Inspiring education and new exhibitors set to boost business  at IMEX in Frankfurt this year

Innovative educational seminars, new exhibitors and hosted buyer groups and a keynote speech by one of the world’s foremost business leaders are set to make a powerful impact at IMEX in Frankfurt 2015, taking place from 19 to 21 May.

New exhibitors and hosted buyers

Buyers will have the opportunity to meet a wide range of new exhibitors from every continent and from every meetings market sector. Emerging meetings and incentive destinations in particular will be well represented, with new exhibitors including Lithuania, Prague, Ras Al Khaimah, Meet Taiwan, Kaohsiung City and Visit Faroe Islands attending alongside the large established destinations. Exhibitors with expanded stands are also wide-ranging including Singapore, China and Macau from Asia, Azerbaijan from Eurasia, Austria and VisitBrussels from Europe, Costa Rica, Peru and Brand USA from the Americas, and Preferred Hotel Group and NH Hotel Group representing the hotel sector.

Around 4,000 hosted buyers will be arriving in Frankfurt from across the world, with 34 new groups from France, UK, Middle East, Asia and the USA. The unique Concierge Service, launched last year, will be further enhanced, there are lounge services such as free luggage storage and Wi-Fi and additional webinars for hosted buyers and intermediaries.

Education – The Inspiration Hub

The IMEX team will again be introducing several engaging new strands to the well established educational programme. The Inspiration Hub will host around 170 education sessions, with 30 of these in German. There will be new early morning sessions on Business Networking and Building Confidence. Two new session formats will be geared specifically towards Young Professionals – for anyone relatively new to the industry – and Senior Professionals.

Also new this year is Creative Thursday featuring interactive sessions from ISES (International Special Events Society) on how to form effective partnerships with suppliers and advice on event design.

As part of the new wellbeing initiative ‘Be Well at IMEX’, the Inspiration Hub has a new dedicated Health and Wellbeing track.

Special events at IMEX

One of the world’s foremost business leaders, Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, the world’s largest business software company, will deliver the keynote speech at the opening ceremony.

Bill believes passionately in meetings as a means to drive business growth and profit and is an important industry advocate within the global corporate community.

300 association professionals, more than 100 corporate meetings executives and 40 ministers, mayors and senior government officials from across the world will again gather in Frankfurt for dedicated peer educational and networking events specially created for them by IMEX.

Association Day will feature a new programme developed with the International Association of Facilitators while, at Exclusively Corporate@IMEX, Kevin Kelly will deliver the keynote address explaining how many organisations’ successes is the exceptional execution of an ordinary idea.

The IMEX Politicians Forum will share ways to secure economic, social and reputational dividends, this year under the theme – ‘How to Attract more Meetings and Events to a Destination’.

IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom comments “With a wide range of new exhibitors from every continent and meetings market sector, plus a rise in the number of hosted buyer groups and an inspiring education programme, IMEX in Frankfurt is set to make an even greater impact this year.

“We are delighted and honoured that one of the world’s foremost business leaders, Bill McDermott, will join us as the keynote speaker at our opening  ceremony – we look forward to welcoming Bill together with the global meetings industry to IMEX in Frankfurt this May.”

To register please visit

Travel for the Weekend, Stay for the Wine

Free bottle of Ferrari-Carano wine when you book a hotel room on Fridays through May 21 at Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno

The Carano Family’s legacy runs deep – from resort casinos in Reno, to a winery in Napa, so it’s no surprise that the family wants to offer travelers a free bottle of Ferrari-Carano wine with any room booked on a Friday at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno. Guests who stay any Friday through May 21, 2015 and book a hotel room using the promo code FunWine will receive their choice of Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc, Silver Legacy California Champagne, or Ferrari-Carano Siena Red Wine.

Aside from the wine, Reno has what we like to call a #Renossance going on – where, if you haven’t been to the Biggest Little City in a while, you might be surprised to find the city is ablaze with one-of-a-kind events, farm-to-table dining, and big name entertainment. Here are just a few of the things we recommend traveling for:

In addition to a complimentary bottle of wine, anyone who books the FunWine offer will get $100 in discounts and coupons including:

  • $5 dining credit for Flavors! the Buffet dinner, Café Central entrée, or Starbucks
  • 20% shopping discount
  • 2-for-1 cocktail at Silver Baron Lounge
  • (1) free margarita or appetizer with purchase of an entrée at Hussong’s Cantina Taqueria
  • 20% off massage or body treatment at the Health Spa
  • 15% off salon services / 10% off products at LuLu Hair Salon
  • Free Ace-in-the-Hole with $5 blackjack wager
  • Two free Keno games
  • $4 off a ticket to Catch a Rising Star Comedy Club
  • $2-$3 off Lake Tahoe ski lift tickets

To make a room reservation or to purchase tickets for an upcoming concert, visit or call 1-8000-MUST-SEE (687-8733).

About Silver Legacy

Located in the heart of the biggest little city, Silver Legacy Resort Casino is a premier destination, boasting the perfect amenities for any getaway. Official headquarters of the #Renossance, the resort casino features spacious guest rooms and suites, big-name entertainment, award-winning restaurants and the best darn outdoor and special events in the west. Enjoy world-class skiing, kayaking on the Truckee River and all things outdoors along with the only accredited museum in Nevada and arts & culture scene with international acclaim. Silver Legacy makes it easy and affordable to experience the best year round! To stay up-to-date with Silver Legacy Resort Casino, visit us at or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Hosted Buyers Eager To Meet US Exhibitors at ibtm america

Promise of More Intimate Show Experience Attracts Highest Tier of Hosted Buyers

International and domestic Hosted Buyers attending this year’s ibtm america in Chicago June 9-11 are among the cream of the crop and have expressed their demand for connecting with US exhibitors that can take their meetings to the next level in 2015 and beyond.

“Our reliance on meetings is growing and our attendance at ibtm america will provide us with the opportunity to meet new suppliers as well as those who organize large-scale events and incentives in the US,” says Cristiane Wellisch de Oliveira, Director of Origami Turismo e Eventos (M&W Agência de Turismo e Eventos Ltda). “We are also attending to investigate new US destinations. We have already planned for two big events to take place in the US; this year we’ll hold one in Miami and in 2016, we’ll meet in Las Vegas.  I am actively searching for a new destination to host our event in 2017 as well as looking to meet more events, logistics, incentive and travel suppliers for our 2016 meeting needs.”

This year’s ibtm america is attracting one of the best pools of Hosted Buyers the show has seen, and the new show format has been a big draw for high quality planners from the association, corporate, incentive and agency sectors. Thirty pre-scheduled, face-to-face business appointments will take place across a three day communal meeting experience, and this year’s Day One Discovery Day will feature the industry-leading Knowledge Forum where PCMA, Site and ibtm events will deliver thought provoking and inspirational content.

Corporate buyers attending this year’s show include The Wendy’s Company, General Motors, Mars Petcare, Wintrust Mortgage, The Linux Foundation and Sharp HealthCare. Incentive and Agency buyers include American Express Global Business Travel, Leisure Express SA, Bayer S.A. – Columbia, GECK’O Incentives & Events, Experient and Helms Briscoe. Association buyers include Global Business Travel Association Brazil, American Coal Council, International Union of Police Associations, National Air Traffic Controllers Association, International Franchise Association and National Women’s Studies Association.

“We’re extremely pleased with the quality of Hosted Buyers who will be attending ibtm america this year. We’ve had very positive feedback about the more exclusive structure of our show and we look forward to building a stronger sense of community among our Hosted Buyers and exhibitors in Chicago,” says Jaime McAuley, ibtm america’s event director. “Our one-on-one appointment model will assist everyone at ibtm america in creating high value business outcomes.”

Ibtm america takes place from June 9-11, 2015 in Chicago. To learn more about this year’s show, please visit

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Launches Professional Development Grant

Programme to help develop next generation industry leaders

 The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) has launched a Professional Development Grant aimed at growing the next generation of local meetings industry leaders.

The grant will provide three young local association executives the opportunity to attend the  ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) Congress 2016 which will be held in Kuching, Sarawak, to engage with leading international industry professionals and expand their knowledge and capabilities in association management at the same time,  familiarise themselves with the global meetings industry and the bid process in anticipation of future regional and international congresses linked to their respective association.

Elaborating, the Centre’s General Manager, Alan Pryor explained, “we believe direct exposure to industry experts and stakeholders will help equip the young executives with the tools to become ‘Malaysian Ambassadors’ for their association and the country. So we invite Malaysian association executives aged between 25 and 35 years old and  who are registered and a participating member of a national association that is registered, active and holds an annual national conference, to apply (for the grant).”

Given the Centre’s belief in professional development as one way of furthering Malaysia’s business tourism credentials, it was only apt that the Professional Development Grant was launched, by Pryor and ICCA President, Mrs Nina Freysen-Pretorius, at the 10th edition of the facility‘s annual Association Seminar held on 10 March 2015.

Congratulating the Centre on its Association Seminar and Professional Development Grant initiatives, Freysen-Pretorius said the Centre’s efforts towards industry talent development are commendable. “I would encourage the national associations to take advantage of this support to uplift their profile within their international network. This will ultimately benefit both the local organisation and the country.”

And with the facility marking 10 years in the business (this year), it was appropriate that the 2015 seminar theme, ‘Leading Associations into the Future’, reflected its aspirations in charting new strategies for greater growth in the decade to come.

This year ‘s (seminar) programme saw Freysen-Pretorius joined by Martin Lewis, Managing Director, CAT Publications Ltd, a unique organisation that specialises solely in magazines, directories, live events and web sites for the conference and incentive travel markets, in an interactive dialogue on the global Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry, international best-practices and the future direction of the industry.

Also on the agenda were presentations on the ‘Kuala Lumpur Tourism Master Plan 2015 – 2025’ by DBKL’s Head of Tourism Unit, Noraza Yusof, and The Benefits Beyond Tourism’ by Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau’s (MyCEB) Market Research Manager, Manisa Nor.

The online application form and further information on the Centre’s Professional Development Grant will be available on by the end of March. Forms Strategic Alliance with SPiN: Senior Planners Industry Network

WASHINGTON, DC –, a popular online search directory and RFP portal for the meetings industry, has formed a strategic alliance with SPiN: Senior Planners Industry Network to provide mutually beneficial tools and education.

SPiN is an organization of 2,500 meeting professionals with more than 10 years of experience.  Its goal is to provide a community of peers that shares essential tools, best practices, and education.

SPiN will offer content written by its members to and promote to its members. SPiN members will benefit from advanced online tools that streamline the RFP process and provide knowledge resources, such as RFP Valet®, RFP OrganizationSM, the e-Alert e-newsletter, Stellar Tips, international and green meeting resources, and more. will participate in SPiN-sponsored conferences, webinars and initiatives and provide marketing support for advertising sales on, and

“Our two organizations share the same philosophy when it comes to fixing the broken RFP system in our industry,” says Co-Founder and Principal Katherine Markham, CHME. “The senior-level planners that belong to SPiN fully understand the challenges we face and are in a position to help influence and deliver solutions.”

“The RFP process can be frustrating and time consuming – has great tools to help streamline this process for planners,” said Sara Vanderbilt, Executive Director of SPiN. “Through this new partnership, SPiN and will empower senior meeting planners with essential tools, best practices and education.”

Both organizations will cross-promote each other on their websites and in other communications.

Designed by meeting professionals as an efficient registration-free online search directory, is a website that quickly refines searches to identify suitable destinations, facilities, and service providers. connects buyers with sellers and there are no commissions, mark-ups or hidden fees. For more information, visit

About SPiN

SPiN:Senior Planners Industry Network is the world’s largest association of senior-level planners with at least 10 years full time planning experience. Learn more at

About is a registration-free and commission-free search engine and RFP portal for meeting professionals. Planners can search for destinations, hotels, meeting facilities, special event venues, and service providers. Additional resources including links to industry organizations and trade press, news updates, and an industry blog are provided. Learn more at

Internationally renowned experts lead packed programme of inspiring industry education at Exclusively Corporate@IMEX

Corporate executives from across the world can expand their knowledge of organising business meetings and events, as well as meet industry experts and learn from and with their peers in an exclusive and private setting at Exclusively Corporate@IMEX.

Taking place on Monday 18 May before IMEX in Frankfurt begins (19 – 21 May), Exclusively Corporate is the dedicated education and networking event specifically for corporate meeting and event planners.

Kevin Kelly, internationally acclaimed motivational speaker and authority on the success principles underpinning entrepreneurship, leadership, sales and motivation, is set to deliver the keynote address. In ‘How Xceptional execution redefines innovation and enhances engagement’, he will explain how the driving force behind many organisations’ successes is often the exceptional execution of an ordinary idea.

The programme then is split into tracks focusing on ‘Engagement’ and ‘Technology & Negotiation’. Alongside these education strands, senior corporate executives with more than 10 years’ experience who manage meetings and event programmes or departments have the opportunity to attend the private Executive Meeting Forum.

What The Business Gurus Are Saying About Innovation and Engagement is the first session in the Engagement track delivered by Alan Jordan and Ron Immick from BookBuzz followed by Innovation And Engagement In Destination Selection by Gerard Brown, Head of Future Events at UBM Routes.

The Technology & Negotiation track, sponsored by London & Partners, begins with Mike Dominguez, Senior Vice President for Sales at MGM Resorts International, talking about Understanding Your Negotiating Leverage In 2015 And Beyond. LinkedIn expert and trainer Bert Verdonck then explains how to Innovate By Using LinkedIn To Engage!

Taking place in the inspiring setting of the newly renovated Kempinski Gravenbruch, Exclusively Corporate begins in style with a ‘meet and greet’ dinner on the Sunday evening (17 May) hosted by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, followed by a short networking breakfast the following day sponsored by Dubai Tourism. Following time to catch up on work or relax, the group programme kicks back into action with Kevin Kelly’s keynote, followed by a networking lunch and the tailored education programme. The programme finishes with a networking dinner hosted by London & Partners.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains:

“As an opportunity to exchange ideas, share expertise and best practice in a truly private and dedicated setting, Exclusively Corporate is unique for this audience. We’re set to welcome some of the industry’s leading experts to share their insight and experience in harnessing creativity and innovation to create meetings and events with impact.

“Corporate executives continually tell us that having the opportunity to learn with their peers from organisations across the world in such a setting is truly valuable and sets up their IMEX experience in an unmatched way.”

Only corporate meetings and events buyers, planners and co-ordinators can attend Exclusively Corporate to ensure that dialogue remains confidential. However, the chance to meet and do business with suppliers soon follows when the IMEX show itself opens on Tuesday 19 May.

One of the world’s foremost business leaders is set to deliver the keynote speech at the opening ceremony at IMEX. Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, the world’s largest business software company, believes passionately in the value and effectiveness of meetings as a means to drive business growth and profit, commenting: “Your industry is at the forefront of driving growth in the global economy.”

For more details about Exclusively Corporate visit

ASAE Great Ideas Conference Makes History With Highest Attendance In Orlando

WASHINGTON— The 806 attendees at this year’s ASAE’s Great Ideas Conference, March 8-10, represent the highest attendance in its 12 year history and 15 percent increase from last year’s record-breaking numbers. Association professionals and industry partners heard from Alan Gregerman and Todd Henry, and there were more than 90 education sessions. This year’s meeting was held at the Hyatt Regency Orlando in Orlando, Florida.

During the Opening General Session, Gregerman, author, president and Chief Innovation Officer of Venture Works Inc., walked attendees through how they can discover the power of strangers and the importance of being open to new possibilities because it can be the key to enhancing your organization. He encouraged attendees to be curious and humble and asked them to think about how they can better invest and engage others.

Participants engaged in a new learning format called discussion dens, which are 20-minute causal conversations between learning labs. They covered a variety of topics including sharing technology triumphs, productivity tips, and learning from failures.

“For the second year in a row, we have set attendance records for the conference, which highlights how the Great Ideas Conference continues to evolve through new content formats and great speakers. Participants gained insights, strategies, and ideas they can take back and implement into their organization,” said ASAE President & CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE.

Attendees participated in a variety of sessions including: communication and marketing strategies, volunteer management, data-decision making, member engagement, and navigating association careers. They also participated in 30-minute express learning sessions called Snap Learning Spot, hosted by Business Events Canada and its Partners, which covered topics ranging from how to engage exhibitors in conference education to creating an open online course.

On Monday night, participants listened to four Ignite presentations and enjoyed a reception hosted by Johnson Lambert LLP, Veris Consulting Inc., and Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Wrapping up the innovative conference was founder and author, Todd Henry, of Accidental Creative. He encouraged attendees to create more white space in their lives because it will help breed creativity. He outlined the seven deadly sins that cause mediocrity and identified ways attendees can unleash their best work.

ASAE held a pre-conference Executive Leadership Program with Rafi Mohammed, author of The 1% Windfall, March 7-8. In its third year, 98 association executives and consultants participated in a discussion about key pricing concepts. They obtained a blueprint-template on how to create a comprehensive pricing strategy, so they can develop and implement one inside their organization.

Next year’s conference will be at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, March 13- 15, 2016. For more information about this year’s conference, visit Great Ideas website.

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

Strategic Partners

Business Events Canada
Detroit Metro CVB
Marriott International
Mexico Tourism Board
Reno Tahoe USA
Team San Jose

Corporate Partners
Atlanta CVB
Visit Baltimore
Dallas CVB
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
Fort Worth CVB
Louisville CVB
Naylor Association Solutions
Omaha CVB
Visit Orlando
Visit Salt Lake
Meet In Washington State


Event Partners
The Broadmoor
DelCor Technology Solutions
Dubai Association Centre
Hong Kong Tourism Board
Johnson Lambert LLP and Veris Consulting Inc.
Meet In Minnesota
New Orleans CVB and New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 9,300 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

MYCEB Introduces Online Venue Directory for Meeting & Event Planners

Online venue directory by Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) set to be a one-stop venue shop for international meeting and event planners looking to host events in Malaysia.

Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) is pleased to introduce a new resource for event planners looking to host their event in Malaysia, an online venue directory.
The venue directory provides an essential guide to the large variety of venues available across Malaysia with all the details needed for each venue.

Zulkefli Haji Sharif, Chief Executive Officer of MyCEB, said “We have a strong track record of hosting successful international events in the country, and event organisers have often been searching for world-class venues and facilities in Malaysia. As such, we are delighted to be able to unveil this event directory to fully showcase Malaysia’s unique offerings that can meet the needs of any event programme. We certainly hope that meeting and event planners will find this resource useful, and that our industry partners will continue working with us to keep the directory up-to-date so we can continue to successfully attract world-class meetings and events,”

The venue directory provides a complete profile of each venue, including a description of the space, floor plans, accessibility, amenities, photos, and contact information. Meeting and event planners will be able to search for venues by the type of venue space, location, and event category.

To find out more about the venue directory, please visit

Convene Releases 24th Annual Meetings Market Survey

This month, PCMA Convene magazine published the results of its 24th annual Meetings Market Survey. Long considered a barometer of the meetings industry, the survey this year showed that key indicators of the industry’s health — attendance, budgets, exhibitors, and revenues — are positive.

Of the 500-plus association, independent, and corporate planners who completed the latest Meetings Market Survey in late 2014, nearly half experienced an increase in attendance at their 2014 flagship event and 38 percent expected their attendance to grow in 2015. Thirty-two percent said they had more exhibitors at their main 2014 convention and nearly 30 percent expected exhibitor growth to continue this year, despite the fact that the space these exhibitors rent out continues to shrink. The average exhibition footprint decreased from 108,000 square feet in 2013 to less than 104,000 square feet in 2014.

While there’s plenty to celebrate during a healthy industry, an improved economy brings its own challenges. Meeting professional respondents said the seller’s market makes it difficult to negotiate rates and dates. “On most fronts, our latest survey results reflect a trend over the last few years of incremental growth and recovery from the Recession,” said Convene Editor in Chief Michelle Russell, who has analyzed the results of the annual Meetings Market Survey for the past 12 years. “Yet some of the practices necessary in leaner times have become a force of habit at many organizations. Respondents say they continue to be asked by management to cut back on meeting expenses such as AV and F&B — in an environment in which they already have a weaker negotiating position with industry partners.”

An infographic capturing highlights of the Meetings Market Survey, produced in partnership with Bear Analytics, is available here. Full results of the survey are available here.


About PCMA
PCMA is the multi-channel professional resource and premier educator for leaders in the meetings, conventions, events and trade show industries. PCMA provides their 6,500+ members with a community of likeminded colleagues, innovative education and creative global solutions to enhance both their professional development and their organization’s face-to-face and virtual connections. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 35 countries. For additional information, please visit the PCMA Web site at

pc/nametag Sold

pc/nametag, the leading meeting registration supplies company was sold to a Canadian company, CCL.  Nick Topitzes, CMP, CEO and Chairman, will continue to assist the company in transition.  “I am excited that we found a great company to partner with – one who shares our beliefs in taking care of customers and our 60 employees.  pc/nametag supplies badges, lanyards, ribbons, padfolios, necklaces, and printers to 30,000 planners in the meetings and conventions industry. ”

The company started as a trade show producer and in 1985, developed pcnametag software for use on the original IBM PC that would make readable name badges.  The company added badge stock, and badge holders.  In 1994, Topitzes developed the horizontal stack-a-ribbon awards that are used on badges.

In the early 90s, the company developed the sporty  necklace and promoted the use of namebadge pouches.  The company also developed several kinds of badge organizers including the extremely popular One-Way badge case.

Most recently, the company has offered its namebadge service whereby the busy planner can send their registration list to the company and pc/nametag will print, separate, stuff, alphabetize, categorize, and organize the badges, and then ship them Fedex to the planners site.

Topitzes has been involved in the meetings industry for decades.  He was assistant director of World Dairy Expo, Director of Farmfest USA, produced over 60 national conferences for the education market, and a series of Advertising Expos.  He was awarded his CMP in 1988.  He has received several industry awards in both the meetings advertising industry.

The company’s headquarters is in Verona, Wiscosnin, a suburb of Madison.