Monthly Archives: October 2010

Business & Congress Tourism in Switzerland: Ongoing Investment in Facilities

In the sector of congress tourism and incentive trips, Switzerland stands out for the quality of its services and facilities. At least 50 large projects are now underway for the construction, renovation and extension of conference facilities and accommodation. These schemes show the importance of conference and business tourism in Switzerland, as well as the necessity of developing the country’s facilities in order to meet the future needs of conference and event organisers.

Between 2008 and 2014, more than 30 projects for the refurbishment or extension of existing conference facilities and business hotels will be completed in Switzerland. During the same period, 21 new hotels, meeting facilities and exhibition spaces are due to open for business. Within six years, nearly 3,000 new hotel bedrooms in the three-, four- and five-star categories will be available in the business and conference tourism sector. Total investment during this period is expected to exceed one billion Swiss francs.

“After a weak year in 2009, business and conference tourism in Switzerland is recovering, as demonstrated by the increase in the number of hotel overnights in the main Swiss cities in the first half of 2010,” said Barbra Albrecht, Manager of the Switzerland Convention and Incentive Bureau . “The renovation, improvement and continuing development of facilities is a decisive factor in maintaining Swiss competitiveness in this sector. The current number of renovation and development projects shows that investors have confidence in the future of business and conference tourism in Switzerland.”

New business, conference and seminar hotel facilities: some examples.

• Spring 2010: opening of the Starling Hotel on the campus of EPFL in Lausanne. 154 rooms, as well as meeting rooms able to accommodate up to 250 people. The hotel is located close to the new Rolex Learning Center at EPFL, where the Rolex Forum has room for up to 600 people.

• Summer 2010: inauguration of a new auditorium (accommodating 1,200) at the Casino Kursaal in Interlaken, the only Swiss member of Historic Conference Centres of Europe.

• November 2010: opening of the new congress centre in Davos, which includes a new hall for 2,000 people, and six smaller meeting rooms. In 2013, the InterContinental Davos Resort & Spa, notable for its daring architecture, will open its doors (210 rooms, 37 residences – investment: CHF 180 million).

• 2011: inauguration of a new trade fair hall (10,000m2) at the BEA Bern expo exhibition centre, and modernisation of the conference centre (new foyer and entrance area). Investment: CHF 45 million.

• 2011: opening of three new hotels for conference and business guests in Zürich. Located on the site of the former Hürlimann brewery, the B2 Boutique Hotel will offer 61 rooms. The Renaissance Zürich Tower Hotel will be located in the new Mobimo Tower near the city centre (284 rooms, 1,000m2 of conference space). The Ramada Hotel, in which Credit Suisse has invested CHF 48 million, will open with 159 rooms.

• 2011: completion of the 2nd stage of the extension and renovation of the Beaulieu Lausanne conference and exhibition centre. This is part of a large-scale project for the city of Lausanne, due for completion in 2020, which will also include construction of a hotel on the site. (Estimated investment for the exhibition buildings and renovation of the conference centre only: CHF 100 million of public and private funds).

• 2012: on the southern side of the Alps, opening of the new Ibis & Novotel hotels at Lugano Paradiso (200 rooms, conference premises accommodating up to 300 people).

• 2012: in Gstaad, opening of a five-star property, the 124-room Grand Hôtel Alpina. Total investment: CHF 300 million.

• 2013: completion of the extension of the Basel exhibition ground. This project, devised by the architectural practice of Herzog & de Meuron, represents an investment of CHF 430 million.

A selection of projects for the renovation, extension and construction of conference facilities and accommodation can be found at: (enter webcode 49471 in the Search field).

The Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau (SCIB) is a division of Switzerland Tourism. The SCIB offers advice to organisers of conferences, meetings, incentive trips and other events in Switzerland, to help them find facilities that are suitable for their specific needs. SCIB has representatives in Switzerland, North America, Great Britain, the Benelux countries, France, Germany, Russia and the Nordic countries.

For further information, contact:
Barbra Albrecht, Manager, Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau (SCIB)
Tel. +41 44 288 12 62, e-mail:

Mingle360 and The LinkedIn Rockstars Partner to Further the Business Social Media

Fairfax, VA – Mingle360 is excited to announce a new partnership with The LinkedIn Rockstars, Mike O’Neil and Lori Ruff. The LinkedIn Rockstars will be adding Mingle360 technology to their training programs on corporate use of social media. In addition, they will also be providing training sessions at Mingle-enabled events to help attendees get the most strategic benefit and productivity from this new business networking power tool.

Mingle360 allows event attendees to connect with each other by simply clicking their thumb-drive sized MingleSticks together. After the event, a user simply plugs his or her MingleStick into a computer to update their online Mingle account with all of the new connections they’ve “mingled “ with. This gains immediate online access to information associated with their mingled connections—contact information, photos, websites and other collateral—as well as their profile pages on social networks including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. The system can even automatically send requests to new contacts inviting them to join their networks.

“The most respected corporations are using LinkedIn and other social networking media, and Mike and Lori are the world’s leading trainers on these increasingly essential tools,” says Dan Coffing, CEO of Mingle360. “More and more events are using the MingleStick and other Mingle technology as a means for presenters, exhibitors and attendees to easily make immediate and permanent connections that are intimately tied to their online social presence. Given the mutual core missions of Mingle360 and The LinkedIn Rockstars to empower businesspeople with cutting-edge networking technologies and strategies, our partnership is a hand-in-glove fit.”

“Most people will tell you that the single most important thing they get from conferences is the connections to people they meet,” says LinkedIn Rockstar Mike O‘Neil. “The Mingle360 system saves hours of productivity in follow-through after events. It allows both vendors and attendees to continue establishing new personal peer-to-peer relationships immediately without any scanning, sorting, data entry or loss. Account photos provide visual memory cues, privacy is taken care of automatically, and the system even eliminates the need for printed materials. We’re very excited to have Mingle360 as a new enabling technology for business networking. Training people to use it most effectively with their other social strategies is a natural extension of our work.”

About The LinkedIn Rockstars

The LinkedIn Rockstars, Mike O’Neil and Lori Ruff, are the world’s most experienced and engaging LinkedIn trainers. With over 500 high-energy group presentations to their credit, they focus on training sales teams, recruiting teams, executive teams and associations, showing users the mechanics and strategies of LinkedIn and related social media for the corporate world. Their Rock The WorldTM books pique reader’s interest in LinkedIn and social media by using musical influences that inspire action while guiding participants down the path to online business success.

About Mingle360

Offered as a service to event organizers, the Mingle360 solution greatly enhances attendee networking at the event, surpassing business cards with up to date contact information and even facial recognition. It creates ‘buzz’ and excitement at the event and helps differentiate the organization from the competition. For more information, please contact Mingle360 at 703-425-0402 x111.

What’s New at Nana at the Hilton Anatole?

Nana’s Autumn Promotions

Dallas, TX – General Manager Mark LaRocca and Executive Chef Anthony Bombaci are excited to announce Nana’s newest specials and old-time favorite traditions. From happy hours to holiday dinners, Nana has something extra special every day of the week.

Happy Hour at the Bar at Nana
For the first time ever, the Bar at Nana introduces happy hour with half-off cocktails from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm, Thursday through Saturday. Order one of your favorites or try a Nana signature, like the Coco-Moj made with fresh mint, sugar and coconut milk muddled with 10 Cane Rum and freshly squeezed lime.

$45 Holiday Menu
Chef Tony embraces fall ingredients with his new $45 Holiday Menu, offering three courses of prized cuisine for only $45 per person. The prix-fixed menu provides three appetizer, entrée, and dessert options, such as Cavatelli Pasta, Mesquite Grilled Flank Steak with grilled vegetables and blue cheese butter, Seared Scottish Salmon with garbanzo and baby back rib ragout and sherry vinegar gelee, and “Cheesecake” with mango sorbet and mojito coulis. The $45 Holiday Menu is available seven nights a week.

Friday Night Flights
The unbelievable $20 wine and food pairing the first Friday of each month continues. On November 5th, Wine Steward Russell Burkett will complement three wines of the Northwest region, Mirth’s 2009 Chardonnay, O’Reilly’s 2009 Pinot Noir and Sinister Hand’s 2009 Rhone Blend with a Cured and Lightly Grilled Salmon, Wild Mushroom Risotto and Grilled Lamb Breast. Friday Night Flights is $20 per person and is available between 6pm to 8pm the first Friday of each month at The Bar at Nana.

Nana is a restaurant with an inimitable sense of luxury and wonder, where its service, panoramic view of the city and upscale American cuisine created by internationally-acclaimed Executive Chef Anthony Bombaci are simply astonishing. Hours are Sunday through Thursday from
6pm – 10pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm – 10:30pm. The Bar at Nana opens daily at 4:30pm. Nana is located on the 27th floor of the Hilton Anatole Hotel at 2201 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75207. Reservations are available by calling 214.761.7470.

About Hilton Anatole
Located within a 45-acre campus, the Hilton Anatole Hotel features two high-rise atriums; a 27-story tower; and 1,606 luxuriously appointed guestrooms with first-class in-room amenities and wired Internet access. Additionally, the hotel offers guests more than 500,000 sq. ft. of event space as well as a variety of recreational activities, including viewing the Art Collection, one of the largest and most intriguing private assemblies in the world; an 80,000 sq. ft. fitness center, tennis courts, one of the finest lap pools in the region, an indoor jogging track; gift and sundry boutiques; V Spa, the hotel’s newest luxury spa oasis; and five unique restaurants and bars for dining and entertainment, including the new high-tech Media Grill + Bar, award-winning five-star Nana and chic Gossip Bar.

ALHI Expands International Offerings, Adds First Member Resort In The Middle East

. . . Atlantis The Palm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Augments ALHI’s Distinguished Portfolio

WASHINGTON, DC – Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has expanded the global offerings within its portfolio with the addition of an impressive new member, the renowned Atlantis The Palm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which is a sister property to the popular Atlantis, Paradise Island in The Bahamas, also an ALHI member. Atlantis The Palm is ALHI’s first member in the Middle East, and becomes ALHI’s 21st international member, outside the USA.

ALHI is a prestigious dues-based membership National Sales organization that represents more than 125 Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels and resorts worldwide to meeting professionals, incentive/recognition specialists, association executives, product launch specialists, and business executives wishing to conduct programs at one or more of the member properties. ALHI offers over 100,000 rooms and more than 10 million square feet of meeting space in its extraordinary portfolio of the best venues for meetings. There is no cost to executives’ or planners’ organizations to utilize the National Sales services of ALHI, as its members’ dues fund the organization to serve planners in their region.

“The magnificent, world-class Atlantis The Palm is THE gem in incredible Dubai, and we are truly proud to be representing the resort to the meetings and incentive marketplaces in North America,” said David Gabri, president and CEO of ALHI ( “Dubai has captured the world’s imagination, and Atlantis The Palm is truly the crown jewel of the region.”

Majestically situated on Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island that provides spectacular views of the azure Arabian Gulf, the impressive Atlantis The Palm is the largest meeting, eating and sleeping venue in Dubai. Offerings include 1,539 guest rooms (including 166 suites); 60,278 square feet of meeting space (which includes the Atlantis Ballroom that can seat more than 2,000); and many beautiful outdoor venues that provide stunning views of Dubai. The resort also features 17 restaurants and bars, Aquaventure Waterpark (the largest water park in Dubai), The Lost Chambers (home to 65,000 marine animals), Dolphin Bay that enables guests to interact with dolphins, a world-class spa with 27 treatment rooms, nearly a mile of pristine beach, two large swimming pools, a Five-Star dive center, a kids club, and an on-site helipad for airport transfers and city tours. Atlantis The Palm is located just five minutes from the Village Center, approximately 20 minutes from Dubai city center, and approximately 30 minutes from Dubai International Airport.

Atlantis The Palm joins such other distinguished international offerings in ALHI’s portfolio as: the awe-inspiring Atlantis, Paradise Island in The Bahamas; the spectacular harbor front Pan Pacific Vancouver in Canada; the luxurious Loews Hotel Vogue in Montreal, Canada; the chic InterContinental Toronto Yorkville in picturesque Toronto, Canada; the AAA Four-Diamond Loews Le Concorde in charming Quebec City, Canada; the all-inclusive, all-suite Paradisus Playa Conchal Resort in Costa Rica; the glorious Paradisus Punta Cana Resort in The Dominican Republic; and the world-class Paradisus Palma Real Resort on legendary Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Additional international offerings include: the luxurious InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel, along the side of the famed Garnier Opera House in Paris, France; the AAA Four-Diamond Half Moon, nestled among 400 acres of tropical landscape in Montego Bay, Jamaica; the oceanfront Live Aqua Cancun in the heart of Cancun, Mexico; Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos in the prestigious and exclusive Cabo del Sol golf community in Los Cabos, Mexico; the AAA Five-Diamond Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach, providing incredible panoramic views of the Caribbean, in Cancun, Mexico; the splendid Gran Melia Fenix in the heart of Madrid, Spain; the stylish ME Barcelona in popular Barcelona, Spain; the spectacular Gran Melia Palacio de Isora on the scenic Canary Islands in Spain; the elegant, newly-renovated Gran Melia Victoria in Palma de Mallorca, Spain; the sophisticated Hotel ME Madrid Reina Victoria, a landmark in Madrid, Spain; the celebrated Gran Melia Don Pepe in beautiful Malaga, Spain; and the magnificent InterContinental London Park Lane in London, England.

Meeting professionals, association executives, and incentive specialists have utilized ALHI’s National Sales services for nearly 25 years, with reliable one-call professional sales assistance and access to their distinctive hotels and resorts for meetings and incentive/ recognition programs ranging from 10 to more than 5,000 rooms.

ALHI’s worldwide portfolio provides over 100,000 rooms and 10 million square feet of meeting space for meetings, conventions and incentive/recognition programs. Members include extraordinary Four- and Five-Diamond quality meeting and incentive resorts, incomparable city hotels, exclusive smaller hotels, golf resorts, historic and landmark properties, island destinations, resorts with spas, properties in international destinations, and hotels with gaming and entertainment. For ALHI’s complete portfolio, visit

ALHI has 16 professionally-staffed National Sales Offices to serve, with locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, North Carolina, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Philadelphia, Richmond, San Diego, Toronto and Washington, DC. Go to to identify the “ALHI Contacts” sales professionals in your state/area.

For more information about ALHI, to inquire about a potential meeting at any of the ALHI member properties, and/or to acquire a free copy of ALHI’s new “2010-2011 ALHI National Sales Guide To Meeting Facilities,” contact your nearest ALHI National Sales Office, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit

Meetings Industry Snapshot: Planners Express ‘Cautious Optimism’

IMEX Frankfurt exit poll reveals American buyers see positive trends in face-to-face meetings

A little over half (54%) of meetings industry specialists in the U.S. and Canada have expressed ‘cautious optimism’ about the return of meetings and incentives market, according to a recent poll taken by the IMEX Group following its Frankfurt trade show. A further nine percent said that they are ‘very optimistic.’

The poll was conducted among 200 North American buyers and suppliers in June 2010, following the conclusion of IMEX in Frankfurt, which took place May 25-27, 2010.

The poll results are good news for the U.K. based IMEX Group, which will launch its first annual IMEX America exhibition, October 11-13, 2011, in Las Vegas, at the Sands Expo at the Venetian/Palazzo Hotel.

Ray Bloom, Chairman of the IMEX Group comments, “We recently declared an increase in the hosted buyer program for IMEX America – we now expect in excess of 2000 buyers – because our partners and intermediaries have a renewed confidence in future growth. This represents an increase of more than 30 percent on our initial launch figure. Our survey findings are also in line with other recent global and US industry reports which suggests that this new found confidence is not just about mood but about real business volumes.”

The poll also revealed that Canadian planners are even more optimistic. While one in five (21%) U.S. planners doubt the meetings market is in recovery, Canadian buyers are generally convinced that already it is ‘business as usual,’ suggesting that the sector has rebounded faster because their economy and financial systems were hit less severely. As one planner explained, “Our financial system was never really in too much trouble. No banks closed, and there were few or no foreclosure increases.

Business demands changed slightly but did not necessarily decline.” Another shared the opinion, “In Canada we are quickly moving out of the economic downturn…our GDP is up 6.1% already. Fortunately, perception may no longer be an issue.”

In contrast, U.S. respondents acknowledge the possibility of continuing business volatility and that recovery may only be slow. However, their confidence is underpinned by a sense that there is pent up demand for travel. Said one organizer, “We are starting to experience a resurgence in incentive programs from our customers. Qualification levels are stronger and forecasts for 2011 are stronger than 2010.” Another commented, “We are seeing an increase in the number of programs for 2010 over 2009, so that is a positive. There are encouraging small gains as well as the better reception we are receiving to our offers.”

Survey participants confirm also that their meetings and incentives tend to be short-notice, travel less far, remain value-conscious, and are simpler and more ROI-focused than those held prior to the downturn. Some argue that the formula of ‘more for less’ – frugality and less frivolity – could prove to be the new reality for many years ahead.

About IMEX America

The new trade show for the worldwide meetings, events and incentive travel industry; the inaugural IMEX America will take place October 11-13, 2011 at the Sands Expo at the Venetian/Palazzo Hotel. The show’s strategic partner and major educational provider is MPI. It is endorsed by DMAI and Site, and has an Industry Partnership with PCMA. IMEX America also has major partnerships in place with all the other leading industry associations across the world. IMEX America will offer a unique model of trade show, new to the US market. It will assure exhibitors of meeting and making business appointments on their booths with in excess of 2,000 highly qualified hosted buyers. The majority (80%) of these hosted buyers will come from North America, with the balance from the rest of the world. In addition thousands of additional U.S. buyer attendees are expected to attend from across North America.

The Fairmont San Francisco to Introduce Intersect: A Fairmont Media Lounge in Fall 2010

New lounge to offer high-tech entertainment and meeting options
for individual travelers and groups

SAN FRANCISCO — Located in the hub of technological innovation, The Fairmont San Francisco has announced the development of Intersect: A Fairmont Media Lounge, which will offer guests the ultimate experience of connectivity.

Spanning 2,400 square-feet, Intersect will provide an inviting environment where travelers can relax by playing interactive games, listening to music, downloading photos or just browsing the Internet to plan the perfect San Francisco itinerary.

Plush couches, arm chairs and chaise lounges in a trio of blue tones ranging from sapphire to aqua are set against pale silver walls and drapery, creating a chic club-like setting that gives guests an alternative to the traditional hotel lounge. A digital art installation will be showcased in this avant-garde space.

Hotel personnel will be available to assist guests with Intersect’s state-of-the-art entertainment offerings. The full-service lounge will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily.

For the meeting and event market, Intersect introduces a fresh take on social networking. In addition to holding board meetings and private screenings in the sleek space, groups can bond over spirited “Guitar Hero” and “Wii Golf” competitions while enjoying a delicious menu of regional selections.

“We are trying to bring the fun back to travel and are creating a ‘playful’ lounge for our guests. Here, they can enjoy the very best wines from the region while playing popular games developed in our own backyard. It is truly an only-in-San Francisco experience, in keeping with Fairmont’s guiding philosophy of classical by design, contemporary in spirit,” explains Regional Vice President and General Manager Thomas Klein.

The lounge is being developed in partnership with Bang & Olufsen (B&O), famous for its signature sound and vision technologies that provide unique experiences in the field of audio and home entertainment. Electronic Arts (EA) and EMI music are also collaborating on the project by providing the most sought-after games and music, respectively.


Designed by Freebairn-Smith & Crane Architects, Intersect will be comprised of four areas including the entry which opens up to the lounge, the central game room and the screening room. These distinct venues can be elegantly separated by drapes for smaller, exclusive group functions.

The lounge will feature the following entertainment options:

• A Microsoft Surface interactive table that allows guests to browse the Internet and play games on a table top
• A Bang & Olufsen music system that functions as a digital jukebox
• A Bang & Olufsen LED HD TV with Blue-ray technology that can show a wide variety of general interest content to guests; this monitor can also be used to showcase a client’s presentation during corporate events.
• A “share table” where guests can mingle while working on personal laptops.

The central game room will offer the following high-tech, high-excitement amenities:

• Two gaming stations including a selection of X-Box and Wii games selected to appeal to a range of ages and interests. Movies and special event broadcasts can be experienced true to life on the B&O monitors. Conveniently, the stations can be played by either individuals or small groups.
• A station where music can be downloaded to guests’ MP3 players
• Two iMac laptops provided for general use

The screening room will feature a large projection screen and B&O HD Plasma screen with full surround-sound designed for corporate presentations, movie screenings and more active games such as Rock Band and Wii sports games. It will seat 18 to 24 people.

Intersect is open to children 18 and under, if accompanied by an adult. Hotel guests can access the media lounge for $10 per person spanning a 24-hour period.

The new multi-media lounge, a first-of-its-kind for the luxury hotel brand, reinforces Fairmont’s commitment to deliver thoughtful services and innovative products that enhance the travel experience. With more than 60 distinctive hotels and resorts worldwide, Fairmont does have plans to introduce Intersect at some of its other destinations in the future.

Since 1907, The Fairmont has served as the San Francisco residence for U.S. presidents, world leaders and entertainment stars. The landmark hotel offers 591 newly renovated guest rooms and suites, three distinctive restaurants, a health club and easy access to the city’s most popular attractions. The Fairmont San Francisco is located atop Nob Hill at 950 Mason Street. For reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit

With more than 60 distinctive hotels, including the iconic Fairmont San Francisco and Fairmont Peace
Hotel Shanghai, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is an unrivalled collection of properties located in some of
the world’s most coveted destinations. Known for its warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences, this global hospitality brand features classic hotels that imbue a sense of heritage, sophistication and social importance and are often considered destinations in their own right. Fairmont is also committed to responsible tourism and is an industry leader in sustainable hotel management with its award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 95 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded residences, estates and luxury private residence club properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit

Slate of 2011 PCMA Education Foundation Trustees

CHICAGO, IL—The PCMA Education Foundation Nominating Committee has reviewed all nominations submitted for the 2011 Board of Trustees and the following slate was prepared for review and approval by the Board of Trustees. On October 3rd, the slate was approved and deemed elected by the Board.

2011 Slate of Trustees:
Liz Erikson, Executive Director, Association Sales, Fairmont-Raffles-Swissôtel
(Term: 2011)

Gregg H. Talley, CAE, President and CEO, Talley Management Group, Inc.
(Term: 2011)

Digby Davies, Chief Executive Officer, PSAV Presentation Services
(Term: 2011 – 2012)
Anne Hamilton, Vice President, Resort Sales and Service, Walt Disney World® Resorts
(Term: 2011 – 2012)
David G. Peckinpaugh, CMP, Vice President, Business Development, HelmsBriscoe
(Term: 2011 – 2012)
Gary Schirmacher, CMP, Senior Vice President, Strategic Account Services, Experient, Inc.
(Term: 2011 – 2012)
Valerie M. Sumner, Principal, VRS Meetings and Events, Inc.
(Term: 2011 – 2012)
Carol Wallace, President and CEO, San Diego Convention Center Corporation
(Term: 2011 – 2012)

The following Trustees will continue their terms in 2011:
Chair: David J. Olender, Vice President, Strategic Alliances, Gaylord Entertainment
(Term: 2011)
Immediate Past Chair: Barry L. Smith, President and CEO, Metro Toronto Convention Centre
(Term: 2011)
Trustee/President &
Deborah Sexton, PCMA and PCMA Education Foundation

The following Trustee positions are determined by PCMA:
PCMA Appointed
Joseph V. Popolo, Jr., CEO, Freeman
(Term: 2010-2011)
PCMA Appointed
John Folks, President, Minding Your Business, Inc.
(Term: 2011-2012)
PCMA Chairman of the
Susan R. Katz, Director of Corporate Events and Travel, True Value Company
(Term: 2011)
PCMA Chair-Elect: Kent E. Allaway, CEM, CMP, Vice President, Meetings and Trade Shows,
Produce Marketing Association
(Term: 2011)

About PCMA
The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) is the professional resource and premier educator for
the meetings and convention industry. Founded in 1957, PCMA represents the interests of meeting management
executives from associations, non-profit organizations, corporations, independent meeting planning companies, and
multi-management firms who recognize the importance of meetings to their organization. PCMA empowers members
with the tools they need to succeed as meeting professionals and to promote the value of the industry to their
organizations and the general public. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States,
Canada and Mexico. For additional information, please visit the PCMA Web site at

About the PCMA Education Foundation
The role of the PCMA Education Foundation is to support the mission of the PCMA through fundraising and grant giving
focused on education, research and scholarships that will benefit the meetings and conventions industry. Established in
1985, the Foundation supports educational programs to improve professionalism in the meetings industry and to provide
a university-level meeting management curriculum. The Foundation funds educational programs for meeting managers,
hotels, convention and visitors bureaus, and other members of the meetings industry. It also conducts ongoing research
of industry issues and concerns. The Foundation continually funds new programs to encourage the highest levels of
professionalism in the meetings industry. For additional information, please visit the

Statement on Passing of Gene Fondren

WASHINGTON—ASAE issued the following statement on the passing of Gene N. Fondren, CAE:

“ASAE and the association community lost a dedicated association leader with the passing of Gene Fondren, former president of the Texas Automobile Dealers Association. He was Chairman of the ASAE Board of Directors from 1991 to 1992 and served on multiple ASAE committees and task forces throughout his career, with greatest contributions to the Political Action Committee, Government Relations Committee and the Key Awards Committee. In addition to his commitment to the association profession, Gene was a three-term member of the Texas House of Representatives, from 1963 to 1967. He cared deeply about our community, and I know he’ll be missed,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, CAE.

Visitation with the Fondren family will be Friday, October 15, 6-8 p.m., at the Weed-Corley-Fish North Funeral Home in Austin, Tex. Services will be held Saturday, October 16, 10 a.m., at Weed-Corley-Fish. Memorial Contributions, in lieu of flowers, may be sent to the Texas Automobile Dealers Association Foundation in remembrance of Gene (TADA, 1108 Lavaca, Suite #800, Austin, TX 78701).

About ASAE
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 22,000 association executives and industry partners representing more than 11,000 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit

Associations Mourn Passing of Community Champion Jim Low

WASHINGTON—ASAE issued the following statement on the passing of James P. Low, CAE:

“ASAE joins the association community as we mourn together the loss of our close friend and mentor, Jim Low.

Jim served as president of ASAE from 1965 to 1981 and accomplished a tremendous deal of work for our community. During his strong and dynamic tenure, he elevated the image of our profession and the important role associations play in America. His achievements and life-long commitment to the association profession left a significant mark on our community, and will continue to shape our work. Please join ASAE in expressing our sincere condolences to the Low Family,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, CAE.

Visitation for James Low will be held Friday, October 15, 6-8 p.m., at the Money and King Funeral Home in Vienna, Va. A funeral mass will be held Saturday, October 16, at St. Catherine’s Church in Great Falls, Va.

About ASAE
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 22,000 association executives and industry partners representing more than 11,000 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit

Associated Luxury Hotels International Launches New “U-200 Gems” Collection

. . . For Planners Seeking Smaller, Exclusive High-Quality Meeting & Incentive Venues

WASHINGTON, DC – Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), recognizing that some planners seek unique smaller hotels and resorts, has launched the “ALHI U-200 Gems” collection, which is a new specialty segment within ALHI’s worldwide portfolio that consists of ALHI members with 200 rooms or under, which specialize in serving meeting and incentive programs. The “ALHI U-200 Gems” currently consists of 18 ALHI member hotels and resorts, from ALHI’s worldwide portfolio of over 125 Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels and resorts.

“We created the ‘U-200 Gems’ collection so that meeting planners and incentive/ recognition specialists who are seeking an exclusive, smaller venue for their specific programs can easily access the range of options available to them,” said David Gabri, president and CEO of ALHI. “These gems can provide a wonderful secluded atmosphere for your group, which can be particularly appealing if you have a very tight-knit group, one that requires privacy or total confidentiality, or one that wishes to utilize the property’s beautiful public spaces for private functions. These hotels and resorts also enable smaller groups to be the ‘main program’ at their property, which can have its benefits too.”

Gabri added, “This specialty segment features 14 incredible and distinctive options from coast to coast, as well as four exceptional international options. So there are a variety of options from which to choose.”

Established in 1986, ALHI is a prestigious dues-based National Sales organization, which is dedicated exclusively and authorized specifically by the members it serves. ALHI’s membership features over 100,000 rooms and 10 million square feet of meeting space for meetings, conventions and incentive/recognition programs. There is no cost to planners’ organizations to utilize the National Sales services of ALHI, as its members’ dues fund the organization.

The unveiling of the “U-200 Gems” collection follows other specialty segments launched by ALHI in 2010. The “ALHI Level 5 Collection” consists of ALHI’s 17 member hotels and resorts that have earned the highest and most distinctive recognitions including the prestigious AAA Five-Diamond rating, and/or the esteemed Forbes (Mobil) Five-Star rating. The “ALHI Big Box 5-50 Collection,” created for planners of larger programs, features ALHI’s 25 member hotels and resorts that offer more than 500 rooms, feature over 50,000 square feet of meeting space, and have at least one 20,000-square-foot ballroom. The “Mountain Resorts Collection” offers 7 mountain resorts, and an additional 16 mountain-view resorts, for planners desiring to conduct programs with inspiring mountain views. The “ALHI Historic Collection” consists of 23 legendary hotels and resorts with more than 50 years of heritage.

To make it easy for planners to access options within the “U-200 Gems” collection, there is a “View All Specialty Segments” quick reference button on the Home Page. This button provides easy access for planners to see the options available in each specialty segment. On the site, planners can quickly see details of the properties’ meeting, accommodation, recreational and dining offerings, as well as destination information and “Luxury on Sale” value opportunities. A photo gallery, meeting floor plans and specs, and a location map for each property are also easily accessible.

The “U-200 Gems” collection features a diversity of options throughout the country, as well as properties in international locales.

In the West, the “U-200 Gems” collection includes: the intimate Mediterranean-style, 24-room Casa Palmero, located along the first and second fairways of the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California; its sister property, the renowned Lodge at Pebble Beach, offering 161 guest rooms and suites overlooking gardens, oceanside fairways or majestic Carmel Bay, as well as 12,000 square feet of meeting space; the luxurious Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle, offering 160 guest rooms and suites, and more than 5,500 square feet of meetings space with expansive windows; and the sophisticated Royal Palms Resort and Spa, nestled at the base of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona, and featuring 119 lavishly appointed guest rooms and over 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

Additional options in the specialty segment in the West include: the AAA Four-Diamond, newly-renovated La Posada De Santa Fe Resort & Spa, located on six landscaped acres just blocks from the historic plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico; the stylish Loews Denver Hotel, a 183-room boutique property situated in the exclusive Cherry Creek shopping and dining district of Denver; and the new ski-in/ski-out Viceroy Snowmass, featuring 173 stylish guest rooms and suites and dramatic mountain views in Snowmass Village, Colorado.

In the Midwest, the “U-200 Gems” collection includes The Driskill, built in 1886 in Austin, Texas as the showplace of a cattle baron, and offering 189 elegant guest rooms and suites, and 18,080 square feet of historically restored function space.

In the Northeast, options include: the AAA Four-Diamond, 195-room InterContinental Harbor Court Baltimore, located on the magnificent Inner Harbor, within walking distance of the business district and many popular attractions; Salamander Resort & Spa, set to debut in the picturesque foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains amid Virginia’s famed horse and wine country, in spring 2012 with 168 guest rooms and 12,000 square feet of meeting space; and the 120-acre Topnotch Resort and Spa, surrounded by the beauty of the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Offerings in the South include: the Forbes Five-Star Cloister at Sea Island, a spectacular and secluded meeting retreat on Sea Island, Georgia for more than 80 years; the AAA Five-Diamond, 40-room Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club, reminiscent of an elegant English country manor; and Atlantic Beach, Florida’s One Ocean Resort Hotel & Spa, offering 193 plush guest rooms and suites, and 10,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor venues with spectacular Atlantic Ocean views.

International offerings in the specialty segment include three options in Spain: Gran Melia Don Pepe, providing magnificent views, and more than 13,000 square feet of meeting space, in beautiful Marbella on the Costa del Sol; Gran Melia Victoria, featuring 171 newly-renovated guest rooms and suites in renowned Majorca, the summer retreat of Spanish Royalty; and the sophisticated and stylish ME Madrid, conveniently located in the heart of Madrid’s historic city center. In addition, the specialty segment features Loews Hotel Vogue, which blends old-world charm with new-world style in the heart of downtown Montreal, Canada, with 142 spacious guest rooms and suites, and 6,517-square feet of meeting space.

ALHI has 16 professionally staffed National Sales Offices, with locations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, North Carolina, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Philadelphia, Richmond, San Diego, and Toronto. Go to to identify the “ALHI Contacts” sales professionals in your area.

For more information on the “ALHI U-200 Gems” collection, or for a copy of ALHI’s 155-page “ALHI National Sales Guide To Meeting Facilities 2009-2010,” contact your nearest ALHI National Sales Office, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit