Monthly Archives: June 2012

Switzerland Sustainability

Swiss companies were among the earliest pioneers of private-sector to commit to sustainability. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, whom headquarter is in Geneva, was established in 1991 with prominent Swiss involvement.
Since then, Switzerland has kept its engagement towards sustainability, which shows again in the results of this year Environmental Performance Index (EPI): indeed Switzerland leads the world in addressing pollution control and natural resource management challenges.

Basel hosts the 3rd International Sustainability Conference.
Between August 29 – 31, 2012, the 3rd International Sustainability Conference (ISC 2012 – will take place at the University of Basel. Yvonne Scherrer from the Conference Management team recounts: “The organizers never discussed to move ISC 2012 to a destination other than Basel. The city is easy accessible, offers professional conference infrastructure, free public transportation for all hotel guests and is with its picturesque Old Town as well as its rich history an attractive touristic spot.”

Heat from Lake St. Moritz.
The legendary Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in the center of St. Moritz is a favorite of celebrities and royalties alike since its opening in 1896. Since December 2006 the hotel heats the property with water from Lake St. Moritz, which lies 1,750 m/5,740 ft. above sea level. The use of lake water as a heat source saves energy and makes a valuable contribution to the environment: approximately 475,000 l/125,480 gal of heating oil are saved annually, reducing CO2 emissions by 1,200 tons, compared to a modern fossil-fuelled power plant.

Water worlds Flims – ecology and economy in unison.
With Water worlds Flims, the natural resource water is used in an ecological and economical fashion. The project comprises the entire region – from its lowest altitude in the Swiss Grand Canyon to the peaks of the Swiss Tectonic UNESCO World Heritage site. One of the primary goals is to optimally use the present abundance of water – for the production of potable water, for power generation and for use in “snow guns”. This way, the uniqueness of the region can be maintained and guaranteed.

Palexpo’s Congress and Exhibition Centre, Geneva.
The commitment of Palexpo to a sustainable development policy translates into numerous activities involving its employees, clients, suppliers & visitors and encompassing all three pillars of sustainability: environmental, economic and social. Notable amongst these are Palexpo’s ambitious policy on waste handling, which promotes the 3R concept: Reduce – Reuse – Recycle (80% of waste generated on-site is sorted and recycled) and the roof-top installation of the largest photovoltaic plant in Switzerland, which each year generates sufficient electricity to power 1,200 households.

AIBTM 2012 Closes with a Rush of Bookings for Chicago 2013

Exhibitors from around the world and across the United States reported that business was brisk with Hosted Buyer appointments, group presentations and drop-in traffic at this week’s AIBTM 2012 in Baltimore.

The structure of this year’s AIBTM Americas Meetings Week kicked off with a day of education and more than 2,250 people in attendance, over 50% up on the previous year. The number of exhibiting companies on the show floor also increased, up from 183 to 194 including 55 new to the event this year, and all resulting in a 5% increase in overall growth of the event.

Education was a highlight with a variety of speakers, sessions and keynotes. Supported by all of the major industry associations including PCMA, ICCA, Site, ACTE, MPI. Taking place pre-show enabled both exhibitors and Hosted Buyers to attend sessions that included PCMA Executive Edge, Site Young Leaders Program, MPI’s Practitioner Series and many others. Research also formed part of the continuing program including the delivery of MPI’s updated BVOM and Eric Rozenberg, non-exec Chair of RTE’s global meetings and events portfolio presented the first US regional version of the AIBTM Global Meetings Research findings (

New this year was a number of keynote sessions which kicked off each day with innovation, motivation and inspiration as the lead topics. Speakers included Roger Rickard, Partner and Chief Advocate of Revent LLC, Peggy Duncan, Personal Productivity Expert and Alfredo Quinones aka Dr Q among the many.

Commenting on one of the live panel discussions on public policy and the meetings and travel industry, Lindsey Lassiter, Navy League of the United States said, “I work for a military meeting association, so most of our events include active-duty personnel. It is helpful to know if we are going in the right direction or need to go in another direction. We work closely with a lot of legislative folks, so it is good to know we are doing the right thing.”

The second CEO Summit welcomed some 30 industry leaders from the US and around the world who had anticipated the stream of knowledge and opportunities the private event would offer. “For me, I look forward to the opportunity to hear trends and projections on the future of the meetings industry and business in general,” said attendee Michael Owen, CEO and managing partner of EventGenuity LLC in Nashville. “But as important as anything else is the peer connection and in my view after attending maybe half a dozen EIBTM CEO Summits this was the best ever. It was provocative and it gave me inspired thought that I can apply directly and immediately to my business.”

“Market Focus SPOTLIGHT on Europe” debuted on the final morning with a turnout of approximately 162 Hosted Buyers and some 15 European exhibitors conducting open-market style appointments and mixing with each other to discuss business in Europe. The one hour session had been organized as a direct response to the AIBTM 2011 post-show research, which confirmed that 60% of US Hosted Buyers have a direct interest in placing business internationally.

This year’s Hosted Buyer program had representatives from 29 countries. “First, I really like AIBTM because I can meet with so many different vendors in one place,” said Samantha Friedman of Resort Meetings Consortium in Chicago. “I also like booking my appointments so I get a mix of what I want. I have been to other Hosted Buyer programs where there are too many appointments in a day, so you are exhausted at the end. I have seven today and I can spread things out so I can attend some education sessions and look around the exhibits that are interesting.”

Packing in even more appointments into her day was Maggie Johnston, with Assurex Global in Dublin, Ohio who attended AIBTM last year. “When I come to a show like this, I like the Hosted Buyer program,” she said. “I have 15 appointments today, more than scheduled last year, so I can meet with the people I need to talk to. I like getting into a routine and I get a lot of business done as well as connecting names to faces.”

Donna Hunt from HelmsBriscoe summed up her experience: “I am very much impressed with the exhibits. I have been to other shows where you walk around and you can’t always get the information you want, so I like this format.”

By the close of play the show floor had already booked over 50 exhibitors for Choose Chicago, which will be the next host city for AIBTM from June 11th – 13th 2013. Those already signed include; Las Vegas
Meetings by Caesars Entertainment, Event Ready, Greater Raleigh CVB, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Long Beach CVB, Philadelphia CVB, PSAV Presentation Services, Star Travel DMC, Visit Charlotte, IHG, Hyatt Hotels, Dominican Republic, Canada, Greater Miami, Marriott, Melia Hotels, Moscow Exhibition & Convention Agency, Nassau, Napa Valley, NYC & Company, Philadelphia Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, MGM Resorts, Myrtle Beach, Vienna, Vancouver Hotel Destination Association, The Peabody Orlando, San Francisco Travel Association, Rosen Hotels & Resorts and Hello USA.

“Two years on and it’s great to see that AIBTM has established itself in the US. The quality of education, business concluded and networking achieved gives us a positive close to this event and a great launch pad for our move to Chicago,” said Craig Moyes, Portfolio Director, IBTM Global Events Portfolio, Reed Travel Exhibitions.

Finally, it was announced during the show that AIBTM will rotate starting with 2013 in Choose Chicago at McCormick Place and in 2014 at Orlando Florida and the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC).
The dates will be:
Choose Chicago: June 11th – 13th 2013
Orlando, Florida: June 10th – 12th 2014

Marketplace Events Launches New Home Show in Fort Worth, Texas

North America’s Largest Home Show Producer Expands

SOLON, Ohio – Marketplace Events announced today that the company will launch a new home show in Fort Worth, Texas beginning in 2013. The Great Big Texas Home Show Fort Worth will take place March 15-17, 2013 at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

The addition of a show in the Fort Worth market comes on the heels of two successful shows produced by Marketplace Events in partnership with Dallas Cowboys Stadium in the North Texas market in 2011 and 2012. The 2012 Great Big Texas Home Show ranked third highest in exhibitor satisfaction and saw the second highest growth rate in exhibit space revenue across the company’s portfolio of 32 home shows. It is now the largest home show in the state of Texas.

“We have been very pleased with the tremendous growth we’ve achieved in a very short time in North Texas,” explained Marketplace Events CEO Tom Baugh. “That success has served as a launching pad for us to expand further in the Texas market, starting in Fort Worth.”

The Fort Worth show will be managed by Show Director Gail Grogan, who joined Marketplace Events in January of this year after working for the Dallas Cowboys Organization and Legends Hospitality Management as the director of sales and special events at Cowboys Stadium. “Much of our success in this market is due to strong relationships with our exhibitors, sponsors and partners such as the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association (TNLA), who sponsors and coordinates the amazing feature gardens,” said Grogan. “These are the relationships that will allow us to expand our footprint in multiple markets across the state.”

The addition of the Great Big Texas Home Show Fort Worth brings the Marketplace Events portfolio of home shows to 32 annually including 23 home shows in the U.S. and nine in Canada. The company will also launch WIRED Live Expo in November 2012 and the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIME) in October 2013. WIRED Live is a technology- and innovation-focused consumer show to be held in Washington, D.C. that’s being produced in partnership with WIRED, a Conde Nast media brand. AIME is a trade and consumer enthusiast show for the motorcycle industry.

For information on the Great Big Texas Home Show Forth Worth or the Great Big Texas Home Show at Cowboys Stadium, contact Gail Grogan at (817) 722-2416 or
For information on Marketplace Events visit

WMG Selected to Launch Pepper and Salt Event Group in North America

World Marketing Group was engaged by Pepper and Salt® to launch its inbound destination services for France and the Benelux region. Pepper and Salt® are headquartered in Brussels, Belgium and operate in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and most recently, in the Netherlands.

Already the Pepper and Salt® team is attracting kudos. A brief sampling of client comments on Pepper & Salt’s customer servicing to date indicates:

* “All set with Paris. Pepper and Salt have been great to work with…” – S. McPherson
* “They have been great about sending me information…” – P. Grayson
* “Everything went great (Amsterdam) and the Pepper and Salt team was amazing to work
with..” – M. Warburton

World Marketing Group knows that lending its name to a DMC brings comfort as well as responsibility based on its recommendation. Pepper and Salt®’s group operational capabilities in both land-based as well as production services is a hallmark of their company.

In the words of Pepper and Salt®, founded in 1994 by Annik Paquay, Group General Manager, “the Pepper and Salt® Event Group can spice up any event to create a memorable highlight and full-stop.

In 2012 the company celebrates 18 years of international conference & event business, including the launch of their Holland office, joining forces with the Brussels office open since 11 years and the Paris office open for business in 2006.”

Pepper and Salt® have two distinctive business lines: incoming events and incentive programs to Benelux and France, conferences and meetings for distinctive corporate sectors, plus, event productions and marketing (with idea, creativity and concept from under the same roof).

The management of the company believes in experience and hosting. Every manager or department head has no less than 5 years of experience, the people at like to host, they have a creative, marketing oriented approach to each event request.

For more information on Pepper and Salt®, please contact:



Measuring Economic Impact of International Conferences on Malaysia’s Business Tourism Industry

The very first initiative of such scale ever conducted by a convention centre in the country

As business tourism continues to gain recognition in Malaysia as a key economic driver, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre), the country’s leading convention facility, and Taylor’s University School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts (TCHT) joined hands last year (2011) to conduct a research project titled ‘Micro Impacts and Benefits of Business Tourism Malaysia: A Case Study of Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’.

The survey, the first of its type to be conducted by a convention centre in the country, looked at three major areas of interest – travel information, delegate spend and delegate experience in relation to attendance at events held at the Centre.

Speaking at a recent gathering to share the findings of the study, Datuk Peter Brokenshire, General Manager, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, said the first-hand information garnered from the delegates provided some useful insights into what needs to be done to develop the industry further and to enhance the Centre’s, Kuala Lumpur’s and Malaysia’s competitiveness regionally and internationally.

“With the results, we also hope to identify supplementary areas and activities that can complement business tourism and in turn, expand the benefits derived from the industry through increased income, investment and employment.”

In thanking TCHT for their collaboration and the meeting planners and delegates for their participation, Brokenshire said the information collated will be invaluable in helping not just the Centre, but industry players, to examine the current facilities and services and where possible, do the necessary to better cater to the needs of conference delegates.

For the Centre per se, it was uplifting to see delegates had high perceptions of its facilities and services. “Given how competitive the market is; locally, regionally and internationally, we are cognisant of the need to stay ahead of the pack. Through this study, we now have more concrete information of what we do well and where we need to do better,” added Brokenshire.

According to Associate Professor Dr. Kashif Hussain, Programme Director, School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts, Taylor’s University, who helmed the project, “Overall, delegates deemed Malaysia to be a desirable location with notable conveniences, such as excellent shopping and entertainment (restaurants and bars) facilities, a rich abundance of cultural diversity, admirable tourist attractions and a very attractive and modern looking city.

“However, some did ‘voice’ their concern over the city’s pollution, traffic and parking conditions, the long wait at customs on arrival at the airport and errant taxi drivers. Despite this, close to 40% (of all delegates) said they would return to Malaysia within the next three years,” said Dr. Hussain.

Other interesting insights from the survey:
• 35% of delegates were from the US$4,000+ (RM12,200) a month income bracket;
• 34% spent more than US$500 (RM1,500) on shopping;
• 30% booked pre- or post-tours;
• 66% spent less than US$100 (RM300) on local transportation; and
• while 40.8% spent less than US$3,200 (RM9,800) during their stay, 13.8% spent US$6,408 (RM19,600) or more. This further supports the theory that business tourism delegates are higher-yield tourists compared with regular tourists and thus, generate more income for the domestic economy.

Survey respondents comprised more than 900 local and international delegates from over 70 countries from five events held at the Centre in 2011. They were the 5th CINP Asia Pacific Regional Meeting 2011, 70th Institute of Internal Auditors International Conference 2011, SIFE World Cup 2011, Asia Pacific Congress in Maternal Fetal Medicine (APCMFM) 2011 and the 21st Asia Pacific Cancer Congress 2011.

Three Industry Leaders Selected for Key Operational Roles at the San Diego Convention Center

DeeAnne Snyder, Donald Bottger and Debbie Dyer bring broad scope of convention and meeting expertise

San Diego — The San Diego Convention Center Corporation (SDCCC) is pleased to announce that DeeAnne Snyder, Donald Bottger and Debbie Dyer, have been selected to head-up three key divisions central to the overall success of the San Diego Convention Center’s operations and hosting of events.

“We are very fortunate to have three individuals with such outstanding industry credentials on board,” said the SDCCC’s President and CEO, Carol Wallace. “All of them have a proven track record of success and leadership that will contribute greatly to the overall success our building.”

Effective in March, DeeAnne Snyder was named director of event services replacing Ron King, who accepted a position as the new director of the Dallas Convention Center. Snyder is now responsible for planning, directing and managing the event services department staff and resources, as well as contracted services relevant to client use and event activity.

Snyder started at the SDCCC in 1993 as an event coordinator and worked her way up through the ranks, eventually becoming the director of convention services where she has led the department since 2006. A respected industry leader with 25 years of event management experience, she is the recipient of the Professional Convention Management Association 2002 Distinguished Convention Services Manager of the Year Award; the San Diego Chapter of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International 1995 J. V. Cunningham Award for Service Excellence; and the YWCA’s 1997 “TWIN” Tribute to Women in Industry Award recognizing women in management and leadership roles. She is also on the faculty of the University of San Diego/George Washington University where she teaches event management courses.

Also effective in March, Donald Bottger accepted the position of director of facility services. He is responsible for directing, supervising and coordinating duties related to cleaning and building services, grounds keeping, storeroom and warehouse services and the Convention Center’s wardrobe services. This position is a new position as a result of organizational restructuring which took place in February.

Bottger has two decades of facility management experience and previously worked for the SDCCC in various capacities starting in 1989 when the Convention Center first opened. He was promoted in 2003 when he was named assistant facility services manager. He departed the SDCCC in 2007 to join Viejas Casino as their superintendent of maintenance, and in 2010, moved to his former job as the operations manager for General Growth/Rouse Properties. His vast facility experience coupled with his previous tenure at the Convention Center makes him uniquely qualified to oversee this function.

In April, Debbie Dyer was named director of convention services, the position formerly held by DeeAnne Snyder. Dyer is responsible for overseeing the convention services team and directing the day-to-day operations of convention services, convention staffing and housing services.

Most recently, Dyer was the marketing and events/trade show manager for Lakeshore Learning Materials where she was responsible for organizing 45 trade shows annually including space selection, show strategy, brand messaging, print collaterals, logistics, staff training, food services, budgeting and reporting. Formerly, she worked for George P. Johnson Event Company as a senior account executive for auto shows and special events. She has held several other industry management positions over the last two decades.

The San Diego Convention Center Corporation is a public benefit corporation created by the City of San Diego to exclusively manage and operate the 2.6 million sf waterfront facility. Now celebrating more than 20 years of success, the San Diego Convention Center has generated $20.9 billion in regional economic impact, $400.1 million in tax revenues and supports 12,500 jobs countywide.

Inaugural IMEX America Executive Forum Highlights Top Priorities for Meeting Executives in 2012

Highlighting what’s top of mind for leading executives in the meetings, events and incentive travel industry, IMEX America announced today the key insights from the first IMEX America Executive Meeting Forum held in Las Vegas in October 2011.

Sponsored by Ritz-Carlton Hotels, the summit brought together 25 invited meetings executives from the technology, food, energy, finance, software, insurance and pharmaceutical sectors. Together they represented a total of over US $3.8 billion in meetings and events buying power. Participating organizations included Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Merck, DHL, KPMG LLP, Chevron Corporation and others.

The IMEX America Executive Forum is designed to reveal fresh ideas and identify solutions and strategies for corporate meetings and events executives, and to discover opportunities for industry progress. The end goals are to develop, implement and measure successful meetings, discuss optimal paths for the long-term future of the industry from a corporate perspective, and keep a strong focus on short-term needs and pressures.

To help support these goals – and with the continued backdrop of a challenging global economy in mind – executives in the IMEX America Executive Meeting Forum set their sights on specific priorities for 2012 and beyond. Capturing ROI and its power to build stakeholder support was a pressing and common thread discussed, supported by a strong desire to find improved ways to measure, package and demonstrate the positive impact of events and SMMP (Strategic Meetings Management Programs) to the C-suite.

There was also an interest in doing more pre and post-meeting surveys and cost-benefit analysis; securing upfront agreement on goals, objectives and measurements; and undertaking better training and expectation management with key stakeholder business groups – especially finance.

Other requirements and needs were identified as: having more reports that clearly show the true value of professional event planners managing contracts and meetings; developing commonly agreed industry metrics for risk mitigation, contract clauses, force majeure and other complex practices and building more negotiation consistency and power into sourcing strategies.

Additionally at the Forum, global SMMP was covered as an area of great opportunity and excitement but also one that requires more structure, including getting a better handle on varied cultural preferences, business operations and policies, as well as building stronger international team and program management skills.

Does technology create an age gap?
Finally, during the Forum discussion, the role of technology continued to provoke strong debate, with virtual spaces, emerging technologies and speakers using multimedia engagement dominating the agenda. Executives are also closely watching technologies such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and teleprescence with an eye to striking the right balance between technology and access for younger vs. older event or meeting participants.

Carina Bauer CEO of IMEX Group says: “The Executive Forum was a dynamic and engaging first event for us and an invaluable chance to focus soley on helping move events, meetings and incentive travel forward within a variety of corporations. The discussions and ideas exchanged are now being used to shape future IMEX America education, networking and business programs, and especially to bring the needs of corporate meeting planners into sharper focus. We heard loud and clear from this year’s Forum participants that they want to keep this powerful face-to-face event going so that they can have frank discussions that will hopefully lead to positive change within their own enterprises and beyond.”

The Forum was facilitiated by two specialist US consultants – Terri Brieining, CMP, CMM and principal with Breining Group LLC – and Kimberly Meyer, founder and CEO of Meetings Analytics.

Kelly Wood, Vice President, Global Sales Organization North America, Ritz-Carlton, commented on the group’s involvement with the Forum: “This was a unique initiative enabling hoteliers to learn from some of the most senior meeting planners in the industry, and Ritz-Carlton was thoroughly delighted to have supported it. Meetings business contributes significantly to the success of many hotels. Against a background of a tough economic climate it is more important than ever that we are in sync with current and future needs. The opportunity to hear directly from the biggest influencers in the sector was priceless.”

Janet T. Wenger Receives Sales Person of the Year Award

Chesapeake Convention & Visitors Bureau sales manager recognized by the Virginia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus for outstanding work

CHESAPEAKE, VA – Janet T. Wenger, a certified meeting professional for the Chesapeake Convention and Visitors Bureau, received the Virginia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus’ (VACVB) prestigious sales manager of the year award at the association’s annual conference. Wenger won the award as part of the association’s annual VIRGO Travel and Tourism Awards.

The VIRGO Travel and Tourism award for sales manager of the year honors an individual’s sales efforts whose destination greatly benefitted from his or her work. Wenger was recognized by the VACVB for her efforts to bring the Virginia Destroyers football franchise to Chesapeake for its 2011 season. The franchise’s decision to stay in Chesapeake resulted in an estimated economic impact of more than $738,000 to the city.

“Janet is essential to our team and a valuable resource for groups planning events in Chesapeake,” said Kim Murden, tourism manager for the Chesapeake Convention & Visitors Bureau. “She is fully deserving of this honor, and we are delighted to see her work recognized.”

Wenger has spent more than a decade in the hospitality industry, finding creative solutions to meet the unique needs of groups and organizations. Wenger specializes in the mid-Atlantic travel and tourism market. During her time at the Chesapeake Convention & Visitors Bureau, she has built travel expertise in areas of leisure, culture, sporting events, outdoor activities, education, and military and government affairs.

As a membership-based association, the VACVB provides its members with marketing, networking and educational opportunities to help them generate local revenue by increasing tourism in their respective regions.

About Chesapeake, Va., Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Chesapeake Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for the City of Chesapeake, Va. The CVB strives to increase travel and tourism revenue in the city by promoting Chesapeake as a meetings and leisure travel destination through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding, and convention and visitor services. The CVB influences thousands of meeting planner, group tour and leisure travel decision makers to visit Chesapeake each year. The city’s thriving hospitality industry supports thousands of jobs and generates millions in revenue for the city’s economy. For more information, visit

ALHI’s Kevin Hinton Becomes Chairman Of The Meeting & Event Industry’s Largest Global Community, Meeting Professionals International, on July 1

CHICAGO, IL – Kevin M. Hinton, Executive Vice President of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) and of Associated Destinations Worldwide (ADW) – ALHI’s Global Solution, will become Chairman of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) on July 1, 2012, for its 2012-2013 fiscal year. Hinton has been serving as the Chairman-Elect for MPI since July 1, 2011, a position for which he was selected by MPI’s nominating committee, and approved by the members of the worldwide organization. MPI, the meeting and event industry’s largest global community, is comprised of more than 23,000 members, representing 86 countries, belonging to 71 chapters and clubs worldwide. In addition to his duties at ALHI, Hinton as Chairman will also continue to serve on the MPI International Board of Directors, and on the MPI Executive Committee, for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. He is based in the ALHI/ADW Global Sales Office in Chicago.

As Chairman of MPI, Hinton will lead the 18-member MPI Board of Directors, the governing body of MPI, which is responsible for reviewing and approving the organization’s strategic plans, for overseeing financial integrity, and for monitoring performance against achievement of strategy and long-term vision.

Hinton is Executive Vice President of ALHI (, a prestigious dues-based National Sales Organization (NSO) which for over a quarter century has exclusively provided National Sales services and support for its distinctive portfolio of more than 130 Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels and resorts to the North American meetings and incentive marketplace. He specifically serves as Executive Vice President of Associated Destinations Worldwide (, ALHI’s new Global Sales Organization (GSO) specialist unit launched in October 2011, which provides incremental local sales and services to the U.S. and Canadian meetings and incentive marketplace dedicated for its worldwide member destinations, upper-tier hotels, and first-class convention facilities from around the world.

In his position at ALHI Hinton is responsible for the global sales solutions and account advocacy for meeting professionals and incentive/recognition specialists located in North America, which have programs globally.

Prior to joining ALHI, Hinton served as CEO of hinton+grusich, which was acquired by ALHI in January 2011. In that position he was responsible for overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations and strategic growth. A highly regarded industry leader and strategist, Hinton has served as MPI Chicago Area Chapter’s president, and on its board of directors. Among the many honors he has received was the “President’s Award” from the Chicago Area Chapter of MPI. He began his service on the MPI Board of Directors in 2008. He is a graduate of Marquette University, with a degree in Finance and German. He also graduated from the University of Chicago’s Executive MBA program. After college, he was a Peace Corps volunteer for two years in Mali, West Africa.

“I’m very excited about the privilege of serving as Chairman of MPI,” said Hinton. “I really look forward to working with our Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, and with the membership of MPI to strategically build upon MPI’s already strong foundation. MPI is an outstanding organization and an exceptional resource for all involved in the meetings industry, and I am very excited about leading the team to move our meetings and events industry forward.”

Hinton added, “Plus, MPI is uniquely positioned to provide a strong voice for the value of face-to-face meetings, and I look forward to promoting that message throughout my tenure.”

David Gabri, ALHI’s and ADW’s president and CEO, said, “Kevin is the perfect person to lead MPI, as he is a committed visionary leader, skilled strategic planner, and a passionate MPI advocate who truly inspires. He will do an outstanding job for us all.”

ALHI provides to meeting professionals, association executives, incentive specialists, and business executives experienced Global Sales services with diverse options among its outstanding member hotels and resorts worldwide for programs requiring from 10 to more than 6,500 rooms.

There is no cost to planners’ organizations to utilize the ALHI Sales services, expertise, and account advocacy, as its members’ dues fund the organization to best serve executives and planners with local professionals to provide appropriate options for successful programs worldwide.

Featuring a worldwide portfolio of over 115,000 rooms and suites and more than 10.5 million square feet of meeting space worldwide, ALHI provides planners and their organizations experienced National Sales services, and easy and professional one-call local access, to outstanding hotels and resorts which specialize in meetings and incentive programs.

ALHI and ADW now feature 23 upper-tier hotels and resorts outside of the U.S. in its portfolio, found in 17 international destinations. This includes five hotels in China (including two in Hong Kong), one in Australia, one in New Zealand, one in the Bahamas, four in the Dominican Republic, one in Jamaica, one in England, one in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), three in Canada, and five in Mexico. The ADW team works in concert with the ALHI NSO professionals providing incremental sales intelligence, account advocacy, first-hand insights and valuable assistance for outbound international group programs.

Member hotels in ALHI and ADW 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 and resorts with world-class gaming and entertainment.

For a list of ALHI’s entire portfolio, visit, and preview details of ALHI’s membership, including easily useful information on several defined specialty segments within the ALHI portfolio. 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.

For a list of ALHI’s ADW’s “worldwide portfolio” specifically, visit, and preview details of each member hotel, including details of the properties’ accommodation offerings, meeting facilities, amenities, restaurants and lounges. The site also features informative destination information on 17 international cities, including the appeal of each destination, key points of interest, how to get there, weather statistics, currency information, language(s) spoken, the time zone, electricity information, distance to other cities, and local holidays.

ALHI now has 16 professionally-staffed National Sales Offices, 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 to identify the “ALHI Contacts” sales professionals in your state/area.

For information about ALHI, contact your nearest ALHI National Sales Office, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit For specific information about Associated Destinations Worldwide, call (312) 346-5768, and visit For more information about Meeting Professionals International, visit or call (972) 702-3000.

New International Flight Between Denver and Tokyo, Starting Marck 2013

DENVER, CO – Barely two weeks after launching nonstop international service between Denver and Reykjavík, Iceland on Icelandair (with connecting service to 26 European cities), United Airlines today announced daily, nonstop flights between Denver International Airport (DEN) and Narita International Airport (NRT) in Tokyo, Japan beginning on March 31, 2013. The 5,788-mile, 11-12 hour flight will be on 219-passenger Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets. The flight is now available for sale on and other distribution channels.

With its joint venture partner All Nippon Airways, United’s passengers will benefit from connecting service in Narita to 20 other destinations in Asia. DEN already has nonstop flights to London on British Airways and to Frankfurt on Lufthansa, as well as many nonstop flights to cities in Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic (beginning in June).

“This is a major step forward in Denver positioning itself as a destination for international conventions,” said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. Scharf said that Denver’s central location in North America makes it ideal for international meetings. “Denver’s Mountain Time Zone is the only one that allows phone calls to both London and Tokyo in the same business day, making it perfect for international meetings, teleconferences, trade shows and major news events,” Scharf said.

DEN is currently the fifth busiest airport in the U.S., 11th-busiest in the world with nearly 1,600 daily flights, including nonstops to 175 worldwide destinations.
The new, daily nonstop flight is scheduled to depart Denver at 11:55 a.m. and arrive in Tokyo at 3 p.m. the next day, with the return trip departing Tokyo at 4:40 p.m., arriving in Denver at 12:30 p.m. the same day.
We are also opening a 500-room Westin at DEN in 2016, and late this summer we add two new downtown hotels – a 230-room Marriott Renaissance, built in the spectacular 1915 Colorado National Bank Building; and a 150-room Springhill Suites by Marriott, affiliated with Metropolitan State University of Denver, which will be the only urban teaching hotel in America. This will bring us to more than 8,700 hotel rooms downtown and more than 43,000 throughout the city.