ASAE Foundation Announces Three Innovation Grants Program Award Recipients

The ASAE Foundation named three awardees for the 2019 Innovation Grants Program (IGP). Each grant recipient will receive $10,000, and they will be recognized during ASAE’s 2019 Great Ideas Conference, March 17-19, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO. These grants are funded through support from the SunTrust Foundation, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston L.L.P, GEICO, and Choose Chicago.

The three awardees are:

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
“Mixed Reality Simulation (MRS)”
Alexandria, VA

American College of Cardiology National Headquarters
“Revolutionary”
Washington, DC

National Association of Colleges and University Business Officers 
“Microlearning at NACUBO” 
Washington, DC

“On behalf of the committee, I want to congratulate the 2019 awardees. It is never an easy task for the committee to make its selections among all the applications received. They reflected creativity and commitment to an innovation process – we look forward to having them share that journey and add to the innovative efforts within the association community.” Rita Chen Fujisawa, 2018 chair of the IGP steering committee and Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, California Association of Health Facilities.

During the last seven years, the ASAE Foundation has received close to 300 applications and awarded a total of 28 innovation grants to organizations of varied types, sizes, locations, and industries. These numbers underscore the value of innovation in the association community.

“Since 2013, the Innovation Grants Program has been the impetus for innovation growth and open experimentation in the association community. I continue to be impressed with the research, creativity, and dedication being applied to meeting diverse sets of member needs. We appreciate the continued support from SunTrust Foundation, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston L.L.P, GEICO, and Choose Chicago. Congratulations to this year’s winners,” said ASAE EVP, President, ASAE Foundation Susan Robertson, CAE. “

For more information and to apply for DELP, visit IGP website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Precker, CAE, lprecker@asaecenter.org, 202-626-2735.About ASAE
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 44,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations. Its members lead, manage, and work in or partner with organizations in more than a dozen association management disciplines, from executive management to finance to technology. Together, they create a vibrant community that makes the world smarter, safer, and better every day. 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. Visit ASAE at asaecenter.org.

2018 PCMA Chairman’s Award Presented at Convening Leaders

Claire Smith, Chair of PCMA’s Board of Directors, today announced the 2018 Chairman’s Award at the Convening Leaders event in Pittsburgh.

Smith presented the award to PCMA employees for their hard work and dedication.

“Last year was exciting, yet challenging, for the organization as it embarked on a journey of self-reflection and realignment towards achieving our vision,” Smith said. “But PCMA employees persevered and embraced change to deliver amazing results, including the 63rd annual Convening Leaders. We are all better for their passion, hard work and commitment to PCMA and the business events industry.”

The award, given by the PCMA Board of Directors Chair, is given annually to an individual, group or organization for unique achievements and contributions to the business events industry over the previous year.

Past recipients include Janet Tan-Collis, president of the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers (SACEOS) and the founder and CEO of East West Planners in Singapore and Isabel Bardinet, CEO of the European Society of Cardiology.

“We are extremely humbled to be recognized by the Chair and I am extremely proud of the team,” said Sherrif Karamat, PCMA president and CEO. “This is the first time the employees have been recognized and it’s an incredible honor.”

Convening Leaders, PCMA’s signature annual event, is the most important, influential and inspiring industry event. The 2019 “Disrupt + Deliver” event was held Jan. 6-9 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

PCMA and business events to help eradicate human trafficking

PCMA has committed to combat child exploitation by signing The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism. In partnership with ECPAT-USA, The Code is the only voluntary set of business principles that companies and organizations in the travel, business travel and tourism industries can implement to prevent and eradicate the trafficking and exploitation of children.

The initiative forms part of the association’s new vision that business events drive social positive transformation. Its commitment to The Code and partnership with ECPAT-USA, which engages with the private sector to drive innovation in protecting children around the world, will see the world’s largest network of business events strategists advocate, build awareness and act on the issue.

The signing of The Code was announced by PCMA Foundation Chair and President of Maritz Global Events, David Peckinpaugh, during the association’s annual Convening Leaders conference, taking place from Jan. 6-9, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“As an industry, currently worth over $150 billion, we have the power of advocating and raising awareness of the human trafficking epidemic, and have a stronger voice for the vulnerable, whose opinions and opportunities have been taken away from them”, said Peckinpaugh. “Together with ECPAT-USA and other participating organizations, we are committed to doing everything in our power to end human trafficking.”

Alongside other industry experts, Peckinpaugh will present a session at Convening Leaders taking an in-depth look at the human trafficking epidemic.

“One of ECPAT-USA’s main focuses — and essential tools for ending child sex trafficking — is engagement with the private sector, including ensuring as many associates in the travel industry are educated about this urgent issue”, said Michelle Guelbart, director of private sector engagement at ECPAT-USA. “This new collaborative partnership with PCMA helps expand that mission to thousands more and will help protect countless more children from exploitation.”

ASAE Launches Applications for DELP 2019-21 Class

ASAE has opened the call for association professionals to apply for the 2019–2021 class of the Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP). Deadline for submissions is Monday, March 11. The Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau has been the exclusive sponsor of DELP since 2001.

“DELP is a vital program to the association industry. It helps associations identify and develop motivated leaders that fuel organizational success,” said ASAE President & CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE. “The continued support of Larry Alexander and the Detroit Metro CVB over the last 18 years has made the association community stronger by every measure.”

DELP is an accelerated leadership program of education, mentoring, and volunteer service in the association community. Candidates who have at least three years of mid-senior level association management experience or at least one year of experience as an association CEO (as of the date of their application) and are members of a racial/ethnic minority group, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender, or have a disability are encouraged to apply.

During this two-year program, 12 DELP scholars will experience membership and volunteer service in ASAE. They will also have access to industry leaders who could serve as career coaches or mentors.

For more information and to apply for DELP, visit asaecenter.org/DELP.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Lauren Precker, CAE, lprecker@asaecenter.org, 202-626-2735.

About ASAE: ASAE is a membership organization of more than 44,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations. Its members lead, manage, and work in or partner with organizations in more than a dozen association management disciplines, from executive management to finance to technology. Together, they create a vibrant community that makes the world smarter, safer, and better every day. 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. Visit ASAE at asaecenter.org.

Chicago Southland Meeting Facilities Top Choice for Event Planners

The Chicago Southland region has become a top choice for event planners as they identify venues to hold their corporate or association meetings, annual conventions, corporate team building, continuing education programs and other special events.

What makes the Chicago Southland meeting facilities unique and why should planners reach out to Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau? The Chicago Southland CVB can assist event planners in many ways. The CSCVB acts as the primary source of information for the Chicago Southland region. Meeting organizers can rely on the expertise of the CSCVB professional staff to assist in all facets of planning the event. They offer a variety of free professional services to groups booked through the CSCVB including: name badges, welcome banners and tent cards to just name a few. Also, a variety of brochures, videos and electronic files for individuals and groups are available upon request to event planners. These brochures contain information on hotels, attractions, cultural organizations, restaurants, and activities in the Chicago Southland area.

If an event planner looks for assistance with convention suppliers, the CVB has a list of members representing every facet of the hospitality industry including: audio/visual, transportation, decorators, florists, tour companies, specialty items, etc. The CSCVB can introduce event planners to the local suppliers who will help make their event a success.

The convenience of location is certainly one of the best features of Chicago Southland. With six interstates running through the region, it is accessible from any direction, and is just a five-hour drive from eight different states. The Chicago Southland is only minutes away from both Midway International and O’Hare International Airports, has many commuter rail options, and is just 30 minutes outside of downtown Chicago, making it one of the most accessible meeting destinations out there. 

Facilities, Amenities, and Attractions

Chicago Southland offers a variety of facilities to hold any kind of event, big or small. With six full service hotels, a multitude of select service hotel brands with meeting space, La Banque Hotel, a boutique hotel equipped with a retreat room and Tinley Park’s 70,000 sq. ft. convention center, you will easily find the facility perfect for an upcoming meeting, convention or event. All of the Chicago Southland facilities also offer FREE parking, and many of the hotels provide complimentary continental breakfast, making it an affordable option for many.

In addition to their variety of meeting facilities, Chicago Southland has a 38-acre nature preserve called Irons Oaks. Irons Oaks offers programs in outdoor recreation, environmental education, adventure education and corporate training. This is the perfect destination for a company retreat to work on team building skills as well as individual skills. Companies that participate in Irons Oaks’ corporate reach training can expect to leave with enhanced skills in collaboration, communication, problem solving and accountability. The skills learned at Irons Oaks will be sure to create noticeable improvements in the work place.

The Chicago Southland CVB has recently announced a new tool specifically for meeting planners looking to host an event in the Chicago Southland. A new Unique Venues & Activity Guide has been created to offer a menu of fresh event concepts to meeting planners including unique meeting venues, mobile activities that can be added to events taking place in traditional meeting spaces, and social responsibility/community service project suggestions. Whether it is adding group yoga, sip & paint, escape room, teambuilding, or other activities, this new guide will help planners create an unforgettable experience. Planners can reach out to Mary Patchin directly at (708) 895-8200 to receive a copy of this new tool.

The many attractions and endless activities in the Chicago Southland area is a large reason so many people enjoy holding meetings and other events here. Some of the attractions include Accelerate Indoor Speedway & Events, Dave & Busters, Brookfield Zoo, Hollywood Casino Amphitheater, Toyota Park (home of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club), a number of distilleries and wineries, a children’s museum, and Standard Bank Stadium (home of the Windy City ThunderBolts). On top of all of the amazing attractions, the Chicago Southland also has many outstanding restaurants. With award winning breweries, farm to table restaurants, fine dining and more, the only hard part of holding an upcoming event here is deciding where to eat. Chicago Southland is a very lively area that truly has something for everyone.

About CSCVB

The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for the south metropolitan area and represents 63 south and southwest suburbs of Chicago. The Chicago Southland provides an abundance of amenities for meeting planners with an ease of accessibility. With its huge array of lodging and meeting facilities, amazing restaurants and endless activities, Chicago Southland is sure to be the best place for company or group events. For inspiration, you can view their Meeting Video here.

So whether it’s a company looking for corporate team building event venues, an annual company event for 10-2,000, or convention facilities near Chicago, organizers should consider Chicago Southland when planning their next event. To find out more or to contact the CSCVB, check them out at: www.MeetChicagoSouthland.com.

Mokara Hotel & Spa Unveils Renovations, New Meetings Spaces with Local Flair

Mokara Hotel & Spa’s newly renovated lobby and meetings spaces take inspiration from the luxury hotel’s rich history, celebrating it through new modern designs. Formerly the L. Frank Saddlery Building, the spirit of Mokara’s previous life can now be seen through a modern lens with fresh interiors and commissioned artwork.

The use of indigenous materials throughout, like leather sofas and cowhide throw pillows, along with custom touches like metal cap details on the restaurant banquettes, pay homage to the hotel’s 19th-century roots, with an elevated sense of luxury. New Axminster carpets feature sienna colors found in red clay and gold to mimic sunsets and creams that represent the limestone walls on the River Walk, tying the hotel to its natural surroundings. The small details, down to the rope, saddle and stirrup used in the custom carpets, bring the hotel’s former life into modern times.

Mokara is also pleased to announce the opening of the Tejas Boardroom, a new, 222 square-foot space for meetings inspired by the Spanish history of San Antonio. The room features rich, tall-back Spanish-inspired carved leather chairs gathered around a state-of-the-art conference table with power sources and connection to a new large screen television.

“All elements of the renovation connect the guest to the history of the L. Frank Saddlery building and surrounding landscape, transporting them back in time to when the Saddlery was running,” said Laura McKoy, creative director + vice president of interior design for Omni Hotels & Resorts.

Led by Sypult Rogers Studio, the interior design now showcases custom pieces, including new Axminster carpets, antiques and objects, many of which are native to Texas. Particularly unique and on display in the new ballroom is a custom-commissioned metal 3D sculpture of an open framed saddle, further strengthening the rich ties to the property.

“We hope that these freshened rooms and inviting spaces inspire every person who walks through our doors to reflect on the rich history found within our walls,” said Rusty Wallace, area managing director and general manager for the hotel.

Mokara Hotel & Spa is a luxury hotel situated on the iconic San Antonio River Walk. To book a reservation, call (210) 396-5800 or visit https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/san-antonio-mokara.

Economic progress, social prosperity goals of PCMA’s first Leadership Summit

Civic and corporate leaders from four continents will gather January 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a unique two-day discourse on how business events can create diversified and sustainable opportunities for economic and social prosperity.

The Jan. 6 and 7, 2019 program was created by Chicago-based PCMA to bring together a core international group of association CEOs, corporate leaders and municipal leaders. Participants include representatives from McDonald’s Corp.; Caesars Entertainment; Melbourne Convention Bureau; Columbus, Ohio Mayor Andrew Ginther and International Association of Public Transport.

“PCMA is a platform for the business events industry and we wanted to create a session where different civic and corporate stakeholders can freely discuss the role of business events in every community and how business events can drive global economic and social transformation”, said Sherrif Karamat, PCMA president and CEO. “The business events industry accounted for $1.03 trillion in 2017 direct spending. If the sector was a country, it would be part of the G20 international forum.”

The Leadership Summit on Jan. 6, 2019 will focus on accelerating success for those organizing and hosting business events by gaining critical knowledge in transformational leadership during disruptive times. Speakers include innovator Peter Sheahan of the Karrikins Group, thought leader and global voice for education Heather McGowan and MyGrowthFund CEO Vusi Thembekwayo. See the program at conveningleaders.org/go/cl19-summit-forum/.

The Forum on Economic and Social Progress on Jan. 7, 2019 will include the expanded participation of influential community stakeholders from economic development, mayors and civic officials to discuss the importance of business events to economic planning, industrial strategy and sector development. Forum sessions include “The fourth industrial revolution”; “How the world and the role of cities are changing”; “Leveraging the power of communities for real progress” and “Driving social and economic progress through business events”.

The Leadership Summit and Forum will precede Convening Leaders, PCMA’s signature annual event, which takes place from Jan. 6-9, 2019 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. The “Disrupt & Deliver” themed event brings education sessions and networking opportunities to thousands of professionals in the business events industry. Convening Leaders speakers include tennis legend Billie Jean King, marketing guru Seth Godin, diversity expert Anka Wittenberg, millennial entrepreneur Nadya Okamoto and television personality Karamo Brown.

Visit conveningleaders.org for more information, including 2019 PCMA Convening Leaders registration.

HIGH-TECH ROBOT “PEPPER” TO SHOWCASE AT IMEX AMERICA PRESS CONFERENCE PROMOTING UNDER ONE ROOF EXPERIENCE AT MALL OF AMERICA®, JW MARRIOTT, AND RADISSON BLU


Unique Meeting Opportunities at Mall of America Offer a 650 Peak Room Experience

Today at IMEX America, high-tech humanoid robot Pepper will host a press conference promoting the Under One Roof meeting experience. JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America, Radisson Blu Mall of America, and Mall of America announced the Under One Roof offering at last year’s IMEX.

Under One Roof packages together unique luxury meeting space with built-in entertainment and dining. The Under One Roof press conference will be held at 1:30 PM in the Press Center at The Sands Expo Convention Center.

Mall of America has three Pepper robots on premises, all of which are designed to enhance the guest experience through artificial intelligence. Pepper can give directions to stores and restaurants, answer questions about the Mall, and even pose for selfies. The robots are part of a greater Mall initiative to focus on technology. Mall of America is a perfect backdrop for meetings, with its centralized, efficient location and on-site dining and entertainment options which are desirable for meeting delegates.

JW Marriott, Radisson Blu, and Mall of America are all located under one roof, allowing for seamless transitions between the three venues. Together, meeting space totals 60,000 square feet and accommodates up to 1,200 attendees. This combined space provides exceptional opportunities for team building activities, luxurious accommodations, and unparalleled access to a world-famous shopping and entertainment experience.

JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America’s sophisticated guest rooms and warm, intuitive service have earned rave reviews from guests since its opening in 2016. Radisson Blu Mall of America features elegant and modern lodgings, along with an on-site spa and restaurant. Both hotels have received numerous accolades, including Conde Nast Traveler’s Best in the World Reader’s Choice Award (JW Marriott) and Radisson Hotel Group Hotel of the Year (Radisson Blu).

MITEC Signs Exclusive International Partnership with GICEC

The Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre (MITEC) and Guangdong Tanzhou International Convention and Exhibition Center (GICEC), China sealed an exclusive collaborative partnership to further contribute in creating an economic impact through the business events industry.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was recently signed between MITEC and GICEC, marks the official partnership that is expected to increase cooperation and foster greater ties between two trading nations.

Signing on behalf of MITEC, Gunther Beissel, Chief Executive Officer, remarked that China continues to be a key target market for Malaysia, and MITEC is firmly committed in strengthening bilateral trade relationships year-on-year.

“Collaborations between the both countries in the business events industry is not unusual, but ours is the first centre-to-centre partnership. China is not only a pool of opportunities for business, but more importantly, the wealth of knowledge. Vice versa, Malaysia has its unique positioning in many aspects, especially as the world’s leading Halal hub. This partnership will enable both parties to explore each other’s best practices through flexible, innovative and value-add solutions for the industry,” said Beissel.

According to Joey Pather, CEO of GICEC, “One of GICEC’s prominence is our strategic location. GICEC is located at the center of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, which is regarded by Chinese government as one of the key developing projects in their 13th ‘Five-year Strategy Plan’ (2016-2020). As one of the business events industry’s gateway for China, I am delighted to be able to further widen our horizons through this partnership, aligning the Belt and Road initiative, to further boost economic cooperation and connectivity between both countries”.

Pather also expressed, “I am confident that this strategic alliance is not contained only between GICEC and MITEC. Our supply chains will benefit as much as us, from the technical know-hows, to generating leads up to converting it into business relationships. We are glad to be part of this impactful and dynamic effort”.

Both parties will be working closely to jointly promote and support exchange in profitable business leads linked to trade and public shows with potentials for international outreach and economic impact.

More experiences, business and learning opportunities at largest ever IMEX America

New experiences, business prospects, skills to learn and people to meet; the show floor will be bursting with exciting opportunities ready for event professionals from across the world when the largest ever IMEX America opens in Las Vegas tomorrow (Tuesday October 16).

While the increasing variety of inspiring experiential activities and education sessions is striking, business remains the focus of IMEX. Buyers will find a stimulating choice of destinations, venues, hotels, technology specialists and service suppliers from 150 countries among over 3,500 exhibitors, a new milestone for IMEX America. The business focus is reflected in the high number of one-to-one and group meetings that have been set up through the unique IMEX appointments system before the show opens.

Largest ever IMEX America

Driving this expansion is a continuing demand from new and existing exhibitors for more space. 81 booths – 28 per cent of returning exhibitors – are larger this year while there are also more than 60 new exhibitor booths.

Among those who have taken larger booths, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, DMI Hotels, Rwanda Convention Bureau, Royal Caribbean International and Bermuda Tourism Authority have all doubled the size of their spaces.

The new exhibitors include Meet New York, Malta Tourism Authority, Morocco National Tourist Office, Nobu Hotels, River City Venues at Mardi Gras World, Visit Dallas and Pacifica Hotels. As a result of these and other new and larger booths, the USA/Canada, Caribbean, Asia/ Pacific and hotel areas of the show have all expanded significantly.

Experiencing Smart Monday 

Smart Monday (today), powered by MPI, continues to grow, attracting around 1000 people for a day focused on learning. It is bigger and more interactive than ever with the arrival of the MPI Carnival and the Six Star Innovation & Experience Lab adding live experiential activities alongside the extensive MPI education program.

The Association Leadership Forum created by ASAE, the Executive Meetings Forum, and the SITE Young Leaders Conference have also brought audiences to events dedicated to these groups while the Shamrock Invitational Golf Classic, Association Evening and Site Nite North America are the first of the week’s many popular networking activities.

Legacy, a theme flowing through many activities throughout the show, was the topic for the first of the top class daily MPI keynotes. Julius Solaris, editor of Event MB shared fascinating revelations around ‘Legacy; the power of events,’ from an extensive IMEX research report produced by Event MB. The new white paper, published in association with ProColombia, is now available to be downloaded.

The legacy theme, the IMEX Talking Point for this year, continues through education sessions, through the Future Leaders Forum, and by encouraging everyone at the show to recycle, be conscious of sustainability and contribute their materials and time at the Giving Back Booth. The concept comes to life at the new Legacy Wall which showcases heart-warming and inspiring stories and case studies from exhibitors, partners and IMEX staff about their legacy.

Going live

Buyers looking for inspiring ideas for live and experiential elements to add to their events will find many they can see and experience.  At the Live Zone, supported by Michael Cerbelli’s Hot List, the dynamic, interactive activities include giant puppets, a VR zipline, digital caricatures and living walls. IMEX Group’s charismatic creative partner C2 International will be bringing its Cloud Lab, one of its suite of Learning Labs. There will also be the chance to ‘test-drive’ some of the latest ground-breaking ideas in event technology at the new Tech Zone.

For those eager to learn about the latest trends and techniques and with an eye on personal development, there is a superb choice of 200 plus education sessions at the Inspiration Hub, sponsored by Maritz Global Events. The 10-track education program features hot topics for every need and level of experience, covering security, sustainability, creativity, innovation, technology, experiential events and legacy.

IMEX continues to care for health and wellbeing with meditation sessions to help everyone unwind led by Lee Papa of Mindful Makeovers™ supported by Imprint Events Group, at the Be Well Lounge, sponsored by Hilton. The new Caesars Forum Walking Challenge by Heka Health, to see who walks the most steps each day and the IMEXrun, sponsored by GES, Hilton, LVCVA, Simpleview, and Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau, on Wednesday morning, are both sociable ways to look after the body.

IMEX America is known as a great place to make new connections and catch up with friends. The many co-located events throughout the week including MPI Foundation Rendezvous and the EIC Hall of Leaders and Pacesetter Awards will bring hundreds of people together to enjoy themselves while raising money for industry good causes.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group says: “As we head into our 8th IMEX America, we’re excited by the growth in the show and the way that the industry continues to make IMEX America such a key part of their year. We’re looking forward to an exceptionally busy and productive week with a record number of exhibitors and buyers due to be here doing business, networking and fundraising for the major industry foundations. Yet again, our partners here in Las Vegas have welcomed IMEX America and the industry with open arms and hearts and we couldn’t be more grateful for their support.”