Monthly Archives: April 2012

Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel Renamed Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center

Connectivity Maximizes the Meeting…Celebrate with “Maximize Your Meeting” Offer and Room Rates from only $139

ATLANTA, GA.– The newly renamed Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center provides groups with 60,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and a direct connection to an additional 320,000 square feet of event space at the Cobb Galleria Convention Centre. A big reason to celebrate! Connectivity maximizes the meeting experience at the stylish 521-room, Four Diamond hotel where meeting attendees are also only steps from Atlanta’s renowned Galleria shopping complex, featuring the exclusive boutique shops of Vinings Jubilee and the Cumberland Mall.

Celebrate the big connection name change of the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center with the incredible “Maximize Your Meeting” offer. Book a qualifying meeting of 300+ room nights over select 2012 value dates by June 30, 2012 and receive:*

-Guest room rates from $139 per night

-Triple Marriott Rewards® points
-One Complimentary guest room per 25 paid rooms
-One additional complimentary suite
-20% off audiovisual prices
-10% off 2012 published catering menu
-30% attrition
-Complimentary morning or afternoon coffee break, including assorted soft drinks and light snacks

The sophisticated elegance and unsurpassed service of the recently renamed Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center features 60,000 square feet of flexible meeting and banquet space, a dramatic 14-story atrium, stylish guest rooms and suites, 32 high-tech meeting rooms and an expert culinary team, delivering innovative catering presentations to ensure a world-class meeting experience.

Within easy access off I-75 and I-285, the hotel is only a short drive away from downtown Atlanta and the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The property provides complimentary self parking.

For more information or to book a meeting, please call 888-391-8724, or visit www.waverlymeetings.com.

*Offers are based on availability, blackout dates apply and subject to change.

About Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center
Discover a beautiful Atlanta luxury hotel offering sophisticated accommodations, including a dramatic 14-story atrium at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center in Atlanta, GA. Connected to the 320,000 square foot Cobb Galleria Convention Centre, this hotel near downtown Atlanta is the crown jewel of the Galleria shopping and office complex. Guests can enjoy the exclusive boutique shops of Vinings Jubilee and Cumberland Mall located across the street, while downtown Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport are a short drive away. More than 60,000 square feet of flexible meeting space provide the perfect destination for a variety of corporate gatherings. With superior accommodations, high-speed Internet access, and innovative dining options, this Atlanta, Georgia, luxury hotel is the preferred destination for business and leisure travelers.

Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) is a leading lodging company with more than 3,600 lodging properties in 71 countries and territories. Marriott International operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, EDITION, Autograph Collection, Renaissance, AC Hotels by Marriott, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites and Bulgari brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club, The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, and Grand Residences by Marriott brands; licenses and manages whole-ownership residential brands, including The Ritz-Carlton Residences, JW Marriott Residences and Marriott Residences; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division; and operates conference centers. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and had approximately 129,000 employees at 2010 year-end. It is ranked by FORTUNE as the lodging industry’s most admired company and one of the best companies to work for. In fiscal year 2010, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of nearly $12 billion. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.

IACC Emerging Trends Committee Releases Comprehensive Guide to Social Media

(St. Louis, MO ) – The International Association of Conference Centers’ Emerging Trends Committee released the first comprehensive Guide to Social Media for the hospitality industry at the association’s 31st annual conference in Houston last week.

The Emerging Trends Committee represents the perspective of the incoming generation on issues that may have an impact on IACC and/or the conference center industry. As Co-Chair of the Committee, Sarah Vining, newly named IACC Board Associate, and Marketing Manager at The National Conference Center in Leesburg, VA, co-authored the Guide with Co-Chair David Haas, outgoing Board Associate.

According to Vining, the goal of the Guide to Social Media was to help conference centers and other meeting venues “successfully launch a brand’s social media strategy.” The Guide features a detailed look at 23 social media platforms as well as easy-to-follow Descriptions, Target Markets, Objectives, and Best Practices for each channel. These platforms include currently popular platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn as well as emerging platforms such as Foodspotting and Pinterest.

Vining noted, “Beyond traditional advertising and public relations efforts, social media is another media outlet marketing teams should be utilizing to reach clients and guests. To win group business, guests and planners both expect conference centers and hotels to be reachable via social media channels.”

The entire IACC Guide to Social Media is available on the IACC website.

Marking International Women’s Day

IMEX Survey captures opportunities, challenges and development interests for women in the meetings industry

To help further the business leadership of women, and to continue to prepare for the Women’s Leadership Forums at IMEX in Frankfurt in May and IMEX America in October, the IMEX Group announced today (International Women’s Day – March 8th) the results of a December survey conducted on women’s opportunities, challenges and learning interests in the global meetings industry. The 120 plus respondents included both women and men, primarily from Europe and the US.

According to female respondents, there are still places where gaps exist between a woman’s experience, achievement and knowledge and the level of respect, trust and opportunity she feels she receives in business. This gap, not surprisingly, varies across cultures around the globe. Progress is certainly being reported with women increasingly serving as key innovators, leaders and decision-makers within their organizations, yet there is still room for improvement.

Achieving life/work balance was also a red hot topic with many of the women surveyed, indicating that they need help in setting reasonable limits without fear of losing their jobs or taking a hit on professional recognition. They also want to find ways to avoid snapping into ‘caretaker-mode’ when on the job.

Keeping up with a ‘techno-happy’ world and keeping pace with skills used by younger employees who have been raised on technology is also an area of continued effort for female respondents. Always wanting to better their skill set and knowledge, many women in the survey also noted negotiation training as a top interest. Financial management, economic forecasting, strategic planning, time management and social media best practices were also in high demand. Finally, there was additional strong interest in corporate governance, team management and employee motivation.

Looking from the male side of the equation, men surveyed likewise see continued issues in leadership and professional opportunities for women – sometimes based on perceived versus actual differences in skills created by lingering biases and traditionally heavier childcare requirements. On the professional development front, male survey participants see no difference in what women and men are seeking, predominantly more learning in finance, technology and leadership.

When it comes to the next Women’s Leadership Forums at IMEX in Frankfurt (May) and IMEX America in Las Vegas (October), both sexes wanted to hear more about how to navigate biases based on a person’s culture, gender, age and disability needs; combating stereotypes and leveraging the best attributes of male and female employees for optimal business performance.
Pursuing work/life balance without guilt continues to be a welcome discussion topic, as is reviewing critical industry trends and incorporating green efforts into meetings goals and programs.

Further, having the chance to hear directly from women CEOs or C-Level executives in the industry about their successes and how they got there is also highly valued at the IMEX trade shows.

“Understanding how achievement is fostered within our industry for women and collaborating to move that issue forward is very exciting for us,” said, Carina Bauer CEO of the IMEX Group. “We are always eager to have insights like those from these surveys. They help to drive and improve our education program, which this year offers over 100 seminars and workshops, many of which have a strong appeal for women working in the meetings industry in particular.”

Facilitators for both of the Women’s Leadership Forums will be: Liz Jackson, President of Jackson Consulting Inc and Susan Sarfati, CEO, High Performance Strategies.

For IMEX America, see http://www.imexamerica.com/women.html

For IMEX in Frankfurt, see http://www.imex-frankfurt.com/women.html

Denihan Hospitality Group Takes Manhattan: Signs Management Agreement with Ark Partners for Two Additional NYC Properties

Deal Comes on the Heels of Denihan’s Announcement of Aggressive Growth Plan; Increases Company’s Manhattan
Portfolio to 11 Upper-Upscale and Luxury Boutique Properties

NEW YORK, NY Denihan Hospitality Group today announced the signing of a management agreement with Ark Partners for two hotels, The Mansfield and The Franklin, located in New York City’s Midtown and on the Upper East Side, respectively. With the addition of these two assets to its portfolio, Denihan will own and/or manage a collection of 11 boutique luxury and upper-upscale hotels in New York City, making it the largest boutique owner/operator in Manhattan.

According to David Duncan, president of Denihan, the addition of these properties is part of the company’s overall strategy to double the size of its portfolio within the next five years. With these two new management contracts, Denihan now owns and/or manages a total of 15 properties. The company’s current Manhattan portfolio includes five hotels managed under the Affinia brand; The James New York, which opened in SoHo in 2010; luxury independents The Surrey and The Benjamin; as well as the Eastgate Tower, which is operated as an affiliate.

“We are delighted to be adding these boutique properties to our Manhattan portfolio, providing our loyal customers with offerings in new neighborhood locations in Midtown and the Upper East Side,” Duncan said. “As a Manhattan-based hospitality company with 50 years of experience of hotel ownership in the city, we know New York, and we are proud to be associated with Ark, who we consider like-minded partners who understand the value of Denihan’s operations platform.”

In discussing the transaction, Ark’s Chairman, Brad Reiss, noted, “We have known the Denihans for several years, during which time we have developed a mutual trust and admiration for our respective business practices and company cultures. As an owner of boutique hotels in some of Manhattan’s most prestigious locations, we can think of no better New York management partner.”

Located at 12 W. 44th street along the famed Club Row, The Mansfield is housed in a historic Beaux-Arts building originally constructed in 1903. Located just off Fifth Avenue and close to Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall, the hotel features the M Bar, a popular Midtown gathering spot in the heart of the theatre district. The 126 guest rooms and suites feature details such as Aveda bath products, iPod docks, and plush pillow-top mattresses. Common spaces, such as The Mansfield’s stately Club Room, invoke the opulence of the early 20th Century. The Mansfield was named to Zagat’s list of ‘Top U.S. Hotels, Resorts and Spas’ in 2008. For more information, please visit www.mansfieldhotel.com/.

The Franklin is an intimate, 50-room hotel nestled in the heart of the Upper East Side at 164 E. 87th street, between Lexington and Third Avenues. It is in close proximity to Museum Mile – just a 10-minute stroll to the Guggenheim Museum and Central Park – and near the boutiques and cafes of Madison and Lexington Avenues. The hotel is appointed with details suggestive of a European boutique, with guest rooms featuring 100 percent Egyptian cotton linens, pillow-top mattresses, Bvlgari bath products, and Frette cotton terry bathrobes. Guest rooms also feature original photographic works by internationally acclaimed fashion photographer Deborah Turbeville. The hotel’s intimate setting provides its guests with a hospitality alternative that is quiet, private and highly personalized. For more information, please visit www.franklinhotel.com/.

About Denihan Hospitality Group
Denihan Hospitality Group is a privately-held, full-service hotel management and development company that owns and/or operates 15 boutique hotels in major urban markets in the U.S. Over the past 50 years, the Denihan family has built a world-class lodging investment platform within the boutique hotel space, creating value by acquiring, repositioning and managing independent hotels.

The Denihan portfolio includes properties operating under The James and Affinia Hotels brands, as well as Manhattan luxury independents, The Surrey and The Benjamin, and affiliates including the Royal Palm in Miami. Denihan’s hotels include an impressive list of chef-driven restaurants and bars, including Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s The National Bar and Dining Rooms at The Benjamin; David Burke Kitchen at The James New York; Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud at The Surrey; David Burke’s Primehouse at The James Chicago; Art Smith’s Art and Soul at the Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia hotel in Washington, D.C.; and Marcus Samuelsson’s C-House at Affinia Chicago.

The company’s uniquely guest-centric approach, refined through three generations of Denihan leadership, has made it an industry leader in hospitality, property and restaurant development, as well as hotel operations, management and marketing. In 2011, Denihan was named to Inc. Magazine’s 500|5000 list of Fastest Growing Companies for the third year in a row, where it topped the list of full-service hotel companies.

More details can be found at www.denihan.com.

About Ark Partners
Headed by Chairman/CEO Brad M. Reiss and President John Yoon, Ark Partners is a New York City-based real estate investment company founded in 2002 engaging in the acquisition, ownership, development, repositioning and asset management of a broad range of real estate in various national and international markets. In addition to The Mansfield and The Franklin hotels, Ark also owns the Shoreham Hotel in New York City, Tryp Quebec Hotel Pur in Quebec City, Canada and the Embassy Row Hotel in Washington, DC. Ark is currently in construction and development of a 250-room luxury lifestyle hotel at 120 W. 57th Street in Manhattan, anticipated to open in 2013. More details can be found at www.arkpartners.com.

National Conference Center White Paper Explores “Technology’s Secret Potential to Empower Participants and Make Meetings Better”

(Leesburg, VA) – The National Conference Center released their spring 2012 white paper, “Technology’s Secret Potential to Empower Participants and Make Meetings Better.” In interviews with Susan Abrams of IML Worldwide, technology expert Corbin Ball, and David Adler, CEO of BizBash, the white paper explores how planners and trainers globally have implemented new technology into their programs to increase audience engagement.

According to Sarah Vining, marketing manager at The National Conference Center, in new audience response systems with open-ended polling and text messaging, results have included gathering common company themes/concerns through candid responses, increased employee morale at the meeting, increased participation, and the ability for attendees to leave the session with actionable intelligence. On average, only 5% of attendees are willing to stand up and ask a question.

As revealed in the white paper, this new technology demonstrates its potential to gather valuable feedback and give shy attendees a voice in the meeting space.

To summarize our research, the white paper reveals that technology can help to drive strategy in several ways:

1. Technology helps planners and trainers gather a wealth of knowledge
2. Actionable intelligence can create a more profitable company
3. Technology can improve em¬ployee morale

The entire white paper is available at: http://bit.ly/TechnologyWP

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.

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) Broadens New England Offerings With The Langham Boston and Ocean Edge Resort In Massachusetts & MGM Grand at Foxwoods In Connecticut

WASHINGTON, DC – Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has expanded its portfolio offerings in the Northeast U.S. with the addition of The Langham Boston in Boston, Massachusetts; Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club on Cape Cod in Massachusetts; and MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The hotels will now receive dedicated National Sales Organization (NSO) services and support by ALHI and its established professional sales force throughout North America to serve the meetings and incentive marketplace.

The Langham Boston and Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club become ALHI’s third and fourth member hotels in Massachusetts, joining: the AAA Four-Diamond, 424-room InterContinental Boston, overlooking picturesque Boston Harbor and conveniently located in downtown Boston; and the Seaport Hotel & Seaport World Trade Center, featuring over 180,000 square feet of flexible meeting and exhibition space, and offering impressive views of Boston and the waterfront.

MGM Grand at Foxwoods becomes ALHI’s second member hotel in Connecticut, joining the luxurious and popular Mohegan Sun, which offers 1,175 guest rooms and suites and 100,000 square feet of meeting space, and is situated on 240 acres along the Thames River in scenic southeastern Connecticut. ALHI also serves the magnificent 312-room Stowe Mountain Lodge, the largest meeting venue in Vermont, with 56,000 square feet of meeting space. All seven ALHI member hotels in New England are very accessible and are extraordinary meeting and incentive destinations.

ALHI (www.alhi.com) is a prestigious dues-based National Sales Organization (NSO), which for over 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’ organizations to utilize the ALHI NSO services, expertise, and account advocacy, as its members’ dues fund the National Sales Organization to best serve planners with local professionals.

Ideally located in the heart of Boston’s financial district, The Langham Boston is a AAA Four-Diamond landmark that was once the nation’s Federal Reserve Bank. The sophisticated hotel features 318 luxuriously appointed guestrooms and suites, and more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space. Meeting offerings include 13 meeting and banquet rooms, which includes the 3,018-square-foot Wilson Ballroom that can accommodate 400 people for a reception. Additional offerings include the Chuan Body + Soul Spa, a fitness studio, an indoor lap pool, the glamorous BOND restaurant and lounge, Café Fleuri (which sits beneath a magnificent six-story glass atrium), and 24-hour concierge. The hotel is conveniently located within walking distance of the city’s renowned historic sites, cultural destinations, and shopping, such as Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston Common, the Freedom Trail, the Theater District, and the waterfront. The hotel is just three miles from Logan International Airport.

With their membership acceptance into ALHI’s exclusive worldwide portfolio, The Langham Boston also becomes ALHI’s newest offering within the “ALHI City Solutions Collection,” which features ALHI’s 51 Four- and Five-Diamond quality city center hotels which are specifically designed to serve meetings and programs. The hotel, a national architectural landmark, is also added to ALHI’s “Historic Collection,” consisting of 35 legendary meeting hotels and resorts with a rich heritage.

Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club is an elegant Cape Cod seaside retreat that is situated on 429 scenic acres in quaint and historic Brewster, Massachusetts. Located on a bluff overlooking Cape Cod Bay, the resort features the historic Victorian-style Nickerson Family Mansion and Carriage House, which was originally built in 1890 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In total, the resort features 336 guest accommodations, consisting of luxurious guest rooms and suites, and elegant one-, two- and three-bedroom villa accommodations. The resort’s 18 meeting rooms offer 37,111 square feet of meeting space, with the ability to accommodate gatherings for up to 500 people. Meeting offerings include the 4,500-square-foot Mansion Ballroom (Cape Cod’s largest luxury ballroom), and the Linx Pavilion overlooking the 18th hole of the resort’s golf course. In addition to featuring Cape Cod’s only Nicklaus Design golf course, the resort offers a private beach, five pools, nine tennis courts, a fitness center, spa services, three restaurants, and a 26-mile bike trail. The resort is a short 90-minute drive from Boston and Providence and a quick one-hour flight from New York.

With their membership acceptance into ALHI’s prestigious portfolio, Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club becomes the newest offering in ALHI’s “Historic Collection,” and in ALHI’s “Beach & Island Collection,” and is added to the “ALHI Golf Collection,” consisting of over 1,600 holes of championship golf at ALHI’s Four- and Five-Diamond golf resorts that cater to the meetings and incentive marketplaces.

Centrally located between New York and Boston, the AAA Four-Diamond MGM Grand at Foxwoods is situated in scenic Mashantucket, Connecticut. Together with Foxwoods Resort Casino it is one of the largest resort casino complexes in the world. Offerings at MGM Grand at Foxwoods include 825 guest rooms and suites, 160,000 total square feet of premium meeting space (including a 50,000-square-foot column-free ballroom), and the 4,000-seat MGM Grand Theater. Ideal for destination meetings, recreational options at Foxwoods include two championship golf courses, two extraordinary spas, six casinos with over 380 table games, a comedy club, live entertainment, a bowling alley, a lavish 5,500-square-foot pool, and an array of shops. There are also 38 dining experiences, and six lounges and clubs from which to choose. The resort is an easy trip from New York City and Boston, and is less than a one-hour drive from Providence, Rhode Island’s T.F. Green Airport and Hartford, Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport.

With their membership acceptance into ALHI, MGM Grand at Foxwoods becomes ALHI’s newest offering in the “ALHI Entertainment & Gaming Solutions Collection,” comprised of 29 Four- and Five-Diamond resorts and hotels in the U.S. and abroad that provide hallmark entertainment and/or gaming. The hotel is also the newest member of the “ALHI Golf Collection,” and is the 26th member of the “ALHI Big Box 5-50 Solutions Collection” for conventions, which features ALHI member hotels and resorts with at least 500 guest rooms and/or suites, a minimum of 50,000 square feet of meeting space, and at least one ballroom of 20,000 square feet or more.

“The Langham Boston, Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club and MGM Grand at Foxwoods are three tremendous meeting offerings in New England, which is so popular with planners and attendees from throughout America,” said David Gabri, president and CEO of ALHI. “We hope we can show everyone how very special they are.

“The Langham Boston features a great location in vibrant and historic Boston, with world-class facilities and service. The historic Ocean Edge Resort is a truly picturesque seaside resort with outstanding recreational offerings. MGM Grand at Foxwoods is an incredible facility with an array of entertainment options to appeal to any group, as well as a beautiful setting. All three are exceptional choices for meetings and incentive/recognition programs,” said Gabri.

With a worldwide portfolio of over 115,000 rooms and suites and more than 10.5 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 more than 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 ALHI’s website www.alhi.com, and preview details of ALHI’s membership, including easily useful information on several defined specialty segments within the ALHI portfolio to serve distinctive meeting, convention and incentive travel needs.

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, Orlando, Philadelphia, Richmond, Savannah, Southern California, Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Washington (state). 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 “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.

VRS Meetings & Events, Inc. Wins Two 2012 ISES Capital Awards!

“150th Commemoration of the Battle of First Manassas/Bull Run Reenactment” national event management firm, VRS Meetings & Events wins two 2012 ISES-DC Capital Awards for their work as the
event management firm for the five day international event.

The Greater Washington DC Chapter of the International Special Events Society marked the 17th year for its prestigious Capital Awards Gala on Sunday evening March 25, 2012 at the USA today Headquarters in
McLean VA. Established to recognize and honor the best of the metro DC events industry, 18 awards were presented to the special event professionals who make the Greater Washington DC area event
industry the best in the nation. 64 nominees competed for 18 awards.

VRS Meetings & Events Inc. was awarded the top honor in the Corporate/Public Event Management Category- Budget more than $250,000 for their work as the overall event management firm for the Reenactment which was part of the 150th Commemoration. Discover Prince William & Manassas, VA
selected VRS as the event management firm for the event in 2010. VRS worked with Discover Prince William & Manassas, VA and Prince William County in partnership with the Mason-Dixon Alliance to produce the 150th
Reenactment event- “The moment that changed America.”

“It was an honor to be selected by Discover Prince William & Manassas to work side by side with their amazing team to produce the re-enactment,” said Valerie Sumner with VRS. “Truly this event commemorated a ‘moment that changed our history’ and was a once in a lifetime experience for VRS.”

In addition, the team of VRS Meetings & Events Inc. (Roberta Sumner and Michelle Mobley) – Event Management, Select Event Rentals ( Paul Gaynor) -Tenting, Temp-Power (Christian Crafton) – Power and The Convention Store (Sean Higgins) – transportation system management won top honors for the Best ISES Team Award which demonstrates the outstanding team work ISES members achieve when working
together to produce an event.

The 150th Commemoration (July 23-24, 2011) included a Reenactment of the First Battle of
Manassas/Bull Run, educational lecturer tents, period vendors (sutlers), modern vendors, and large early war garrison-style camps. The event attracted more than 25,000 spectators and re-enactors over 5 days, generating an estimated $20 million in direct visitor economic impact for Prince William County.

The event team created a logistically sound event that represented the cultural heritage of one of the nation’s historical turning points and delivered a positive experience for the tourists, spectators, reenactors, sutlers (19th
Century craftsmen), and the media (more than 350 media representatives
covered the event from around the world).

AIBTM Hosted Buyer Applications Up 36% from 2011

The Americas Meetings & Events Exhibition (AIBTM) announced today that Hosted Buyer application submissions for the 2012 exhibition are soaring – up 36% from 2011, with 12 weeks of open enrollment still to go. The Hosted Buyer program is a highlight of AIBTM 2012, which takes place June 19-21, 2012 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Bringing together the world’s leading buyers and sellers in the incentive, business and corporate travel and meetings industry, AIBTM 2012’s three-day business networking event includes one full day of education and two days of exhibition.

“AIBTM offers an unparalleled opportunity for Hosted Buyers and we are thrilled that there has been so much interest in our 2012 event, which will be bigger, better and more engaging than ever,” said Craig Moyes, Portfolio Director, IBTM Global Events Portfolio, Reed Travel Exhibitions. “We’re tracking ahead of schedule on applications for AIBTM 2012. We expect to have 20,000 pre-scheduled, on-site appointments, with a mix of new and returning buyers. In fact, 85% of exhibitors are returning from last year with 39 new exhibitors for 2012 including: Carlson Hotels, LA Inc –The Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau, The CVBs of New York State, Meet Washington State, Rosen Hotel Group, Cayman Islands Travel & Tourism, Moroccan National Tourism Office, Salt Lake CVB and more.”

Qualified AIBTM Hosted Buyers will have the opportunity to pre-schedule appointments with exhibitors of their choice, receive complimentary travel and accommodation, attend exclusive Hosted Buyer networking events, participate in pre-show and post-show city tours and enjoy other VIP benefits. AIBTM Hosted Buyer applications are reviewed and accepted based on the number and size of meetings, events, incentives and annual conferences, individual purchasing authority, annual budgets for meetings, amount of business conducted, responsibility for company’s business travel decisions and potential for future business in the meetings and business travel industries.

“Our Hosted Buyers will have the option of participating for either two or three days, depending on their location,” said Hosted Buyer Account Manager, Christine Knox. “We received feedback that our Hosted Buyers would like the opportunity to participate fully in AIBTM Education Day. Therefore, we adjusted our schedule to allow for the most flexibility.”

AIBTM’s close relationships with the industry’s major associations, which have inspired AIBTM Education Day, will also boost Hosted Buyer attendance for AIBTM 2012. This year’s Education Day will kick-off AIBTM 2012 with dynamic conferences, panels, round-table discussions, workshops and education dedicated for Hosted Buyers provided by industry partners like the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the Society of Incentive Travel Executives (SITE), the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).

“The Education Day offered by our industry partners is an added-value for our Hosted Buyers and in turn, some of our partners have committed to bringing in their own Hosted Buyer Groups,” said Moyes. “For example, SITE has agreed to bring 100 Hosted Buyers, while PCMA is on target to deliver 500 Hosted Buyers.”

Multiple concurrent educational sessions during AIBTM’s Americas Meetings Week ensures there are relevant tracks for all AIBTM 2012 Hosted Buyers and all attendees from each sector of the industry with the opportunity to earn CEU credits. PCMA will deliver Education Powered by PCMA, Executive Edge and the State of the Industry discussion and six bite-sized learning sessions at PCMA’s booth. ACTE will present an education track on the importance of face-to-face meetings in the context of business travel while utilizing new technology to best enhance the business experience. ICCA will present the ICCA Global Meetings track, consisting of roundtable sessions and clinical topics on how global destinations can penetrate the U.S. market. SITE will deliver stimulating education tailored to the incentive market as well as host the SITE Young Leaders Program, focusing on the next generation of motivational leaders. MPI will deliver a series of education tracks which will include the final installment of BVOM (Business Value of Meetings) study, which was launched in 2011 and supported by AIBTM.

Hosted Buyers at AIBTM 2012 will also enjoy an exclusive, elegant networking reception on Monday, June 18 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. This invitation-only event will be held at the new Four Seasons hotel in Baltimore.

To apply for the AIBTM Hosted Buyer program, visit: http://www.reedexpovip.com/profile/web/index.cfm?PKWebId=0x381a09c. For additional information, please contact: Jodi Bannerman – 1.212.871.3020 x. 107, jbannerman@jgordonassociates.com. Visit AIBTM on Twitter @AIBTMEvent or Facebook.

About AIBTM
The Americas Meetings & Events Exhibition (AIBTM) is the leading global exhibition for the U.S. meetings and events industry. The newest addition to the Reed Travel Exhibition’s global portfolio, AIBTM delivers individually qualified Hosted Buyers and eligible Trade buyers from the U.S. and around the world. Tailored to the U.S. market, AIBTM serves and guarantees the attendance of top level decision makers. The exhibitions provide time and business efficient matching services for buyers and sellers through unique Hosted Buyer Programs. To join AIBTM, or for more information, please visit www.aibtm.com.

About Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, business travel and the meetings and incentives industry.
The 13 events are; World Travel Market (WTM), Arabian Travel Market (ATM), International French Travel Market (IFTM), La Cumbre, International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), International Luxury Travel Market Asia (ILTMA), Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) (owned by Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau), Global Exhibition for Incentive, Business Travel, and Meetings (EIBTM), Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (GIBTM), Americas Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (AIBTM), China Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (CIBTM) and Business Travel Market.

April 2013 will see RTE launch World Travel Market Latin America in São Paulo.

RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions. In 2011, six million participants attended RE’s 500 events in 39 countries covering 44 industry sectors from aerospace and aviation to beauty and cosmetics to sports and recreation.

Reed Exhibitions is owned by Reed Elsevier, the world’s leading provider of professional information and online workflow solutions.

What’s New With Chesapeake, VA!

Spring is upon us and many new things have popped up in Chesapeake, Virginia!

• The Chesapeake Arboretum has many activities planned for the Spring:

– Kid’s Days at the Arboretum (in collaboration with the Virginia Museum of Natural History) continues May 19th “Flying Wild With the Birds”.
– Chesapeake Master Gardners classes at the Arboretum began March 21st. Topics
include Pruning, Air-Layering and Invasive Plants (I.D. and eradication). Visit
www.chesarbor.org for more details.
– April 21st is “Global Youth Service Day”, coordinated locally by Volunteer Hampton
Roads. The Chesapeake Arboretum is one of 4 local sites selected for service
projects.

• Greenbrier Country Club celebrates 25 years and unveils newly renovated, expanded
“1301 Grille”. An upscale and elegant dining area offering state-of-the-art amenities in
step with the lifestyle of today’s private club member. The club’s renovations offer
guests more opportunities to relax and have fun, network, and enjoy new dining
features. The $500,000 plus renovation project completely transformed the Grille,
which now boasts the look of a contemporary pub, featuring a media center with five
high-definition TVs (including one that, at 80-inches, serves as the focal point), a new
iPad table with charging stations – perfect for business meetings, catching up on
current events, sending emails, or even recharging kids’ handheld games; and a climate controlled wine storage area. For more information, visit www.greenbrierclub.com or
call (757) 547-7375.

• Chesapeake Square Mall added 3 new features to the area. On December 17, 2011,
Chesapeake Square Mall opened its first ever Play Area! The area is 1,225 square-feet
and includes colorful figures and play sets for kids to play on and around. On December
16th Chesapeake Square opened the doors to Cinemark-XD 12, Coastal Virginia’s Next
Generation Movie Theater! The new state of the art theater features wall to wall, ceiling
to floor screens, digital projection and RealD 3D capability! Cinemark XD-12 is
Virginia’s first Cinemark XD Auditorium. Also on December 16th Big Woody’s Bar and
Grill opened its second location inside Chesapeake Square Mall. Big Woody’s Bar and Grill has all the same food, events and fun that you have come to love at its Great Bridge location. Since opening in December, the new location has brought lots of new fans,
customers and shoppers to the mall.

• Hampton Inn Chesapeake/Greenbrier has completed several updates of the property.
Their 2-bedded rooms have changed from 2 doubles to 2 queen beds and new artwork
will be placed in all rooms. All televisions have also been upgraded to flat screens.

• Holiday Inn Express & Suites has several updates. All guest rooms now have flat screen
televisions, all bedding has been replaces with new plush sets and all telephones have
been upgraded.

• Hayatt Place Chesapeake/Greenbrier has added hot breakfast items to their
complimentary breakfast menu. They have expanded the menu to include hot
sandwiches, including low-carb options, and hot sweet items, including waffles and
cinnamon French toast. Also, a bowl station allows guests to customize breakfast
creations with their favorite toppings and fresh fruit.

• Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation’s Historic Park had a
significant leap forward this past year! The transformation is astonishing. E.T.
Gresham won the bid to construct the park, and has done a wonderful job. They have
had several large donations for the park, including the most recent donation of the
asphalt for the driveway and parking lot. This was a large project, and results were
outstanding. The following companies donated materials or services for asphalt-laying:
Paragon Paving, Branscome, Inc., Virginia Paving Company, Harrington Trucking, Inc.,
C.W. Scott Trucking, Inc., and J.D. Hauling, Inc.

Halal Food Enhances Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s Appeal to Mid-East Visitors

ABU DHABI – The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) is confident of attracting more business and meeting planners from the Middle East following receipt of halal certification from the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) for its five kitchens; Chinese, Western, Cold, Pastry and Malay. This (confidence) is further supported by a survey conducted by crescentrating.com, a travel portal for halal-conscious Muslim travellers, that ranked Malaysia as the top halal-friendly holiday destination for 2012 among 10 OIC (Organisation of Islamic Corporation) member states.

As Malaysia’s leading convention facility offering world-class services to an international clientele in a country where Islam is the official religion, the Centre has always been cognisant of the importance of complying with Islamic guidelines, especially in its food preparation. Towards this end, the Centre underwent stringent procedures and detailed analysis related to the halal process; from the sourcing of ingredients to the preparation and storage of food items and based on the Malaysian Standards MS1500:2009, to have its Chinese, Western, Cold, Pastry and Malay kitchens certified halal by JAKIM last year (2011).

“In addition, the bilateral ties between Malaysia and the Middle East provide significant opportunities to further grow the Centre’s Middle Eastern client base, especially in areas such as Islamic banking, Islamic arts and science, halal food industry and Islamic education,” said Datuk Peter Brokenshire, General Manager, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

The Centre’s halal certification is in line with Malaysia’s endeavour to become the world’s premier halal hub offering a complete range of products and services.

As a purpose-built, technologically-advanced facility, the seven-year old Centre has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 2005 and is fast becoming a benchmark for emerging convention centres in the region and worldwide. From the Middle East, the Qatar National Convention Centre and the upcoming Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre have paid familiarisation visits to garner and share knowledge and observe the Centre’s day-to-day operations, and how a convention centre can positively contribute towards a nation’s economic growth.

The Centre also attributes its increasing popularity among Middle Eastern clients to the successful execution of many high profile events, excellent track record, Malaysia’s strong appeal as a modern country that offers excellent value for money, political, social and economic stability and a conducive environment for meetings. This year, the Centre will host the 7th edition of World Halal Forum from 2-3 April for the third consecutive year.

For 2011, the Centre generated more than RM657 million (AED 798 million) in economic impact contribution to Kuala Lumpur city and Malaysia from 1,346 events which brought in 1.7 million delegates and visitors. This brings the number of events held at the Centre since commencing operations in June 2005 to 5,203, with over 12 million delegates in attendance and a total economic impact contribution of RM3.7 billion (AED 4.5 billion).

The Centre’s reputation as Malaysia’s premier convention facility has also been reinforced with the receipt of more industry awards. It recently clinched the Best Convention Centre in Asia award in The Annual MICE Report Awards 2012. It became the first convention centre in Malaysia to bring home the ‘Best Convention & Exhibition Centre’ award at the 22nd Annual TTG Travel Awards 2011 and the Business Destinations Travel Awards 2011 ‘Best Congress & Convention Centre, Asia’. They added to a 2011 roster that includes the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) Awards 2011 ‘Best MICE Venue’, the Meeting Industry Marketing Awards (MIMA) 2011’s ‘Best Use of Budget (Bronze)’ for its PlenaryOnCall offering, the National Occupational Safety and Health (NOSH) Excellence Award 2011 in the Business Services category, and one of five recipients of the BrandLaureate Country Branding Award 2010-2011.