Monthly Archives: September 2012

Irving Hosts Texas-Size Welcome Party for Texas Society of Association Executives

Fresh off the heels of ASAE – the industry’s biggest trade show held in Dallas last month – its Texas version comes to town

IRVING, Texas – A “Texas-Size” welcoming party awaits in Irving for attendees of next week’s Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE) annual New Ideas Conference. The conference kick-off celebration begins at 5:45 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas. See attached photo advisory for opening night details.

The conference runs through Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas.
TSAE follows the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) annual conference held in Dallas last month. Being the industry’s biggest conference of the year, ASAE drew more than 6,000 executives, exhibitors, vendors and guests to Dallas – the highest attendance for the conference since 2007. ASAE represents more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 10,000 organizations.
TSAE provides association professionals a community for collaboration, learning and leadership growth. The annual New Ideas Conference brings these professionals of Texas together for a three-day event to share and engage with experts to help advance their organizations. Members of TSAE represent more than 1,000 association professionals from Texas-based associations and societies, as well as corporations and firms that provide services to associations.

“We are so excited to be able to welcome the Texas Society of Association Executives back in Irving – it’s the first time in too many years, and our city has grown quite a bit since they were last here, said Maura Allen Gast, executive director for the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau (ICVB).

“TSAE’s members represent decision-makers and leaders for hundreds of trade, professional, not-for-profit and philanthropic associations. To have these key influencers see Irving first-hand and up-close – including the new Irving Convention Center – gives us the ultimate opportunity to show off our city and its ability to host a wide range of meetings, conventions and events.”

Serving as host city for meetings such as TSAE and ASAE, benefits the overall economic health for cities, and has the potential to significantly boost the economy in Dallas/Fort Worth over the next 10 years.
Connect with TSAE, ICVB and the ICCLC on Twitter: @tsae, @VisitIrvingTx, and @IrvingTxCC; join TSAE’s convention conversation at #newideas12.

San Diego in a Box Overflows

…adds conference housing, S.D. Snyder Yachts and Advantage Sports Entertainment

SAN DIEGO, California – Lex Lyon, President of San Diego in a Box, the recently launched, private convention bureau for San Diego announces three new and diverse additions to the website. “There is an obvious need for meeting planners to have a resource for trusted supplier partners” explains Lyon. “Our membership continues to grow and offers planners bringing events to San Diego even more vetted suppliers. We’ve added a respected, local housing and registration bureau, a major supplier of sports and entertainment tickets in both local and global arenas and a boat company revered by local event pro’s as the company to use for private fishing charters and seasonal whale watching.”

Conference Planning
This boutique full service housing bureau is based in San Diego but travels throughout North America handling custom web housing services along with on-line and on-site attendee registration.

ADVANTAGE Sports & Entertainment
P.J. Macaluso’s ADVANTAGE has the inside track for Broadway, concert and sporting events. Meeting planners are advised to check with ADVANTAGE on what is happening in San Diego or wherever they’re meeting.

R.D.Snyder Yachts
San Diego has world class fishing. For corporate half- day and nearly all day fishing charters, Ron Snyder brings a professionalism not normally found on fishing piers. Charters are inclusive of licenses, tackle, bait, beer, sodas and lunch.

Lex Lyon
Lex Lyon’s extensive background in the hospitality industry started 39 years ago. As a known professional in the community, Lyon was Director of Sales for The San Diego Hilton, the opening Director of Marketing for the Hotel InterContinental (now the Marriott Marquis & Marina) and owned and operated Enjoy California, a successful DMC in San Diego for 15 years. Lyon was a founding member of the Association of Destination Management Executives (ADME).

Latin America
Also available on the site are links to IVI Destination Management, the largest and most renowned network of DMCs in Latin America.

All Other Areas Frozen at Existing Levels For FY2013

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has released the federal per diem rates for 10 new non-standard areas (NSAs) that will be in effect for Fiscal Year 2013 (FY2013). GSA previously announced that federal per diem rates for FY2013 for existing NSAs will be frozen at the current FY2012 levels. Federal per diem rates will take effect October 1, 2012, and run through September 30, 2013.

The standard continental United States (CONUS) per diem rate that is not listed as specific destinations remains at $77 per night. That rate, which is reviewed every three years, was last adjusted for FY2011 when it was increased from $70 per night.

For FY2013, GSA added ten new NSA areas that will have their own per diem rates:

• Bakersfield/Ridgecrest, California (Kern County) – $86
• Stockton, California (San Joaquin County) – $83
• Hancock and Pearl River Counties in Mississippi – $82
• Sidney/Glendive, Montana (Richland and Dawson Counties)

o October 1 – March 31 – $96
o April 1 – May 30 – $90
o June 1 – September 30 – $96
• Dickinson/Beulah, North Dakota (Stark, Mercer, and Billings Counties)
o October 1 – November 30 – $104
o December 1 – March 31 – $118
o April 1 – September 30 – $104
• Minot, North Dakota (Ward County)

o October 1 – March 31 – $112
o April 1 – June 30 – $100
o July 1 – September 30 – $112
• Williston, North Dakota (Williams, Mountrail, and McKenzie Counties)
o October 1 – March 31 – $96
o April 1 – May 30 – $90
o June 1 – September 30 – $96
• Carlsbad, New Mexico (Eddy County) – $89
• Watertown, New York (Jefferson County) – $99
• Pasco, Washington (Franklin County) – $93

GSA establishes federal per diem rates by using market data provided by Smith Travel Research in order to establish rates that reflect the market where those rates apply. Although federal per diem rates cannot formally be appealed by business representatives, GSA does have the ability to review and modify the rates.

AH&LA is advising members who believe their localities may be undervalued in the FY2013 per diem rate schedule with a number of helpful suggestions that can be found on our Website. The complete FY2013 rates are available on the GSA per diem website,

Liverpool Brings the Fab Four to IMEX America

Liverpool Convention Bureau will be taking Beatle-mania to IMEX America this year as part of an initiative to drive larger conferences from the USA to the destination.

The bureau will be exhibiting at the show for the first time, accompanied by destination partner ACC Liverpool, who previously attended in 2011. Both organisations will be exhibiting on the VisitEngland stand.

2012 is a significant year for Fab Four fans as it marks 50 years since the release of the Beatles first single – ‘Love me Do’- and the opening day of IMEX America coincides with what would have been John Lennon’s 71st birthday. To celebrate, Team Liverpool are hosting a Beatles themed party on the stand with music, hospitality and some special give-a-ways along with advice on how to incorporate The Beatles into events and conferences.

There is also a joint ‘Ticket to Ride’ competition for visitors to the stand – an all expenses paid familiarisation trip to Liverpool including transport and accommodation.

With the USA a developing market for the city, both Liverpool Convention Bureau and ACC Liverpool will be targeting large conferences and events from American buyers, particularly with the addition of Exhibition Centre Liverpool, the latest addition to ACC Liverpool’s family of world class venues, which will be open for business in 2015.

Carol O’Reilly / Kate Currie, Conference Bureau Manager comments: “America is a developing market for Liverpool and this exhibition provides the perfect opportunity to illustrate the city’s range of world class venues, its heritage, dedicated and friendly service, and standing as one of the UK’s best conference destinations. We look forward to taking one of our most famous exports, The Beatles, to the exhibition and highlighting all that’s best about our destination”.

Kerrin MacPhie, director of sales at ACC Liverpool, said: “Imex America gives us an ideal platform to talk to thousands of hosted buyers about latest developments at ACC Liverpool, including Exhibition Centre Liverpool which will take our total interlinked and flexible event space from 7,125m2 to 15,225m2. We will be looking to forge relationships with new contacts in the exhibition market and develop them over time as we enter our next exciting phase.

“Imex will also allow us to reiterate our location to an American audience – the fact that we stand on Liverpool’s world-renowned waterfront, our international connectivity thanks to two airports in the region and our connections to London and beyond.”
Liverpool Convention Bureau and ACC Liverpool will be exhibiting at IMEX America, 9-11 October on stand 814.

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Launches New Website

Kuala Lumpur – The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) has launched its new website, where “forward thinking and pushing boundaries were the main drivers for the new look,” explained Ms Angeline Lue, Director of Sales & Marketing, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Based on a comprehensive brief from the Centre’s Sales & Marketing Division, the appointed design and web agencies made full use of the advancements in design technology in ensuring an updated and content rich site that is also visually stimulating.

Ms Lue said the site had to operate as a sales as well as information tool and to serve a global clientele and hence, “new features such as our corporate video, YouTube videos and a testimonial bank have been embedded.”

According to Ms Florence Wan Wai Ching, Partnership Alchemist, XiMnet Malaysia Sdn Bhd, who was in charge of the revamped site’s overall design, layout and usability, to meet the Centre’s exacting requirements, “we added features that, even in the last couple of years, would not have been possible. They include cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility, the use of large images without compromising on the download time and being able to toggle between content and visuals.

“In addition, it is now HTML-based so there is no need for additional plug-in, making the site easily accessible from anywhere.”

Elaborating on the visual presentation, En Kamil Yunus, Managing Director, Freeform Design Shd Bhd, who is responsible for the Centre’s design and brand management, said the content was arranged into distinct visual spaces with flexible options for future updates and with an emphasis on the Center’s unique value-added propositions. “And as the website is an important and integral brand touchpoint, the images are used to highlight the relevant content and to align the overall design to the Centre’s brand identity.”

“As we push further into the social media space, we are confident the new site will enhance the user experience at the same time, reaffirm the Centre’s world-class reputation and position as Malaysia’s premier convention facility,” added Ms Lue. now boasts up-to-date and relevant content at a click with a comprehensive take on the Centre’s facilities, amenities and value packages and, the destination itself. A side bar provides links to key corporate information; the Centre’s policy on Environment, Social Sustainability, Safety & Health, Food Safety & Quality, Halal Food and its latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report; awards and certifications; calendar of events; media releases; e-Newsletter; testimonials; corporate video; YouTube videos; and other pertinent information.

2012 AH&LA Lodging Survey Identifies Trends in Amenities, Facilities, Programs

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) 2012 Lodging Survey, the most comprehensive industry-wide survey of its kind, polled more than 52,000 U.S. hotel properties regarding in-room amenities, security and technology features, food and beverage options, guest services, sustainability, property offerings, and much more. Funded by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) and conducted by STR, the survey is conducted every two years to give hoteliers a detailed analysis of the industry at large.
Among the many findings, the survey revealed the following:

Eco-friendly practices remain important:
-76 percent have a linen/towel reuse program;

-Water savings programs have been implemented in 75 percent of properties;

Properties are offering more technology resources:
-Although most of the positive responses are from upper-tier hotels, 23 percent of respondents already offer a mobile app for hotel services;

-Showing the prominence of OTAs in the hotel industry, 95 percent of participants admitted to using a third-party Internet source for bookings;

Hotels are health conscious:
-Properties that offer an exercise/health/fitness facility reached a new peak at 84 percent;

-Non-smoking policies at hotels are gaining momentum as 63 percent of participants said they are comprised of 100 percent non-smoking rooms.

“The information in the 2012 Lodging Survey provides hoteliers with a snapshot of the key trends that impact the industry now and provides insight into future developments,” said AH&LA President/CEO Joseph A. McInerney, CHA. “This year we were fortunate to garner a particularly high response rate, so the survey truly provides the largest representative sampling and view of trends in the American lodging industry.”

AH&LA members can download a copy of the 2012 Lodging Survey via the Members Only section of the AH&LA Website, Individual data points are available for $300 each from the AH&LA Information Center at (888) 743-2515. Comparisons can be made dating back to the first AH&LA Lodging Survey in 1988.

AH&LEF is the charitable fund-raising and endowed fund-management subsidiary of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Founded in 1953, AH&LEF is the premier organization for scholarships, professional certification, and instructional material as well as funding for hospitality industry research. For more information, visit

Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom-line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.

DMC Network Inaugural Netty Awards Are Announced

Chris Baker, DMCP, Owner of Chicago Travel Consultants was the recipient of the Excellence in Sales Leadership Award which is presented to an individual who has shown exceptional sales skills in addition to sharing best sales and business practices with our partners. Chris has demonstrated the true value of the DMC Network relationships within the DMC Network and the hospitality industry as a whole.

Jillene Szostak, DMCP, President of Chicago Travel Consultants was the recipient of the Excellence in Operations Leadership Award which recognizes an individual who has provided exceptional operational skills, ideas, and best practice sharing within the DMC Network. Jillene had demonstrated great leadership within her own company as well as contributing to the DMC Network.

Jeanne Whitworth, Director of Sales for Destination St. Louis was the recipient of the Rising Star Award which goes to an individual that has provided exceptional commitment to the DMC Network’s mission as defined by their work on committees, task forces, and overall support to the organization and the DMC Network partners. Jeanne is an up and coming Rising Star within the Network and has demonstrated consistent support amongst her peers.

Chicago Travel Consultants was the recipient of the Network Partner of the Year Award which recognizes the Network partner company providing unparalleled service to the organization and superior business results in their destination. CTC has made significant contributions in sales, operations, administration, and overall leadership for the DMC Network and the hospitality industry.

Linda Thompson, CMP, President and CEO of Cappa & Graham in San Francisco was the recipient of The Jill McGregor Spirit of Excellence Award which is named in honor of Jill McGregor, founder of Capitol Services in Washington, DC. Jill lost her battle with cancer in 2010 and she will never be forgotten. She was a founding member of ADME and certainly left a legacy of her work surrounding the DMC industry. The Award is presented to an individual within the Network that has made significant contributions over the past year and demonstrated great leadership qualities and superior professionalism within the DMC Network and overall hospitality industry. Linda Thompson held the position of Chairwoman of the board for the past four years leading the organization and setting the vision for the future growth of the DMC Network.

About the DMC Network, LLC:
Unique in the industry, the DMC Network is an LLC of the top-performing, independently owned DMCs throughout North America. Through our alliance with Ovation Global DMC, our reach extends across five continents. With an average of over 25 years in business and more than twice as many accredited DMCs as any other DMC consortium or company, each DMC Network partner delivers unsurpassed knowledge of their market and a confidence that they are a sound, professional organization that consistently exceeds clients’ expectations. With an insider’s knowledge, we make it effortless for our clients to produce meetings and events around the world. We are your knowledge network and are dedicated to doing business your way, in every way. As a network, we represent many destinations, but only one relationship — the one with you.

IMEX America Announces Sustainability Results From Inaugural 2011 Show

In line with its principles of consistently reducing environmental impact, organizers of IMEX America, the IMEX Group, have announced key results from the inaugural Las Vegas show’s first sustainability program. The report was conducted by IMEX America’s sustainability consultants, MeetGreen®.

During the debut of IMEX America in October 2011 in Las Vegas, the IMEX Group set out to collect extensive baseline data against which it could set sustainable benchmarks and report environmental achievements and progress over future years. The measures included creating programs and partnerships with all major constituents of the trade show including sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, and vendors/service providers. They also incorporated a range of other business activities such as back-office functions.

Green Best Practices Are Where the Rubber Meets the Road

As promised, the IMEX America show featured a number of meetings sustainabilty best practices at the Sands Expo and in various partner hotels. They included the use of show badges and hosted buyer luggage tags made from recycled paper, badge lanyards made from plant silk and sustainable badge holders. Show bags were reusable and made of recyclable polypropylene, exhibitor waste baskets were reused or recycled, signage was sourced within 100 miles of the event and 99% of those signs are now being stored locally for re-use next year. Additionally, a three-minute anti-idling policy was put in place for all hosted buyer transfer buses. The audio visual company also agreed to source the most efficient lighting and presentation projectors available as well as participating in a lamp-recycling program.

Green and CSR Meetings Programs Extend Reach Through Innovation

To expand the reach of IMEX America’s green and CSR efforts to the local community, and around the globe, IMEX partnered closely with the IMEX America headquarters hotel and convention center The Venetian®|The Palazzo® and Sands Expo. The company also worked with local non-profits, additional hotels and global non-profit organizations in Las Vegas.

For example, while IMEX America attendees were staying in town they were also helping to provide 563 needy children with enough soap and 280 children with enough bottled amenities for a month’s worth of basic hygiene needs. This was made possible through IMEX’s partnership with Clean the World, a non-profit organization based in Florida that collects gently-used soap and used bottled toiletries from hotel rooms and then recycles, sanitizes and donates them to children in over 42 countries. Las Vegas hotels participating in the IMEX America Clean the World Program included headquarters hotel The Venetian®|The Palazzo®, Wynn, Encore, Caesars Palace, Paris, Planet Hollywood, Cosmopolitan, Bellagio, Hard Rock, MGM Grand Las Vegas, the Mirage Resort and Casino, Mandalay Bay, Mandarin Oriental, ARIA Resort and Casino, and Vdara Hotel and Spa.

Working closely with the show’s exhibition venue, the Sands Expo, the IMEX America team also opted to use compostable rather than disposable service-ware wherever possible. After use it was taken – along with food waste – to a local compost facility to help reduce landfill. In an effort to repurpose any original disposable service-ware that couldn’t be used, IMEX and the Sands also donated items to the Teacher Exchange, a Las Vegas non-proft that collects supplies for resource-deprived teachers.

Unique badge-back idea

IMEX America attendees were also encouraged to recycle their badges on their way out of the show by placing them in a box designated to one of two local non-profit organizations: Opportunity Village, which employs people with intellectual disabilities in Las Vegas, and Shade Tree who provide safe shelter to homeless and abused women and children in crisis. Each of them received a cash donation from IMEX America and the badge-back sponsors, Estoril (Portugal), based on how many badges were collected from their respective collection boxes placed at the show exits.

“Our mission going into the show was to reduce, reuse, recycle and respect,” said Carina Bauer CEO of the IMEX Group. “We think we made some very positive strides towards doing these things right out of the gate and are looking forward to making our performance even stronger at the 2012 show through more innovation, more partnerships and more knowledge about the best way to implement sustainable practices in Las Vegas. Being as green as possible is an important part of the IMEX culture and we extend this commitment into our professional education programs because we know that many others in the industry share the same desire to minimize environmental impact in systematic and measurable ways.”

The Bar is Set With Benchmarks

To establish green and CSR goals for the 2012 IMEX America show, IMEX and its Sustainability Partners, MeetGreen®, now have some important benchmark data on which to measure success. For example, recycled material from The Venetian®|The Palazzo® and Sands was clocked at 66.4 tons and food donated to a Las Vegas food emergency service amounted to 156.5 lbs. The carbon footprint avoided during the show amounted to 1.52 metric tonnes of Co2E. IMEX America’s decision to use 95% post-consumer recycled paper wherever possible also resulted in 39 trees, 15 million BTUs of energy and 16K+ gallons of water being saved. Finally, by eliminating bottled water at show-sponsored events and in locations such as the hosted buyer lounge and press center, over 28k liters of water was saved, with a measurable saving also in the energy and oil that goes into plastic bottle manufacture.

Looking ahead, Bauer stated: “Given that the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Event Standards have now been launched we are benchmarking the IMEX America show practices against Level 1 of the standards. Fortunately, we have the enthusiastic support of our major suppliers to do what can be done to implement as much as possible for IMEX America 2012. Realistically, we expect that achieving Level 1 will require a multi-year commitment from both our internal team and our vendor partners. We will be documenting our experiences throughout this process and intend to share that as our story unfolds.”

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

The show’s strategic partner and premier educational provider is MPI, who power “Smart Monday” – Oct. 08 – a full day of education on the day prior to the tradeshow. Smart Monday also includes a range of high level education delivered by other partners and associations; including Association Focus – a conference within a conference for association meeting planners – delivered by ASAE, ICCA and PCMA.
IMEX also has an exclusive partnership with the US Travel Association and is endorsed by DMAI and Site, has an Industry Partnership with PCMA and is an ICCA Business Partner. Other supporting associations include: ACTE Global, ADME, AIPC, AMCI, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, Association Forum of Chicagoland, CIC, CSAE, ECM, FICP, GMIC, IACC, IAEE, IAPCO, ISES, JMIC, PATA, SKAL, Spin. A list of industry and media partners can be found here.

Follow us on Twitter Facebook LinkedIn iMeet and (German) XING Use #imex12 to follow both shows.