Monthly Archives: October 2011

Convene Green Alliance Focus Forum to Explore Ways to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Association Meetings

WASHINGTON, DC, – What, exactly, is a “carbon footprint?”

The ASAE Convene Green Alliance (CGA) Focus Forum, “Carbon Footprinting Made Easy,” to be held November 8, 2011 at the ASAE Headquarters Conference Center in Washington, DC, will provide a complete answer to this question, and then some. The event is complimentary to association professionals.

This learning opportunity begins at 9:00 a.m. with an “Around Orlando” Networking Breakfast, put on by the Orlando Convention Center District, the sponsor of the Focus Forum.
The program runs from 9:30 – 10:45 a.m., featuring Jeff Benavides, LEED AP O+M, Senior Project Manager for EcoPreserve, a sustainability consulting firm dedicated to assisting businesses and organizations maximize building operational performance through benchmarking, analyses, upgrades, education, engagement, and certification.

He will review today’s green meeting trends and define and explore renewable energy credits, carbon offsets, and other resources that meeting professionals can use to reduce the carbon footprint of future meetings.

“We will demonstrate the many ways to reduce or offsetting the carbon footprint of meetings and show how to engage attendees around these sustainability initiatives,” Benavides says.
“At this point, the meeting and events industry has largely seen an interest and movement with regard to green meetings,” he adds. “It’s safe to say that the stratification, classification, and differentiation of ‘green’ meetings cross a wide spectrum in best practices in planning, coordinating, and executing. The lack of a universally accepted process has left room for ‘green washing,’ especially when it comes to measuring environmental impact with hard data and public statements of successes.”

Benavides plans to educate meeting professionals about new tools and resources to sort through the clutter and realize the opportunities of reducing footprints through collaboration and showcasing of existing practices.

For more information and to register, visit www.convenegreen.com.

About the Convene Green Alliance
The ASAE Convene Green Alliance (CGA) is a free 1000+ member community for meetings professionals dedicated to sustainability and best environmental practices in association meetings through local and national outreach and education. To learn more, visit www.convenegreen.com.

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 www.asaecenter.org.

PCMA Cultural Learning Lounge

As part of the PCMA innovative programme which followed on from IMEX, the Go Global theme continued with the introduction of Cultural Learning Lounges.

Countries selected on the basis of participants’ advance expressions of interest included Brasil, China, France, India, Middle East, Singapore and the UK, reflecting the countries which are the focus of potential meetings emanating from the USA. Whilst new destinations are on the rise, interestingly, France and the UK still field in the top ten targeted locations.

IAPCO fielded 3 “global experts”, covering the Middle East, France and the UK. Levels of interest varied as groups moved from country to country, but hard facts could not be ignored. Cultural differences most frequently explored were the financial implications, such as VAT, commission, different mechanisms of charging, negotiating deals etc.

“The UK has a special attraction for international meetings from the US” said Sarah Storie-Pugh, Administrator of IAPCO. “Costs might be deemed to be higher but so is the attendance level and support. Many Americans have roots in England and Scotland and the potential to explore those roots, and be part of 500-year-old seats of learning, is extremely appealing.”

“But VAT and contractual negotiations are so different and complex” interjected one global participant. IAPCO responded “PCOs today embrace the handling of all finance, VAT, contracts, negotiations, all on behalf of their clients. It is important to partner with a PCO when working internationally. They can save you many thousands of dollars whilst providing extensive levels of expertise. They understand the local culture but work within the ethos of the Association and Client.”

ABOUT IAPCO: Meeting Quality
The International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) was founded in 1968, is registered in Switzerland and represents today more than 110 professional organisers, meeting planners and managers of international and national congresses, conventions and special events from 40 countries. IAPCO members organise in excess of 6100 meetings annually, totaling some 2.24 million delegates and representing an economic impact in the region of 3.63 billion euros.

IAPCO is committed to raising standards of service among its members and other sectors of the meetings industry. Today IAPCO membership offers a unique quality assurance, since entry into membership of IAPCO is by meeting strict criteria and by continuous quality assessment.

The high quality standards are secured by means of continuing education and interaction with other professionals. The ‘Wolfsberg’ seminar, The Meetings Masterclass and the Annual Meeting & General Assembly of its members are the highlight events of IAPCO.

For further information, please contact:
IAPCO Head Office: Brambles House, Colwell Road, Freshwater, PO40 9SL, UK
Email: info@iapco.org
www.iapco.org

Arlington Remains #1 Virginia Destination for Tourism Economic Impact

The Commonwealth of Virginia announced that Arlington tourism generated nearly $2.5 billion in visitor spending, supported more than 23,000 jobs and generated nearly $72 million in tax revenues for the County in 2010.

The visitor spending figure represents a 7.2 percent increase over 2009, or an additional $167 million injected into the local economy. Compared to 2009, payroll from Arlington tourism was up $25.4 million or 3.3 percent, totaling almost $790 million for 2010. Visitors to Arlington were responsible for nearly 13 percent of Virginia’s travel-related expenditures, resulting in over $81 million in state tax receipts.

Flash Mobs Take Off at Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort

Joining in the dance craze that has been captured on everything from “Glee” to “Modern Family,” Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort is the first resort to offer customized flash mobs for both group and leisure customers. A flash mob is a large group of people who gather suddenly in a public location to perform a pre-defined action, typically a brief dance, and then disperse rapidly after the event has concluded.

As group activity to shake up a meeting/event or a surprise for attendees, the Mobbed at Marco Island group package ranges from $10-35 per person and can include:

-Choreographer to teach dance (either to entire group or select attendees, i.e. Executive Committee would be trained to learn dance to surprise their team)

-Videographer to shoot flash mob
-Souvenir t-shirts with company logo that say “I got mobbed at Marco Island!”

On the leisure side, Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort is coming to the aid of nervous grooms, those looking to make birthdays memorable or anyone looking to kick it up a notch with the Marco Island Flash. Guests can take advantage of this new offering to surprise someone with an unforgettable vacation memory.

The choreographed dance number will be filmed by a videographer, who will create a video of the memorable moment to take away as the ultimate souvenir.

Guests can then post their customized video on Facebook, YouTube or have a viewing party with friends and family when they return home. If it goes viral in a big way, Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort invites guests back for a complimentary return visit.

Located on the largest of the Ten Thousand Islands, Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort is the ideal backdrop for a flash mob video with its pristine white beaches and long-lasting sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. For additional filming locations, the resort also offers the Balinese-inspired Spa at Marco Island, the 18-hole Rookery at Marco Island golf course and six dining venues. www.marcoislandmarriott.com.

Berlin Joins “Best Cities Alliance”

Prestigious Service Network Of Ten “Best Cities” Convention Destinations Welcomes German Capital As Partner.

Las Vegas / Berlin — Berlin is the newest member of the renowned service network “BestCities Global Alliance”. The news was announced today at IMEX America in Las Vegas. Berlin stands out with its ultramodern hotels and locations, excellent transport links and professional marketing as a convention destination.

“We have spent a year working towards becoming a part of this powerful network,” says visitBerlin CEO Burkhard Kieker. “Our membership will help us attract further international conventions to Berlin.”

Ten major convention destinations are part of “BestCities”, among them Dubai, Singapore, Vancouver, Melbourne and Houston. The cities’ convention bureaus regularly share information and plan joint marketing campaigns in global markets. They also focus on the development of new markets.

Information on meetings destination Berlin and the Berlin Convention Office at www.convention.visitberlin.de.

Overland Park CVB Launches Mobile App Contest Series

Overland Park, KS – The Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau (OPCVB) released a free, state-of-the-art mobile application (app) for all Smartphone devices this past summer. To encourage continued engagement with the app, by both visitors and residents alike, the OPCVB has launched a series of contests.

“One of the goals of our app is to provide a one-stop-shop mobile resource for visitors and Kansas City metro residents,” says Amy Garton, director of interactive solutions. “With features such as an Overland Park restaurant guide, coupons, near-me mapping and metro area attraction listings, the app is extremely helpful and user-friendly.”

In partnership with MetroMedia, the first contest will run from October 1 to December 31, 2011 and all previous and new app users are eligible to win the grand prize, an iPad 2. To enter, new app users must first download the app by visiting www.visitoverlandpark.com/app. The brief entry form can then be accessed by clicking on the ‘Contest’ page within the app. A lucky winner will be selected at random and announced in early January 2012.

“Future contests will include items from Overland Park hotels, restaurants and attractions. We encourage everyone to enter today for a chance to win a great prize and stay tuned over the course of the year for more exciting contest announcements,” continued Garton.

The National Conference Center to Host Think Tank for Event Innovation

(Leesburg, VA) – October 2011- The National Conference Center will host EventCamp East Coast 2011, billed as the world’s first industry gathering of its kind, a “BarCamp-style” conference that grew out of the desire of a Twitter community that grew up around the #eventprofs hashtag to meet face to face. The ongoing mission of the event and its regional subsidiaries is to bring together like-minded professionals, to share best practices, and learn new strategies, for leveraging social media and technology to create enhanced event experiences.

One of the key objectives of EventCamp East Coast is fostering the development and growth of professional relationships amongst the attendees. While some technology will be used to help with that process, it is also encouraged that people set the technology aside when appropriate and focus on being in the moment.

According to organizers, EventCamp East Coast will tackle the serious discussions around challenges meeting and event planners face as part of their jobs take place.

* Imagine a conference where everyone gets to know each other…
* Imagine a conference that builds on participants’ needs and strengths…
* Imagine a conference where everyone has a say in the agenda…
* Imagine a conference that becomes what participants want it to be…
* Imagine a conference where everyone is both a student and a teacher…
* Imagine a conference where it feels safe to ask the questions you really want to ask, and get the answers you need…
* Imagine a conference that reserves time for structured personal and group reflection…
* Imagine a conference that builds genuine community…

According to Event Organizer Traci Browne, President and Founder of Red Cedar Marketing the event is “what you make of it.” Browne notes that there are no predetermined topics and presenters. Participants share their learning goals during the opening roundtable session and later suggest topics and cast votes on what sessions they would like to see given. “Sessions are facilitated by your fellow EventCampers” said Browne, “and bring out the many years of experiences of fellow attendees. No PowerPoint presentations here! It is meaningful learning outcomes where you have helped to create the weekend’s programs.”

Sarah Vining, marketing manager at The National Conference Center points out that this event is all about innovative thinkers. Author of the white paper: “The Future of The Meetings Industry: Why Certain Conference Innovators Are Winning” Vining says EventCamp East Coast will feature active, participant-driven events and learning sessions where “everyone has a say” and events with more time to create meaningful connections with other like-minded event professionals.”

Organizers agree that they want to “push the conversations on event innovation beyond anything in the past. We are looking for attendees who are innovative and not afraid to speak up with a half-baked idea that just might work. We need attendees who will challenge the status quo. We need attendees who say, “why not?” when someone says, “you can’t do that.”

The EventCamp East Coast is scheduled for November 4-6, 2011 at The National Conference Center in Leesburg, VA, just outside Washington, DC.
There are two pricing options available to attend EventCamp East Coast – full and day passes. Full conference registration is $425 (until October 21) and includes two nights lodging and all meals from dinner on Friday through lunch on Sunday. Day passes are $250 (until October 21) and includes dinner on Friday, lunch and dinner on Saturday and lunch on Sunday. For more information andn to register for this innovative conference go to http://www.EventCampEastCoast.com Many of the sessions at EventCamp East Coast can be used for continuing education hours toward Certified Meetings Professional (CMP) designation.

More about The National Conference Center
Just 12 miles from Dulles International Airport and 45 minutes from Washington, DC, The National Conference Center, operated by ARAMARK Conference Centers, features a secure, distraction-free setting with self-contained buildings surrounded by 100 scenic acres in Leesburg, Virginia. One of the largest conference centers in the United States, the entire facility was purpose designed to accommodate larger meetings and conferences that concentrate on training.

Each of the 250 meeting rooms – representing 265,000 square feet of flexible meeting space — features high-speed Internet access, individual climate control, advanced conference technology, and sophisticated presentation technology with on-site audio/visual and IT support. The 917-room facility (including 78 suites) can accommodate meetings and events up to 1,800 people. Dining options include the popular Black Olive Sports Bar, and the 800-seat dining facility which features a wide variety of healthful buffet selections as well as specialty selections. Recreational options include a fully equipped fitness center along with volleyball, basketball, racquetball, tennis, and more. A fully staffed Business Center is conveniently located to provide administrative support service. throughout the course of each meeting and a professional conference support team is available. Free onsite parking is provided.

ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. In FORTUNE magazine’s 2009 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies,” ARAMARK was ranked number one in its industry, consistently ranking since 1998 as one of the top three most admired companies in its industry as evaluated by peers and analysts. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 260,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at the company’s Web site, www.aramark.com.

Liverpool and Memphis Unite as ‘Rock ‘n’ Soul Mates’

The cities that gave the world the two greatest popular music icons are to join forces to become Rock ‘n’ Soul Mates as part of a Transatlantic strategy to build cultural awareness and encourage destination tourism and business links

The joint public and private sector initiative – forged by the cities of Liverpool and Memphis – hopes to encourage tourists to explore the many links between the cities whose music and history shaped the world – with a little help from The Beatles and Elvis Presley.

Liverpool and Memphis are cities bonded by a shared history and a culture that forms the foundations of a unique and fascinating relationship. From the early rock ’n’ roll of Memphis to the birth of The Beatles, from the cotton plantations of Tennessee to Liverpool’s port there is a deep interconnecting history that is in turn challenging and vibrant. To visit one city is to witness only half of the whole amazing story.

Both Liverpool and Memphis have explored these rich cultural and historical elements individually through established institutions such as The Beatles Story, Graceland, The Rock n Soul Museum, The Slavery Museum and The National Civil Rights Museum but never before in context of each other.

The two cities are in the process of forging meaningful links between more than 40 key destinations that share cultural or historic links. Each venue is choosing a soul mate across the Atlantic Ocean and will be championing its new Rock n Soul mate to all visitors.

Iconic venues already confirmed as Rock ‘n’ Soul Mates include Beatles Story & Graceland, The new Liverpool Museum & Stax Museum of America Soul Music, Liverpool Maritime Museum & The Cotton Museum in Memphis, The Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and Beatles Story.

Memphis’s Stax Academy is already in collaborative conversation with Paul McCartney’s LIPA and plans are underway for the creation of many other Rock ‘n’ Soul Mates including Mathew Street & Beale Street, Sun Studios and The Casbah Club and many of the leading hotels, museums and galleries of the two cities.

Beatles Story and Graceland have recently cemented their Rock ‘n’ Soul Mates status with the media announcement of Elvis & Us, a jointly curated exhibition launching in Liverpool on September 28 2011. The exhibition will explore the influence Elvis Presley had on The Beatles and their UK musical contemporaries.

Jerry Goldman, MD of Beatles Story comments:
“The cities of Liverpool and Memphis have been unearthing more and more connections as we have progressed. These ties are far more than cosmetic. We are planning a calendar of US and UK themed projects and cultural exchanges that will enrich the offer of both cities. The recently announced Elvis and Us Exhibition is just the beginning.

“Culturally we have been closely aligned for the best part of a century and historically for much longer. We hope that what has started off for many people as a shared love of music will soon develop into an even more meaningful exploration of our deeper connections.”

A C Wharton Jr, Mayor of Memphis comments:
“Memphis and Liverpool have shared a common bond through music and history that’s shaped the world. Visitors already flock to both cities to experience their soulful music, history and culture, so it’s only fitting for us to formalize our shared heritage through this partnership.”

Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision who is supporting the initiative and exploring business connections between Liverpool and Memphis comments:
“Liverpool and Memphis are two cities that have inspired the cultural journeys of the UK and the US as well as providing a formidable greatest hits track list for the world. But beyond music there are so many links that we can exploit to improve the futures of our citizens.

“These links exist not only in the music industry itself, but in port logistics and shipping, bio technology, advanced science, creative and digital as well as with our higher educational establishments.

“Liverpool Vision is committed to making Rock N Soul mates work on a wider level and we are already in discussion with our Memphis counterparts to establish sustainable and fruitful business and trade relationships.”

Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Joe Anderson comments: “It is fitting that Liverpool and Memphis, with a rich shared history, join hands again under the banner of music.

“For several years, the city’s tourism team has been in talks with colleagues in Memphis and I am delighted that we can now develop visitor and business opportunities which connect the two world-renowned cities.

“This initiative has my full support and Liverpool is committed to making it an outstanding success.”

Michael McCabe and Joe Smith, UK Producers of Million Dollar Quartet comments

“We are immensely proud to play host to the launch of the Rock ‘n’ Soul Mates initiative between Liverpool and Memphis. At the heart of Million Dollar Quartet is the story of not just the birth of four music legends, but the birth of rock ‘n’ roll itself, and nowhere is more famous with this golden age of music than Memphis!
“That The Beatles made popular the song “Honey Don’t”, written by one of the “Million Dollar Quartet”, only goes to prove how the cities are bonded by a shared musical heritage.”

For further information on Rock ‘n’ Soul Mates initiative please contact Richard Hector-Jones at Creative Concern on 0161 236 0600, 07966 378 968 or email richard@creativeconcern.com

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) Launches New Global Solution Associated Destinations Worldwide (ADW)

With Grand Resorts At Cap Cana As New ADW Member

CHICAGO, IL – Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has launched its new global solution Associated Destinations Worldwide (ADW), which is a new Global Sales Organization (GSO). Built upon ALHI’s 25 years of National Sales experience, ADW will specifically promote world-class member destinations, upper-tier hotels, and first-class convention facilities from around the world to U.S. and Canadian meeting planners, association executives, incentive/recognition specialists, and business executives. The announcement was made by David Gabri, president and CEO of ALHI (www.alhi.com) and also now of ADW (www.adw-gso.com).

ALHI is a prestigious National Sales Organization (NSO), which exclusively provides dedicated NSO services and sales support for its distinctive portfolio of more than 130 Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels and resorts to the meetings and incentive marketplace.

ADW is a dedicated business unit of ALHI that serves North American companies and associations by developing outbound international group programs specifically for its members worldwide. ADW is the first and only company in the United States to offer authorized Global Sales services and expertise for international destinations on a national level across America.

ADW is under the direction of Gabri and Kevin Hinton, executive vice president of ALHI and also now of ADW, two of the most highly respected members of the meetings and hospitality industries. Gabri is Past Chairman of the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation Board of Trustees, and was a member of the International Board of Directors for MPI. Gabri also was the sole recipient of the American Society of Association Executives’ (ASAE) prestigious “Academy of Leaders Award” in 2010, which is ASAE’s highest individual honor. Hinton, who also is the Chairman-Elect for Meeting Professionals International (MPI), is responsible for overseeing ADW day-to-day sales operations and services. The ALHI-ADW leadership team also includes Executive Vice President Don Macumber and Executive Vice President & CFO Mike Coutu.

“ADW provides a dedicated and cost-effective strategy and platform for international Member destinations, convention centers, tourism boards, convention and visitor bureaus, and upper-tier hotels and resorts to attract meetings, conventions/congresses, and incentive/recognition travel programs emanating from North America to their destination,” said Gabri. “The launch of ADW enables us to balance our high-quality ALHI sales force with the escalating account demand for our NSO services — both domestically and internationally — with our desire to maintain and grow sales success for all of our Members.”

Hinton added, “ADW serves corporate planners, association executives, incentive specialists, and business executives with an experienced, skilled, and dedicated team of Global Sales specialists. The ADW team will enable the ALHI National Sales professionals to focus primarily on business for our Members in North America, as ADW focuses on serving our global Members. We believe this combination will enable us to best serve Accounts with expert insight, innovative solutions, and connected relationships.”

ADW Announces
Grand Resorts At Cap Cana As New Member

In announcing the launch of ADW, Gabri also announced that the luxurious Grand Resorts at Cap Cana collection in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic has joined as ADW’s newest member. Grand Resorts at Cap Cana joins such other exceptional and distinctive ADW members as Paradisus Palma Real Resort (in Playa de Bavaro, Dominican Republic), Paradisus Punta Cana Resort (in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic), InterContinental London Park Lane (in London, England), InterContinental Paris Le Grand (in Paris, France), Half Moon (in Montego Bay, Jamaica), and Atlantis The Palm (in Dubai, United Arab Emirates). Prior to the launch of ADW, these members were part of ALHI’s worldwide portfolio, but will now receive the added benefits of ADW’s dedicated team of sales professionals that exclusively specialize in connecting meetings and incentive buyers in North America with international members.

Featuring an incredible Mediterranean seaside setting on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic, the exclusive Grand Resorts at Cap Cana, a Salamander Caribbean Collection, will now receive dedicated GSO sales services and support by ADW to the North American meetings, incentives, conferences, and events marketplace.

Grand Resorts at Cap Cana features three distinctive resorts and hotels, which will each be served by ADW, and this includes: Fishing Lodge Cap Cana, opened October 12, 2011, with 298 spacious Mediterranean-style villas with stunning marina and ocean views, and 30,000 square feet of event spaces, including a spectacular outdoor amphitheater; the luxurious and oceanfront Sanctuary Cap Cana, featuring 176 suites and villas, and 18,279 square feet of dedicated meeting and function space; and Ocean Club Cap Cana, opening in 2012 as a 113-room boutique-style hotel, situated where the picturesque marina meets the Caribbean Sea.

Offerings at Cap Cana include the Jack Nicklaus-designed Punta Espada Golf Course, which features more oceanfront holes than any other layout in the Western hemisphere, and was ranked the best golf course in the Caribbean and Mexico by Golfweek magazine. A second golf course, Las Iguanas, is due to open in 2012. Additional offerings available to groups and guests at Grand Resorts at Cap Cana include the Caribbean’s largest inland marina, a world-class spa, exceptional gourmet restaurants, elegant shops, a casino, multiple bars, spectacular pools, boat rentals, sport fishing, and access to a secluded and pristine sugar-white sand beach.

“Grand Resorts at Cap Cana is a fantastic choice for meetings and incentive/recognition programs,” said Hinton. “This spectacular destination with magnificent resort choices offers world-class accommodations and meeting space, outstanding recreational offerings, and an exceptionally beautiful setting. Factor in the great airlift from Punta Cana International Airport, just 10 minutes away, and it is an outstanding choice for programs.”

ADW Advances International Destinations
That Welcome North American Groups

The ADW GSO sales team consists of highly experienced, internationally trained and culturally astute ADW Global Sales specialists who focus on international business development.

As ALHI’s Global Sales arm, ADW and its sales team are supported by ALHI’s respected and dedicated national sales operation which features 16 National Sales Offices (NSO) located across North America, with its team of 50 sales professionals. ADW will initially feature three GSO sales offices, strategically located in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, with future plans for additional ADW staff in Los Angeles and beyond.

In addition to ALHI’s impressive 25 years of experience with the meetings marketplace, ADW also is able to capitalize upon Hinton’s experience as past CEO of hinton+grusich. During hinton+grusich’s 24 years of sales operations it also specialized in serving select cities and convention bureaus as members. This experience will prove very beneficial as ADW will be marketing, promoting and selling the international destination members to meetings professionals.

“The meetings industry in North America demanded this new Global Sales Organization approach, as no other company in the U.S. offers this extensive sales and marketing service on a national level, directed specifically on the M.I.C.E. sectors,” said Hinton. “Our ALHI clients in particular requested that we provide ALHI-level service for international destinations that appeal to groups from the U.S. and Canada. They trust their ALHI relationship and know that ALHI will only represent the best. ADW will advance that service level with international destinations that welcome North American groups.”

Gabri added, “ADW is a win-win situation, as executives, meeting planners and incentive specialists in North America are now able to quickly and easily discuss a variety of appealing international options for their programs with reliable one-call professional sales assistance. They are now able to actually speak and meet with experienced ADW global sales professionals in America who are equipped with first-hand knowledge and capabilities of the ADW members. At the same time, exceptional destinations and hotels outside of North America can now be regularly discussed and presented as a viable option or meeting solution to thousands of potential meeting clients which already have a strong working relationship built on trust with the ALHI team. It is a great way for both parties to connect. Further, it is important to note that ADW is a dues-funded organization, provided by the destinations and hotels that we serve, as a local GSO service at no cost to the planners or the organizations they serve.”

Hinton added, “ADW is a comprehensive M.I.C.E. sales solution for international venues. Rather than a destination or hotel having just one representative in New York City, who often can struggle to establish relationships with and capture the attention of executives, meeting professionals and incentive specialists across America, ADW GSO and the ALHI NSO professionals will leverage existing relationships and 25 years service reputation with accounts and clients with a strong foundation built on trust and results. The destinations and hotels we serve will be brought into the ‘conversation’ for new business opportunities. Add in ADW’s access to ALHI’s proprietary database of accounts and contacts built over the past 25 years – which include records for a significant number of accounts which have growing and ongoing demand for international destinations – and ADW’s sales support to international destinations will be unmatched.”

“Meeting planners are so busy these days that they often prefer a fewer number of highly reliable contact relationships who can provide multiple destination options at one time,” said Hinton. “We know they depend on their NSO and GSO relationships more and more. ALHI and ADW combine as a unique and experienced solution serving North American meeting professionals and executives the way they want to be served.”

“Plus, for our Members, when you address the significant cost-effectiveness of ADW for the destinations – which are essentially joining an exclusive sales association of quality destinations focused on the North American group sectors — ADW really is the ideal solution for them to reach their objectives in North America, while we continue to serve accounts as they wish to be served,” said Hinton.

For more information about Associated Destinations Worldwide, contact Kevin Hinton at (312) 346-5768, and visit www.adw-gso.com .

For more information about ALHI, to inquire about a future meeting at any of the ALHI member properties, and/or to acquire a free copy of ALHI’s new “2011-2012 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 www.alhi.com.

U.S. Association Executives to Connect with European Counterparts on First-Ever Study Mission to Brussels, Berlin

WASHINGTON—After several successful international trips, ASAE is planning its first Study Mission to Europe. In partnership with MCI and the Canadian Tourism Commission, association executives will visit Brussels and Berlin, May 12-20, 2012, to build and strengthen partnerships with two of the major association hubs in Europe.

The 2012 Study Mission will give participants the opportunity to meet some of the key association executives, senior policy makers and government officials in Europe, and explore these central international business markets.

“Europe, and especially Brussels and Berlin, has a very strong and well-established association community,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, CAE. “We’d like to think of this trip as a ‘Meeting of the Minds,’ where U.S. association executives will have the opportunity to take a deep dive into the issues and opportunities impacting our organizations around the world and experience Europe’s sophisticated association sector from the best in the industry. We will also explore ways on how we can build partnerships and expand our community with European associations.”

Early bird registration ends December 31. For more information or to register, visit ASAE Study Mission website, or contact Greta Kotler, CAE, chief global development officer, at gkotler@asaecenter.org or 202-326-9596, or Jakub M. Konysz, senior manager of International Development, at jkonysz@asaecenter.org or 202-626-2831.

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 www.asaecenter.org.