Berlin Top Choice for International Conventions

No other city in the world hosted more international congresses in 2015

Berlin is the top location choice for gatherings of international associations, as revealed in statistics published today by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). With 195 events hosted last year, Berlin surpassed both Paris (186) and Barcelona (180), followed by Vienna, Madrid and London. Singapore is the city with the most events of this kind outside Europe. The ranking is one of the most important performance indicators in the meetings industry and has great influence on the awarding of many major congresses. It is the first time that Berlin is at the top of the list.

Michael Müller, Governing Mayor of Berlin: “Berlin has become the leading international meeting place. Whether healthcare, mobility, IT, and many other highly innovative industries, all roads lead to Berlin at some point. This also benefits Berlin’s role as a location for trade fairs and conventions, allowing the city to offers its visitors an ideal environment for doing business. Behind this are many years of constant work and effort for which I wish to express my gratitude to all those involved in this success. Berlin has put its efforts to developing this aspect of its economy with consistency and our long-term, future-orientated policies are paying off.”

Burkhard Kieker, visitBerlin CEO commented, “This is a great confirmation of the work being done by the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office and the entire meetings industry in our city. We also wish to thank our partners Messe Berlin and Estrel Berlin for their continued cooperation. The fight to host any of these conventions is hard-won. This can be seen just from looking at the list of our competitors. In order to continue to play at the top of the league, Berlin needs to begin planning the expansion of its capacities wisely.”

More and more events in the medical segment 

In addition to the major conventions covered by these statistics, the city also hosts many events in its hotels and smaller conference centers. 2015 saw Berlin host more association meetings with more than 1,000 people in attendance than in the previous year; there was also growth in the number of events with 50 to 200 participants.

“These figures underline the non-stop rapid development of Berlin as a meeting destination to which we have been able to make a significant contribution with our broad portfolio of events, but especially international medical conferences”, says Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH. “In 2015, Berlin hosted the European Academy of Neurology with more than 7,000 in attendance and the annual congress of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine with 5,500 participants took place in our CityCube. In the past two years, we have successfully increased the average number of participants per conference by around 30 per cent to almost 4,000. This is a leading figure globally. We have been able to continue this trend in the first part of 2016.”

Conferences are an extremely important economic factor for the city of Berlin. Each participant in a meeting spends on average €232 a day in Berlin, about 12 per cent more than the conventional visitor to the German capital.

Berlin has been in the Top 5 since 2004

Association meetings included in the ICCA statistics must be attended by at least 50 participants, take place regularly, and switch among at least three different countries. The ICCA statistics exclusively count international meetings of associations to ensure a global comparison. Berlin has been in the Top 5 since 2004. The ICCA is an association of the most important organizations in the meetings industry. Its members include more than 1,000 members from over 90 countries.

For more information about Berlin as a meeting destination, go to .

“We know Berlin.” This is the slogan that Berlin Tourismus & Kongress GmbH, operating under the trade name visitBerlin, has been using since 1993 to advertise Berlin globally as a travel destination. The visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office markets the many convention and meeting options offered by the German capital. Berlin’s popularity as a tourist destination continues to grow: with more than 30 million overnight stays in 2015, the German capital is as busy as ever. Berlin has been among the top five most popular destinations in the world for conventions and meetings for the past ten years. As a tour operator, the company offers a wide range of travel packages and also issues the official tourist ticket, the Berlin WelcomeCard. visitBerlin operates six Berlin Tourist Information Offices across the city. The Berlin Service Center (Tel. +49(0)30-25 00 25) provides information on the complete range of tourist offerings in Berlin. The website provides information about the capital in 14 languages.

Grand Rapids on International List of Top Places To Go in 2016

New York Times highlights city’s arts, shopping and craft beer

Grand Rapids, Mich. – The New York Times list of “52 Places to Go in 2016” was announced today which included destinations like Bordeaux, Abu Dhabi, Malta and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The annual list, which includes top destinations around the world, lists Grand Rapids number 20 and calls out attractions including Frederik Meijer Gardens, the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, ArtPrize and the craft beer scene.

In response to the announcement Janet Korn, Senior Vice President of Experience Grand Rapids, said, “This list underscores what people who live in and travel to Grand Rapids already know: this is a vibrant, fun and exciting city. From arts and culture to craft beer, shopping, food and sight-seeing Grand Rapids is a must visit destination, and we are proud to be included on this prestigious travel list.”

To develop the annual list, the New York Times starts with recommendations from travel writers from around the globe, then the editorial team narrows the list based on merits of each suggestion. They aim for a selection of places they expect to be particularly compelling in the coming year.

IMEX Group Sharing economy survey reveals differing views among meetings industry around the world

• 35 per cent of meetings professionals would not use a sharing economy service for business

• Uncertain quality and safety were found to be the major reasons why they are not being used

• Nearly 45 per cent believe legislation, regulation, objections and taxation will slow or limit the expansion in many countries

• 44 per cent think that many new applications will be launched successfully

• 12.9 per cent believe usage and growth will decline, 33.9 per cent expect significant increase

Recent research carried out by the IMEX Group into the impact of the sharing economy within the meetings and events industry generated thought-provoking results. The findings were revealed at IMEX in Frankfurt on Wednesday 20 April during a seminar entitled: ‘How can we work with the new sharing economy?

The responses from 729 meetings professionals across the world provide a fascinating insight into their experience of sharing economy services, on the issues, challenges and opportunities they generate and whether they believe that usage will decline, plateau or increase over the next five years.

Sharing Economy participants shared their comments using laptops at their tables.

When asked: other than Uber and Lyft, have you used a sharing economy service when travelling for personal or business use? the choice of answers included ‘would not ‘ as well as ‘many times’, ‘once or twice’ and ‘not yet’. Most striking was the fact that 35 per cent would not use a sharing economy service for business.

Regionally around the world, there was significant variation. While just 15.1 per cent of those based in Africa, the Middle East or Far East claim that they would not use a sharing economy service for business, by contrast, a major proportion of respondents in the USA, 41.0 per cent, and even 42.0 of those based in Germany would not use one for business.

44.6 per cent had not yet used such services for business, a similar proportion worldwide. Altogether only 20.4 per cent had used these services for business at all, even though 49.4 per cent has used them for personal reasons.

Why not?

When those who had said they would not use a sharing economy service when travelling were asked: why they would not, uncertain quality and safety were found to be the key issues. 31.9 per cent of all respondents highlighted uncertain quality as a reason not to use it, with a notable 38.6 per cent of USA based participants choosing this reason. This is backed up by the findings of MPI Meetings Outlook research in February, asking the same question; 33.6 per cent of its respondents cited Uncertain Quality.

Safety was selected by 20.3 per cent, including 27.9 per cent of those in the US. 48 per cent of MPI respondents chose this.

When invited to specify other reasons of their own for not using such services, several suggested that lack of taxation and regulation was a concern.

Looking to the future, when asked whether they agreed with various statements about the development of the sharing economy in the travel sector in the next five years, there was a clear pattern.

Those in Germany were always distinctly less confident about prospects than the overall world view, so also to lesser extent were USA respondents. By contrast those in Africa, Middle East and the Far East as well as in Central and South America were usually more optimistic.

44.8 per cent of all respondents, up to 53.5 per cent of those in Germany, thought that legislation, regulation, objections and taxation will slow or limit the expansion in many countries.

When asked whether they thought that most barriers will be removed and the sharing economy will be accepted and flourish, 32.7 per cent worldwide, but only 25.5 per cent in Germany and just 26.1 per cent in the USA agreed. However 41.9 per cent of those in Central and South America think that the sharing economy will be accepted and flourish.

There was general optimism when asked whether they thought that many new applications of the concept will be launched successfully and be accepted. 44.0 per cent worldwide agreed but only 36.2 per cent in Germany did.

Usage in five years ahead

Considering usage in the future, overall there is a cautious confidence. 13.3 per cent think that it will plateau, 12.9 per cent believe usage and growth will decline as the novelty wears off and objections increase but 33.9 per cent that it will increase significantly. However, 17 per cent of Germans think usage will decline and only 27.7 per cent of them and just 28.9 per cent in the USA agree that it will increase significantly, substantially less than the 40.8 per cent in Central and Southern American who think this way.

The early morning seminar, organised by IMEX, drew a keen audience. Moderated by Greg Oates, Senior Editor of Skift and Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner of Soolnua, the session featured several sharing economy entrepreneurs among the speakers. They were Jean-Michel Petit, CEO and co-founder of; Gary Schirmacher, SVP of Experient, A Maritz Travel Company; Jan Hoffmann-Keining, CMO of Spacebase and Damian Oracki, co-founder of Showslice.

Commenting on the session, Xavier Guillemin, Congress Market Director of Accor Hotels said: “The structure of the event was good and I liked the concept of sharing comments. The speakers were very good.

“We have to face up to the trend of the sharing economy in an increasingly digital world. There are still some risks, particularly with safety and security. Overall, the hotel industry needs to be inspired by this trend.”

Hosted buyer Cristiane Wellisch of Origami marketing & events from Brazil, said:

“I’ve already worked with Uber and Airbnb and this session enabled me to find out more about the market and the latest trends and how I might incorporate these ideas into my business meetings.”

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group commented: “We wanted to give our buyers, visitors and exhibitors – and the industry as a whole – a snapshot of what meetings professionals think about this hot topic and the chance to learn more about this important, high profile business issue.

“We believe that everyone’s opinion is important and everyone should have a chance to air their thoughts. Through the survey and the seminar we aimed to facilitate this.

“The results of the survey and discussions highlight notable international variation in attitudes as well as both caution and optimism.

“It will be fascinating to see what the future actually reveals.”

ibtm america 2016 to Connect Elite Industry Buyers and Suppliers With 100% Mutual Match in Nashville

This year ibtm america 2016, part of the ibtm events portfolio, will take place from June 15-17 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is known as the largest exhibition and meetings venue in the continental US and features 882 guest rooms onsite, 6 ballrooms, more than 100 technologically advanced conference and breakout rooms, some 600,000 sq ft of meeting, convention and exhibit function space and 4.5 acres of tropical gardens. The property will create the perfect setting for bringing together meetings industry professionals from across the globe.

Jaime McAuley, Event Director, ibtm america commented, “The excitement behind delivering our event in different cities in the US adds variety and new experiences for all our attendees. One of the hottest convention cities in the US right now, Nashville is a bustling cultural hot-spot with more than 120 live music venues, a burgeoning culinary scene featuring everything from southern fare to haute cuisine, and a number of incredible meeting venues to offer international and regional planners.”

This year’s event will open with a 1 to 1 ratio of elite international and regional Association, Agency and Corporate buyers and industry suppliers, all of whom will have an opportunity to take part in a 100% compatible meeting or what ibtm america is calling 100% mutually matched business appointments. This system will enable Hosted Buyers and exhibitors to request appointments with the business leads they identify and create a diary of up to 30 appointments.

McAuley commented, “We were the first to roll out mutually matched appointments at ibtm america 2015 and we have been working to perfect the system even further to eliminate non-relevant appointments and maximize opportunity for ROI. As a result we are now able to deliver 100% mutually matched business appointments, which we believe is a first for an event of this kind in the US. The system is a unique method of ensuring that both parties at ibtm america have control of their time and investment at the event, knowing they have back to back appointments that are totally at their own request, matching their business objectives.”

All Hosted Buyers will be verified against a strict qualification criteria, which requires that they are senior level decision makers with proven budget and business to place in the US. Some of the Hosted Buyers attending this year include Philips (Brazil), Rimac Seguros y reaseguros (Peru), Hurricane Action Sports (Canada), Montreal Event Planner (Canada), Lenovo (China), GECK’O Incentives & Events (Germany), Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (India), Fullteam Networks (Mexico), TUSExpo BV (Netherlands), Decast Group (Russian Federation), ABB INDUSTRIES (UAE), Ultima Media (UK), Smartfocus (UK), Freestyle Football Federation (UK), the American Association for Cancer Research (US), AT&T (US), Wells Fargo (US), Corning Inc. (US), The Geological Society of America (US), and Nature’s Way (US).

Attending Hosted Buyers will organize a variety events, the most popular being conferences and meetings, incentive travel, conventions/congresses, exhibitions, staff training/motivation, luxury travel and business travel. Hosted Buyers have also indicated a variety of product interests; 90% indicated an interest in hotels, 83% in conference meeting venues, 67% in Destination Management Companies, 62% in destinations, and 61% in resorts and spas.

Elite hotels and resorts, destinations, technology providers, incentive providers, DMCs, transportation companies, convention centres, cruise lines and more will exhibit. Exhibitors will be able to use the meeting pod format introduced at ibtm america 2015, which had a 95% satisfaction rating among exhibitors who felt that the new pod format signified the ever changing needs of the industry and that following their 2015 experience, they were likely to exhibit at ibtm america 2016.

All exhibitors and Hosted Buyers will be able to take part in a number of networking events and education sessions, designed to foster business connections among attendees and create an industry community throughout the three days that works and plays together.

The ibtm america Knowledge Forum will give exhibitors and Hosted Buyers the opportunity to attend CEU Accredited Sessions and experiential sessions covering thought provoking topics such as “Digital Security,” “Meetings Design” and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) areas that will resonate with current trends within the industry. ibtm america will also introduce the brand-new TECHCollective, created in partnership with DAHLIA+ and located within the Central Hub, featuring live demonstrations from a select number of innovative start-ups exhibiting at the event.

A total of ten exhibitors will be given the opportunity to showcase their products, including (, EventCollab (, InitLive (, and Hubvents (

McAuley commented, “Technology is one of the fastest growing sectors within the meetings and events industry and this means that meeting professionals are always playing catch up. This year we wanted to shine a spotlight on the top start-up tech companies attending our event and provide them with an opportunity to show the industry what they can do in person. The TECHCollective will provide a great educational platform for everyone to learn about the latest technology solutions as well as allow our Hosted Buyers to touch, feel and play with potential business partners’ products.”

Hosted in conjunction with the Nashville CVC, Visit Music City, Discovery Day will kick start ibtm america 2016 with tours of The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, the Music City Center, Nashville’s newest convention center which boasts 1.2 million square feet of meeting and exhibition space, and the Omni Hotel, one of Nashville’s premier luxury hotels, rated #1 on Cvent’s Top 100 Hotels in the United States.

Networking events will include a luncheon inspired by the music culture of Nashville where Lyric Crew, a group of seasoned songwriters and studio musicians, will work with attendees to create an ibtm america theme song, a unique evening in downtown Nashville with live music, bull riding and traditional Southern food tastings and dancing at Tequila Cowboy, one of Nashville’s hottest Honky Tonks, and an evening reception at one of The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center’s award winning restaurants.

“With 100% mutually matched business appointments rolling out this year, the focus is really on making this a quality event that offers a truly personalized experience to attendees providing maximum opportunity for ROI. We want to make sure that every moment of their time is accounted for, whether that’s connecting with industry peers at Discovery Day, meeting potential partners at one of our networking events, or attending business appointments with the buyers or suppliers they have identified as relevant to their business interests,” added McAuley.

For further information about exhibiting, please visit

Astronauts Inspire and Motivate Audiences Through New Partnership between Orate and uniphi space agency

Online marketplace and Astronaut talent management company join forces to create “out-of-this-world” experiences

A partnership was announced  between Orate, an innovative digital marketplace that allows event organizers to easily find and book thought leaders for their events, and uniphi space agency, a division of uniphi good, LLC, Talent Management and Brand Marketing Agency. Together, Orate and uniphi space agency will bring the inspirational stories and lessons of Astronauts to audiences of all kinds.

While Astronauts are an elite group with rare experiences, they can speak to universal themes: teamwork, collaboration, leadership, risk management and more. For that reason, these Astronauts – who are also accomplished scientists, inventors, educators, engineers, executives, historians, authors and philanthropists – are compelling speakers who draw crowds to all types of events. The collaboration between uniphi space agency and Orate will expand the reach and exposure of these accomplished Astronauts, and their incredible stories to event organizers who want to provide a unique and engaging perspective on high-demand topics.

uniphi space agency is honored to represent a diverse range of Astronauts”, said Annie Balliro, President and CEO of uniphi space agency. “We look forward to bringing their incredible stories and lessons learned to a wider audience through our collaboration with Orate. We have seen first-hand the incredible positive impact made by having an Astronaut participate in any event – corporate, education based, galas and more. For conference organizers and event planners, there is no better choice than an Astronaut to help deliver a meaningful message that will relate to everyone.”

uniphi space agency is the exclusive management agency for a diverse range of former Astronauts, who are all exceptional leaders in their current fields. Through Orate, event organizers can quickly and easily find the best speakers for their events. Orate provides a central platform, with all of the pertinent information an event organizer needs to evaluate and book a speaker.

“Regardless of the markets they serve, event organizers want to book a speaker that will draw attendees to their event, one that inspires, and that engages their audience,” said Orate Chief Commercial Officer Sara Capra. “Astronauts are uniquely positioned to do that, and those represented by uniphi space agency have deep experience not only in space, but behind speakers’ podiums, as well.”

To invite an Astronaut to speak at your event, visit, email or call 385-336-7283.

About Orate

Orate is an online marketplace that connects event organizers with the most relevant thought leaders. Organizers can find, vet, and book the perfect speaker in one centralized location, saving companies time and money. Whether it’s a keynote speaker, panel moderator, workshop facilitator, or speaker for a webinar, Orate connects meeting and event organizers with a wide range of speakers across a multitude of industries. For more information, visit or connect with us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

About uniphi space agency

uniphi space agency, a division of uniphi good LLC, is honored to represent an incredible roster of Astronauts, who share this very unique “out of this world” experience, related to lessons learned as an Astronaut from a personal point of view, and in their own unique voice, to deliver some of the world’s most compelling and unique book projects, speaking engagements, collaborations and beyond. Topics include things such as STEM/STEAM topics, innovation, motivation, technology, perseverance, education, engineering, safety, adventure, risk, strategy, “anything is possible”, lessons from space as related to here on Earth – and even the sky isn’t the limit. there are infinite possibilities for everyone to follow their dreams! #WeBelieveInAstronauts

ASAE Welcomes Experience Columbus as New Strategic Partner

ASAE announces Experience Columbus has signed-on as a Strategic Partner in its Alliance Partnership Program.

“We are delighted to have Experience Columbus as a Strategic Partner,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE. “This new partnership will provide Experience Columbus with a great opportunity to continue to build relationships in the association community and educate our members about the many new and exciting developments that make Columbus a vibrant destination.”

The Alliance Partnership Program was developed to provide the industry partner community with opportunities to align itself with ASAE and the association sector through customized marketing platforms. It also offers partners the chance to help build and maintain year-round relationships with ASAE members and nonprofit communities worldwide.

“As an emerging destination, we are thrilled to partner with such a visionary leader in the meetings industry,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. “We look forward to joining with ASAE as a Strategic Partner and for the opportunity it will allow us to increase awareness about all Columbus has to offer conventions and tradeshows.”

For more information about the ASAE Alliance Partnership program, please visit ASAE ( or contact Dan Melesurgo at

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR,, 202-326-9505.

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 10,000 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

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre is an Accredited Training Provider

Now sanctioned to train external participants

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) is now sanctioned to provide training to external participants following receipt of the ‘Certified Training Provider’ accreditation from the Malaysian Ministry of Human Resources’ Human Resource Development Fund* (HRDF).

Rohizat Baharum, the Centre’s Director of Human Resource, said that cognisant of her role as an industry leader, the venue has, since day one, been committed to building a passionate, experienced and flexible team to ensure the delivery of quality products and services across the board.

“Therefore, this certification fits perfectly with our vision of being a knowledge centre and training provider for local industry players and stakeholders, to help raise the level of service delivery and grow Malaysia’s business events footprint globally. We look forward to sharing our training experience and knowhow; garnered from over a decade of operations, with partners and stakeholders to help boost Malaysia’s competitiveness against regional and international competition.”

According to Rohizat, the certification process took about three months to complete and involved an online submission and an on-site audit by HRDF officers. The facility was also required to have a minimum one HRDF certified trainer on board and this, the Centre passed with flying colours with four certified trainers – Rohizat; Suya Sumithra Thangaiah, Training Manager; Girbakran a/l Balachandran, HR Supervisor – Training and Azman Ali, Assistant Catering Manager.

Since opening in June 2005, the Centre has made great strides in responding to the Malaysian government’s call to nurture and retain local talent and to develop innovations that will benefit the hospitality industry in Malaysia as a whole. The Centre was the first in Malaysia’s hospitality arena to address the flexible staff shortage faced by the industry with a manpower development initiative, the Ambassador Programme. Designed to nurture and grow a talent pool, the Centre’s ‘Ambassadors’, when not on duty at the venue, can freelance with other hospitality organisations. To date, more than 6,700 ‘Ambassadors’ have been trained under the programme.

The Centre also collaborates with institutions of higher learning on programmes aimed at familiarising students with the industry and the different career opportunities available to them. They include the Student Employment Programme (STEP) which involves participants attending multiple workshops and receiving on-the-job training and exposure to various departments within the Centre and the six-month Experiential Learning Programme (ELP) whereby participating Diploma students spend four days working at the Centre and one day in the classroom at their respective college.

For all the latest news and information on the Centre, visit

*The HRDF is tasked with the development of quality human capital and a world-class workforce as a means towards achieving Malaysia’s aspiration of developed status by 2020. For more information on the HRDF, visit

ASAE Announces Five Association Leaders to the Class of Fellows

WASHINGTON— Five inspiring leaders in the association community have been named to ASAE’s 2016 Class of Fellows. The Fellows program recognizes individual accomplishments and contributions to ASAE and the association sector, and it is a call to service for the profession.

“We had many high-quality nominations this year, which made the selection difficult. ASAE’s Fellows program is an honorary recognition given to less than one percent of ASAE’s membership, so it represents the best of the association community. Congratulations to this year’s class,” said Janice Lachance, Interim President at the Better Business Bureau Institute and chair of ASAE’s Fellows Selection Committee.

The Class of 2016 includes:

Debra S. BenAvram, CAE


American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition

Gabriel Eckert, CAE

Executive Director

Building Owners and Managers Association of Georgia

Matt Loeb, CAE



Tonya Muse, CAE

Executive Director, CMA

National Association of Manufacturers

James J. Zaniello


Vetted Solutions

The 2016 Fellows join 251 association industry professionals who have received this designation since the program’s inception in 1986. Serving as role models and ambassadors for the association community, Fellows seek out opportunities to serve on boards and committees and participate as speakers, authors, reviewers, and mentors.

The Fellows selection process includes: endorsement by a peer; an in-depth application describing the individual’s innovation, leadership, and commitment to the profession; an interview with two members of the selection committee; and selection from among a group of highly-qualified candidates.

For more information about ASAE’s Fellows program,

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE,, 202-326-9505.

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

IAEE Awards Jacqueline Russo with 2016 Woman of Achievement Award

Award Presentation to be Held at Women’s Leadership Forum in April

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events™ (IAEE) proudly congratulates Jacqueline Russo, Vice President of Kuehne + Nagel, Inc., as this year’s recipient of the IAEE Woman of Achievement Award. This award recognizes a woman who has led the way in the advancement of women in the exhibitions and events industry, exhibited outstanding leadership, and made significant contributions to the industry and her community.

With more than 20 years of experience in the exhibitions and events industry, Russo has been a dynamic leader within IAEE. Her dedication marked her as the first supplier member to serve as Chairperson of the IAEE Board of Directors. She speaks regularly to industry groups about the international freight forwarding and customs clearances and the value of the face-to-face business model. She has served as a mentor to other women within the industry, and is well known both nationally and internationally as an asset to the exhibitions and events community.

“Jackie is a shining example of professionalism and dedication,” said IAEE Executive Vice President & COO Cathy Breden, CAE, CMP. “She has contributed to so many IAEE committees and initiatives over the past 20 years, and served as a mentor and friend to so many colleagues; it is a pleasure to see her recognized for the woman of achievement that she truly is.”

The award presentation will take place at the IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum on 26 April 2016 in Washington, D.C. This program focuses on topics that are unique to women in the exhibitions and events industry, and is tailored for all women regardless of age, individual situation, or current position held within their company. The forum will provide knowledge and strategies for attendees to succeed in their current positions, as well as motivation and inspiration to take their career to the next level. This year’s program is currently sold out but a waiting list is available for those interested in attending.

IAEE extends a special thank you to its sponsors of the 2016 Women’s Leadership Forum:

Emerald Sponsor
Synchronicities – a three-city partnership between Visit Anaheim, Visit Baltimore and Visit San Antonio

Ruby Sponsors
Global Experience Specialists (GES)

Pearl Sponsors
American Airlines

Furniture and Room Set

Convention News Television (CNTV)

Streampoint Solutions

Convention Plant Creations, Inc.


Host Venue


IAEE is currently accepting nominations for its Individual Awards Program until 10 June 2016. Visit for complete awards categories, criteria and to submit a nomination.

About IAEE
Trusted since 1928, IAEE provides quality and value to its members through leadership, service, education and strong relationships. IAEE is the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry in the world, with a membership of show organizers, exhibitors and exhibition suppliers. Organizers of more than 20,000 exhibitions and buyer-seller events around the world are members of IAEE, and the organization advocates and promotes the awareness of face-to-face exhibitions and events as the primary medium for business development and growth. IAEE provides relevant, timely, and innovative education to its members and the industry. IAEE recognizes its strategic partners:  4imprint, BearCom, Buttine Exhibition Insurance, Convention News Television (CNTV), Delta Airlines, Mexico Tourism Board, New Orleans Morial Convention Center, New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, Orange County Convention Center, Streampoint Solutions, Synchronicities (San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visit Anaheim and Visit Baltimore) and Visit Orlando. Visit for more information.

Captains Mark, Scott Kelly Will Inspire Attendees at 2016 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition


WASHINGTON—From August 13-16, ASAE is expecting close to 5,500 nonprofit and association professionals to gather in Salt Lake City for the 2016 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition. Today, ASAE launched its Annual Meeting website, which includes information on all of the speakers, more than 120 education sessions, registration, hotels, and events.

Presenting together for the first time in the U.S., Captains Mark and Scott Kelly open the conference and will discuss how their experiences as U.S. Navy pilots, lessons learned as astronauts in NASA’s Twin Study, and revelations from Scott’s year on the International Space Station have shaped their lives. The Kelly brothers will reflect on how flying in combat, dealing with loss, and their military experiences shaped their views on teamwork, leadership, risk taking, overcoming adversity and adapting to change.

“We are excited to have Mike and Scott Kelly speak as our opening keynote speakers because they will tell stories that have never been told before and will provide insights that will inspire and motivate all of our attendees,” said ASAE President & CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE.

For 2016, ASAE engaged the association community in co-creating a wide range of new learning formats. “We know that learning is social,” said Rhonda M. Payne, CAE, Chief Learning Officer at ASAE, “and both formal and informal learning experiences are a critical part of a successful, self-directed program.” For intensive training and skills development, offerings include full day preconference certificate programs, half day preconference workshops, and a series of 60 and 90-mintue Learning Labs and Deep Dives during the conference.  Other learning formats include: Express Learning (20 minutes), Panel Discussion, OpenSpace attendee generated discussions and Edutainment sessions, which are creative and experiential formats like Ignite, StorySlam, or Improv.

The preconference certificate programs offer five full-day options for attendees: AMCs Engaged!; Building a Strategic Foresight Capacity, Creating High-Performance Teams by Embracing Diverse Work Styles; One-Day Association MBA; and Executive Leadership Presence for Aspiring CEOs.

There are five half-day preconference workshops covering the following topics: Creating and Leading a Culture of Innovation; Everything You Need to Know about Association Law; Global Trends: A Primer for Association Growth; CLAUSEtrophobia: Negotiating and Influencing Contracts and Business Agreements; and Social Media Intelligence.

ASAE is helping the association community give back to two local organizations during the event in Salt Lake City this year: The Good Samaritan Program and the Utah Food Bank. The Good Samaritan Program has helped the poor and underserved people in Salt Lake City community since 1984. The program provides sack lunches, referrals, clothing, and toiletries at no cost. The Utah Food Bank has been serving the community for more than 110 years, and has distributed over 31 million meals to the entire state. It’s part of a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks.

NOTE: Members of the press receive complimentary registration to attend the event. Please contact ASAE Public Relations department to request your complimentary pass.

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

Strategic Partners

Atlanta CVB
Business Events Canada
Experience Columbus
Reno Tahoe USA
Team San Jose


Corporate Partners

Visit Baltimore
Dallas CVB
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
Fort Worth CVB
Louisville CVB
Mexico Tourism Board
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 Vault Consulting
Korea Tourism Organization
Meet In Minnesota
New Orleans CVB and New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Precker, CAE, or 202-626-2765.

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