art Safari
October 11, 2014
Noon-4 p.m.
Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314
703-838-4565
Free
www.torpedofactory.org

The Torpedo Factory Art Center will host the eighteenth annual Alexandria Arts Safari, a day of hands-on craft activities for kids and their families such as the clay experience, arts safari painting, collage, origami, giant papier-mache animals, block printing, fun with recycled plastics and more! The Art League will present their popular Gallery Scavenger Hunt while the Alexandria Archaeological Museum will present a painting and coloring activity with patterns from 18th- and 19th-century pottery. Children should arrive with big imaginations and wearing clothing that can get a little dirty. Most activities are appropriate for children kindergarten age and above with parental supervision.

Ghost & Graveyard Special Halloween Tour
October 24, 2014
7-9 p.m.
Tours begin at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Adults/$15, kids between the ages of 7-17/$7
www.alexcolonialtours.com

For one night only, Alexandria Colonial Tours will end its special Halloween tour in the very room where one of Alexandria’s most mysterious women became a ghost. Weave your way through some of Alexandria’s most haunted locations hearing tales of this historic city’s past and end in the bedroom of the “Female Stranger” at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. Tours will run every 15 minutes. Reservations are suggested and tickets can be purchased online or in person. Partial proceeds benefit Gadsby’s Tavern Museum.

18th Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade
October 26, 2014
2 p.m. (Participants should meet on Mount Vernon Ave. south of Bellefonte Ave. prior to 2 p.m.)
Mount Vernon and Commonwealth aves, Alexandria, VA 22314
Free
www.visitdelray.com

Don your best Halloween costume and march in the 18th Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade, which historically has attracted thousands of participants. Adults, children and dogs are all welcome to join.

Bark or Treat Halloween Canine Cruise
October 30, 2014
7 p.m.
Alexandria City Marina, 1 Cameron St., Alexandria, VA 22314
703-684-0580
$15/adults, $9/children, dogs ride free
www.potomacriverboatco.com

The Potomac Riverboat Company invites guests with costumed-pup in tow to cruise around the Potomac River on this 40-minute ride to Halloween tunes. Halloween doggie treats will be provided, as well as a photographer to capture the morning’s festivities.

.US National 12K
November 16, 2014
Start time TBA
Begins and ends in Oronoco Bay Park, Alexandria, VA 22314
Registration/$55, Members, military and police/$50 (prices increase over time)
www.national12k.us

Open to runners of all abilities, the .US National 12K will unite road racers and local fitness enthusiasts with some of the best athletes USA Track & Field has to offer, on a course through Alexandria. Runners and families can enjoy a kid fun run, live entertainment and a beer garden. Festival is dog-friendly.

ABOUT ALEXANDRIA, VA
Minutes from Washington, DC and located along the scenic Potomac waterfront, Alexandria offers cosmopolitan shopping and dining against a backdrop of 18th- and 19th-century architecture. Named a “Top ArtPlace” for its dedication to maintaining a thriving artistic and cultural scene, the city houses renowned art galleries, theater companies and music halls. Once home to George Washington and key players throughout American history, Alexandria combines its rich history with award-winning restaurants, chic boutiques and ever-evolving arts to create an extraordinary getaway destination."




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 IMEX America Announces 2014 Education Program
      Wednesday, September 17 @ 15:01:54 CDT
General News"76% of sessions accredited;100+ speakers to deliver 180 sessions over four days

Fast-developing a reputation for being the ‘trade show with a difference’ for the global meetings, events and incentive travel industry, organizers of IMEX America today announced that 76 percent of all professional education on offer at this year’s show will be industry accredited. This adds further authority and value to the show’s free-to-attend education program which surrounds the core appointment-driven trade show.

Having reviewed all 180 of the show’s education sessions, the Convention Industry Council has designated 76 percent as qualifying for continuing education hours. This means that all IMEX America participants can accrue points or clock hours towards CMP exams or CMP recertification while attending sessions on the preshow education day, Smart Monday – powered by MPI – or over the following three days of the trade show.

ISES accreditation
In addition, ISES (the International Special Events Society) a relatively new education partner for the show, has also approved 34 of the show’s education sessions for its ISES Core Curriculum. ISES Approved is the new international education standard selected for the creative event professional, and has been developed to recognize specific content that has significance for the creative event industry.

MPI education
The show’s strategic partner and premier education provider, MPI, will also be offering a total of 43 education sessions during the show with 31 taking place on Smart Monday – powered by MPI. They include daily keynotes, four deep dives and MPI's Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC) course. Approximately 81 percent of the MPI sessions offered at IMEX America are eligible for clock hours.

“As an association focused on the professional development of meeting and event professionals, we look forward to presenting the keynotes and Smart Monday, powered by MPI, again this year. The education program we developed for IMEX America covers a variety of hot topics and trends – all of which will help the show’s attendees evolve with our changing industry,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI.

New tracks and new education areas
All education at the show will be delivered across 11 tracks this year, with ‘diversity’, ‘health & wellbeing’ and ‘senior planner’ all new for 2014.

Three new learning styles have also been added on the Inspiration Center on the show floor (sponsored by Business Events Sydney), which expands the number of formats available to participants. No booking is required as all classes are offered on a drop-in basis. The new options include a Creative Zone, where the emphasis will be on facilitated ‘play’ as a tool for unlocking creativity and business innovation; Hot Topic Tables for peer-to-peer discussions about the latest industry issues and a Meet The Expert Clinics for one to one consultancies with industry experts and speakers. IMEX has also increased capacity by adding a second seminar theatre on the Inspiration Center. These complement the Tech Hub (sponsored by DoubleDutch), a specialised area for technology education as well as hands-on experimentation with new products, and the Sustainability Hub, powered by GMIC (Green Meeting Industry Council), which is home to all green meetings and events information and education on the show floor.

Supporting Meetings Mean Business Coalition
IMEX America is also working with the US Travel Association to highlight the Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC). All three of the Coalition’s ‘Pillars’ - Personal Connections, Positive Business Outcomes and Building Strong Communities – are being actively promoted and supported through the show’s education program. With 100+ speakers presenting sessions over four days at IMEX America, the show is set to deliver educational value across all age groups and at all levels of seniority.

As usual, an Association Focus program (on Smart Monday) will also be delivering specially crafted education and networking for up to 200 association meeting planners and senior executives. There will also be a private event for corporate meetings executive and senior corporate event planners. The Executive Meeting Forum takes place over two half-days and provides 30 or more corporate executives with a unique opportunity to update their industry knowledge and share learning with their peers, all under the guidance of experienced facilitators. Both groups then attend the trade show for at least one or two days afterwards.

Among the hundreds of education seminars, campfires and workshops taking place this year are:
• Making the Most of PCO Partnerships for Global Meetings by PCMA and IAPCO
• Hotel Contracts: Plan and Think Before You Ink by Meeting Sites Resources
• Change Your Destiny by Kirsty Spraggon
• Top 10 Apps When You Are OOO (Out of Office) by SPIN
• Smart Meeting Planners @ Work: Lose Your Assumptions When Hosting Abroad and Win Big by the German Convention Bureau
• You’re Hired – Powerful Interview Techniques to Get That Job by MCI
• The Zen of Meetings – Applied Mindfulness for Meetings Professionals by Sagatica
• 10 Predictions for Meetings in the Next 20 Years by the Meeting Design Institute
• Activate it! The Newest Buzz Word in Meetings Sponsorship by Play with a Purpose.

Summing up this year’s IMEX America education program, Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO says: “Each year we strive to add more value to our education program and we are helped enormously by having so many excellent industry partners who have a great deal of expertise to share. This year we concentrated on adding elements for senior planners in particular and on providing a wider variety of learning formats. We’ve also adapted some of our education areas to increase capacity. Post-show and year-round feedback is incredibly useful in helping us formulate and plan the right tracks so that we deliver the education that people really want to receive, and find most valuable. We hope the industry is as excited about the fourth edition of IMEX America as we are….and there’s still time to register, either online or in person by just turning up when the show starts.”

About IMEX America & its partners
IMEX America has an exclusive Strategic Partnership with Meeting Professionals International (MPI), its Premier Education Provider. Smart Monday is powered by MPI and supported by additional association partners and friends. IMEX America is endorsed by DMAI (Destination Marketing Association International), Site (Society for Incentive Travel Excellence) and ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) and is a Premier Partner of PCMA. IMEX America also has close ties with every major industry trade association including ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, CIC (Convention Industry Council), ISES (International Special Events Society), IAEE (International Association of Exhibitions & Events) and the US Travel Association. Other key partners are ADMEI (Association of Destination Management Executives International), AIPC (International Association of Convention Centres), the Association Forum of Chicagoland, ECM (European Cities Marketing), FICP (Financial & Insurance Conference Planners), GMIC (Green Meetings Industry Council), IAPCO (International Association of Professional Congress Organizers), JMIC (Joint Meetings Industry Council) and SPIN (Senior Planners Industry Network). "




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 Associated Luxury Hotels International Debuts “2015 ALHI Meeting Facilities Guide”
      Wednesday, September 17 @ 14:59:38 CDT
General News". . . Free Guide Is Designed For Meeting Professionals, Association Executives & Incentive Specialists; Features 160+ Four- and Five-Diamond Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, With 10 Million Square Feet of Meeting Space Options

WASHINGTON, DC (September 2014) -- Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has just released its new “2015 ALHI Meeting Facilities Guide,” a very useful 190-page meeting planners resource guide from which to identify Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels, resorts, and venues of distinction from around the world which are specifically designed and operated for meetings, incentive/recognition programs, conventions, and exhibitions. Meeting professionals, association executives, and incentive/recognition specialists can contact ALHI for a free copy of the colorful and descriptive resource guide.

The very helpful and informative guide features beautiful large photos, easy-to-find “at a glance” descriptions, overviews, and critical facts about ALHI’s 160+ Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels, resorts, and venues around the world. This includes easy reference information about the property’s accommodations, meeting facilities, recreation, dining, unique attributes, points of distinction, and accessibility. The guide presents ALHI’s distinguished worldwide portfolio of extraordinary meeting, convention, and incentive resorts on land and sea. This includes incomparable city hotels, exclusive smaller hotels, golf resorts, historic and landmark properties, beach and island destinations, resorts with spas, mountainside resorts, properties in international destinations, and hotels with world-class gaming and entertainment.

“This comprehensive new 190-page guide is a very valuable resource for meeting professionals seeking distinctive Four- and Five-Diamond site solutions for their meetings and programs,” said ALHI CEO David Gabri. “Some planning professionals call the annual guide their ‘idea book.’ We are often told that our annual guide is a vital tool for meeting planners in helping them identify luxury-level and upper-upper tier venue options and concepts to discuss internally and with ALHI that could be ideal solutions for their meetings and programs. The directory showcases our entire portfolio of Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels and resorts from around the world, offering more than 115,000 rooms and suites, and 10 million square feet of meeting space.”

“In addition,” Gabri said, “the guide also provides an easy-to-use, consolidated platform for our experienced ALHI Global Sales professionals to personally provide guidance and further insights to planners on why one or more ALHI Member hotels or resorts might be the ideal solution for a particular meeting or program. It is a tool that can assist in finding the most desirable, suitable, and effective solutions for the planner’s total program needs, and can even inspire ideas for future programs.”

Established in 1986, ALHI (www.alhi.com) is the prestigious dues-based Global Sales Organization (GSO) which is dedicated exclusively and approved specifically by the more than 160 Four- and Five-Diamond quality Member hotels and resorts on land and sea that it serves. Most of the Member hotels and resorts are independently owned or operated, or are part of emerging brands to the North American marketplace, with all in the upper-upper tier and luxury level. There is no cost to planners’ organizations to utilize the GSO services, expertise, and account advocacy of ALHI, as its Members’ dues fund the Global Sales Organization to serve planners with local professionals.

“We design the annual guide with the assistance of our ALHI Industry Advisory Council,” said Gabri. “It is a user-friendly, table-top format that is designed and intended to be a quick and easy-to-use resource that planners can reference when working with their ALHI GSO professional. So whether it is an annual convention, special incentive/recognition program, large or small meeting, important board meeting, or executive retreat that you are planning, the guide is very useful in helping to identify and then narrow the options for programs of all types.”

Gabri continued, “Planners also can get incremental information, photos, videos, destination details, and other information on www.alhi.com. The combination of the guide, website, and the insight of our skilled ALHI Global Sales professionals has proven to be very popular with planners. This then leads up to site visits to the specific properties of interest, which we coordinate. So whether you are seeking city, resort, global, and/or incentive solutions, ALHI has the solution to suit your needs.”

For even easier navigations, the guide also features a section on ALHI’s 12 distinctive Specialty Segments to make it easy for planners to identify properties that will suit their programs’ unique desires and specific needs. The ALHI Specialty Segments include: the “ALHI Big Box Solutions Collection,” featuring ALHI’s 24 Member hotels and resorts that offer more than 500 rooms, feature over 50,000 square feet of meeting space, and have at least one 20,000-square-foot ballroom; and the “ALHI Level 5 Collection,” consisting of ALHI’s 26 hotels and resorts that have earned the industry’s highest and most distinctive recognitions including the prestigious AAA Five-Diamond rating, and/or the esteemed Forbes (Mobil) Five-Star rating.

Other ALHI specialty segments include the “ALHI City Solutions Collection,” featuring ALHI’s 56 Four- and Five-Diamond quality city center hotels which are specifically designed to serve meetings and programs; the “ALHI Historic Collection,” consisting of 40 legendary hotels and resorts with more than 50 years of heritage; the “ALHI Mountain Collection,” with 26 options with inspiring mountain views; the “ALHI U-200 Gems Collection,” consisting of 18 ALHI Member hotels with 200 rooms or under, which specialize in serving meeting and incentive programs; the “ALHI Caribbean Collection,” with 22 resorts in 11 countries and territories, making it the largest and finest collection of Four- and Five-Diamond meeting and incentive resorts in the Caribbean; and the “ALHI Ocean Line Collection,” featuring 9 luxurious ships (i.e. “floating resorts”) that can accommodate groups nearly anywhere around the world.

Also available are: the “ALHI Golf Collection,” consisting of ALHI’s 57 Four- and Five-Diamond golf resorts that cater to the meetings and incentive marketplaces; the “ALHI Beach & Island Collection,” featuring 49 Four- and Five-Diamond beach and/or island resorts and hotels with distinction which are designed to serve meetings and programs; the “ALHI Entertainment & Gaming Solutions Collection,” consisting of 25 Four- and Five-Diamond resorts and hotels in the U.S. and abroad that provide hallmark entertainment and/or gaming; and the “ALHI Passport Collection,” featuring ALHI’s 26 Member resorts and hotels outside of the U.S. which provide unique opportunities and beautiful backdrops for meetings.

Meeting professionals, association executives, and incentive specialists have utilized ALHI’s Global Sales services for nearly 30 years, with reliable one-call professional sales assistance and access to their distinctive hotels and resorts for meetings and incentive/recognition programs ranging from 10 to more than 6,500 rooms.

For a list of ALHI’s entire portfolio, visit www.alhi.com, and preview details of ALHI’s membership, including easily useful information on the Specialty Segments. On the 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 a future meeting at any of the ALHI member properties, or to acquire a free copy of the new “2015 ALHI Meeting Facilities Guide” or the ALHI app, contact your nearest ALHI Global Sales Office, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit www.alhi.com."




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 Australia Conferences & Incentives DMC Selects WMG for U.S. and Canadian Business Development
      Wednesday, September 10 @ 15:16:13 CDT
General News"Effective September 01, World Marketing Group (WMG) will provide business development and representation services in the United States and Canada for Australia Conference and Incentives (ACI), one of Australia's leading DMCs for the past fifteen years.

Building on its portfolio of both established as well as emerging and cutting edge international DMCs, WMG is proud to announce this new partnership with a globally recognized and respected international DMC in the Australian MICE market. The ACI team, under the leadership of Colette Baini, is known for its professional delivery of high-quality programs for its clients across Australia's major market centers. ACI's proven expertise in the meetings, incentives, and conference segments stands head to head with the best in Australia, providing clients a solid alternative, bringing fresh ideas and an energetic perspective to the planning process.

Jane E. Schuldt, CITE, CIS, Founder and President of World Marketing Group stated, "Adding Australia to our expanding portfolio of international DMCs fulfills part of our ongoing strategy of providing a full range of key destinations to our portfolio. Having ACI as our Australian partner continues to build out a portfolio addressing all key destination markets for our clients. We remain focused on our steady course to meet our clients' needs in major global centers by providing yet another high-quality DMC solution, for a destination that is well known to WMG as our experience in Australia began nearly 20 years ago."

According to Colette Baini, Director of ACI, "Australia is not only a perennial favorite, but once again, an increasingly popular destination for the North American market. As our major city centers continue to attract and build infrastructure to serve the MICE business, it became clear that aligning our company with WMG, a business development firm that mirrors our own values and is specialized in our target customer segment, was the right decision. Australia has long been a favorite of the North American outbound MICE market, and we see much opportunity for growth. Both of our companies are well established and trusted - two key elements in our decision to join forces. We believe WMG is extremely well positioned to launch our company in North America by aligning with their brand, delivering our message to target audiences, and by convincing their clients that there is a welcomed option to consider when selecting an Australian DMC. The WMG team provides an extraordinary understanding and perspective of the business strategy of the sponsors of incentive travel, further enhancing the end product we design, and thereby value for our clients."

World Marketing Group is a B2B operating company providing contract sales and marketing services in North America to international hospitality suppliers interested in building their brand and growing their business from the North American incentive, meeting, conference and special event/product launch markets. ACI will be exhibiting with WMG at IMEX - Americas, Las Vegas, October 14-16, 2014, Booth 3200."




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 Northstar Meetings Group Named Official Media Partner of MTE NYC 2014
      Wednesday, September 10 @ 15:14:45 CDT
General News"[NY, NY] The Meetings Technology Expo (MTE) and Northstar Meetings Group (NMG) have partnered to promote the upcoming MTE NYC 2014 conference and expo taking place at the Holiday Inn Midtown on Tuesday, October 28th. The newly forged relationship will expand MTE’s marketing reach by tapping into NMG’s extensive database of qualified meeting and event professionals through their popular meeting industry publications, websites and related events.

“Having previously worked with MeetingNews and Successful Meetings, I have first-hand experience with regard to the stringent measures NMG takes to qualify their respective readerships. For that reason I am excited to have NMG affiliated with MTE as bringing quality attendees to our shows has always been of paramount importance to our events”, said Paul Paone, MTE, founder and director.

“Northstar Meetings Group is proud to partner with the Meetings Technology Expo, recognizing this show as the premier technology event serving the meetings industry. The educational sessions and trade show present great business opportunities for both suppliers and meeting professionals”, said Bernie Schraer, Senior Vice President and Group Publisher of Northstar Meetings Group.

In addition to promoting the upcoming October 28th event, NMG will also have editorial personnel on hand during the conference as it continues its coverage of the meeting and event technology landscape.

MTE NYC takes place this October 28th in Midtown, Manhattan and is open to qualified meetings and event professionals. For more information, please visit: www.meetingstechexpo.com

MTE Contact: Fariz Meraxa, Marketing Director, 212-956-4720,
fariz@meetingstechexpo.com "




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 Suntec Singapore Hosts Inaugural Healthcare Meetings Forum 2014 – The Future of Medical Meetings in Asia
      Wednesday, September 10 @ 15:12:09 CDT
General News"Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre (Suntec Singapore) partnered with Healthcare Venues and Zibrant, the award-winning global venue finding and event management agency, to host the inaugural Healthcare Meetings Forum 2014 – The Future of Medical Meetings in Asia. Nearly 100 delegates joined a host of prominent expert speakers from the healthcare and event management industries for a day of lively evidence-based discussions and information sharing on the regulations and intricacies of bringing medical meetings to Asia.

A first in Singapore, the Healthcare Meetings Forum covered important topics such as how regulations in Europe and the US are evolving and what this means for medical events in Asia. The implications of differing priorities and expectations of medical associations, healthcare professionals, the local regulator and corporate sponsorship managers when structuring medical conferences and the formats they should take were debated robustly.

Arun Madhok, CEO of Suntec Singapore was thoroughly pleased with the forum: “As an intrinsically Phrma Code compliant venue, Suntec Singapore has long played a leading role in attracting medical events to Singapore. With changing global regulations, we felt the time was right to bring key stakeholder groups together to share their experiences in creating impactful medical meetings”.

Richard Parker, Director of Healthcare Strategy at Zibrant said of the forum, “This inaugural forum in Asia was the logical next step given the demand for increasing awareness and understanding of regulatory codes in the US and Europe. We are pleased to partner with Suntec Singapore, who shared our appetite for promoting education, discussion and networking among all stakeholder groups.”

Taking full advantage of Suntec Singapore’s free venue-wide High-Speed WiFi, the forum partnered with mobile event app specialist SpotMe to create a truly interactive experience between speakers and delegates with live polling and messaging functions to elicit dynamic participation, opinion sharing and feedback from delegates in real time. The innovative platform also allowed delegates to interact with each other by browsing delegate profiles, booking meetings during (or after) the forum.

Mr Madhok elaborates, “We were keen to demonstrate how a technologically advanced venue such as ours can enhance the overall experience of delegates and encourage more active sharing between all participants. This is clearly the way forward for the meetings industry as a whole with real-time, user-generated content elevating the discussion and creating more meaningful connections between delegates, speakers and organisers”.

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's Tenoncall Concept Captures the Small Meetings Market
      Wednesday, September 10 @ 15:10:20 CDT
General News"A meeting experience under natural lighting in its open central atrium with contemporary furnishing touches; consistent quality service and professional execution, as well as free-flow lifestyle cuisine and beverage service are amongst the hallmarks of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s TenOnCall.

KUALA LUMPUR - The first half of 2014 has seen the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s (the Centre) TenOnCall (TOC) record its highest number of events since the launch of the product in November 2008. The 713 events held between 1 January and 31 June 2014 was 59% of the total 1,216 (events) held in the whole of calendar 2013.

Angeline Lue, the Centre’s Director of Sales & Marketing, attributed TOC’s strong performance to growing market demand for innovative all-in-one packages, consistent quality service and professional execution, coupled with the all-day dining concept. “TOC has seen attendance numbers grow by some 168%, from 12,873 participants in its first full year of operation between 1 January and 31 December 2009 to 34,614 for the same period last year (2013).”

Located at the Centre’s Level 4, TOC comprises 10 flexible meeting spaces where a client can, literally, walk in, select their pre-set room configuration and execute a same-day meeting, be it for 15 or up to 150 persons. All TOC bookings also include use of audio-visual equipment and an AV technician on standby, complimentary WiFi access, built-in LCD signage at the entrance foyer plus free-flow lifestyle cuisine (including a working buffet lunch) and beverages throughout the meeting duration. Clients also have the option of full and half-day packages.

“Of course,” said Lue, “we also listen to what our clients want and continually enhance or adapt the product to meet different needs and requirements.”

Citing TenOnCall PLUS (TOC PLUS) as an example, Lue said through regular client focus groups, TenOnCall PLUS was introduced. “TOC PLUS extends the TOC benefits to three more function areas of varying sizes with the ‘PLUS’ being a unique space with natural lighting, own personal free-flow lifestyle cuisine and beverage service, and a dedicated private meeting room and an outdoor balcony as a designated smoking area.”

More recently, the Centre has introduced the TOC ‘Sundown Hour Packages’ to give clients the option of taking their meeting programme to a relaxing conclusion with a two-hour cocktail hour of free-flow beverages including sweet and refreshing Asian-influenced mocktails and cocktails, basic PA system and sound technician on standby for a minimum of 50 guests and above.

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




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