Monthly Archives: December 2012

Howard County Welcome Center Hosts Photo Exhibit

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Tourism & Promotion would like to announce that the Howard County Welcome Center will be hosting a photo exhibit entitled Winter in Howard County through mid January. The exhibit features photos from 1899 to the present day as well as drawings by local artists.

WHO: Howard County Visitors and Residents

WHAT: Winter in Howard County Photo Exhibit

WHEN: Monday – Saturday 10:00AM to 5:00PM
Sunday Noon to 5:00PM

WHERE: Howard County Welcome Center

8267 Main Street in Historic Ellicott City

WHY: To celebrate the beauty of Howard County and feature the area as a attractive holiday destination.

WOW: Parking in Ellicott City is easier than ever! Download the Parker App to your
smart phone and locate the nearest open spaces. Parking in the historic district is free through December 31, 2012 (though posted time limits are enforced).

EIBTM Delivers Growth and Innovation

EIBTM 2012 (www.eibtm.com), the annual hub for the global meetings industry, continued its onward journey through growth and innovation with the largest Hosted Buyer programme to date, the most dynamic Future Events Experience, the first EIBTM Hybrid Conference streamed globally, over 110 tailored education sessions and the launch of the EIBTM Forum.

Graeme Barnett, Reed Travel Exhibitions, EIBTM Event Director commented, “We judge our success by the opinions of our customers and so far without doubt, this has been a hugely successful show. The positive feedback received from attendees at the EIBTM Forum has ensured it will become a regular part of the EIBTM programme. We’ve also delivered our most successful Hosted Buyer programme to date, with over 4,100 international Hosted Buyers, which is what we hope provided real business opportunities to our exhibitors”.

Hosted Buyer, Mohammed Al-Qassmi, Travel and Insurance, Senior Supervisor, Human Resources Directorate Qatar Foundation commented, “I have had a very good experience at EIBTM and have found a number of new hotels that really add value to our offering. I have 100% achieved all of my goals and I am really happy that I came. I will definitely be coming back.”

Barnett continues, “This year’s EIBTM may have celebrated 25 years but it has also been a futuristic experience with the buzz of the world of technology and social media featuring in almost every part of the show. The Future Events Experience has been incredibly popular this year – not surprising as it had some real innovations this year demonstrating what the industry could look like in the near and distant future. There is a lot we can look forward to including holographic imaging and video-enabled business cards. We have even entered the world of augmented reality already with our own virtual sales brochure popping out from the handsets and tablets of our team onsite.”

The first EIBTM Hybrid Conference streamed keynote panel discussions and educational seminars for a full day during the event. Mandy Torrens, Head of Marketing and Buyer Programmes, IBTM Events Portfolio commented, “Virtual and hybrid events are of interest to our participants so it was important for us to innovate in this area, extending the reach of the show.”

Attendees of the conference commented via Twitter;
@firenze_cb: Connected to #EIBTMHybrid, brilliant idea!
@gaganovakovic -Attending #EIBTMHybrid from Serbia! Great!
@elizabethglau – Viewing sessions streaming live from Barcelona at #eibtm25 #eibtmhybrid from Los Angeles, California at midnight!
Siam Thomas – #EIBTMHybrid love the virtual conference seminars

The social media activity generated through this event exceeded all expectations and according to Tweet Reach, #EIBTMHybrid reached over 26,800 accounts and had over 71,000 impressions.

EIBTM 2012 also delivered the largest education programme to date with over 110 sessions including tailored streams for Corporate, Association, Agency and Business Travel.

Elling Hamso, Managing Partner, Event ROI institute commented, “The educational programme gets better every year. The Future Events Experience is also a good example of innovation showing EIBTM maintaining a leading industry position.”

Amiando, exhibiting at EIBTM commented, “EIBTM 2012 has been very good, the audience is very international which is perfect for us as we are an international company. EIBTM is our most important show and it gets better every year. We have had many UK and Russian leads which has been great and it’s fantastic to meet with our clients face to face.”

Barnett concludes, “We end Barcelona on a real high with sunshine and we start work on EIBTM 2013 and it’s new dates of 19-21 November in the Fira Gran Via Barcelona.”

Have a Ball with The Liaison Capitol Hill

Celebrate an American Tradition

Don’t miss this exciting chance to visit the nation’s capital for an event that occurs just once every four years! Stay at The Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia Hotel from January 18-22, 2013 to witness the Presidential Inauguration and enjoy the excitement and energy of the city. There’s nothing quite like being in Washington, DC for this special occasion!

With rates of $859 per night, you’ll receive:

• A newly renovated guestroom customized by you at MyAffinia.com.
• Two welcome “Stayin’ Put” special inauguration drinks made with champagne, simple syrup and Green Hat Gin.
• Two complimentary tickets to the Inaugural Chefs Ball at Art and Soul
restaurant, owned by two-time James Beard Award-winning Chef Art Smith.
• A $400 credit to Art and Soul during your stay. Don’t feel like leaving your comfy room? No problem. Just use your credit towards In-Room Dining, now available 24 hours a day. Credit can be used daily or all at once.
• A gift certificate to come see us again any weekend night in 2013.

The Inaugural Chefs Ball will be held on Saturday, January 19th and hosted by Chefs Art Smith and Wes Morton of Art and Soul and six Washington, DC chefs. Come dressed up or casual and enjoy signature bites from each chef.

Available for stays from January 18-22, 2013, four night minimum. Book online now or call 1-866-246-2203 and mention code INAUG.

Sustainability in DNA at Kuala Lumpur Convention Center

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) has been acknowledged as an environmental leader in the new ‘AEG 1EARTH Sustainability Report’ released recently for its commitment in energy conservation, waste reduction efforts and specifically, its energy-efficient lighting project.

This is the second sustainability report by AEG, owner of AEG Ogden Pty Ltd, Australia (AEG Ogden), the report details the progress of the AEG1EARTH environmental program which incorporates a framework for reducing environmental impacts with metrics collected from 58 venues from the AEG global network including the Centre’s, detailing the group’s progress towards its 2020 Environmental Vision Goals.

AEG’s sustainability report is the first of its kind in the live entertainment, sports and convention centre industry. Besides a framework for reducing AEG Ogden’s operations, AEG1EARTH can be considered a blue print for the greening the live entertainment and convention industry as it identifies the challenges and opportunities to merge economic growth with environmental responsibility.

AEG Ogden is KLCC (Holdings) Sdn Bhd’s joint venture partner in Convex Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the manager and operator of the Centre.

“Taking our cue from AEG Ogden,” said Datuk Peter Brokenshire, General Manager, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, “we will continue to explore all avenues and opportunities to enhance our sustainability efforts and in doing so, play our part in reducing environmental impacts within the context of our business.”

As Malaysia’s leading convention facility, the Centre invested RM2 million to retrofit and improve the lighting efficiency for its five exhibition halls totalling 10,000 sq metres in January this year (2012). The initiative entails replacing about 900 250W metal halide lamps with light-emitting diodes (LED) bulbs and in turn, reducing overall electricity consumption by 28%. Based on an estimated 5,000 hours of electricity use per year for all five exhibition halls, the LED bulbs could result in a saving of some 800,000 kWh per year or an annual saving of around RM250,000. More important though, is the reduction in the building’s carbon footprint and overall operating costs.

In the area of waste reduction, the Centre has an on-going 3R Campaign (Reduce, Re-use and Recycle) in place to encourage staff and visitors, to reduce wastage, re-use and recycle where possible. Colour coded sets of bins can be found around the Centre to facilitate the separation of batteries, plastic, glass, metal and paper while items left behind from events, such as a black backdrop curtain from a gala dinner, are often given a new lease of life as furniture storage covers, drop cloths and even curtains for changing rooms. Higher quality fire-retardant and reusable curtains and carpet tiles are now common materials for events held at the Centre.

In addition, the Centre adheres to a number of other eco-friendly practices in its overall effort to remain sustainable. They include using biodegradable cleaning products, minimal use of pesticides, sourcing products from environmentally conscious suppliers, encouraging tree-planting activities and sourcing locally-produced products for the Culinary Department.

The Centre’s sustainability initiatives can be sighted in the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2010 at http://www.klccconventioncentre.com/Our_Policy-@-CSR_Report.aspx

To date, AEG Ogden has introduced several environmental sustainability standards to the industry with presentation of its ground-breaking investments in solar power, LEED-certified green building design and operations, and responsible water management at STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, CA), Rose Garden (Portland, OR), Target Center (Minneapolis, MN), Mercedes-Benz Arena (Shanghai, China), The O2 (London, England) and Cairns Convention Centre (Cairns, Australia). With AEG 1EARTH, the company continues its coordinated and tracked efforts to engage employees, fans and partners in everyday activities to improve the environment.

Kimpton’s EPIC Hotel Shares Must-Do’s on How to Live Like a Local

From Cortaditos to Cocktails, this Hotel at the “EPICenter” of it all has the Scoop and Savings on Living Large, Miami-Style

MIAMI – What better source for how the locals enjoy the Magic City, than Kimpton’s EPIC Hotel in downtown Miami? With a location at the center of the action, and a guest and service experience that lives up to its name, EPIC and its staff epitomize Miami at its best.

EPIC’s concierge staff, proud members of Les Clefs d’Or and seasoned professionals dedicated to servicing the needs of their guests, are thoroughly in the know when it comes to what’s hot with the locals, and they enjoy passing those tips on to guests anxious to explore Miami and enjoy a true local experience. In addition to responding to guests’ questions on the local scene, EPIC compiles a monthly calendar of the latest happenings in the city, including suggestions on not-to-be-missed experiences whether its where to enjoy the best cortadito in Little Havana, or the latest gallery opening in the Design District.

Located along the Miami River overlooking Biscayne Bay on famed Brickell Avenue, EPIC is a distinctive luxury, waterfront hotel at the epicenter of some of the best attractions, boutiques, restaurants and entertainment. With so much to enjoy within walking distance and throughout the city, the following are some of the staff’s tried and true favorites:

• La época – What do Mojitos, music and models have in common? Miami, no doubt, but we’re talking about La época, downtown Miami’s boutique department store! The first Tuesday of every month from 4:30-6:30 p.m., La época offers live music, complimentary Mojitos and the latest fashions for purchase.

• Mary Brickell Village Farmers Market – Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., shop for fresh baked goods, locally grown plants, handmade jewelry and beautiful arts and crafts at the Sunday Market in the popular and trendy Mary Brickell Village.

• Viernes Culturales (Cultural Fridays) – It doesn’t get more Miami than a little salsa dancing mixed with cigar rollers and an old-fashioned game of dominoes. Find all of these classic favorites and more at Viernes Culturales, which takes place the last Friday of every month in Little Havana on Calle Ocho (or 8th Street). While in the neighborhood, stop in to just about any coffee shop re-charge your batteries with a cortadito – which literally means “small cut”. It is a shot of strong espresso coffee topped with steamed milk, otherwise known as a Cuban espresso.
• Vizcaya Museum & Gardens – A favorite Miami landmark, this was once the home of agricultural industrialist James Deering. The estate features exquisite formal gardens, architecture and interior design, including a variety of modern engineering marvels for its day, such as an elevator.
With its timeless and classic contemporary take on Miami design, spectacular skyline views, and dramatically designed spaces, EPIC offers guests a true cosmopolitan resort experience that combines Miami’s distinctive global vibe and energy, with exclusive amenities such as a 16th floor roof-top pool deck, top-rated restaurants, and Exhale spa.

To make it extra easy for travelers to get into Miami mode as the winter weather starts to arrive, EPIC is offering the Breakfast or Cocktails package with rates starting at $209 per night. For just $1 more than the best available rate at the time of booking, choose drinks or breakfast during your stay. The Breakfast or Cocktails package details are as follows:

• King or Double/Double Deluxe Accommodations
• Cocktails or Breakfast for up to 2 adults per room/per day
**Guest will receive cocktail or continental breakfast voucher valid at Area 31 for each night of stay at check-in.
• Complimentary coffee and tea in the morning
• Hosted nightly wine hour in the living room
Restrictions and blackout dates may apply.

For more information on EPIC and/or reservations, please call (866) 760-3742 or visit www.epichotel.com and use booking code DOLLAR. To stay up-to-date on the latest news and travel deals, become a fan of the EPIC Hotel Facebook page by visiting www.facebook.com/epichotel or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @KimptonInFL.

ABOUT KIMPTON’S EPIC HOTEL
A member of the award-winning San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, EPIC – a Gold List recipient of World’s Best Places To Stay in 2012, named one of the Top 50 Hotels in the U.S. on the Conde Nast Traveler’s 2011 Reader’s Choice List and Best Miami Accommodations by Porthole Magazine in 2012 – combines the style of a cosmopolitan boutique hotel with the amenities of a resort to create a sophisticated oasis for guests amidst the energy and pulse of Miami. Located at the edge of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay, EPIC’s 411 rooms and suites are artfully designed by Cheryl Rowley, with furnishings that convey an understated sense of cool, and all feature private balconies that provide inspiring views of the city and bay. EPIC’s 25,000 square feet of meeting and event space offer the kind of cohesive Miami meeting space that helps create meetings of lasting influence. From the gorgeous meeting rooms on the 14th floor to the 16th floor pool deck with stunning views to our outdoor EPIC lawn, over 25,000 square feet of meeting space in eight flexible meeting rooms can accommodate up to 300 seated guests or 400 for a reception. EPIC’s meeting and event planning staff offers the dedication and execution you need, providing the assurance that your event will exceed your expectations and those of your guests. For more information on EPIC and/or reservations, please call (866) 760-3742 or (305) 424-5226 or visit www.epichotel.com. To stay up-to-date on the latest news and travel deals, become a fan of the EPIC Facebook page by visiting www.facebook.com/EPICHotel or follow us on Twitter @KimptonInFL.

ABOUT KIMPTON HOTELS & RESTAURANTS
San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, a collection of boutique hotels and chef-driven restaurants in the US, is an acknowledged industry pioneer and was the first to bring the boutique hotel concept to America. In 1981 Bill Kimpton founded the company that today is well-known for making travelers feel welcomed and comfortable while away from home through authentic and unscripted customer care, stylish ambience and embodying a certain playfulness in its approach to programs and amenities. Adjacent to the hotels are locally-loved, top-rated, Kimpton restaurants. Kimpton leads the hospitality industry in ecological practices through its innovative EarthCare program that spans all hotels and restaurants. Market Metrix, a recognized authority and leader in feedback solutions, consistently ranks Kimpton above other hotel companies in luxury and upper upscale segments for customer satisfaction. Privately held Kimpton was recognized by Fortune Magazine as a Best Company to Work for in 2012. The company operates more than 50 hotels and more than 50 restaurants in 24cities. For more information visit www.KimptonHotels.com or call 1-800-KIMPTON.

ICONTAS SERVICE Germany Selects WMG for U.S. Business Development

Effective January 01, 2013 World Marketing Group (WMG) will provide business development and representation services for ICONTAS SERVICE, Germany’s leading DMC for over 40 years.

Building on its portfolio of both established as well as emerging and cutting edge international DMCs, WMG is proud to announce this new partnership with a globally recognized and respected international DMC for the German MICE market. The ICONTAS SERVICE team, under the leadership of Peter Wisst, is known for its professional delivery of high quality programs across Germany’s major market centers for its clients. Their proven expertise in the meetings, incentives, and conference segments is unsurpassed in Germany, providing a solid foundation on which to build successful programs. Jane E. Schuldt, Cite, Founder and President of World Marketing Group stated, “Adding Germany to our expanding portfolio of international DMCs fulfills part of our ongoing strategy of providing a full range of key destinations to our portfolio. Having ICONTAS SERVICE as our German partner in fulfilling that strategy sets us on a steady course to meet our clients’ needs in major European centers by providing yet another high quality DMC solution.”

According to Peter Wisst, Founder and Managing Director of ICONTAS SERVICE, “Germany is an increasingly popular destination for the North American market. As our major city centers continue to attract and build infrastructure to serve the MICE business, it became clear that aligning our company with WMG, a firm that mirrors our own values and is specialized in our target customer segment was the right decision. Germany has only begun to tap the potential of the North American outbound MICE market, and we see much opportunity for growth. Both of our companies are well established and trusted – two key elements in our decision to join forces. We believe they are best positioned to deliver our message, and to convince new and remind existing clients of the critical need to make the right choice when selecting the destination and their DMC partner. And last but not least, the WMG team provides an extraordinary understanding and perspective of the business strategy behind the program, further enhancing the end product we design for our clients.”

World Marketing Group is a B2B sales and marketing company providing contract sales and marketing services in North America to international hospitality suppliers interested in building their brand and growing their business from the North American incentive, meeting, conference and special event/product launch markets.

CleanMed Named Emerging Green Conference by Professional Convention Managers

Sustainability Conference for Health Care Greens Itself in a Big Way

CleanMed 2013 is pleased to announce that it has been chosen as the “Emerging Green Conference” 2013 by the Capital Chapter of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). CleanMed is the nation’s preeminent conference for health care sustainability. It is sponsored by Practice Greenhealth and Health Care Without Harm. The “Emerging Green” award recognized sustainable initiatives being taken for CleanMed 2013 that include a Mobile App, InGo attendee networking system, Carbon Offset initiative, ePosters and the effort to reduce printed materials onsite.

“Sustainability has been a goal at all CleanMed conferences in the past,” stated Carrie Abernathy, CMP, CEM, Director of Education, Training & Events, Practice Greenhealth. “However, this year we are doing much more to supplement our recycling, providing sustainable food and paper reduction of the past. The programs we are putting in place this year involves new technologies and innovation, and embraces a more modern convention platform.”

For example, CleanMed 2013 will utilize only electronic signs, using the system provided by the host conference hotel, the Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston, MA. It will eschew the traditional paper poster session for e—posters, eliminating the printing and transport of paperboard posters. CleanMed 13 will also embrace more electronic technology through offering a MobileApp for the first time and will offer a carbon offset program to counter the greenhouse gases being produced by the conference.

“We are also excited about the InGo attendee networking system, which is also a first for us,” continued Abernathy. “InGo allows attendees and vendors to exchange all contact information and marketing materials without exchanging any business cards or paper.”

PCMA is recognized in the meetings industry as the leader in providing high quality education, innovative resources, and networking opportunities designed to help build relationships that are critical to your success. Meeting planners make up the bulk of PCMA membership. The Capital Chapter serves Washington, DC and surrounding areas.

In 2013, CleanMed will take place on April 24-26 in Boston, MA. Keynote speakers will include noted journalist and author Bill McKibben, and former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Don Berwick.

Suntec aims to redefine meetings when it reopens May 1

Raini Hamdi, Singapore — SUNTEC Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre aims to redefine the way the meetings business is done when it reopens on May 1 next year after a S$180 million (US$147 million) modernisation programme.

In an interview on how the convention centre is being redesigned for the future, new CEO Arun Madhok said a key aspect was to give clients more control over their event and budget.

For instance, clients will be able to rent just the space they need, rather than the space the convention centre has, thanks to possibly the highest number of meeting spaces in a centre that can be reconfigured to suit clients’ specific needs.

Said Madhok: “In the past, you have a 400m2 exhibition hall. The client’s event is growing and so a centre says, take another hall, when the client probably needs just 150m2 more.

“We are now in position to allow the space to grow with the client. We can give them the shape and the size he needs for his event as it keeps growing.”

Level 3 will have 36 meeting rooms which can be turned into various meeting configurations or which can be opened for a big reception or a small exhibition. Level 4 has four exhibition halls, but these halls too can be reconfigured for a hybrid exhibition/conference, or for a dinner and dance, with the lighting and ambience changing at the flick of a switch.

A computerised system will allow clients to visualise, create or modify the floor plan of their event, which the current 2D floor plan is limited in.

The venue will also offer free wireless LAN connectivity to all delegates, installing a system that will enable 6,000 gadgets to be connected simultaneously. “Once you connect, you can go from floor to floor without losing connectivity or having to sign in again,” said Madhok.

Madhok has restructured his executive team, adding the changed centre means a retraining of staff’s skills and mindsets at all levels.

He said space convertibility, human capability and technology were the key considerations of the modernisation programme and hoped this “may even actually change the way the convention business is done and influence it considerably”.

He said: “Venue managers have been sort of content in just giving space and not realising we are an integral part of the entire experience.

“Space can no longer be just a shell. That’s going to be our difference in comparison to competitors.”

IACC-The Americas Invites Hospitality Students to Apply for 2013 IACC Conference Center Industry Award

(St. Louis, MO) – December 2012 — The International Association of Conference Centers-The Americas invites hospitality educators to nominate students for the 2013 IACC Conference Center Industry Award. The award includes a scholarship valued at $5,000.00 which is drawn from a fund dedicated to providing academic assistance to deserving students interested in careers in the conference center industry and is supported through generous contributions from IACC members and associated organizations.

According to IACC-Americas President Peter J. Stockmann, “IACC looks to lighten the burden of educational costs for the winner of this award and to further expand knowledge of the conference center concept to all students and academic institutions.”

Stockmann encourages hospitality educators to nominate undergraduate students in their junior or senior year, or post-graduate level students who would be exceptional prospects for this award.

Any outstanding candidate(s) should meet the following criteria:

•Full-time, active student currently pursuing hospitality or related degree in a college or university located in the United States, Canada, or Mexico.
• Minimum grade point average of 3.30.
• Can demonstrate interest in pursuing career in conference center industry.
• Previous winners ineligible.

Stockmann noted, “Educators are encouraged to recommend students with conferencing/meeting services background and career goals—whether in operations, conference services, food and beverage, or another hospitality-related discipline.” Though IACC does not restrict the number of nominees a college may submit, there is only one scholarship available and nominations should represent the school’s most qualified student(s).

The scholarship flyer can be downloaded and posted on a school’s public bulletin board: http://iacconline.org/content/files/ScholarshipFlyer2013.pdf

IACC requires the following as part of each nomination:

• A letter of recommendation from a qualified faculty member, explaining in sufficient detail the candidate’s worthiness and verifying his/her GPA.
• A personal statement from the candidate, concisely describing his/her interests in the hospitality industry, his/her career goals, and stating why the student feels he/she is worthy of the grant-in-aid.
• A brief essay (approximately 200 words) on the subject “The role that conference centers will play in the future of the meetings industry.”
• The student’s resume.

• Any other information that would pertain to the award decision (e.g., involvement in hospitality related organizations, extra-curricular activities, internships/direct work experience).

A committee consisting of hospitality educators and industry professionals will review the nominations and select the winner. The committee will review nominations beginning the week of January 15, 2013, and the final selection will be made during that week. Following official notification of the award recipient, we will announce the granting of the award to all institutions that nominate a candidate.

In addition to the monetary award, the IACC Conference Center Industry Award recipient will be granted complimentary registration to the 2013 IACC-Annual Conference and Pre-Conference Study Tour, including lodging & meals and transportation expenses. The award will be presented formally during the conference, which runs March 16 – March 22, 2013, at The Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca, Illinois (north of Chicago). For more information go to: http://events.iacconline.org/2013Annual.

One runner-up will also be offered the conference attendance package (excluding the pre-conference tour) outlined above. “This is an excellent opportunity” says Stockmann “to gain recognition and financial support for deserving students. It is also one of several programs that IACC offers to students and faculty. And, we look forward to receiving your nomination.”

Howard County Tourism Team WINS BIG at the prestigious Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit

BEST Destination Guide…BEST Website and BEST Small Event for Welcome Center’s “Infotainment!”

(Ellicott City, MD) On November 14-16, 2012, the Maryland Tourism Council hosted the must-attend annual Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit (formerly the Governor’s Tourism Industry Conference) at the posh Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort, Spa & Marina: the premier statewide summit / tradeshow, co-sponsored by the Maryland Office of Tourism. This year’s Summit, chaired by Howard County’s own Rachelina Bonacci, had record-breaking sponsorship and excellent industry-wide attendance. The Summit offers outstanding guest speakers, educational workshops and prestigious industry awards. This year, Howard County Tourism & Promotion won three marketing awards. “It was an honor to chair the 2012 Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit, and I’m thrilled that the Howard County Tourism Team “hat-tricked” at the awards banquet, winning three of the eight marketing awards offered, for our NEW Visitor Guide, NEW Website & NEW Welcome Center programming” said Rachelina Bonacci, Executive Director, Howard County Tourism & Promotion.

Best Destination Guide Award
HOWARD COUNTY TOURISM & PROMOTION’S VISITOR GUIDE
(published in partnership with Custom Media Options)
“This award will be presented to the best visitors’ or destination guide produced by any destination or attraction. Criteria: This winning publication will be judged on content, presentation, organization and ease of use by tourists.”

Best Website Award
HOWARD COUNTY TOURISM & PROMOTION’S WEBSITE
(created in partnership with Millennium Marketing)
“The new website should demonstrate a creative implementation of a brand that is visually pleasing, unique, that captures the spirit of the brand, and is user-friendly. The entry should include descriptions of features such as social media integration, Goggle Maps®, search filters, user-personalization, and content-driven strategy.”

Best Product or Event Award (small budget, less then $5,000)
HOWARD COUNTY WELCOME CENTER’S “INFOTAINMENT”
(produced by Ed Lilley & the Welcome Center Team)
“There’s always something new. This award honors the year’s best new event, tour, destination, program, promotion or experience. What makes it best? It’s innovative, a model for others, and a successful Maryland tourism product.”

BACKGROUND:
Howard County Tourism & Promotion
Howard County Tourism & Promotion, Inc., is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization funded largely by Howard County Government and is recognized by Howard County Government and the Maryland Office of Tourism Development as the official Destination Marketing Organization for Howard County, Maryland. Our mission is to increase, develop and promote tourism in Howard County by featuring the county’s unique location, sites, services, products and people.

The Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit
The 32nd annual Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit sponsored by The Maryland Tourism Council, the Maryland Office of Tourism Development and the Maryland Tourism Development Board brings tourism professionals from across Maryland together in one place at one time for opportunities to learn, to be inspired and to be empowered. Exciting NEW changes to the 2012 Summit are:

NEW Mobile Workshops, NEW Digital Awards, NEW “bucket list” raffle
NEW sponsorship opportunities results in recording breaking participation
NEW Mobile site & Facebook page for Summit
NEW Dorchester County artisan marketplace & opening reception at JM Claytons
NEW US Travel Association & Destination Marketing International Association inclusion
NEW rennovation at Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort, Spa & Marina

Nationally recognized guest speakers will provide a wide range of professional development sessions on digital marketing, the truth behind motivation, why travel matters, an economic forecast and the impact of the national election results on tourism.

Delegate Norman Conway, Chair of the Appropriations Committee in the Maryland House of Delegates will give an update on key tourism issues in the 2013 Maryland General Assembly Session. “The Maryland Travel and Tourism Summit is one of the premier educational opportunities for Maryland’s tourism and hospitality industry. This year’s line-up of speakers is truly world-class – and we are very pleased attendees have the opportunity to experience the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway during our mobile workshop on Friday.” Margot A. Amelia, Executive Director, Maryland Office of Tourism.

Showcase of 2012 Speakers & Summit Highlights
• Hannah Paramore returns with Digital Marketing 2.0
• Maryland Office of Tourism’s State of the State
• Bruce Turkel returns with the Truth Behind Motivation
• Anirban Basu’s Economic Forecast

About Maryland Tourism Council
The Maryland Tourism Council (MTC) is the statewide membership organization representing all segments of the hospitality and tourism industry emphasizing government affairs, business growth, professional development, and alliances with other tourism organizations, the business community, and state and local governments. The mission of MTC is to connect, educate, and represent Maryland’s tourism industry.