Riding the Wave of Growth in Myrtle Beach, SC

New Developments Planned in 2017 and Beyond in the Myrtle Beach Area

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina continues to rank as one of the fastest-growing family and vacation destinations in the nation, attracting roughly 18 million visitors annually. Last year, the destination welcomed new non-stop air service and additional attractions for visitors.

Given the accessibility and multitude of attractions for families, the Myrtle Beach area received several new accolades in 2016 including being named the no. 2 “Best Beach in America” by the Travel Channel and one of “America’s Favorite Beach Towns” by Travel + Leisure. A flurry of recent tourism growth, combined with the area’s special blend of southern hospitality and distinct affordability, makes it no wonder Myrtle Beach was included in Expedia Viewfinder’s “17 Places You Must Visit in 2017.” The following is the latest information on new tourism developments in the region, listed alphabetically by category.

ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS
Broadway at the Beach Warehouse District and Facelift
The Broadway at the Beach entertainment and attraction complex in Myrtle Beach is undergoing major changes as it enters its 21st year in Myrtle Beach. The former Celebrity Square district is being transformed into a historic-looking warehouse district. Hard Rock Café relocated from the well-known pyramid building, and in its place will sit a new, 40,000-square-foot Dave and Busters unlike any other – in a warehouse that gives a nod to the old and a wink to the future. All buildings in the district will be refaced with brick eaves. Completion is expected by the start of the summer 2017 season. For more information, visit www.broadwayatthebeach.com.

Brookgreen Gardens Indoor Gallery and American West Exhibit
The Naomi and Stanley Bleifield Gallery at Brookgreen Gardens opened to the public in January 2017. Located near the Mary Alice and Bennett Brown Sculpture Court, the gallery is open daily and showcases the work of historic and contemporary sculptors whose subjects are taken from the natural world. The most prominent sculptures are those by Stanley Bleifield, Sandy Scott, Walter Matia, Dan Ostermiller, Grainger McCoy and Brookgreen founder Anna Hyatt Huntington. Brookgreen Gardens contains the most comprehensive collection of American figurative sculpture in the country. In addition, a new art exhibit titled “Life in the American West” opened on January 28, 2017. The exhibit showcases sculpture, paintings, prints and drawings on loan from contemporary artists, collectors and galleries, plus historic works from the Brookgreen collection. It will be on display daily through April 16, 2017. For more information, visit www.brookgreen.org.

Children’s Museum and Chapin Memorial Library
A new children’s museum and library is coming to Ninth Avenue North and Nance Plaza in downtown Myrtle Beach. This is part of a large redevelopment plan that will change the future look of downtown Myrtle Beach. The plan will relocate the Chapin Memorial Library from its current location along with a branch of the Children’s Museum of South Carolina, which plans to merge with Edventure Children’s Museum based in Columbia, SC this year. The children’s museum will be designed to accommodate families with special needs. Construction is planned to cost $13 million and a completion timeline has not been set. For more information on the children’s museum, visit www.cmsckids.org. For more information on the library, visit www.chapinlibrary.org.

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk Extension and Development Complex
Construction has begun on a new 50,000-square-foot development building along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk at 14th Avenue North. The large complex will bring several new restaurants, retail and a live music venue to the beautiful oceanfront Boardwalk area of Myrtle Beach. It’s being built on land next to Banditos, a popular Mexican restaurant, which is temporarily closed until construction is completed in 2018. In addition, the Boardwalk will be extended another block on the north to connect to a new Hilton hotel property. An oceanfront park will be built as part of the project. A completion date has yet to be determined, although construction has begun.

Ocean Boulevard Facelift and Mixed-Use Building
Changes are coming to the 14th Avenue South area of Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach. The former Cabana Inn has been demolished and plans are in the works for a mixed-use retail and commercial building. The 32,000-square-foot, four-story building will be similar to Myrtle Beach’s Market Common development, with retail and commercial on the ground floors and visitor accommodations on the upper floors. The building will have a bright, multicolored façade with balconies. A completion date has not been set.

Ripley’s Aquarium New Experience
Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach opened the only indoor glass bottom boat adventure in North America. Guests have the opportunity to step into a 16-foot-long boat, with only three inches of glass separating them from the sharp-toothed predators of the Dangerous Reef tank. Lead by the Adventure Crew, guests will learn about the animals within the aquarium and what it takes to maintain the facility. The boat holds 10 people per tour and launches every 20 minutes. For your information, visit www.ripleyaquariums.com/myrtlebeach/experiences/glass-bottom-boat-adventure.

Shark Wake Park at the North Myrtle Beach Sports Complex
South Carolina’s first continuous wakeboarding park opened recently at the North Myrtle Beach Sports Complex. Opened by Greg Norman Jr., the son of golf legend, Greg Norman, the park pulls riders by a high-tech pulley system instead of a boat. The pulley picks up ropes from the starting dock and pulls riders in a circle around the lake. There are ramps and rails on the sides of the lake to try tricks. Beginners are welcome; visitors need to be at least 10 years old to ride. The complex also includes a Go Ape! Treetop Adventures, Dog Park and other sports facilities. For more information, visit http://sharkwakepark.com or http://nmbpark.com.

Southern Living Store at The Market Common
The country’s first Southern Living store opened November 2016 at the Market Common district in Myrtle Beach. The 5,000-square-foot shop features a “Celebrate the South” retail theme, including products in fashion, food, home, decoration, garden and travel. The shop also plans for food tasting events and recipe tips. For more information, visit http://www.marketcommonmb.com/listing/southern-living.

AVIATION
Allegiant Offers Nonstop Service from Cleveland
Allegiant Airlines is offering new nonstop flights to Myrtle Beach from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Flights will begin April 13, 2017. For the latest on flight schedules and pricing, visit www.allegiantair.com.

Spirit Offers Nonstop Service from Hartford
Spirit Airlines is offering new nonstop flights to Myrtle Beach from Hartford’s Bradley International Airport in Connecticut. Flights will be four times weekly and will launch on April 27, 2017. For more information, visit www.spirit.com.

Myrtle Beach International Airport Opens Autism Friendly Space
Myrtle Beach International Airport has become the second airport in the country to help families with autistic children by providing a quiet space to decompress after a flight. The room is in the baggage claim area and includes pillowed and cushioned cubicles and seats marked with the words “Quiet Room” on its glass-paneled door. The airport partnered with the local-based Champion Autism Network to make this effort a reality. For more information, visit www.flymyrtlebeach.com or https://www.facebook.com/ChampionAutismNetwork.

CULINARY
American Tap House
American Tap House opened in the fall of 2016 at Broadway at the Beach. A chef-driven American gastro pub, the restaurant has more than 40 craft beers on tap inside a rustic and open dining space. The venue also has regular live entertainment. For more information, visit http://americantaphouse.com.

Costa Coastal Kitchen and Bar
The newly opened Costa Coastal Kitchen and Bar specializes in coastal Italian and locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant is located in Murrells inlet, the seafood capital of South Carolina, and is connected to the Inlet Sports Lodge boutique hotel. This is the second restaurant for executive chef and owner Jimmy Pronesti who also owns Caffe Piccolo in Pawley’s Island. For more information, visit http://costamyrtlebeach.com.
Heidi’s Corner at Grande Dunes Heidi Vukov, the owner of the popular Croissants Bistro & Bakery, is bringing an energy-efficient restaurant complex to the Grande Dunes of Myrtle Beach. Expected to open in May 2017, Heidi’s Corner will house a second Croissants location, complete with its award-winning bakery and serve breakfast, brunch and lunch. Coffee beans will be roasted on site, providing guests with the freshest coffee available on the Grand Strand. Additionally, a new concept seafood restaurant, Hook & Barrel, featuring sustainable, fresh seafood, is set to open in here as well. Open for dinner and Sunday Brunch, Hook & Barrel will feature a wine room available for private dining and an interactive bar area, as well as indoor and outdoor seating. For more information, visit www.heidiscornersc.com or www.croissants.net.

International Culinary Institute opens with Restaurant and Bakery
A new 30,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art International Culinary Institute opened November 2016 at the Market Common community in Myrtle Beach. As part of Horry Georgetown Technical College, the $15 million center includes a 100-seat open kitchen concept restaurant with a local focus, bringing in seasonal products from local farms and fisherman while adding international flair. A bakery run by the students has also opened. The facility has a nutrition lab, production and training kitchens, outdoor barbeque kitchen, greenhouse, wine cellar, chef’s table, and amphitheater, which will provide a staging area for guest chefs to teach and offer cooking classes to the general public. For more information, visit http://www.hgtc.edu/academics/academic_departments/culinary_institute/.

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen
A Paula Deen Family Kitchen restaurant is planned at Broadway at the Beach on the former site of Carlos and Charlie’s. It will be two stories and 21,000 square feet with glass entryways. The project is valued at $3.9 million and comes after the recent opening of a Paula Deen store, also located at Broadway at the Beach. It is expected to open in 2017.

RipTydz Oceanfront Grille & Rooftop Bar
Construction has begun on the newest restaurant along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, at 12th Avenue North. RipTydz Oceanfront Grille & Rooftop Bar plans to open in May 2017 as a premier dining attraction, with a restaurant, beach bar and night club offering stunning ocean views. The 17,000-square-foot building will have 500 seats serving fresh local cuisine, including seafood and steaks. For more information, visit www.riptydz.com.

Wahlburgers at Broadway at the Beach
Wahlburgers recently opened its first South Carolina eatery December 2016 at Broadway at the Beach. Founded by celebrity brothers Mark, Paul and Donnie Wahlberg, the eatery is a fast-casual concept, specializing in burgers with made-from-scratch ingredients. The Myrtle Beach location occupies a more than 5,000-square-foot space. For more information, visit www.wahlmyrtlebeach.com.

EVENTS
Carolina Country Music Festival New Artists
The Carolina Country Music Fest (CCMF) will return for its third consecutive year to Myrtle Beach from June 8-11, 2017. The festival features more than 30 of the industry’s biggest stars, including headliners Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Big & Rich, and South Carolina native Darius Rucker, along with Big & Rich, Jana Kramer, Billy Currington, Lee Brice, Chris Young and Dee Jay Silver, among many others. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.carolinacountrymusicfest.com.

Inaugural Food Truck Festival
A new festival is coming to the boardwalk area of downtown Myrtle Beach at Burroughs and Chapin Pavilion Place on April 1, 2017. The inaugural food truck festival will showcase the local food truck scene as well as providing a selection of craft beer and wine options, live entertainment, arts and crafts, kid’s activities and various other vendors. For more information, visit www.myrtlebeachboardwalk.com.

LODGING
Buchanan Hotels
Virginia-based Buchanan Motels will bring two new high-rise hotels to central Myrtle Beach. Both are currently unnamed. The first will be located at 6th Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard and will be 237,000 square feet, with 19 floors and 240 rooms. It will include a water park that can be enclosed in winter. Estimated completion is Spring 2018. The second will be located at 17th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach with 22 floors and 228 rooms. The hotel will sit across the street from an indoor water park and parking garage. Construction is expected to be complete in 2017.

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton
The 30-acre oceanfront Springmaid Beach Resort, located on the south end of Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach, has been transformed into a DoubleTree Resort by Hilton. Major renovations began in 2015 and will be finalized in 2017. The resort has a new 20,000-square-foot main building, with a registration and lobby area; ocean view restaurant with outdoor seating; lobby bar; “grab & go” snack area; and outdoor entertainment courtyard. In addition, a complete makeover of all 452-guest rooms was completed in the Live Oak and Palmetto towers. All guest rooms feature an ocean view, private balcony, 40-inch HD TVs and a resort-themed design palette. The three-story conference center was also outfitted with new decor, wall treatments, carpet, and paint, and features versatile function space, with floor-to-ceiling windows on each floor with sweeping ocean views and access to oceanfront, covered balconies. The property also includes a mini golf course, two restaurants, camping facility and pier. While the resort sustained some damage to the pier area during Hurricane Matthew, all repairs will be completed in 2017. For more information, visit http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/south-carolina/doubletree-resort-by-hilton-myrtle-beach-oceanfront-MYRDTDT/index.html.

Marriott Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes Renovation
The Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation of its tower to provide guests with a more modern and comfortable guest room experience. Renovations will be completed by mid-March 2017 and will include completely renovated guest rooms, suites, bathrooms and corridors; brand new furniture and interior design elements; and upgraded 49-inch TVs. Bedding will also be upgraded from doubles to queens and from Kings to California Kings. The overall design will be a modern take on oceanfront ambiance. For more information, visit www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/myrgd-myrtle-beach-marriott-resort-and-spa-at-grande-dunes/.

Residence Inn Marriott
The City of Myrtle Beach recently approved the development of a Residence Inn Marriot on 26th Avenue South Ocean Boulevard. The 305,964-square-foot hotel will be 17 stories high and include its own parking structure and pool. A completion date has not yet been set.

The Myrtle Beach area, popularly known as the Grand Strand, stretches from Little River to Pawleys Island, comprising 12 distinct cities along the South Carolina coast. Home to 60 miles of sandy beaches, an assortment of entertainment and family attractions, Southern hospitality and world-class golf, the Myrtle Beach area presents the quintessential vacation experience.

How Meeting Planners Book, Plan, and Execute Their Events

The 26th Annual Meetings Market Survey collected information about the number, size, revenue, and budgets for meetings industry during 2015, as well as information about site visits, booking windows, housing, and other topics:

Site Selection
When it comes to ranking tools for booking meeting sites, site visits are first, according to 41 percent of respondents. A higher percentage of planners say that online searches are their preferred site-selection approach over one-on-one sales interactions (35 percent and 22 percent, respectively), and only 6 percent rank fam trips as their first choice.

Airbnb and Shared Housing
Most respondents (79 percent) said that Airbnb and other shared-housing platforms are not important options for their attendees. Seventeen percent expect that a percentage of registrants will use Airbnb rather than their headquarters hotels or hotels in their room block, but it’s low: 6 percent of registrants, on average.

Booking Window
More than two-fifths of respondents (43 percent compared to 31 per-cent in the 2015 study) report that they are booking their large meetings more than three years in advance; 24 percent are booking two to three years ahead; 24 percent are booking only one to two years out; and 10 percent are booking their large meetings in under one year. The average booking window is 2.5 years, slightly above 2.3 years reported in last year’s survey.

Technology
The technology that respondents continue to seek most for their meetings is high-speed wireless internet access. In terms of social media, 78 percent of respondents rate Facebook either first or second when it comes to marketing their meetings and engaging attendees. Seventy-two percent say Twitter is their No. 1 or No. 2 choice, while LinkedIn is first or second by 51 percent. Instagram is ranked first and second by 35 percent (a big jump from 2 percent in last year’s survey) and Pinterest is ranked first by 10 percent. Eight percent of respondents use Snapchat as their first and second choice, and 6 percent of respondents rank Periscope first — in last year’s survey, no one reported using Periscope.

Virtual Meetings
Fewer than one in five respondents (17 percent) report that their largest event included a virtual or hybrid component. Twelve percent (compared to 14 percent in the 2015 survey) report that their use of virtual meetings and events increased in the past year, while 82 per-cent (compared to 79 percent in the 2015 survey) say it remained the same and 6 percent (down from 7 percent in the 2015 survey) report that it decreased. On average, respondents’ use of virtual meetings and events went up nearly 0.3 percent, on par with last year’s survey increase of 0.2 percent.

Changes as a Result of the Economy
More than half of respondents (62 percent) say they have not made any changes to their meetings over the last year because of the economy. Twelve percent (down from 16 percent in the 2015 survey) say they have cut back on some aspects of their events because of the lingering effects of the downturn in their particular industry. Conversely, 26 percent (up from 21 percent in the 2015 survey) say they have been able to make a greater investment in their meetings because they’ve seen an improvement in their industry.

This article was originally published by PCMA Convene and is written by Michelle Russell.

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Goes Bollywood!

Ecstatic team members from the Operations and Human Resources divisions celebrate winning the inter-departmental competition with their ‘Dance-Versity’ performance during the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s (the Centre) 2017 annual dinner.

Themed ‘Bollywood’, over 300 team members transformed themselves into the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai, for an evening of glamour, camaraderie, good food, fun games, lucky draws and awards. Honours included ‘Best Talent Performance’ and ‘Best Dressed Female and Male’ for the evening, as well as awards for Perfect Attendance, Best Trainer and Best Employee for 2016.

Applauding the team members’ efforts during the evening’s festivities, the Centre’s General Manager, Alan Pryor, also commended Siti Nur Syuhada Binti Meor Husnal Jamal, Information Technology (IT) Administration Assistant and Mohd Naziruddin Bin Shahar, Operations Services Supervisor – Beverage, on winning Best Dressed Female and Male respectively.

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

Seattle Southside Travel Spending Increased 4 Percent in 2016

 

Annual report from Dean Runyan Associates details continued economic impact resulting from growing tourism industry

SEATTLE, WASH. – Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA), the official destination marketing organization for the cities of Tukwila, SeaTac and Des Moines, reports 2016 travel impact is increasingly positive, with tourists spending $693 million — an increase of 4 percent over 2015 spending.

The annual study, compiled by research firm Dean Runyan Associates, shows the economic significance of the travel industry to the Seattle Southside area, local and state tax receipts and tourism employment. This is the sixth consecutive year of strong growth in the Seattle Southside travel industry.

“We have a strong track record of demonstrating positive economic impact in Seattle Southside through a strategic investment in tourism,” said Katherine Kertzman, president and CEO of Seattle Southside. “The increased funding that is delivered through our RTA allows us to significantly develop our investments in marketing the destination, and Seattle Southside continues to thrive by every economic measure.”

With 4,940 people employed by the tourism industry in Seattle Southside and $35 million generated in local tax receipts, this report shows how the travel industry is a key contributor to the economic well-being of the region.

As the fourth-largest industry in Washington state, tourism supports small businesses, strengthens local economies, creates jobs and brings in additional tax revenues.

The complete Dean Runyan Travel Impacts report is available here. Highlights from the report include:

  • Travel spending in Seattle Southside increased by 4 percent from 2015 to 2016 (preliminary).
  • Earnings and travel-generated tax receipts continue to increase.
  • The overall trend in visitor volume corresponds to the trends in travel spending.
  • Lodging sales continue to increase, and were $250 million in 2016.
  • More than 80 percent of all visitor nights in Seattle Southside are attributable to hotel/motel stays. This percentage is much greater than for hotel/motel stays in King County and Washington state, overall.
  • Tukwila has the greatest estimated visitor spending and SeaTac has almost 70 percent of all lodging sales, making the regional partnership key to the economic well-being of the region.
  • Visitor air arrivals (domestic only) to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport have also increased for the sixth year in a row.
  • An industry outlook shows more hotels coming to the region, which has the potential of lowering occupancy rates within the next few years due to the increase in supply.
  • In 2016, Seattle Southside RTA experienced $40.13 in visitor spending for each dollar spent. The 2016 ROI will be reported at the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce Hospitality and Tourism Luncheon. See below for details.

The industry will gather on Friday, April 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Embassy Suites in Tukwila. As the chamber civic sponsor and partner, the Seattle Southside RTA will present on the progress the region has made in the tourism industry over the past year as well as a sneak peek into future projects. Registration is now open.

The Seattle Southside Tourism Promotion Area (TPA) was established in October 2014 along with the Seattle Southside RTA, a public corporation and separate legal entity, which manages increased funding and tourism promotion activities for the cities of Des Moines, SeaTac and Tukwila. The boundaries of the three cities make up the TPA.

About Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority

Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) is the official destination marketing organization for South Seattle. The organization is responsible for competitively marketing the area as an ideal travel destination for leisure and business travelers who wish to explore Western Washington and an idyllic place for meeting and event planners to hold their events. The Seattle Southside RTA is funded by a self-assessed hotel fund and supported by a lodging tax from the cities of SeaTac, Tukwila and Des Moines. For more information, please visit www.seattlesouthside.com or call 877-885-9452.

Keynote Chef Jeff Henderson, Game Changer Speakers Will Inspire Attendees at the 2017 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition

WASHINGTON—From August 12–15, ASAE is expecting close to 5,000 association professionals and industry partners to come together in Toronto for the 2017 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition. The ASAE Annual Meeting website includes information on: featured speakers; more than 120 education sessions; preconference workshops and masterclasses; registration; hotels; events; and more, has been launched. Registration is now open.

“We are excited for this year’s meeting in Toronto. Chef Jeff Henderson, the five game changers, and education session leaders will provide attendees with inspiration, new ideas and different perspectives on a variety of association management topics and challenges they are facing,” said ASAE President & CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE. “Participants will bring back innovative solutions to their organization. It will be fantastic.”

Jeff Henderson, an executive chef for brands like Caesars and Bellagio and the Food Network star and The New York Times bestselling author of Cooked, will be the closing keynote. He will discuss his own reinvention with take-away lessons on facing adversity and identifying one’s personal gifts. Henderson will share inspirational stories that illustrate how diversity drives organizational benefits from increased staff retention, consistency in product delivery, and teams that are more confident and productive. Henderson is presented by Keppler Speakers.

Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning, ASAE will present five game changers selected for their ability to provide diverse perspectives and revolutionary ideas from outside the association community.

  • Be the Change with Major Mary Jennings “MJ” Hegar, Executive Coach and Consultant, former pilot, Air National Guard. Major Hegar is presented by Lavin Agency.
  • Balanced Obsession: The Science of Happiness and Success by Daniel Lerner, Psychology Professor at New York University, author of U Thrive. Lemer is presented by Lavin Agency.
  • I’m Judging You: Do Better with Luvvie Ajayi, Executive Director, The Red Pump Project
  • Living out Loud with Nyle Dimarco, Deaf Activist and winner of America’s Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars. Dimarco is presented by Keppler Speakers.
  • Be More Awesome: A Fresh Approach to Productivity with Chris Bailey, author of The Productivity Project. Bailey is presented by Speaker’s Spotlight.

Learn more about the career and knowledge pathways and all education sessions. The early bird registration deadline is July 12.

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

Choose Chicago

Experience Columbus

Reno Tahoe USA

Visit San Jose

YourMembership

Corporate Partners 
Visit Baltimore

DelCor Technology Solutions

Visit Dallas

Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB

Fort Worth CVB

GEICO

Louisville CVB

Mexico Tourism Board

Naylor Association Solutions

Visit Omaha

Visit Orlando

Visit Salt Lake

Event Partners 
BrightKey
The Broadmoor
CliftonLarsonAllen
Dubai Association Centre
Hong Kong Tourism Board
Johnson Lambert LLP and Vault Consulting
Korea Tourism Organization
Manifest
MemberClicks
Meet In Minnesota
New Orleans CVB and New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

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 30,000 association executives and industry partners representing more than 7,400 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

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Announces Re-Opening of Additional Multi-Purpose Space Available for Bookings From 1 April 2017

Malaysia’s award-winning purpose-built AIPC (International Association of Congress Centres) Gold Standard venue, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) has re-opened its semi-permanent marquee – Hall 6. Located adjacent to the Centre and connected via Exhibition Hall 5 and the Centre’s West Wing entrance, Hall 6 provides 2,600sqm of additional multi-purpose function space for the venue to provide more space and cater to its clients’ growing event size.

Elaborating on the re-opening of Hall 6, the Centre’s General Manager, Alan Pryor said, “The additional 2,600sqm allows us to address and alleviate our space constraints and accommodate larger events, especially in the exhibitions segment. Now open for bookings, Hall 6 will be available for use from 1 April 2017 until our expansion is completed. This is a welcome development for our recurrent and new clients looking to expand their events.”

Pryor continued, “There is often a perception, that as Malaysia’s premier venue, we are always fully booked, but with our flexible mindset and partnership approach, we are able to work closely with clients to find space on preferred dates and customise solutions to suit their specific needs. Similarly, there is also an assumption that we only cater to large events, however as a purpose-built facility we can accommodate events of all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s an intimate gathering for 10 or a large-scale event for thousands, we are affordable and available.”

Since sharing the news of Hall 6’s re-opening with clients, the Centre has received 10 confirmed bookings, including high-profile exhibitions such as the 14th Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) 2017, Home Decor and Design Exhibition (HOMEDEC) 2017 and Active Lifestyle Expo 2017, to name a few. Aside from exhibitions, Hall 6 is also the perfect venue for cocktail receptions, hi-teas, buffet style catering, presentations, town hall meetings and concerts.

In addition to Hall 6’s re-opening Pryor also highlighted the Centre’s expansion, which continues to progress and is due to be completed in mid-2019. The extension will provide an extra 10,000sqm of space to comfortably accommodate larger exhibitions, international association meetings and concurrent events, providing the opportunity for many current clients to grow their activities and/or events significantly.

The mixed-use commercial development will enhance the Centre’s existing world-class infrastructure, grow Kuala Lumpur’s reputation as a premier business events destination and help attract more international events to Malaysia. It will include a 45-storey tower block and enlarged foyer areas on Levels 1 and 3 that will link directly to the existing facility. There will also be three levels of underground car parking with 1,500 spaces, two levels of retail and F&B outlets, a sky garden overlooking the KLCC park and a rooftop restaurant.

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

 

March Madness Deal: Day Meetings at $68/person

The Largest Conference Center in Virginia Offers Complete Day Meeting Package

Leesburg, Virginia, March 2017 …In the spirit of March Madness, The National Conference Center is offering a unique bundling of services through a March Madness Meeting Package that is perfect for day meetings and learning programs not requiring guest rooms (though guest rooms can be added). “We’ll help you punch your tickets with these incredible savings through March and beyond,” says General Manager & Vice President of The National Geoff Lawson.  “Enjoy the game in our Black Olive Bar & Grill featuring twelve 60” flat screens, billiards, darts and savory food selections.  This is a perfect deal for our neighbors and businesses in Northern Virginia, Eastern Maryland, Washington DC, and beyond.”  The March Madness Day Meeting Package is from $68 per person through March and onto April 30th.

The National Conference Center is one of the leaders in developing the Complete Meeting Package (CMP) and the Day Meeting Package (DMP), which is an all-inclusive per person, per day-priced meeting package.

The National’s March Madness Day Meeting Package Deal includes:

-Meeting room space

-Unlimited refreshment breaks

-Lunch in the newly refurbished Dining Room

-Technology and A/V package

-Complimentary WiFi

-Ample & complimentary parking

$68/person.

Meeting planners can also save as much as 40% per person on selected dates this spring with a CMP package.

Big Facilities

With 1,250,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space, offering 250 purpose-built conference rooms, breakout rooms and general session rooms, The National provides flexibility in a big way. The property has so much space, they can fit 21.7 football fields on the entire property footprint and 5.89 tennis courts can fit inside The National’s 16,552 sq. ft. ballroom, the largest in Northern Virginia.

Small and Intimate Spots

When LaKota Hotels & Resorts was signed as the new management company in 2014, one of the goals was to create small, intimate meeting spaces. The outdoor courtyard with Pergola and fire pits are used almost daily, along with a modern Living Room space and a “speakeasy” room aptly named The National Secret. The speakeasy is down a hallway and around the corner from the active Black Olive Bar & Grill with no other entrance to assure conversations are not competing with the action in the Black Olive.

Culinary and Hyper-Local
The National’s food and beverage program underwent a complete renovation in 2014, and continues to grow and evolve under the direction of John Walsh, food and beverage director, and Executive Chef Chris Ferrier. They have focused on local farm-to-table cuisine incorporating over 60 local products into the daily menus that serve as many as 1,200 guests per day. The newest change has been to create live demonstration cooking with induction cooking delivery. For day meetings and events that take place in the adjacent West Belmont Place, guests enjoy the same food quality for a banquet or luncheon as guests in the Dining Room and Black Olive.

The Black Olive Bar & Grill is a striking, 200-seat action bar with communal seating, high tops. The recently changed menu includes flatbreads, seasonal cheese boards and local beer and wines.

For more information or to book a March Madness Package at The National Conference Center, call Nancy Vanesco, Catering Sales Manager at 703-724-5981 or go to http://www.conferencecenter.com/March-Madness

About The National Conference Center
Located in Northern Virginia, 12 miles from Dulles International Airport and 35 miles from Washington, D.C., The National Conference Center is one of the largest and most comprehensive conference centers and training facility in the nation. With 917 guest rooms and over 265,000 square feet of meeting and group function space, including the West Belmont Place catering complex with its 16,552 square foot ballroom, The National has become the nation’s headquarters for productive meetings and West Belmont Place the hub for Loudoun County and surrounding area social functions and special events.

West Belmont Place was named 2013 Best Venue by the International Special Events Society. The National Conference Center is also on the GSA schedule. The National is owned by NCC PS Enterprises LLC, a venture between PCCP, LLC and Stoneleigh Capital, LLC., which retained LaKota Hotels & Resorts to oversee all aspects of the day-to-day operations.

For information call 800-640-2684 or visit www.conferencecenter.com and www.westbelmontplace.com.

ASAE Foundation Announces Two Universities Receive Scholarly Research in Association Management Grants

WASHINGTON— ASAE Foundation names two university programs that are receiving research grants as part of the Scholarly Research in Association Management Grants Program (SRGP). The SRGP provides lead investigators with funds to conduct research on a cross-section of topics relevant to nonprofit management and member-based associations. Each recipient will receive a $7,500 grant that starts in mid-March and lasts for one year.

The two awardees are:

Salisbury University

The Economics of Online Professional Education Exploring the Delta between Design, Delivery, and Demand

Valerie J. Whitcomb, Ph.D., Academic Program Instructional Designer; Franklin P. Perdue School of Business

University of Oregon

The Role of Associations and Intermediaries in Shaping and Legitimizing New Organizational Fields: Examining the Growth of Social Enterprise in India

Saurabh Lall, Ph.D., Assistant Professor; Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management

“Congratulations to the two awardees. Their research will provide valuable insights on issues that affect the growth, scope, and sustainability of membership organizations and the association community. These studies reflect knowledge opportunities in association management that can be uniquely explored through collaboration with higher education. We look forward to sharing the results,” said ASAE Executive Vice President and ASAE Foundation President Susan Robertson, CAE

The next application cycle for SRGP is open and deadline to apply is June 1. To learn more, visit asaefoundation.org/amGrants.html.

Prague Welcomed the Largest Number of Events Over the Past Decade

According to the Czech Statistical Office data, Prague welcomed 4,426 conferences in the collective accommodation establishments in 2016 which is one-third of all events held in the Czech Republic. It is an increase of 5.7% compared to 2015, and it also is the largest number of events since 2006. The 2016 conferences organized in Prague attracted 541,412 delegates.

Czech Statistical Office data, which tracks only the events held in the collective accommodation establishments, with attendance of more than 50 persons, shows that meeting planners preferred four-star and three-star hotels for their events. Prague Convention Bureau’s statistics also confirm the popularity of accommodation establishments as event venues. Statistics of the Prague Convention Bureau are based on the members’ data and record also the events with less than 50 delegates organized not only in the hotels, but also in congress centres and other alternative venues. There were 2,528 events held in Prague according to the Prague Convention Bureau’s data, out of which 85% took place in hotels, and the rest in other venues, congress centres and at universities.

“We can observe a very positive trend of delegates staying in Prague for longer time. While in 2015, delegates stayed here for 1.99 days on average, in 2016 it was 2.22 days. The statistics recorded a considerable increase of more than 100% even in the segment of events lasting more than six days. We believe the trend, which has a very significant economic impact on Prague, will continue in the following years. In the long-term perspective, the seasonality also plays a smaller role now, but still, the autumn months belong to the most preferred ones,” said Roman Muška, Managing Director at Prague Convention Bureau.

Prague Convention Bureau’s statistics show that half of the events in Prague were attended by foreign delegates, who came to the Czech capital mostly from the United Kingdom, Germany, USA, Italy and Belgium. Pharmacy led the ranking of the most discussed topics, followed by industry, IT and telecommunication topics. Smaller corporate events with the attendance of less than 150 delegates prevailed over the bigger, predominantly association conferences and congresses with more than a thousand delegates.

PCMA’s 2017 Convening Leaders’ Raises the Bar with Record Attendance

PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association) has declared its recent ‘Convening Leaders’ event it’s most successful yet with 4175 delegates attending the event which was held in Austin, Texas at the start of January 2017.

Nearly 1500 further delegates attended Convening Leaders LIVE on-line, and an additional 180 Asian meetings professionals participated in a delayed rebroadcast of specific content for Asian audiences.

Proof of the event’s growing international outlook is the remarkable figure that delegates came from 45 countries to attend the event this year, up from 36 countries in 2016.

The program’s creative construct, Designing ColLABoration was evidenced throughout the 3 day program. From hands on multiple Learning Labs to featured speakers, each demonstrating how collaboration can enhance the quality and return for business events.

Deborah Sexton, President and CEO, PCMA said “Austin was the perfect destination to turn our lens towards the value of collaboration. The contributions of Tom Noonan and Mark Tester’s teams at the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau and Austin Convention Center, as well as many of Austin’s noted citizens, demonstrated the power of real-time collaboration to conference participants.

Leaving a Legacy

Convening Leaders was kicked off with 130 attendees participating in PCMA’s Hospitality Helping Hands, benefitting Sammy’s House, an Austin not-for-profit agency that provides services for children who are medically fragile and/or developmentally delayed in inclusive learning environments with typically developing peers. The group worked on a variety of indoor and outdoor projects including playground repair, yard maintenance, toy sorting, sanitizing classrooms and other general repairs and maintenance throughout the facility.

The PCMA Education Foundation sold out this year’s Party With A Purpose, with over 1600 donating participants. In its 24th year, PWAP has raised more than $2.4 million USD for a range of notable causes as PCMA leads the business events industry’s efforts to make a difference in communities around the globe. The Austin event raised more than $200,000 USD that will be returned back to the industry for scholarships, grants and research. Post-party, Found and Sustaining Sponsor, GES presented a check for $25,000 USD to the local Health Alliance for Austin Musicians.

The next Convening Leaders will take place in Nashville, TN on January 7-10, 2018.