Technological innovators invited to exhibit at new Tech Zone in IMEX America

As part of its aim to be a testing ground for new event technology, the IMEX Group is introducing the Tech Zone at IMEX America. New and innovative technology will be tried and tested by attendees in this new area of the show which takes place October 16 – 18 at the Sands® Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian® | The Palazzo® in Las Vegas.

Companies offering ground-breaking or disruptive technology are invited to exhibit and present at the Tech Zone – for free. This opportunity is open to organisations who have never exhibited at IMEX America before and aims to provide opportunities for attendees to experience the latest developments and uncover new tools.

Companies are invited to contact James Johnson-Miller, director of event technology at the IMEX Group, with an email or video pitch explaining who they are, what they do, why their offering is important and what they can bring to the Tech Zone.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains:

“As part of our mission to educate and innovate we want to open up our show to new and exciting technology companies. If they’re breaking boundaries and innovating, we want to hear from them!

“So many of the benefits that technology can bring to our industry are still untapped potential; we want to help event planners at IMEX America this year to see and understand what technology can do for them.”

IMEX America takes place October 16 – 18 at the Sands® Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian® | The Palazzo® in Las Vegas, preceded by Smart Monday, powered by MPI, on October 15.

Registration is free.

AHLEF Awards Record-Breaking $1.3 Million in Scholarships

Over 70 Percent Female Recipients; Highest Number of Hospitality Students Rewarded to Propel Career Development

Washington, D.C. — The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLEF), the philanthropic arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), announced $1.3 million was awarded via 420 scholarships this year – the highest amount ever awarded to students seeking a career in the hospitality industry. More than 70 percent of scholarship recipients are women, and more than one-third of the total recipients are minority students.

“With students taking on crippling loans to deal with the rising cost of college, the hospitality sector is leading the curve in developing talent and providing career pathways for students who would not otherwise be able to access education,” said Rosanna Maietta, AHLEF President. “As an industry supporting more than 8 million employees, we are focused on creating lifelong career opportunities for aspiring hospitality students. We’re especially excited to empower, promote and encourage a diverse workforce for the industry through these scholarship awards, which are emblematic of our mission to ensure a strong future for the entire lodging sector and build the next generation of hoteliers.”

AHLEF administers 9 scholarship programs for students enrolled in hospitality-related degree programs at colleges and universities across the country. The Foundation received and evaluated more than 2,000 applications based on financial need, academics, relevant work experience, extracurricular activities and personal attributes. Scholarships, up to $7,500 are awarded based on the university program and student’s enrollment status.

Since its founding, AHLEF has distributed more than $14 million in scholarship funds to promising hospitality management students. Scholarship funds are available to incoming freshmen through graduate level for students studying hospitality management. The AHLEF Annual Scholarship Grant Program, the Foundation’s largest, includes funds provided by the AHLEF General Campaign, AHLEF Hospitality 2000, Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), AHLEF New Century, the National Restaurant Association, Melinda Bush Mentors, John Clifford Memorial, Cecil B. Day Memorial, Handlery Hotels, Conrad N. Hilton Memorial, Creighton Holden Memorial, Hospitality Asset Managers Association, Steve Hymans Extended Stay Scholarship, Richard Kessler, J. Willard Marriott Memorial, Joseph McInerney Scholarship, Curtis C. Nelson and AHLEF’s Annual Giving Program.

Additional scholarship programs include The Hyatt Hotels Fund for Minority Lodging Management Students; the Rama Scholarship for the American Dream Program; the American Express Scholarship Program; the Ecolab Scholarship Program; the Karl Mehlmann Scholarship; the Graduate Scholarship Program; the Arthur J. Packard Memorial Scholarship Program; the Incoming Freshman Scholarship, which awards PepsiCo Foundation and ALIS Scholarships; and the Opening Doors to Opportunity Scholarship, which awards Minaz Abji Scholarships.

For more information about AHLEF scholarships and other programs, visit www.ahlef.org or contact Michelle Poinelli, senior vice president, foundation programs, at (202) 289-3181 or mpoinelli@ahlef.org.

About AHLEF
AHLEF is the industry’s philanthropic organization, dedicated to helping people build careers that improve their lives and strengthen the lodging industry. Created in 1953, AHLEF initially focused on providing scholarships to a small group of promising hospitality students. Since that time, the Foundation has taken on a much greater mandate: ensuring a strong and viable future for the entire lodging industry. Underscoring the industry’s stories of opportunity, growth, and success, AHLEF priorities include scholarships, research and career development programs.

First venue in Malaysia to present an immersive Virtual Reality experience to clients

The Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre (MITEC) is taking event engagement to the next level with the unveiling of fully immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences and being the first trade and exhibition centre in Malaysia embracing the technology.

The VR-based app will bring a glimpse of exciting virtual reality and 360-degree experiences to life showcasing MITEC’s venue and halls, presented through a special headset device utilising the latest standalone VR, Oculus Go with improved visual clarity, comfort, quality audio and a built-in software. Being the first to Malaysian market, the Oculus Go rises above the various competitors in the mobile VR category because for the first time, it allows both Android and iOS users run VR content as it does not need to be paired with either a mobile phone or tethered to a PC.

The VR headset not only allows the entire 45,000 sqm Venue to be explored virtually but also provide users with an interactive navigation to get a feel for nearby attractions and amenities.

Meeting planners can expand the immersive experience to also discover Kuala Lumpur city using the user-centric friendly menu-driven interface.

Gunther Beissel, Chief Executive Officer, MITEC said: “We are committed to enhancing and delivering amazing innovative client experiences and the VR further demonstrates our monumental stride to drive technology initiatives as the leading exhibition venue in Southeast Asia.

When it comes to planning events, organisers can view virtual experiences of exhibition halls and the venue’s capacity to get a life-like idea of their event at MITEC will be like,” he added.

The VR experience is developed by a homegrown agency Flytone Agency Sdn Bhd, a member of the Malaysia Digital Association (MDA).

MITEC’s VR experience is coming your way soon.

Watch this space! #justdifferent

ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition Highest Attendance Since 2007

WASHINGTON— More than 6,000 association professionals and industry partners gathered in Chicago, August 18–21, for the 2018 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition. Participants heard from keynotes Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler and World Champion triathlete Siri Lindley, participated in more than 110 education sessions, experienced five game changers, and explored a packed expo hall with 450 companies.

The final attendance breakdown: 3,554 executives, 2,120 exhibitors, 418 others, including guests, spouses, press, vendors, and staff, for a grand total of 6,092. A total of 450 companies representing 713 booths exhibited in the expo hall, which resulted in a strong ratio of 63 percent buyers (association staff) to 37 percent sellers (industry partners).

“Throughout the conference, our attendees heard from two fantastic keynotes, five Game Changers, engaged in 115 learning labs, and networked with industry partners in the expo hall.  Participants found new ideas, strategies, and solutions they could take back to their organization,” said ASAE President & CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE.

Strickler kicked off the conference as the opening keynote. He gave insights on how he started Kickstarter and ensured it was designed to reflect trust, value, and culture of the organization. He stressed how financial maximization isn’t permanent, and it’s critical for organizations to focus and articulate other values including community, knowledge, human capital and security.

For the closing keynote, Lindley told her inspirational story about how she became a triathlete champion. She stressed how we all need to be willing to fail, and by making that decision, let go of being afraid and embrace finding the gift in the struggle reaching goals in life because we learn something about ourselves in the process.

ASAE presented five game changers: Gabby Rivera, Author, Juliet Takes a Breath and Marvel Comic Series America; Rich Karlgaard, Publisher & Columnist, Forbes and Author, The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success; Seth Mattison, Cofounder and Chief Movement Officer, Luminate Labs and Co-author, The War at Work; Tina Tchen, Partner, Buckley Sandler and former Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama; and Manjit Minhas, Cofounder, Minhas Brewery & Distillery Dragon, CBC Dragons’ Den.

ASAE raised $71,000 for two charities: The Greater Chicago Food Depository and Little Brothers: Friends of the Elderly. The total weight of the food donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository Food Drive was 6,687 pounds, which translates to 8,693 meals.

Next year’s ASAE Annual Meeting will be in Columbus, Ohio, August 10-13, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

ASAE thanks the following Alliance Partners and Global Partners for their continued support of the association community:

Strategic Partners
Atlanta CVB
Canada Business Events
Choose Chicago
Experience Columbus
Community Brands
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
Naylor Association Solutions
Visit San Jose

Corporate Partners
Visit Austin
Visit Baltimore
Destination Cleveland
Visit Dallas
DelCor Technology Solutions
Fonteva
GEICO
Louisville Tourism
Visit Omaha
Visit Salt Lake

Event Partners
iMIS by Advanced Solutions International
The Broadmoor
CliftonLarsonAllen
Experient
Higher Logic
Johnson Lambert LLP and Vault Consulting
Manifest
MemberClicks
Mexico Tourism Board
Discover The Palm Beaches

Global Partners

Dubai Association Centre

Korea Tourism Organization

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE skidwai@asaecenter.org, 202-326-9505

About ASAE and the ASAE Foundation

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 42,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,300 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit www.asaecenter.org.

SPIN Launches Small Business Community

Offering Tools to Help Members Survive & Thrive

SPIN:Senior Planners Industry Network recently launched the SPIN:Small Business Community, offering strategies and tools to members to survive in this uncertain business world.

“The recent commission cuts by the major hotel chains has hit many of our members hard,” said Tracey Smith, SPIN Executive Director. “Based on a recent survey we conducted, 36% of our members rely on a commission/fee structure. In order to keep their doors open they need to change and develop new ways to market their services. Our Small Business Community will offer tools and tactics to help them pivot.”

The SPIN:Small Business Community will provide on-demand education for its members from experts on business growth strategies. Current offerings include “Mindset Strategies for Business Growth” with Debbie Peterson and “Strategies to Fill Your Pipeline” with Charlene DeCesare. More sessions will be added throughout the year and there will be an entire track devoted to business growth at SPINCon 2018 (SPIN’s annual conference).

“46% of our members are small business owners”, remarked Shawna Suckow, SPIN Founder. “We’re ensuring they have the strategies they need to not only survive but thrive despite a few major hotel chains’ unilateral decision to change their income model.”

About SPIN

SPIN:Senior Planners Industry Network is the world’s largest association for senior-level planners. SPIN has recently invited all hospitality professionals who have at least 10 years of experience to join their ranks.

AHLA REACTS TO NEW YORK CITY PASSING STRONG SHORT-TERM RENTAL ORDINANCE

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) president and CEO Katherine Lugar today issued the following statement in response to new short-term rental legislation passed unanimously by the New York City Council to bring strong platform accountability to the home sharing market:

“Today the New York City Council passed an industry-setting measure to force greater transparency and responsibility for short-term rentals while helping to protect the fabric of New York neighborhoods and preserve residents’ access to affordable housing. Municipalities large and small are following the leadership demonstrated in the Big Apple to protect their residents and take back their neighborhoods.

“Today’s vote comes on the heels of a wave of cities across the country, from Boston to San Diego, who are finally saying, ‘Enough. It’s time for Airbnb to be held to the same standards, rules and regulations as every other American company – large and small.

“We commend New York City’s Council Members and the many local neighborhood and housing groups who have been working hard to preserve affordable housing and safe neighborhoods for the city’s workforce and hold Airbnb accountable.”

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s Executive Chef Will Showcase Malaysia’s Culinary Distinction during the Congress

In conjunction with the hosting of the Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2018, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s (the Centre) 52-strong culinary team, led by Executive Chef, Hisham Bin Jaafar, is showcasing the best produce and ingredients Malaysia has to offer to over 1,000 of the culinary world’s crème de la crème.

Malaysia won the bid in 2014 upon presenting the very best in culinary diversity in the country apart from successfully meeting the stringent requirements. Further boosting its international presence as a culinary paradise, hosting the prestigious event reiterates Malaysia’s exceptional appeal as a global food destination.

The award-winning culinary team at the Centre and its track record in culinary distinction, coupled with its experience in hosting many major high-profile global events were a major factor behind the venue being chosen to host this esteemed congress.

“We are honoured and excited to host the Worldchefs Congress, which is the global authority on food and the congress is a hallmark tradition of the association and has been organised in over 20 cities across the world throughout its illustrious 82-year history. The 2018 edition will be its first time in Malaysia and only the second occasion in the organisation’s history that the event will be held in South-east Asia,” shared Chef Hisham.

To celebrate the occasion, the Centre will offer registered delegates a complimentary authentic Malaysian breakfast treat unlike any other in the world, a truly home-grown favourite, Nasi Lemak (Traditional Malaysian rice dish cooked in coconut milk with pandan leaves and served with chicken rendang, quail egg and assorted condiments) throughout the four-day congress.

Chef Hisham continued, “Food brings everyone together, especially in Malaysia where it is often the centre-piece of an event. Over the past few months, our award-winning chefs have left no stone unturned when researching and developing the four-course Guestravaganza menu for the Gala Dinner to ensure these culinary experts enjoy a truly unique gastronomic experience they will never forget.”

Inspired by Malaysia’s rich culinary and cultural heritage, the menu infuses local ingredients to deliver an exquisite fusion of Western and Malaysian flavours, designed to take diners on a culinary journey that goes beyond taste, and satisfies all five senses, creating a stunning dining experience that will leave an unforgettable impression.

Elaborating on one of the unique dishes, Chef Hisham concluded, “The Gala Dinner menu will feature a local favourite Asam Pedas (traditional sour and spicy fish stew cooked in tamarind juice and spices), but we cannot divulge too much as we want to surprise and delight our guests.”

In addition to preparing the mouth-watering four-course Gala Dinner menu, Chef Hisham will also be overseeing the Global Chefs Challenge, which is a Battle of Chefs for Chefs with over 70 nations competing to win the title.

Organised by the World Association of Chefs’ Societies (Worldchefs), the biennial event gathers culinary heavyweights from around the world to discuss developments in the culinary field and compete in the Worldchefs Global Chefs Challenge. Founded in October 1928 at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, Worldchefs is a global network of chefs associations dedicated to maintaining and improving the culinary standards of global cuisines through education, training and professional development of her international membership.

For all the latest news and information on the Centre, visit www.klccconventioncentre.com.

Registration Opens for SPINCon 2018

Brain, Body, Being, Business

SPIN:Senior Planners Industry Network announces that registration is open for its annual conference, SPINCon. SPINCon 2018 is being held November 11-13, 2018 at The Don Cesar in St. Petersburg, FL with hosts Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (VSPC).

“Each year SPINCon focuses on the whole person (brain, body, being & business) and this year we are excited that the content has been curated by our members,” said SPIN’s Executive Director Tracey Smith.  “We had over 100 topic suggestions and we then asked members to vote for ones that would be most applicable to them.”

New Offerings

New this year will be a pre-conference Small Business Intensive Workshop, led by SPIN Founder Shawna Suckow and Heather Lutze of Findability University. “We are delighted to add this session to SPINCon,” said Suckow. “Our members who are small business owners will get targeted tips on how to better promote themselves in this competitive marketplace.” This session runs from Saturday evening through Sunday morning (November 10-11). Registration for this session (separate from SPINCon registration) is $299 for planners and $399 for suppliers.

Another addition to the conference this year is SPIN:Chain, which will replace the hosted buyer program. “SPIN is about connections and deeper relationships”, said Tracey Smith. “Our planning team is trying something new to encourage planner-supplier connections on a different level, with the emphasis on referrals and relationship building.” More details on SPIN:Chain will be released soon on the SPINCon 2018 website.

Registration Open Now

Registration for SPINCon 2018 is $79 for VIP members; $250 for Virtual members & non-members. All planner attendees need to have a minimum of 10 years’ full-time planning experience. For more SPINCon 2018 details go to spincon2018.com.

About SPIN

SPIN: Senior Planners Industry Network is the world’s largest association limited to senior-level planners with at least 10 years full-time planning experience. SPIN has recently invited all hospitality professionals who have at least 10 years of experience to join their ranks. SPINCon is the annual conference for the association.

About Visit St. Pete-Clearwater

VSPC is the official tourism marketing and management organization for the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area.

About the Don Cesar

Dramatically perched atop wind-swept dunes with expansive views in every direction, The Don Cesar is the epitome of old-world glamour and sophistication. Since 1928, it has graciously welcomed the world’s elite, stars of the silver screen, renowned authors, U.S presidents and even a gangster or two, all seeking a private, sophisticated playground in the sun. Today it’s your turn to experience the legendary Pink Palace. Iconic. Romantic. Celebratory.

Experiential activities in meetings – there’s much more to come, according to MPI/ IMEX research

From meetings hanging in the air or in the dark to crowdsourcing agenda topics from the audience – the trend for engaging experiential interactive activities within business events is growing fast. Moreover, this growth pattern is set to continue and soon they will feature in most programs.

That is the key finding of new research carried out by MPI Outlook for the IMEX Group.

Looking back over the last three years, 87 per cent of the meeting professionals who responded had seen an increased demand from clients or colleagues to include more experiential activities into their programs, with 29 per cent noticing a significant increase.

Looking ahead, more than two thirds (69 per cent) expect to include experiential elements within meetings and conventions from now on, while a further 16 per cent will start adding them in a year or two. 5 per cent expect to introduce them in three years or more. Only 9 per cent have no plans to include them.

Respondents were also asked to define ‘experiential activities’ in meetings, conventions and events. Summarising the consensus of responses, the overall view and definition is that they are ‘activities that create an opportunity for attendees to use many senses and engage in an event while actively participating in a ‘hands-on’ way.’

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group says: “The phenomenal interest and positive responses to C2 International’s Learning Labs, the Live Zone and the many experiential elements of IMEX in Frankfurt this year reinforced our perception of the enthusiasm within the industry for experiential activities. Through our partnerships with C2 International and working with other groups, we’ll certainly be bringing an exciting range of new experiential ideas to IMEX America in October.

“This research quantifies and powerfully emphasises the significance of this trend in the wider industry.”

An image of an experiential activity from IMEX Frankfurt can be downloaded here.

ASAE Announces 110 Professionals Earned CAE Credential

WASHINGTON, DC — One hundred and ten association executives recently earned their Certified Association Executive (CAE®) credential from the CAE Commission of ASAE, joining more than 4,300 industry leaders worldwide.

The Summer 2018 class of CAEs successfully completed the CAE examination administered nationwide on May 4, 2018. They will be honored, along with the Winter class of CAEs, during the 2018 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition in Chicago, August 18-21. A full list of the Summer 2018 class is at the end of the release.

“Congratulations to the new class of CAEs! You have increased your knowledge in all areas of association management that will help you with your leadership skills and throughout your career,” said Tracy L. Petrillo, EdD, CAE, chair of the CAE Commission and Chief Learning Officer of the Construction Specifications Institute.

The CAE Program serves to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance, and designate those who have acquired and have demonstrated knowledge essential to the practice of association management. The CAE Program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

The next CAE examination will be administered on December 7. The application deadline is September 28. For more details about the CAE exam, visit asaecenter.org/cae.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE, skidwai@asaecenter.org, 202-326-9505

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 40,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,200 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit www.asaecenter.org.