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IMEX in Frankfurt will reflect solid market growth and inspiring innovation in the meetings market

“A market showing solid growth and inspiring innovation; those will be the outstanding impressions that buyers will take away from IMEX in Frankfurt this year,” observes Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group with the show, taking place on 15-17 May, in just a few weeks.

“While the political climate has been unsteady, the meetings and incentive travel industry has been resilient and has progressed steadily worldwide. The continuing growth of the show is clear evidence of that,” Carina Bauer adds.

This year’s show will be the largest ever IMEX, both in the space taken by exhibitors and in total floor area. Notable among the areas within the show that have grown are Latin America which has increased by 8 per cent and Africa, up by 7 per cent. The hotels area has expanded by almost 11 per cent while the technology section has more exhibitors than ever, including a new Tech Café offering product demos and presentations.

Among the new exhibitors this year are the Russian Convention Bureau, the Uganda Ministry of Tourism, Caribbean Tours, the Lebanon Ministry of Tourism, Luxe Worldwide Hotels and Standard Hotels. Technology companies exhibiting for the first time include Bravura Technologies, Event Tech Tribe and Etud Bilsim as well as many more in the Technology Pavilion.

Exhibitors that have invested in larger stand spaces include Brand USA, the Mexico Tourism Board, the Polish Tourist Organisation, Ungerboeck Systems, Visit Britain, PRO COLOMBIA, NYC & Company, Accor Hotels and the German Convention Bureau.

Hall 9 for innovation, learning and live experience

Many of the exciting learning innovations at the show this year will be centred in Hall 9, separate from the trade show floor. There, a Learning Zone has been created with the Inspiration Hub, the home of the show’s 250 plus education sessions, along with a Live Zone bringing together a variety of experiential ideas and products for all to try.

Most spectacular is the SkyLab, the chance to experience how it feels to have a meeting in mid air, in seats suspended from the ceiling. This is one of the Learning Labs which have been brought to the show by C2 International, the ground-breaking leader in innovative business conferences, as a result of a new partnership with the IMEX Group, a joint effort to drive innovation and creativity throughout the meetings and events sector.

EduMonday – a day dedicated to free professional education

14 May will be EduMonday. Launched last year, this innovative learning day now offers even more events for specific interest groups. This year they include an Agency Directors Forum, a facilitated forum by invitation only for the directors of agencies; Rising Talent, an afternoon of actionable learning and career development for meeting professionals under-35; She Means Business, created in partnership with tw tagungswirtschaft, which celebrates and debates the role of women in the meetings industry, as well as new programmes for Exclusively Corporate and Association Day. Among the new elements of the education schedule are sessions covering different aspects of ‘Legacy’, the IMEX 2018 Talking Point.

With the global meetings industry gathering together at IMEX, networking with colleagues and making new contacts is a well-established element of the show. While social events such as Site Nite Europe, cim-clubbing – powered by MPI Foundation Rendezvous – and the IMEX Gala Dinner provide a wide variety of different opportunities, the Zenvoy service also enables like-minded buyers to connect and arrange in advance to meet at the show. A new additional feature of this popular service is the Zenvoy Connections Lounge on the show floor – the ideal place for those who connect online to meet face to face.

“I’m excited about what IMEX 2018 has to offer for the industry. Buyers have the opportunity to do business with the largest ever range of exhibitors from across the world and from all sectors of the industry; to experience the most exciting and creative innovations ever showcased at IMEX; as well as benefit from more sector specific education and social events to suit everyone’s specific needs. There has never been a better year to see and experience what the industry has to offer and no better place to discover it than at IMEX in Frankfurt this year,” concludes Carina Bauer.

IMEX in Frankfurt starts with EduMonday, 14 May, at Kap Europa Congress Centre. The business exhibition runs 15 – 17 May in Messe Frankfurt – Halls 8 and 9.

www.imex-frankfurt.com
Registration for the show is free of charge and open to all.
#IMEX18

SPIN, The Don Cesar and Visit St. Pete/Clearwater Join Forces for SPINCon 2018

Dates, Venue Announced for SPINCon 2018

SPIN:Senior Planners Industry Network and Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (VSPC) announce that SPINCon 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018 at The Don Cesar.

“Visit St. Pete/Clearwater worked hard to come up with a great package for SPINCon 2018 and we are thrilled to be working with them,” said Tracey Smith, Executive Director of SPIN. “To get our members excited we held a ‘Where in the World is SPINCon’ contest online, dropping clues all week. One clever member guessed the city from the first clue and another guessed the hotel on clue 3!”

Content Curated by Attendees

Each SPINCon is designed to be unique, however the focus is always on the whole meeting professional. This year members will be asked to submit session topic ideas which will be voted on – embodying SPIN’s mantra of ‘by our members, for our members.’ The SPINCon Planning Committee will finalize the theme and the program.

Together Again

“I am so excited that we were selected to host this year’s conference,” said Todd Gehrke, Director of Sales, The Don Cesar. “I worked with the SPINCon team when at a previous venue and am glad to be working with them again.”  Suzanne Hackman, Director of Meetings & Conferences at VSPC said, “we are thrilled to be bringing SPINCon back to Florida, and we will work hard make this year’s experience very memorable. The entire hospitality community is looking forward to working with the SPINCon Planning Committee to showcase our area to SPIN members.”

About SPIN

SPIN: Senior Planners Industry Network is the world’s largest association limited to senior-level planners with at least 10 years full time planning experience. SPINCon is the annual conference for the association.

About Visit St. Pete-Clearwater

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

About the Don Cesar

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

ALHI Increases “Elite Retreats Collection” Options with Addition of Resorts in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and Hilton Head, South Carolina

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has expanded its worldwide portfolio and “Elite Retreats Collection” options with the addition of the luxurious 123-villa Banyan Tree Mayakoba in Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico, and the acclaimed, 60-room The Inn & Club at Harbour Town at The Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. In addition to becoming the newest members in ALHI’s global portfolio, the resorts also are new options in its luxury brand collection that consists of member hotels and resorts which specialize in exclusive gatherings and have fewer than 200 rooms, according to ALHI’s Chief Sales Officer Mark Sergot.

ALHI Global Luxury Sales now represents the resorts to the Meetings & Incentive marketplace in North America and Europe. ALHI’s portfolio features more than 250 luxury and upper-upscale hotels and resorts, which are either independent or are with an independent hotel brand, and which specialize in hosting meetings, conventions and/or incentive programs.

With the additions, ALHI’s “Elite Retreats Collection” now offers 60 distinctive hotel and resort options, which includes 21 exceptional choices in North America and 25 outstanding options in Europe. In addition to their membership in that luxury brand collection, the two resorts also are new options in the “ALHI Beach & Island Collection” and “ALHI Golf Collection.”

Located in the most exclusive enclave of Mexico’s renowned Riviera Maya region, along the pristine Caribbean coastline, Banyan Tree Mayakoba is an idyllic sanctuary that blends Asian culture with Mexican warmth. Featuring 123 luxury villas, ranging in size from 3,000 square feet to more than 5,000 square feet, the beautiful resort also offers 14 indoor and outdoor function spaces, including inspiring beachside venues, sunset-looking terraces and state-of-the-art ballrooms and meeting rooms. Additionally, the resort features the lush oceanfront El Camaleon PGA golf course, the world-class Banyan Tree Spa, the Sands Beach Club, a fitness center, four tennis courts, a nature trail, an art gallery and a wide range of superb dining options. Nestled within the private gated development of Mayakoba, the resort is just 30 miles (40 minutes) from Cancun International Airport (CUN), and 18 minutes from the charming town of Playa del Carmen.

Spanning the southern third of Hilton Head Island, and located along 5,000 oceanfront acres, The Sea Pines Resort has been a quiet and award-winning retreat for more than 50 years. Recognized as the #1 Hotel on Hilton Head Island by TripAdvisor, The Inn & Club at Harbour Town at The Sea Pines Resort offers 60 elegant guest rooms and is recipient of the prestigious AAA Four-Diamond rating and Forbes Four-Star Award. Among the many offerings at The Sea Pines Resort are 20,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, an array of beautiful outdoor venue options, and three golf courses (the highly acclaimed Heron Point by Pete Dye, the exceptional new Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III, and Harbour Town Golf Links). In addition, the distinguished resort features The Sea Pines Racquet Club with 21 clay tennis courts, a full-service marina, five miles of pristine beach, a beach club, and many dining options. The resort is just 15 minutes from Hilton Head Island Airport, and Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is 45 minutes away in Savannah, Georgia.

“We are very proud to add these outstanding resorts to our global portfolio, and to our ‘Elite Retreats Collection,’ ‘Golf Collection’ and ‘Beach & Island’ luxury brand collections,” said Sergot. “Both resorts are exceptional choices for smaller meetings, board meetings and incentive travel programs, as they each feature truly beautiful settings and so many terrific recreational options. We look forward to showcasing these resorts and their outstanding offerings to meeting professionals and incentive specialists in North America and Europe.”

In addition to these newest members, ALHI’s “Elite Retreats Collection” includes such exceptional options as Western Colorado’s celebrated 72-room Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa; Northwest Florida’s new 170-room The Henderson; Charleston, South Carolina’s grand new 179-room Hotel Bennett (opening this summer); Northeast Florida’s 66-room oceanfront The Lodge & Club at Ponte Vedra Beach; California’s world-famous, 161-room The Lodge at Pebble Beach; and downtown Seattle’s luxurious Loews Hotel 1000. Other distinguished choices include the elegant One Ocean Resort & Spa in Northeast Florida; the Four-Star, 153-room Pan Pacific Seattle; the 340-acre Salamander Resort & Spa in the Virginia horse and wine country; Colorado’s hip, 107-room The Sebastian Vail; Southern California’s stunning 167-room Surf & Sand Resort; the Forbes Four-Star The Chateaux Deer Valley in Park City, Utah; Kansas City, Missouri’s all-new, 132-room The Fontaine Hotel; and Orlando’s 146-room The Villas of Grand Cypress, offering an array of recreational options.

For more information about ALHI and/or its member hotels and resorts, contact your nearest of the 24 ALHI Global Sales offices in the United States, Canada, London and now Frankfurt, Germany. For specifics, go to alhi.com to identify the nearest “ALHI Team” Global Sales professionals in your area. Or, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free in the U.S. at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit alhi.com .

About ALHI, with 250 Hotels & Resorts + 23 Cruise Ships and DMCs

ALHI, established in 1986, is the leading independent Global Sales Organization serving the meetings and incentive marketplace, providing one-call access for its distinguished membership. Hired and authorized by member properties, ALHI features a distinctive portfolio of exquisite resorts, luxurious city center business hotels, historic grand landmark hotels, lifestyle hotels, boutique hotels, 23 luxury cruise ships, and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) in more than 100 locations worldwide. ALHI’s 24 Global Sales offices in North America and Europe provide extensive Global Sales services, valuable expertise, local connectivity, market intelligence, and account advocacy for meetings and incentive programs of any size and scope worldwide. alhi.com

Annual statistics: 2017 the most successful year to date for convention business in Berlin

Net value added generated by the conference and congress market exceeds 1 billion euro for the first time

Number of overnight stays at hotels rises to around 8 million

Constant growth in attendance figures and events

Congress business in Berlin remains on course for success: in 2017, around 11.7 million participants (+ 1 per cent compared to 2016) came to 140,200 events (+ 2 per cent) in Berlin. For the first time, the conference and congress market generated a net value added of more than one billion euro. These figures come from the current congress statistics* of the Berlin Convention Office of visitBerlin.

“Congress business is an important economic factor for Berlin,” says Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin. “Internationally, our city is among the top group – and as yet demand has remained unbroken. In order to maintain this success, we must continue to create attractive offers in Berlin.”

The number of overnight stays rose to 7.9 million last year, an increase of 2.6 per cent compared to 2016. A quarter of all overnight stays at hotels in Berlin can thus be attributed to the congress business.

Every fourth event is a medical congress

Berlin is a sought-after location for medical events: more than a quarter of all conferences and congresses can be attributed to the sector “Medical, Pharmaceuticals and Health Science”. This is followed by the sectors “IT/Digital Economy” and “Politics/Public Institution” with eleven per cent each. Germany remains the most important market for Berlin, Great Britain and the USA/Canada, follow in second and third place.

The congress industry secures more than 43,000 jobs

The total turnover of the conference and congress industry amounts to 2.51 billion euro. Participants staying overnight spend considerably more money with 246 euro per day than in the previous year (2016: 237 euro). 43,200 full-time jobs are secured by the conference and convention business in Berlin (2016: 41,500).

For more information on Berlin, go to convention. visitBerlin. com.

*Source: Congress statistics in 2017 from the independent market research company ghh consult GmbH on behalf of visitBerlin.

JEFFREY SZOMBATY JOINS HYATT REGENCY WAIKIKI BEACH RESORT AND SPA AS NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF AND INTRODUCES THE BUFFET AT HYATT

Long-time Hyatt Regency chef to lead resort’s food and beverage program, including impressive new dinner buffet

HONOLULU, HI  – Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa’s General Manager Doug Sears announces the appointment of Jeffrey Szombaty as Executive Chef and the timely debut of The Buffet at Hyatt. With close to two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Szombaty joins the resort from Hyatt Regency Vancouver, where he served as Executive Chef for three years. Before his move to British Columbia, Szombaty served as Executive Sous Chef at Hyatt Regency Waikiki from 2010 to 2014.

“We are thrilled to welcome Chef Szombaty back to the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa family,” remarked Sears. “Jeff’s passion for indigenous, seasonal products, as well as sustaining relationships with local farmers and vendors, is evident in his style of cuisine, which focuses on simplicity and clarity of flavors. We are lucky to have Chef Szombaty back on the island to lead our culinary team and to introduce The Buffet at Hyatt.”

In his new role, Chef Szombaty has spearheaded the resort’s newest venue, The Buffet at Hyatt. With a focus on sustainability and delicious, organic options only available in Hawaii, The Buffet will be available from 5:30pm – 9:30pm nightly on the third floor of Diamond Head Tower. Menu highlights include a made-to-order poke station and sushi, Kauai shrimp, fresh local fish, kiawe smoked alaea salt crusted prime rib, southern king crab legs with Hyatt’s famous Singaporean chili crab sauce, certified angus grilled beef, traditional Hawaiian specialties, extravagant dessert selections, and more, with gluten free and vegetarian options throughout and an expanded seafood selection on weekends. Szombaty is committed to offering a unique array of choices for travelers from across the globe, with a special focus on local produce, organic ingredients, and a connection to Hawaiian culture. The Buffet at Hyatt will also feature a selection of curated cocktails, including the Hana Passion (Cruzan Rum, passion fruit syrup, grenadine, orange juice, piña colada mix), Waikiki Mule (Absolut elyx, lilikoi puree, ginger beer), and South Shor (Cruzan Mango, Southern Comfort, orange juice, pineapple juice, grenadine). The Buffet at Hyatt menus can be found here, and the full drink menu is included here.

A New Jersey native, Szombaty began his culinary career early in life, working in professional kitchens starting at age 16. He first joined the Hyatt community in 2000 as a Cook at the Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, PA. He moved up the ranks to Banquet Chef in 2007 and transferred to the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago in that same role in 2008. It was from Chicago that Szombaty moved to Waikiki to work as Executive Sous Chef under Sven Ulrich, and it is with great excitement that he is welcomed back to the resort.

About Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa

Balanced between the idyllic beauty of the legendary Waikiki Beach and the dynamic city center, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa is a vibrant destination combining relaxation and adventure with true Hawaiian hospitality. Each of the 1,230 guestrooms, including 19 suites, offers Hawaiian elegance and private lanai with panoramic beach, mountain, and city views. With an unrivaled location just steps from world-famous waves, the resort affords effortless exploration of the island’s attractions, from Diamond Head Crater, Honolulu Zoo, and Waikiki Aquarium, to world-class shopping, sophisticated dining and expert surfing lessons. Offering endless amenities including luxurious treatments at the 10,000 square-foot Na Ho’ola Spa, StayFit Fitness Center, swimming pool overlooking Waikiki Beach, one of Waikiki’s biggest breakfast buffets at SHOR, steak and island seafood at Japengo, tropical cocktails at SWIM, and more than 60 boutiques on site. Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach promises Hawaiian-style excitement paired with the warmth of authentic Aloha spirit.

For more information regarding Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, please contact the resort by phone at (808) 923-1234, or visit the resort website at: waikiki.regency.hyatt.com.

About Hyatt Regency

Hyatt Regency offers a full range of services and facilities tailored to serve the needs of meeting planners, business travelers and leisure guests. Properties range in size from 180 to over 2,000 rooms and are conveniently located in urban, suburban, airport, convention and resort destinations around the world. Hyatt Regency convention hotels feature spacious meeting and conference facilities designed to provide a productive environment allowing guests to convene and connect. Hyatt Regency hotels in resort locations cater to couples seeking a getaway, families enjoying a vacation together and corporate groups seeking a functional and relaxed atmosphere in which to conduct business and meetings.

MinnSPIN is Coming to the Twin Cities March 7

First Daylong Event for Twin Cities Branch

SPIN (Senior Planners Industry Network) Twin Cities branch is holding a daylong conference for senior meeting industry professionals on March 7.  The content has been developed to target the busy senior-level planner who needs professional development close to home. “We realize that not all of our members can travel to attend conferences, so we are bringing the education and networking to them,” said Linda Hurtley, SPIN’s Regional Director, Central Region and Advisory Board Member.

“Our team focused on topics that appeal to our audience – folks who have been in the industry for more than 10 years and need that next level of discussion,” remarked Dana Ellis, SPIN:Twin Cities Branch President. Topics to be covered include “Contract Management” with Kelly Everhart, “Stories that Sell” with Phil Gerbyshak, a “Laugh and Learn” session led by the Brave New Workshop Team (venue host), “The Chemistry of Conversations that Build Trust” with Mary Schmid and “Build Efficiency and Fill Your Toolbox” with Sean Schuette.

Registration Open Now

Registration is open to member and non-member industry professionals (planners and suppliers who have at least 10 years’ experience). SPIN:Twin Cities is encouraging SPIN members from other branches who might be in town to sign up too! Register here.

About SPIN

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

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SEATTLE SOUTHSIDE REGIONAL TOURISM AUTHORITY SALES MANAGER RECIEVES DISTINGUISHED RECOGNITION BY EVENTS INDUSTRY COUNCIL

Jené Iceberg, sales manager for the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) is among an elite group of individuals recently announced by the Events Industry Council as members of the newest class of Certified Meeting Professionals (CMPs). The prestigious, internationally acknowledged meeting management certification program is recognized as a badge of excellence throughout the events, meetings, conventions and exhibitions industry. Iceberg received her certification after passing a rigorous examination and evaluation based on her professional experience and education. CMPs are considered leading experts in their field.

“We are thrilled that Jené continues to be recognized for her hard work and dedication to meeting planning and management,” said Meagan McGuire, vice president of sales and services of the Seattle Southside RTA. “Jené’s expertise benefits both our key stakeholders in Seattle Southside and the groups and events from around the country that we have the pleasure to host and serve throughout the year.”

In 2017, Iceberg was named “Rookie of the Year” by Meeting Professional International (MPI) and received a Shining Star award for her active community involvement. She served as the chair for the Washington chapter’s annual auction, successfully coordinating a team of volunteers to execute the successful event.

In her two-and-a-half-year tenure with Seattle Southside RTA, Iceberg has focused on bringing meeting and event planners to the region, as well as educating industry professionals on the services a destination marketing organization (DMO) can provide. She works closely with many local industry associations, volunteering her time to various committees.

Iceberg is currently working on obtaining her Professional in Destination Management (PDM) certificate from Destinations International. She is also a founding board member of the Seattle chapter of Young Travel Professionals and has rebuilt the group to provide opportunities for industry professionals to develop their careers, network and continue influencing the travel industry.

About the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority

The Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) is the official destination marketing organization for Seattle Southside. The organization is responsible for competitively marketing the area as an ideal destination for leisure and business travelers who wish to explore Western Washington and for meeting and event planners to hold their functions. 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.

 

AHLA Announces 2018 Officers & Board of Directors Slate

Notable Board Members Represent Full Spectrum of Hotel Industry

 The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today announced its 2018 Board of Directors which includes top industry leaders representing all segments of the industry.

Notably, Dave Johnson, American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLEF) Chair and President and CEO of Aimbridge Hospitality joins the current 2018 Officer slate, which includes: Chair, Mark Carrier, President of the B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group, Vice Chair Geoff Ballotti, President and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group, Secretary and Treasurer Jon Bortz, Chairman, President & CEO of Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, and Jim Abrahamson, who continues to serve as Immediate Past Chair.

Several new industry leaders will also be joining the 2018 Board of Directors. The AHLA Board represents leaders from all sectors of the lodging industry, including brands, owners and REITS, management companies, independents, and state associations.

“I look forward to working together with our officers and incoming Board members, both current and new, to build upon the foundation of the last several years which has seen growing membership engagement, a more financially sound association and a dynamic team to achieve even greater success,” said AHLA Chairman Mark Carrier. “AHLA works to underscore the industry’s tremendous stories of opportunity, growth, innovation and success. Our Board represents the diversity of the entire industry, and both new and returning board members provide critical insight and guidance that will contribute to new success this year.”

“We are excited for the year ahead and all the depth of experience that our board brings to the table and in setting a strong, aggressive agenda,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of AHLA. “We are so grateful to our Officers and all the Board members who volunteer their time and energy to ensure that our organization is on a path for success that will bring the industry renewed visibility and one unified voice both in and outside Washington, D.C.”

Additions to the Board of Directors for 2018 are as follows:

Brand Representatives:

Ken Greene, President of the Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

Peter Sears, Group President, Americas, Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Kevin Frid, Chief Operating Officer, North and Central America, AccorHotels

Alex Tisch, EVP of Commercial and Business Development, Loews Hotels & Co

Management Company Representatives:

Chris Manley, COO, Stonebridge Companies

Owner Representatives:

Greg Juceam, CEO, BRE Hotels & Resorts

Rob Kline, CEO & Co-Founder, The Chartres Lodging Group, LLC

Vera Manoukian, President & COO, Denihan Hospitality

Independent Representatives:

John Campbell, General Manager, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club

Partner State Association Representatives: 

Eric Terry, President & CEO, Virginia Restaurant, Lodging, and Travel Association

At-Large Representative:

Jagruti Panwala, President & CEO, Wealth Protection Strategies

Click here to view the Board of Directors for 2018.

2017 Sees Record Numbers Endorse PCMA’s Status as the Leading Global Meetings Industry Association

PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association) announced strong financial growth and record revenue numbers at the final press conference held during its annual Convening Leaders event, which took place in Nashville, TN at the Music City Center January 7-10, 2018.

Reporting on its membership, there are now more than 7,000 Business Event Strategists globally.  More than half of the PCMA membership body joined approximately 4,500 total attendees at this year’s Convening Leaders.

Financially, PCMA’s revenues have also shown record increases to $19 million USD (from $6 million USD in 2006) with partnership activity contributing $6.5 million USD in 2017. Its revenue streams and brands now include Convening Leaders, ICESAP, the Digital Experience Institute and Convene magazine.

The growth of PCMA has been supported by the PCMA Education Foundation, which has also announced record numbers this week, raising  $1.83 million USD from a range of activities during 2017 with $493,000 USD being awarded in scholarships and grants during the same year.

This record success has grown under Deborah Sexton’s leadership as CEO, a position she has held since 2005. In a recently announced move, Deborah Sexton will hand over as President and CEO to Sherrif Karamat, the current COO. Karamat has worked with Deborah since 2005 and originally joined the organization as vice president of sales in 2003. He became COO in 2008. He officially begins his new role as President and CEO of PCMA on January 19, 2018.

The IMEX Talking Point for 2018 is ‘Legacy’. So, what’s your legacy going to be?

The IMEX Group has announced that its Talking Point for 2018 will be the theme of ‘Legacy’ – a subject expected to resonate strongly with the international meetings, events and incentive travel industry, particularly at IMEX in Frankfurt in May and at IMEX America in October.

Following the successful launch of its annual Talking Point concept last year when ‘Purposeful Meetings’ was the focus, the IMEX Group is continuing this approach in 2018 with ‘Legacy’.

Explaining why the IMEX Group chose ‘Legacy’ for 2018, CEO Carina Bauer said: “As a company whose mission is “to unite and advance the meetings industry, doing everything we can to educate, innovate and help our clients make powerful connections with the right people,” IMEX has a strong, living commitment to the idea of Legacy.”

“While the meetings and events industry has been evolving over the past five years we’ve seen a shift away from planning an event around a ‘single moment in time’ towards planning an event with longer-lasting, more meaningful impacts – impacts that can be seen long after the event has ended. That impact could be on the attendees, the host community, the local innovation economy, the destination partners, the city leadership, the environment or many other areas.”

Five strands will unfold

IMEX’s legacy stories will explore five different angles over the next twelve months: political legacy; knowledge legacy/social impact; CSR legacy; environmental legacy and personal legacy – which means exceptional people doing exceptional things. Each of these will be examined in different ways as the year goes on.

Looking further at how the legacy concept has risen to prominence within the industry and within society, Carina Bauer observes “Developments in technology and, of course, social media, have allowed meeting and event planners to exploit and generate memory, meaning and value far beyond just one meeting or event. Put this together with the emergence of a younger generation of planners and suppliers who have a strong sense of mission and purpose, of making a positive difference through their work, and it becomes clear how ‘Legacy’ has developed and become our Talking Point.”

Recognising personal impact and legacy

Carina Bauer says “Our strapline – ‘Legacy: What’s yours going to be?’ – acknowledges that just one person with a strong vision can make a massive difference – but they don’t have to change the world in a year. Sometimes their legacy lies in getting something started, creating momentum, initiating change or achieving buy-in.

“For the IMEX team itself, ‘Legacy’ is about behaving and planning with a better future in mind – a form of payment in advance combined with a clearly articulated, ‘higher’ purpose for each of its shows.

“In terms of practical takeaways for the industry, we’ve commissioned two important new research reports and case studies and our legacy theme will also shape some of the shows’ education sessions. It will feature in the Policy Forum and Exclusively Corporate programmes at IMEX in Frankfurt and throughout the preshow education days – EduMonday in Frankfurt and Smart Monday at IMEX America. Other elements will be announced as the year progresses”.

Carina Bauer adds: “There is a growing consciousness of the long-term impact we all make on the world that is running throughout our industry, society and among individuals. Our Legacy Talking Point will give that consciousness due recognition.”

Online registration for IMEX in Frankfurt 2018 is open – and free.