Monthly Archives: December 2011

Anchorage CVB Announces New Name – Visit Anchorage

Anchorage, Alaska – After 36 years of bringing business to Anchorage and diversifying Anchorage’s economy, the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau is now doing business as Visit Anchorage. The name change was announced today during its December membership luncheon.

The Municipality of Anchorage created the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau in 1975 in response to voters and the visitor industry to stimulate tourism growth and to diversify the economy. The name Visit Anchorage makes finding Anchorage visitor information easier, reinforces the organization’s marketing efforts and reduces confusion about the organization’s purpose.

“Visit Anchorage instantly identifies our industry and business,” said Julie Saupe, Visit Anchorage president & CEO. “It ranks high in searches for Alaska attractions, events and tourism businesses, making it simple for people to find travel information on Anchorage and Alaska. Although our Web properties are already very search-friendly, this is an additional boost. Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau is a mouthful – Visit Anchorage saves seven syllables and is much easier to say.”

Though the name is different, the mission is the same: to attract and serve visitors to Anchorage. The city’s brand – Big Wild Life™ – remains central to all Visit Anchorage’s marketing campaigns and sales efforts. New publications and ads produced by the organization will carry the Visit Anchorage name, while sharing Anchorage’s singular mix of wild adventures and metropolitan amenities.

Many other destination marketing organizations have made similar changes. San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) changed to San Francisco Travel; Orlando’s CVB became Visit Orlando and Grand Rapids CVB switched to Experience Grand Rapids. Other cities that changed their names include Portland, Ore.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Savannah, Ga.; Norfolk, Va.; Jacksonville, Fla. and Fort Wayne, Ind., to name a few more.

For more on the name change, visit www.Anchorage.net/name.

Visit Anchorage is dedicated to attracting and serving visitors to the Municipality of Anchorage while building and diversifying the Anchorage economy. The organization’s marketing functions are funded by one-third of the bed tax collected by lodging facilities. One-third goes to the Municipality’s general fund, and one-third to service the bond debt and operations of the Anchorage Convention Centers. Visit Anchorage receives no state or federal funds. Visit www.Anchorage.net for more information.

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) Recognizes Its Forbes Five-Star Triple Crown Winners Among Its “Level 5 Collection” Members

WASHINGTON, DC (December 2011) – If you are a meeting professional, incentive/ recognition specialist, association executive, or business executive who is interested in conducting a program or programs at a AAA Five-Diamond and/or Forbes (Mobil) Five-Star hotel or resort, you should consider making your first call to Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). After all, ALHI now features 20 special properties in its “ALHI Level 5 Collection” specialty segment, which consists of ALHI’s hotels and resorts that have earned the highest and most celebrated recognitions including the prestigious AAA Five-Diamond rating, and/or the esteemed Forbes (Mobil) Five-Star rating. Additionally, if you are seeking the very best of the very best, you will be interested in ALHI’s three members which have just achieved the acclaimed Forbes Five-Star “Triple Crown” for 2012, as they received the prestigious Forbes Five-Star rating for their hotel, spa, and restaurant simultaneously.

ALHI’s members which have achieved the impressive “Triple Crown” are in the east, west and in between: The Broadmoor, offering 744 guest rooms and suites and 185,000 square feet of meeting space in Colorado Springs, Colorado; The Cloister at Sea Island, providing 175 luxurious rooms and suites, and 17,000 square feet of meeting space on Sea Island, Georgia; and The Grand Del Mar, featuring 249 lavishly appointed guest rooms and suites, and 20,000 square feet of meeting space in San Diego, California.

In addition to achieving the Forbes Five-Star rating in the hotel category, The Broadmoor achieved the Five-Star rating for its luxurious Spa at the Broadmoor, and for its Penrose Room restaurant, Colorado’s only Five-Star restaurant. The Cloister at Sea Island garnered the prestigious rating for the hotel, the spectacular 65,000-square-foot Cloister Spa, and for its elegant Georgian Room restaurant. Achieving the Forbes Five-Star rating in the hotel category for the first time, The Grand Del Mar also received the Five-Star rating for the exquisite The Spa at Grand Del Mar, and for its celebrated restaurant Addison.

Other ALHI members achieving the acclaimed Forbes Five-Star rating in the hotel category for 2012 are: the renowned The Greenbrier (White Sulphur Springs, West Virgina), offering 85,000 square feet of meeting space with more than 35 meeting rooms; the esteemed The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club (St. Simons, Georgia), a 40-room hideaway for groups seeking privacy and classic luxury; the elegant The Peninsula Chicago (Chicago, Illinois), voted the #1 hotel in the United States by Condé Nast Traveler and Zagat Survey ; and the exclusive Skylofts at MGM Grand (Las Vegas, Nevada), perched on the top two floors of the MGM Grand, and providing sweeping city views from each of the 51 lofts. These properties are also members of the “ALHI Level 5 Collection” specialty segment.

Also achieving the Forbes Five-Star rating for 2012 in the Spa category, are ALHI members The Greenbrier (for the exceptional The Greenbrier Spa), and The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach in Southern California (for the 23,000-square-foot The Spa at Pelican Hill).

In the Restaurant category, the Forbes Five-Star rating for 2012 also went to the sophisticated Joel Robuchon restaurant at the impressive MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Other members of the “ALHI Level 5 Collection” which have earned the highest and most celebrated recognitions including the prestigious AAA Five-Diamond rating, include: the spectacular ARIA Resort & Casino in the heart of CityCenter on the Las Vegas Strip (Las Vegas, Nevada); the magnificent 3,933-room Bellagio (Las Vegas); the oceanfront The Breakers (Palm Beach, Florida), which recently completed a $250 million revitalization program; the acclaimed Fairmont Scottsdale Princess offering 72,000 square feet of meeting space (Scottsdale, Arizona); the 602-suite Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Resort & Spa (Cancun, Mexico), providing breathtaking ocean views; the 775-room Grand America Hotel (Salt Lake City, Utah), offering spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains; and The Island Hotel Newport Beach (Newport Beach, California), offering 29,000 square feet of meeting space and beautiful Pacific Ocean views.

The “ALHI Level 5 Collection” also features: the 380-room The Langham Huntington (Pasadena, California), featuring 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space; the 220-acre historic Ojai Valley Inn & Spa (Ojai, California), offering 308 guest rooms and suites and 16,000 square feet of meeting space; the exquisite The Inn at Spanish Bay (Pebble Beach, California), providing 269 contemporary rooms and 15,083 square feet of meeting space; the renowned oceanfront The Lodge at Pebble Beach (Pebble Beach, California), offering world-class golf and recreation; and The Resort at Pelican Hill (Newport Beach, California), nestled on 504 acres with panoramic views of the Pacific.

100,000 Reasons To Contact ALHI
ALHI (www.alhi.com) is a prestigious dues-based National Sales Organization, which for 25 years has specifically provided dedicated and professional NSO services to meeting professionals, association executives, incentive specialists and business executives interested in conducting successful face-to-face programs, exclusively for its more than 130 Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotel and resort members. There is no cost to planners’ or executives’ organizations to utilize the NSO services, expertise, and account advocacy of ALHI, as its members’ dues fund the National Sales Organization to best serve planners with local professionals.

With a worldwide portfolio of over 100,000 rooms and suites and more than 10 million square feet of meeting space, ALHI provides planners and their organizations experienced National Sales services with diverse options among its outstanding worldwide member hotels and resorts which specialize in meetings and incentive programs.

Meeting professionals, association executives, and incentive specialists have utilized ALHI’s National Sales services for 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 6,500 rooms.

Member hotels 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 world-class gaming and entertainment.

For a list of ALHI’s entire portfolio, visit www.alhi.com and preview details of ALHI’s membership, including easily useful information on several defined specialty segments within the ALHI portfolio, like the Level 5 Collection, that are best suited to serve distinctive meeting, convention and incentive travel programs.

On the website, 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 available.

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

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.

Landmark St. Thomas Resort, Frenchman’s Reef Marriott, Reopens its Doors after Undergoing a $48 Million Renovation

ST. THOMAS, USVI – December 2011 – After six months and a 48 million dollar renovation, Marriott Hotels & Resort’s iconic property, Frenchman’s Reef Marriott Resort, has officially re-opened its doors (see video below). Long considered one of the finest resorts in the U.S. Virgin Islands, visitors have been waiting in anticipation for the property’s grand re-opening, which was marked with a celebration on November 10, 2011, attended by island officials, Marriott executives and VIP guests and community members.

The $48 million renovation completely transformed the property inside and out. In addition to giving the exterior of the resort’s main tower a new, fresh look, the resort underwent a full redesign of all guest rooms, the addition of a new state-of-the art spa and spa pool, larger fitness center, a full service salon complete with hair and manicure/pedicure stations, new restaurants and menu concepts, expanded lounge areas, a completely redesigned infinity pool with kids zone and the addition of an adults only pool.

Among the most notable of the hotel’s new amenities is the newly designed Lazule Sea Spa. The spa features 4,000 square feet of luxury facilities including seven treatment rooms, couples room, massage cabanas, and the exclusive spa pool and couples relaxation room.

Sitting in a premiere location, the resort’s 302 newly renovated guest rooms offer magnificent views of Charlotte Amalie Harbour and easy access to Morning Star Beach. The re-designed Aqua Terra Oceanfront Grill and Aqua Terra Lounge, just two of the resort’s nine restaurant and lounge offerings, also offer spectacular vistas of Charlotte Amalie Harbour through its impressive floor to ceiling windows.

“We are ecstatic about the results of the renovation and I know our guests will be as well,” commented Jose Gonzalez, General Manager of the Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort. “The Reef has always been a popular St. Thomas resort and with this investment I believe we have set a whole new standard of what guests can expect.”

“The Reef’s” renovation also introduces guests to new, contemporary design in all guest rooms, which boasts Caribbean elegant décor, rain style shower heads, ergonomic workspaces, LCD high-definition televisions and Marriott’s signature bedding, which includes 300 thread count sheets, down comforters, thicker mattresses with plush toppers and fluffier pillows.

The full Frenchman’s Reef Marriott Resort enhancement project included upgrades or additions of the following:

• Aqua Terra Oceanfront Grill: Completely redesigned, the multi-level Aqua Terra Oceanfront Grill offers classic American fare with stunning views of Charlotte Amalie Harbour.
• Aqua Terra Lounge: Located adjacent to the Aqua Terra Oceanfront Grill, this lounge shares the restaurant’s magnificent views, as well as an outdoor terrace and offers the perfect place to enjoy one of its many spirits from around the world.

• Rum Bar Terrace: This upscale indoor/outdoor bar with stunning views of Charlotte Amalie Harbour is the perfect place to begin and end an evening.

• Sunset Grill: This renovated, casual, open-air restaurant overlooks Sunset Harbor and offers delicious Caribbean and American cuisine during lunch and dinner.

• Presto Marketplace: Presto Marketplace serves as a gift shop compete with toiletries, souvenirs and local finds and also includes a coffee and snack bar where guests can grab light items such as breakfast pastries, sandwiches, juices, smoothies and salads.

• Adult Pool: This new infinity edge pool with a swim up bar is open to adults only, offering a more secluded option to those looking for a little more privacy and a little less splashing.

• Azul Pool Bar: Located at the adult-only infinity pool, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the Azul Pool Bar allows you to grab a drink while keeping your eyes on the magnificent view and never leaving the water.

• Frenchman’s Garden Wedding Gazebo: The new and intimate Frenchman’s Garden Wedding Gazebo is a secluded sanctuary surrounded by tropical plants and palm trees.

• Fitness Center: Featuring all new state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment and free weights.

• Lazule Sea Spa: 4,000 square feet of luxury spa facilities with seven treatment rooms, one couples room, massage cabanas, an exclusive spa pool and relaxation room.

• Spa Pool Deck: Secluded from the main pool area, guests can relax here before and after treatments. The area features a main pool as well as hot and cold mini plunge pools making it the perfect place to lounge.

• Expanded Main Pool Area: After a complete redesign the resort now boasts a state-of-the-art free form infinity pool with unprecedented views of the Caribbean. Features a wide ledge for lounge chairs in the pool to help stay cool in the sun and interactive water spout feature for kids.

• Full Service Beauty Salon: Offering an extensive list of services including hair, nails, tanning, waxing, facial, and skin treatments.

• Meeting & Event Spaces: With the expansion of the pool deck the resort now has additional space to host large groups.

Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort on St. Thomas has long been considered one of the finest properties in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The resort consists of casual, yet sophisticated accommodations, overlooking a secluded beach with warm, aquamarine waters and sweeping vistas of the Caribbean’s most majestic yacht harbor. The island of St. Thomas boasts incomparable duty-free shopping, exceptional diving and rich culture and history. For more information, please visit www.frenchmansreefmarriott.com.

About Marriott Hotels & Resorts
Marriott Hotels & Resorts continues to inspire and provide a balanced life on the road for discerning and high-achieving business and leisure travelers, offering warm, professional service; sophisticated yet functional guest room design; lobby spaces that facilitate working, dining and socializing; restaurants and bars serving international cuisine prepared simply and from the freshest ingredients; meeting and event spaces and services that are gold standard; and expansive, 24-hour fitness facilities. All Marriott hotels participate in the award winning Marriott Rewards frequent travel program that allows members to earn hotel points or airline miles for every dollar spent during each stay. For more information, visit www.MarriottHotels.com.

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com

Newport Beach, California Named #2 U.S. Destination for Holiday Lights by Yahoo! Travel

(NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA) The results are in and Newport Beach, California ranked #2 on Yahoo! Travel’s “Top 10 Destinations for Holiday Lights” coming in second to New York City. The announcement was made on Saturday, November 26, and featured the destination’s award-winning Christmas Boat Parade that is over a century old as announced in a press release on November 15, 2011 by Visit Newport Beach Inc.

Here is an excerpt from the full story that can be found on the Yahoo! Travel site:
For more than a century, Newport Beach’s “Christmas Boat Parade” has delighted spectators with a “Christmas-sea” feeling all its own. A fine flotilla of some 200 vibrantly decorated vessels, from multimillion-dollar yachts right down to simple canoes, glides through Newport Harbor as holiday music and costumed carolers fill the air with melodious merrymaking. The brilliant boat parade (it’s the oldest one in the country) attracts close to a million viewers; it’s held nightly from December 14 through December 18 and lasts about 2.5 hours – show up on the closing night for a fireworks finale. Viewing areas for the beaming 14-mile boat route are on the public beaches and establishments bordering the Balboa Peninsula, the Fun Zone amusement area (where you can hear live commentary from Captain Mike Whitehead, the official voice of the parade), and Balboa Island.

What’s more, many harbor-front homeowners and businesses participate in the annual “Ring of Lights” contest, showcasing their own elaborate holiday displays, while providing a striking backdrop to the boat parade (free; www.christmasboatparade.com). Well worth a detour, the historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside (set less than 50 miles away) is the setting for an extravagant showing of more than 3.6 million holiday lights in its “Festival of Lights” event; expect 400-plus animated figures, live reindeer, and even snow machine-produced flurries – come on opening night for a fireworks display, to boot (November 25-January 8; free; www.festivaloflightsca.com).

About Newport Beach, California
Newport Beach is a chic seaside community that sits along nine miles of spectacular California coastline between Los Angeles and San Diego. With breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, and home to the #1 Resort in the United States, Newport Beach is renowned for its clean beaches, year-round Mediterranean climate, casually sophisticated atmosphere, and family-friendly environment. Newport Beach boasts one of the largest small yacht harbors in the world, setting it apart from any other California coastal destination. It is also home to the nation’s oldest, and critically acclaimed Christmas Boat Parade which helped Newport Beach rank #2 Holiday Light Displays in the country by Yahoo! Travel and USA TODAY. For additional information and a Newport Beach Visitor Guide, go to www.visitnewportbeach.com or call (800) 94-COAST.

IMEX America’s 2011 Debut Show Helps Drive $2.8 Billion in Business for US and Global Meetings, Events and Incentive Travel Industry

An exit survey of IMEX America hosted buyers has revealed that total orders placed onsite amounted to $281 million with an expected $1.9 billion worth of orders to be placed with exhibitors in the next nine months or so. The average value of orders placed by hosted buyers during the show was $496,000 each, with post-show average orders expected to be worth $1 million each. This means that IMEX America hosted buyers have – or will – generate a total of $2.2 billion in business with IMEX America exhibitors.
2000 hosted buyers attended the first ever IMEX America at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas in October. 75% were from the USA; 5% from Canada and the remainder from 34 other countries with Brazil, the UK, Germany, Mexico, India and Australia accounting for significant numbers. 700 of the show’s 2000 hosted buyers answered the survey (a representative 35% sample).

Of the 2000 hosted buyers attending, 65% came from the incentive, agency or third party industry sector; 25% were corporate buyers and 11% were from the all-important association sector. 53% of all hosted buyers at the new Las Vegas trade show were responsible for budgets in excess of $1 million.

A total of 1,867 companies exhibited at IMEX America representing 147 countries. With US destinations accounting for 27 per cent of all booths, these results bode well for US suppliers as well as those international exhibitors who attended in order to capture new business from US buyers.

Non-hosted buyer business also strong
Likewise an exit survey was also conducted among IMEX America non-hosted buyers (known as buyer attendees). This buyer group placed business in the region of $89 million with exhibitors during the show, and expects to place $538 million of orders within the next 10 months. These figures support the feedback from many hundreds of exhibitors who testified that both hosted and non-hosted buyers came to the show with business in hand and ready to be contracted.

Exhibitor feedback also supports the survey’s findings, with praise for the quality of buyers from all parts of the globe, and especially from North America. Michelle Saran, Executive Director of the Canadian Tourism Commission commented: “IMEX America is wonderful and we’ve had many one-on-one appointments – I haven’t seen a booth this busy in North America for years and years! Our team pre-planned appointments but we’ve also had a lot of people walking on to the stand for ad-hoc meetings. Everyone is happy. The buzz has worked and it’s the place to be! You’d be conspicuous in absence if you haven’t attended IMEX America.”

Karen Hamilton, VP Global Sales for Carlson Hotels Worldwide, reiterated this sentiment during the show to IMEX America TV. She stated: “We’re actually conducting and transacting business (on the booth) and that’s unique these days at a trade show – fabulous!”

Strategic Partnership
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the strategic partner and premier education provider for IMEX America, and joint efforts yielded more than 1,100 participants (both hosted and non-hosted buyers, and exhibitors) in Smart Monday education delivered by MPI. Leveraging their MeetDifferent style of professional development for the day of innovation and education, MPI education received strong satisfaction results. Additionally, hundreds of highly satisfied attendees enjoyed dynamic MPI keynote speakers in general sessions each morning of the show. MPI experience and expertise also led the development of the IMEX America mobile app, which had thousands of users interacting with education and data daily through their smartphones and tablets.

“I love it when a plan comes together. Seeing this exceptional event come to life after two years of collaboration was an incredibly rewarding experience,” said Bruce MacMillan, President and CEO of MPI. “We look forward to even greater collaboration in 2012 and into the future to assure that we continue to deliver exceptional professional development and business opportunities at IMEX America.”

And to round-out the strategic partnership, IMEX America hosted their official party in conjunction with Pure Rendezvous, a fundraiser for the MPI Foundation that yielded more than $23,000 which the MPI Foundation reinvested in education and research for the industry.

With these business performance figures in hand, IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom, declared: “IMEX America has succeeded in bringing the US and global industry the business, education and networking benefits we planned for. Our fresh new business model, centered on a strategic partnership with MPI and strong partnerships with the other leading industry associations, meant that IMEX America truly provided a global marketplace on American soil. We are now looking forward to developing several aspects of the show over the next few months in order to sustain that debut success and to build on the market momentum we’ve established.”

About IMEX America
IMEX America is the new trade show for the worldwide meetings, events and incentive travel industry. The second edition will take place Oct. 9 – 11 2012 at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas, (which is connected to the show’s Headquarters Hotel, The Venetian®|The Palazzo®).

The show’s strategic partner and premier educational provider is MPI, whose MeetDifferent Day of Education and Innovation takes place on the day before the trade show opens, known as “Smart Monday”.
IMEX also has an exclusive partnership with the US Travel Association, the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $704 billion US travel industry; is endorsed by DMAI and Site and has an Industry Partnership with PCMA. Other supporting associations include: ACTE Global, ADME, AIPC, AMCI, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, Association Forum of Chicagoland, CALSAE, CIC, CSAE, ECM, FICP, GMIC, IACC, IAEE, IAPCO, ICCA, ISES, JMIC, NYSAE, PATA, SKAL and Spin. A list of industry and media partners can be found online.

New Book Advises How Organizations Can Develop Leadership Strategies, Engage in the Age of Connected Relationships

WASHINGTON—How do nonprofit organizations go from using social media to becoming more engaged with their members? How do they become a more socially enabled organizations and market leaders?

These and other questions are addressed in a new book, Return on Impact: Leadership Strategies for the Age of Connected Relationships, written by business-relationship expert David Nour and published by ASAE’s Association Management Press. It discusses how nonprofit organizations can develop leadership strategies in the age of connected relationships and utilize social media and social influencers to achieve the business needs of the organization. ASAE is releasing Return on Impact at its annual Technology Conference & Expo, and Nour will be the featured keynote lunch speaker.

According to recent McKinsey Global Institute research, almost 50 percent of online U.S. consumers are advanced users of smartphones, social networks, and other emerging tools, up from 32 percent in 2008. Customers are not only buying and selling products and services online, but they are sharing ideas, perspectives, and advocating through mobile and social interaction.

In order to respond to the digital landscape, Nour writes that organizations will need to lead differently, develop a social market leadership strategy, and have a fundamental shift in mindset, tool set, and road map for an individual, a team, and organization to:

• Put its customers/members at the center of its structure, talent acquisition, suite of offerings, and value creation efforts;
• Creatively collaborate in real time, while becoming more agile, responsive, streamlined, and direct; and
• Be more open in its communication and transparent in its governance, and to be more caring, accessible, and innovative.

Nour researched and interviewed 100 nonprofit executives and 100 corporate executives about how to become a more socially engaged organization. Return on Impact will help associations recognize, account for, and tap into the fact that their potential members, customers, employees, partners, and shareholders are making decisions while being influenced by different circles of connected relationships.

“This book will help nonprofits not only become more socially enabled, but it will help them develop effective leadership strategies, which can lead to market leadership. Social media and networking have the power to help organizations think and lead differently as well as consider how to transform their organization with their customers, who are at the center of what they do, and communicate the value of what they bring to the market,” said business-relationship expert and author David Nour.

“Having heard David Nour speak several times, I’ve found him to be insightful, pragmatic, and poignant in simplifying the complex, and bringing thought leadership to his focus on strategic relationships. Return on Impact will similarly make the reader think about the quantifiable outcome of social media and social collaboration,” added John H. Graham IV, CAE, President & CEO of ASAE.

On Thursday, December 15, Nour will host a media Tweet chat, from 1-2 p.m. ET, to discuss Return on Impact. To participate, use the hashtag #ROIBook and follow David Nour (@DavidNour) and the book’s Twitter handle (@ROIBook).

David Nour is the thought leader on Relationship Economics®—the quantifiable value of business relationships. Nour annually delivers 50 global keynotes at leading industry association conferences, corporate meetings, and academic forums. He has been featured in a variety of blogs and publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, FastCompany, Knowledge@Wharton, Associations Now, Entrepreneur, and Success magazine. He is the author of several books including the best selling Relationship Economics, ConnectAbility, and The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Raising Capital.

Return on Impact is available for $24.95 for ASAE members and $29.95 to nonmembers. For more information, and to purchase a copy, visit ASAE’s bookstore.

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.

National Conference Center Serves as a Living Classroom Helping Middle School Students Learn About the Hospitality Industry and Business

LEESBURG, Va. – The National Conference Center is partnering with Belmont Ridge Middle School for the fourth annual business school partnership. NCC’s award-winning program gives eighth-grade students the chance to learn about business, the hospitality industry specifically, through six hands-on, behind-the-scenes lesson plans that deal with operations, business practices and key career skills.

The Belmont Ridge students experience many different aspects of running a business, including planning an event, marketing to customers, and practicing culinary techniques. The students learn the ins and outs of running a hospitality operation and the roles and responsibilities of different employees.

“This program is beneficial to students interested in a career in the hospitality industry, as well as those considering a different career path,” said NCC general manager Kurt Krause. “The problem solving and application of classroom lessons in a real-life job setting will make them better students and employees no matter what field they go into.”

New in the 2011-2012 program is an introduction to key career skills termed the four “C’s”; communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. These skills, which employers deem a must for job applicants, are introduced during the program.

This program is part of NCC’s larger commitment to education. Each spring, the property hires interns from around the country who work in various departments throughout the property, collaborate on special projects and provide NCC with ideas to streamline various practices. In 2011, NCC hired two of the summer interns into full time management positions.

“While there are high schools that partner with area businesses, we don’t know of any other programs of this type that involves middle school kids,” added Krause. “It’s important that children learn about business and career opportunities at a young age.”

The National Conference Center is located in Northern Virginia 12 miles from Dulles International Airport and 35 miles from Washington, D.C., the National Conference Center (NCC) is one of the largest and most comprehensive conference centers in the nation. With 917 guest rooms and over 250,000 square feet of meeting space, NCC has become a hub for productive meetings. NCC is also on the GSA schedule. For information call 800-640-2684 or visit www.conferencecenter.com.

The National Conference Center is managed by ARAMARK Conference Centers. 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.

Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau First to Utilize New Technology Universal Online Resource Assists Meeting Professionals

Colorado Springs, CO – The Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) announced today that it has launched SpeedRFP, a technology that enables meeting professionals to easily submit requests for proposals (RFPs) directly to full-service properties in Colorado Springs and the region. The Colorado Springs CVB is the first CVB in the world to utilize this technology through its website, www.VisitCOS.com.

“We’re excited to be the first in our industry to offer this innovative system to our clients and prospects,” said Pam Sherfesee, Colorado Springs CVB Vice President of Sales. “We’ll still be in full knowledge of where the RFPs are being sent and which property has responded. This system provides the added benefit of allowing meeting professionals to send RFPs directly to our lodging and venue partners. When the time comes for that planner to send out another RFP, whether it’s one or six months later, they can quickly access and modify any of their existing RFPs.”

When meeting professionals navigate to www.VisitCOS.com/speedrfp, they will see a list of 20 full-service properties in Colorado Springs, listed in descending order of number of rooms. With the click of the mouse, a property is added to the RFP list. The meeting professional can create or login to fill out the SpeedRFP form. They can also attach an existing RFP in a Word or PDF format. If the meeting professional would like to submit their RFP only to the Colorado Springs CVB, they may choose that option. Once properties begin to respond, the meeting professional can login to their account to view and compare proposals.

About SpeedRFP
SpeedRFP is the world’s first universal online RFP system. Completely portable, it allows meeting professionals to transport their meeting, event or incentive RFPs anywhere on the Web and submit to any SpeedRFP-enabled site with as few as three clicks of the mouse. Creating a SpeedRFP account is quick and free. Once an RFP has been created through the system, the meeting professional always has access to it for future modification and use. For more information on this system, visit www.SpeedRFP.com.

The Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the leading marketing organization for group travel and tourism to Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region. The organization is dedicated to a strong national and international presence so that tourism is a primary contributor to a thriving local economy.

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Chooses ACC Liverpool for its 33rd Annual Congress

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has announced ACC Liverpool, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, as the chosen venue for its 33rd British International Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2013. The international annual congress will host over 1200 trainee, consultant and specialist obstetricians and gynaecologists from over 50 representative countries.

The three-day congress, organised by Hampton Medical Conferences, will take place 24-26 June 2013 and comprise meetings and seminars as well as exhibitors at ACC Liverpool, and a social programme at Liverpool Cathedral.

The RCOG put forward a bid for Liverpool as there were very few destinations in the UK that could comfortably accommodate large numbers of delegates under one roof as well as exhibition space and a range of hotel accommodation within walking distance.

Lynn Whitley, Director for meetings at RCOG said, “We put together the bid for Liverpool as it’s one of the few places we knew could cope with accommodating our growing demands. It’s great to know that they have the latest facilities and the venue is purpose built for meetings such as ours. The venue has integrated AV facilities which will be useful for us to webcast our meeting internationally and perform live demonstrations if necessary. We are really looking forward to our 2013 event just as I’m sure the delegates are keen to experience the city of Liverpool.”

Kerrin MacPhie, Director of Sales ACC Liverpool said, “We are delighted to be hosting the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists after winning the bid this year. ACC Liverpool has established an un-rivalled reputation across the medical sector due to our understanding of the demands of these types of events. This decision is a reflection of the commitment that we have to surpass expectations and really drive Liverpool forward as one of the UK’s leading destinations for meetings, events and exhibitions.”

ACC Liverpool opened in 2008 and has since made a name for itself within the medical sector due to its flexibility in hosting large scale associations of this kind as well as destination support, further confirming the city’s appeal to this sector.

Young Malaysian Bureau Takes Key Marketing Steps

The two-year-old Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau, known as MyCEB, has rolled out the first phase of a Web site aimed at attracting regional and international conventions, incentives, and other events to the Southeast Asian hub.

The new site provides meeting organizers with a range of research tools, from stats on the country’s exhibition venues to sample incentive itineraries to information on MyCEB’s “subvention” program (which provides incentives to attract international business events to Malaysia).

At an October 11 press conference at IMEX AmericaThaks! in Las Vegas, Ho Ping, general manager, sales and marketing, for MyCEB, discussed phase two of the Web site, expected to launch by the end of the year. The second phase will provide planners with a request for proposal tool and a searchable product directory, and will also integrate with MyCEB’s CRM system.

Ping also announced MyCEB’s new brand tagline, “Asia’s Business Events Hub”; the bureau’s search for U.S. sales and marketing representation, which is expected to be in place for 2012; and a distinctive new QR code, which directs users to the bureau’s Web site when scanned with a smartphone QR-code reader. Malaysia’s iconic Petronas twin towers are worked into the design of the QR code.