Monthly Archives: May 2013

SkyTeam Enhances Global Meetings Product, Launches Online Booking Tool Product facilitates organization of large-scale events worldwide

AMSTERDAM – SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, has enhanced its Global Meetings product to offer more convenience when organizing international events.

New features include an online self-booking tool, enabling delegates to book discounted travel on any of SkyTeam’s 19 member airlines through a dedicated portal on, as well as increased discount levels.

The Global Meetings product is free to use and has been designed to simplify the process of organizing travel to international meetings, conventions and conferences. To qualify, the event must have 50 or more attendees traveling by air from a minimum of two countries – other than the country in which the event is taking place.

Organizers can register their event for the Global Meetings product from 2 months to 5 years in advance by visiting In addition to the new online booking tool, other benefits offered by SkyTeam’s Global meetings product include:

-A wide range of fare discounts off the applicable fares of SkyTeam’s 19 members’ published fares on more than 15,400 daily flights.
-An enhanced Productivity Reward Program – offering organizers one free ticket on any member airline for every 50 attendees that travel with SkyTeam to their event.
-The possibility for delegates to earn miles with any SkyTeam airline loyalty program.

SkyTeam is also working on a number of additional features for its Global Meetings Product that will be introduced later in the year.

“International event organizers can choose SkyTeam with confidence knowing delegates can arrange their meetings from 1,000 worldwide destinations in a few simple clicks via our new online booking tool,” said Mauro Oretti, SkyTeam’s vice president Sales and Marketing. “The enhanced Global Meetings product is SkyTeam’s cost-effective solution for the competitive MICE sector, which combined with our presence in key markets such as North America, Greater China and Europe, meets the demands of today’s meetings industry.” To find out more about SkyTeam’s Global Meetings product, click here.

For more information:
Corporate Communications

About SkyTeam
SkyTeam is a global airline alliance providing customers from member airlines access to an extensive global network with more destinations, more frequencies and more connectivity. Passengers can earn and redeem Frequent Flyer Miles throughout the SkyTeam network. SkyTeam member airlines offer customers access to 525 lounges worldwide. The nineteen members are: Aeroflot, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeroméxico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines and Xiamen Airlines. SkyTeam offers its 552 million annual customers over 15,000 daily flights to 1,000 destinations in 187 countries. / /

PCMA Announces Global Meetigs Executive of the Year Award Recipient

FRANKFURT, Germany – The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) announced the recipient of the Global Executive of the Year Award as David Williams, Executive Director, International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE).
The award, presented annually, in conjunction with IMEX celebrates meeting executives who demonstrate a vision, commitment and passion for the advancement and education of the global meetings industry.

“David is a proven leader in the industry, his winning of the award is justified by the energy and enthusiasm he brings and his will and desire to continuously move this industry forward especially in the global arena,” said Sherrif Karamat, CAE and Chief Operating Officer, PCMA.

Williams has successfully executed meetings across the globe, including locations such as Nigeria, Colombia, South Korea, Turkey and Uruguay. He has pushed IAEE meetings to new heights, expanding chapter involvement globally and increasing the amount of international conferences from one per year to between four and six per year. As a past member of the PCMA Board of Directors and current PCMA Education Foundation Board of Trustees member, he continues to push the organization to grow its global meetings and education, and had a vital role in PCMA’s involvement with IMEX.

“It is always a great pleasure to acknowledge the contribution of individuals who have helped shape our industry and who have played their part in helping to build its long term health, credibility and success. David is clearly one of those people. His flair and commitment serves as a fabulous example to those starting out in their careers too,” commented Ray Bloom, Chairman, IMEX Group.

The award was presented for the second consecutive year at the Gala Dinner held in Frankfurt during IMEX. The inaugural award was presented in 2012 to Ping He, Director Global Sourcing and Partner Relations, Experient in conjunction with IMEX 10th anniversary.

About David Williams
David L. Williams has a broad range of experience from several perspectives and over 25+ years within the association/conference management industry. Prior to founding Williams Management Services and subsequently Administrative Management Services (AMS), Williams worked as Director of Meetings and Events for the National Association for Business Economists. In 1992, he developed a full service association and conference management firm with his partner and father David Williams, Sr. Since its inception, AMS has managed 100’s of conferences and several associations with a membership base from 50 to 5000. Williams is currently involved in the full service management of three association clients (Executive Director of the International Association for Energy Economics; Executive Director of the United States Association for Energy Economics and Secretary-Treasurer of the Conference of Business Economists) with a rich history of stand-alone conference management agreements. With offices in Ohio and New York, AMS and Williams are noted in the hospitality industry for their integrity and attention to detail. Williams, through AMS, handles real estate property management services as well.

About Professional Convention Management Association
PCMA is the multi-channel professional resource and premier educator for leaders in the meetings, conventions, events and trade show industries. PCMA provides their 6,000+ members with a community of likeminded colleagues, innovative education and creative global solutions to enhance both their professional development and their organization’s face-to-face and virtual connections. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 35 countries. For additional information, please visit the PCMA Web site at

What’s Happening at AIBTM Education and Networking Collide for Enhanced Experience

CHICAGO – The Americas Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM), happening at McCormick Place June 11-13 in Chicago, will offer attendees a number of enrichment events and activities to complement the scheduled educational opportunities.

“AIBTM prides itself on providing unique opportunities for professionals to engage in and learn about the meetings and events industry,” said Michael Lyons, AIBTM Exhibition Director. “Attendees are going to receive an abundance of critical information from knowledgeable industry leaders during our ‘Education Day’, network with colleagues to build their social circles and working relationships and enhance their ability to plan effective and compelling meetings.”

“Education Day,” which kicks off Americas Meetings Week on June 11, will offer 30 hours of CEU-accredited education including sessions from major industry associations such as the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Society of Incentive Travel Executives (Site) and International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). All sessions are designed to support meetings industry professionals in defining the future of meetings… together.

Back by popular demand this year is the Market Focus on Europe networking session. In addition to Europe, AIBTM is launching two new Market Focus events on Asia and Latin America. These networking sessions will serve as an opportunity for attendees interested in expanding their reach into these geographic regions.

Also featured this year is the Future Events Experience brought to you by The Meeting Pool, which showcases the latest technology for the meetings and events industry, as well as an influx of new initiatives and networking events, including:

• Welcome Party at Navy Pier, brought to you by Choose Chicago: Features some of Chicago’s best restaurants and food trucks, live entertainment from Green Thirteen and the Chicago Boyz, and a fireworks show.
• Tourisme Montréal’s Breakfast in Bed: Hosted buyers and planners are invited to sign up for the famous breakfast in bed delivered to their door.
• Speakers Showcase: During show floor hours June 12 and 13, the Lecture Theatre will showcase a “sampling” of top speakers from across the country.
• “InFocus Live” Session: The June episode, sponsored by The Tourist Office of Spain, will cover creative culinary and how food & beverage can shape your meeting experience. Attendees will view these live demonstrations in the Lecture Theatre.
• Executive Chef Tasting: Opportunity for attendees to sample the culinary creations from participating chefs including Trevor Hoyte, Executive Chef of IPO, Thai Ding of Embeya, and Savor Catering’s Chef Vincent Lai.
• Networking Hour: Participating exhibitors will host receptions at their booths on Wednesday evening from 5:00-6:00 where attendees will have the opportunity to network.
• PCMA’s Party With a Purpose @ AIBTM: Professional Convention Management Association hosts a social event at Rockit Bar and Grill where all proceeds go to PCMA Education Foundation.
• The Refresh Zone, brought to you by Allied PRA: An area on the show floor dedicated to relaxation and networking where attendees can take a break and enjoy some refreshments. Participating vendors include Ghiradelli, Vitner’s, Power Tower, Pure Kitchen Catering, and TouchTunes.

Additionally, AIBTM has worked in tandem with Choose Chicago to showcase the best Chicago has to offer during the three-day show.

“Choose Chicago is pleased to host AIBTM 2013 and the hundreds of key meeting planners who attend the show,” said Michael Tarr, Vice President of Sales, Choose Chicago. “We are confident that Chicago’s premier convention facility, in conjunction with the city’s unparalleled dining scene, exceptional cultural attractions, shopping and endless nightlife options will ensure AIBTM’s success this year.“

As a show sendoff, several of AIBTM exhibitors will be raffling off gift cards, trips, gadgets and more as part of the AIBTM Big Draw. Attendees are welcome to leave their business cards with participating exhibitors for a chance to win. Winners must be present to claim their prizes, which will be on display in the Future Events Experience on Thursday, June 13th at 3:30 p.m.

AIBTM is set to kick off on June 11. To participate as an exhibitor, apply as a Hosted Buyer or register as a Trade Visitor, go to Join AIBTM on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and i-Meet.

The Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM) is a leading global exhibition for the U.S. meetings and events industry. AIBTM delivers individually qualified Hosted Buyers and eligible Trade buyers from the U.S. and around the world. Tailored to the U.S. market, AIBTM serves and guarantees the attendance of top-level decision makers. The exhibitions provide time and business efficient matching services for buyers and sellers through unique Hosted Buyer Programs. For more information, please visit AIBTM takes place from June 11-13, 2013. Join AIBTM on Linked in, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.
AIBTM forms part of the Reed Travel Exhibitions Meetings, Events and Business Travel Portfolio along with AIME (, GIBTM (, CIBTM (, IBTM India ( EIBTM ( and Business Travel Market (

Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.

The 19 events are; World Travel Market (WTM), World Travel Market Latin America (WTM Latin America), Arabian Travel Market (ATM), International French Travel Market Top Resa (IFTM), International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), International Ski Travel Market (ISTM), International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), International Luxury Travel Market Asia (ILTM Asia), International Luxury Travel Market Americas (ILTM Americas), International Luxury Travel Market Africa (ILTM Africa), International Luxury Travel Market Japan (ILTM Japan), International Luxury Travel Market Spa (ILTM Spa), Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) (owned by Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau), Global Exhibition for Incentive, Business Travel, and Meetings (EIBTM), Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (GIBTM), Americas Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (AIBTM), China Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (CIBTM), India Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (IBTM India) and Business Travel Market.

September 2013 will see the launch of IBTM India in Mumbai, India, and another exciting launch in the ski travel sector, with International Ski Travel Market in March 2014.

RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.

About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organizer, with over 500 events in 39 countries. In 2011 Reed brought together six million active event participants from around the world, generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organized by 33 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 44 industry sectors with trade and consumer events and is part of the Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world-leading publisher and information provider and a FTSE 100 company.

Enjoy the Arts al Fresco in Howard County, Maryland

Outdoor opportunities to enjoy the arts of every kind- from sculpture & painting to concerts & festivals, Howard County, Maryland has it all!

Ellicott City, MD – Howard County Tourism & Promotion is happy to welcome the warmer months with the following opportunities to enjoy the arts al fresco! The term ‘al fresco’ is defined as outdoors, in the open air… exactly where you’ll want to be this summer! Enjoy outdoor sculpture, attend art festivals and relax under the stars at local concerts. Whatever your preference, you can see it al fresco in Howard County.

“It’s very exciting to have new reasons to get outside and enjoy the county. To have the arts so prominent in our community is so important to our enjoyment and quality of life,” Rachelina Bonacci, Chief Executive Officer, Howard County Tourism & Promotion.

The Visual Arts

ARTsites 2013 is a temporary public art exhibit – a collection of outdoor sculptures – that will remain on view through April 2014. Their names, including The Big Scoop, When the Stars Begin to Fall, and Appalachian Spring, only hint at their creativity. More information, including their artists and locations, can be found at

The Sculpture Garden at Merriweather Post Pavilion and the Lakefront in Columbia are also great places to enjoy sculpture al fresco.,

Each year in July, the scenic vistas and bohemian charm of Ellicott City serve as muse to regional artists for a weekend art event – the aptly named Paint It: Ellicott City, A Juried Plein Air Paint-out. 40+ artists will take over the town! While those completing for cash prizes are juried, the public can join in on the fun as well. Set up your easel and paint away, or simply enjoy the sights! July 12-14, 2013.

The Performing Arts

In June and July, one can enjoy Shakespeare under the stars at the historic ruins of the Patapsco Female Institute. This year, see Antony and Cleopatra or The Taming of the Shrew. In October, they will return with Dracula. Chesapeake Shakespeare certainly creates a theatre experience like no other!

The Ellicott City Restoration Foundation hosts a Literary Pub Crawl the first Thursday of the month, year round. Come discover what famous historical characters visited Ellicott City and what some of them had to say about the town! Featuring Washington Irving, H. L. Mencken, Henry Clay, Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps, Davy Crockett, Robert E. Lee and others.

On June 19, 2013 from 5-8pm, brave guests can convene at The Howard County Welcome Center to embark on a stroll of 18th Century streets and enter some of historic Ellicott City’s most haunted pubs, taverns and shops where they will meet costumed interpreters who will share chilling stories from the award-winning Spirits of Ellicott City tasting tour. Each stop includes spirited Maryland Wine tastings and locally inspired appetizers.

Outdoor Concerts & Movies

See your favorite stars under the stars at Merriweather Post Pavilion all summer long. Bring a blanket and relax on the lawn!

Grab a blanket or lawn chair, bring the family, have a picnic and enjoy the sounds of summer at Howard County Recreation and Parks’ Sunset Serenades and Traveling Bands summer concerts June – August. Sunset Serenades can be heard Wednesdays from 7-8:30pm at Centennial Park. Traveling Bands (and free ice cream) can be enjoyed at various parks. Visit for dates and locations.

In Historic Ellicott City, the Wine Bin hosts outdoor summer movies on Saturday nights June – September! The Bin offers a wine tasting before each movie and has coolers of ice to chill your beer and wine. Fresh popped popcorn will also be available.

The Lakefront Summer Festival lasts all summer long at Lake Kittamaqundi in Columbia and features free outdoor concerts, movies and dancing!


June 14 – 29, 2013, the Columbia Festival of the Arts kick starts summer with art of every kind. Lakefest, June 14, 15 & 16, brings live artists, crafters, entertainment and more to the Lakefront in Columbia. A favorite public event, Chalk It Up! encourages both professional artists and the public (young and old) to create sidewalk chalk art to remember.

July 4, 2013, join us for the Fourth of July Festival & Fireworks at the Lakefront in Columbia for family fun and (you guessed it) fireworks!

July 16, 2013, the Howard County Film ‘Feastival’ kicks off Farn-2-Table Restaurant Weeks. Enjoy local flavors and creative recipes from your favorite Howard County restaurants and farms. Restaurants will be serving up samples of their Farm-2-Table menus and farmers will have fresh-from-the-field produce for purchase along with meats, cheeses and more! View a film promoting real, local food.

Grab a bite to eat… al fresco!

Aida Bistro & Wine Bar in Columbia
Alexandra’s Restaurant at Turf Valley in Ellicott City
Baldwin’s Station in Sykesville
Bistro Blanc in Glenelg
Café de Paris in Columbia
Clyde’s of Columbia
Coho Grill at hobbit’s Glen Golf Course in Columbia
Eggspectations in Columbia
El Hildago Restaurant in Elkridge
Flavors of India in Columbia
Kelsey’s Restaurant in Ellicott City
Lee Lynn’s Dining Room & Lounge in Ellicott City
Mamma Lucia in Elkridge
Rams Head Tavern at Historic Savage Mill
Stanford Grill in Columbia
The Elkridge Furnace Inn
Town Grill in Lisbon
Union Jack’s British Pub in Columbia
Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia
Waterside Restaurant at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center

TOURISM…Having FUN is Serious Business!
Howard County Tourism & Promotion, Inc., a not-for-profit (501c6), partnership-based organization is recognized and funded largely in part by Howard County Government and the Maryland Office of Tourism Development as the official Destination Marketing Organization for Howard County, Maryland. Howard County Tourism & Promotion’s mission is to increase, develop and promote tourism in Howard County by featuring the county’s unique location, sites, services, products and people. For more information call 410-313-1900 seven days a week or online 24 / 7 / 365 at

Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center Completes Multi-Million Dollar Guest Room, Suite and Club Level Renovation

Live Life Larger and “Maximize Your Meeting” with Room Rates from only $149

ATLANTA, GA., – The Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center recently completed renovations of all 522 spacious guest rooms and suites, including the trendy Club Level. The chic design takes its cues from the Four Diamond property’s site: perfectly situated near dining, shopping and entertainment. Contemporary treatments of traditional furnishings feature rich hardwood furniture complimented by deep tan and purple tones, and unexpected accent pieces, working in unison to convey the charm and couture of cosmopolitan Atlanta. Clever touches include chic wall graphics and striking arched floor lamps. Innovative lighting creates sun-infused warmth throughout the day and an urbane ambiance in the evening. The impressive layers of craftsmanship, detail and luxury combined with an unparalleled combination of functionality and comfort will only enhance the overall guest experience.

Live Life Larger and “Maximize Your Meeting.” Book a qualifying meeting of 100+ room nights over select 2013 or 2014 value dates by July 31, 2013 and receive:*

-Guest room rates from $149 per night
-Triple Marriott Rewards® points
-One complimentary guest room per 35 paid rooms
-One additional complimentary suite
-20% off audiovisual prices
-5% off 2013 published catering menu
-25% attrition
-Complimentary morning or afternoon coffee break, including assorted soft drinks and light snacks

The Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center is the crown jewel of the northwest Atlanta’s booming Galleria office and shopping complex, where meeting attendees will find themselves only steps from exclusive boutique shops of Vinings Jubilee and the Cumberland Mall. It is an ideal venue for business meetings and social events, showcasing 60,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and a direct connection to an additional 320,000 square feet of event space at the Cobb Galleria Convention Centre.

The sophisticated elegance and unsurpassed service of the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center features a dramatic 14-story atrium, 32 high-tech meeting rooms and an expert culinary team, delivering innovative catering presentations to ensure a world-class meeting experience. Within easy access off I-75 and I-285, the hotel is only a short drive away from downtown Atlanta and the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The property provides complimentary self parking.

For more information or to book a meeting, please call 770-953-4500, or visit

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

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

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit

Berlin is 3rd Most Popular Convention Destination in the World

Latest ICCA statistics confirm that Berlin has overtaken Barcelona

Berlin — Berlin has joined the ranks of the top three international conference destinations, as shown by the latest statistics published by the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA). Having hosted 172 events held by international associations in the past year, the German capital moved up one position to become the third most popular city for conferences and conventions in the world. Berlin is behind Vienna (195 events) and Paris (181) but ahead of Madrid (164 events) and Barcelona (154).

Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor of Berlin, says: “Berlin is moving to the top of the international congress business. With additional event capacities, such as the new CityCube Berlin, the city is also well-positioned for the convention business for the long term and is well able to handle the diversity of the requests. Berlin is also such an attractive city that large organizations and companies like to put on their events in the German capital. Every international congress that is held in Berlin is thus also a positive testimony on the city.”

This required a lot of hard work in the face of stiff competition, emphasizes Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin: “Being so high up in the league is both an honor and an incentive to do even more, especially since we face aggressive competition from financially strong competitors in Asia and the Arab Gulf states, all vying for conventions. The fact that Berlin has moved up a position shows that it is perceived as a top convention location by international convention planners.”

Since 2008, the number of organizations holding conferences in Berlin has steadily increased. The German capital has been successfully asserting its status as a top conference location for the past eight years. The ICCA ranking is an important indicator in the international congress business. It helps organizers decide where to hold their events.

Further statistics on Berlin as a convention location can be found at

PCMA Announces Future Convening Leaders Host Cities

CHICAGO, Illinois – The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) announced today that the cities of Vancouver, British Columbia and Austin, Texas have been selected to host the 2016 and 2017 Convening Leaders annual meetings, respectively.

Convening Leaders is PCMA’s January flagship event, featuring education designed for the meeting industry’s leading meeting professionals. By annually raising their own bar, through innovation and risk taking, PCMA has grown the meeting from approximately 2900 attendees in 2006 to more than 3700 in 2011-2013, a 27% increase. Each January, participants look to Convening Leaders to fuel their own meeting innovation for the year ahead.

The January 10-13, 2016 meeting will be held at the LEED Platinum certified Vancouver Convention Centre, located on the waterfront at Canada Place in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The centre is home to largest non-industrial green roof in North America and the Olympic Legacy Display with a full set of Olympic and Paralympic medals and torches from the 2010 Games.

The January 8-11, 2017 meeting will be held at the LEED Gold certified Austin Convention Center, located in downtown Austin and steps away from the renowned entertainment district – made famous by the annual SXSW event. The center is a gigabit rated building and continues to lead the industry with high tech capabilities and services.

“Convening Leaders is the premier meeting industry event,” said Deborah Sexton, President and CEO, PCMA. “Our participants and partners attend this event to not only learn and network, but also to experience locations for their future meetings. We are excited about Convening Leaders going to Vancouver and Austin for the first time as each city has its own unique attributes and vibe and will be of extreme interest to PCMA’s diverse audiences.”

About Professional Convention Management Association
PCMA is the multi-channel professional resource and premier educator for leaders in the meetings,
conventions, events and trade show industries. PCMA provides their 6,000+ members with a community
of likeminded colleagues, innovative education and creative global solutions to enhance both their
professional development and their organization’s face-to-face and virtual connections. Headquartered in
Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in
more than 35 countries. For additional information, please visit the PCMA Web site at

Top hotel brand for Exhibition Centre Liverpool

• Pullman Hotel brand awarded preferred status for world class exhibition centre on Liverpool’s waterfront
• £26m, 200-room hotel to provide a high quality welcome to tens of thousands of visitors

LEADING luxury hotel brand Pullman is on-board for Exhibition Centre Liverpool, with the announcement that an upscale four star hotel will be at the heart of the stunning new venue.

Pullman has hotels all over the world, including all the major European cities, but only one in the UK, in St Pancras, London. The Pullman brand is owned by international hotel company Accor.

While Pullman is selected as the hotel brand, Branded Hotel Management (BHM) has also been appointed as the preferred operator for the 200 room ‘headquarters’ hotel integrated into the £40 million exhibition centre at the Kings Dock.

Liverpool City Council and its partners can now drive forward with the design and construction of the £26 million hotel, with up to 10,500 square metres of floor space and seven storeys of rooms, above a ground floor reception, lobby, restaurant, bar, meeting rooms and gym.

A full planning application for the exhibition centre – which will form part of ACC Liverpool, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena – and an outline application for the hotel, was submitted in February with a detailed application submitted on Monday (April 22). If planning permission is granted, construction of the new facilities will commence in autumn 2013, opening for business in spring 2015.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Attracting Pullman to Liverpool is a major coup for our city and another massive step forward in the delivery of our world-class exhibition centre.

“We wanted to make sure we were able to bring in a high quality hotel brand and an experienced operator to match our ambitions for the exhibition centre, and we’re confident that BHM with Pullman/Accor is the right appointment to enhance the venue’s profile to national and international visitors, as well as increasing the diversity of Liverpool’s hotel offer.

“Exhibition Centre Liverpool is one of my major priorities as Mayor. It will build on the huge success of ACC Liverpool and help put us in the premier league in terms of hosting international exhibitions. It will also boost our economy by £40 million a year.

“All of the pieces are now falling into place for this fantastic facility. With the hotel operator now recruited and the planning application in, we can look forward to things moving forward quickly.”

The selection of Pullman and BHM is another big step forward for the scheme, following the appointment of international construction company ISG – responsible for the construction of the 6,000 seat London 2012 Velodrome – and Denton Corker Marshall, who designed the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, as architect. ISG has been appointed to construct the hotel as well as the exhibition centre.

Bob Prattey, chief executive of ACC Liverpool, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, said: ”This is another significant step in enhancing ACC Liverpool’s offering to all of our client groups. It is a real vote of confidence that Pullman and BHM have chosen Liverpool for their first new build hotel to carry the Pullman quality brand. The hotel development will strengthen and complement our existing hotel offering both on site and across the city to offer a complete range of star rated accommodation.

“The introduction of the 4-star headquarter hotel will undoubtedly open new markets for ACC Liverpool.”

Andrew Rouse, commercial director of BHM, said: “We are delighted to be working with Liverpool City Council and Accor to operate the first new build Pullman hotel in the UK. We are excited to be involved in such a major development in Liverpool which will also bring significant employment benefits to the city.”

Liverpool City Council is working with the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) – the current site owners of Kings Dock – on an agreement to release the seven acres of land adjacent to the existing arena and convention centre, to facilitate the development.

Funding for the facility is being raised through borrowing supported directly from the revenue generated by the expanded ACC Liverpool, so that the project will be at no cost to tax-payers. It will be wholly owned by Liverpool City Council and the exhibition centre will be managed and operated by the existing ACC Liverpool team.

About Exhibition Centre Liverpool
• The 8,100 sq m, three-hall Exhibition Centre will include a public atrium, food and beverage outlets, meeting rooms and a business centre. The three halls will each be 2,700 sq m and will be divided by movable walls
• The facility will be capable of hosting trade and consumer exhibitions, concerts and sports events on a national and international scale
• The arrival of Exhibition Centre Liverpool will increase the existing 7,125sqm of exhibition space at ACC Liverpool to 15,225sqm of flexible event space
• In its first year of operation, Exhibition Centre Liverpool is expected to host about 50 events and attract more than 250,000 visitors
• It is estimated that the exhibition and event programme will contribute in the region of £40m per year in economic benefit to the Merseyside area
• Property advisers DTZ, working as part of a technical team led by AECOM and supported by IPW, were instrumental in the appointment of the hotel brand and operator
About Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool
• Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool (ACC Liverpool) currently comprises BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena
• ACC Liverpool is one of the greenest venues in Europe due to specialist design features from wind turbines to rainwater harvesting, which ensure it produces half the CO2 emissions it would normally
• Since opening in 2008, ACC Liverpool has contributed £620m to the local economy
• The Labour Party will return for its annual conference in 2016 and 2018
• Awards include Winner of Best UK Conference Centre at the M & IT Awards 2013 and C & IT Hot List Awards – Best Conference Venue – Gold 2012

For more information, please contact Damian Richards-Clarke, Communications Officer, on 0151 225 2464 or 07736 216434.
For the latest news from Liverpool City Council, visit

To find out all the good things happening in Liverpool visit or follow

Liverpool is the first city to negotiate a City Deal with the Government. It has seen a Mayor elected to oversee a single investment programme of public and private funds worth £130m with the potential to grow to £500m – £1bn; the first Mayoral Development Corporation outside London; chairing a new investment board bringing together all of the city’s assets and developing a new approach to welfare reform. For more information visit

Latest IMEX America Index of Optimism Results Announced

Majority feel optimistic; meeting & event numbers plus budgets expected to increase slightly

Keeping its finger on the pulse of the current mood and business potential within the North American meetings, events and incentive travel industry, IMEX America today announced results from its latest Index of Optimism survey.

With the show’s first principle being business generation, the Index of Optimism, which was conducted in March 2013, asked just over 400 North American respondents (70% buyers and 30% suppliers) to share how they felt about the meetings industry’s business prospects over the coming months.

Majority Feeling Positive & Expecting To See Some Growth
Asked to compare their current levels of optimism to the same period (Q1) in 2012, 67% of respondents declared themselves “more optimistic” than this time last year. Results also show that just over 58% of respondents expect to see the number of meetings and events they organize increase slightly throughout 2013 and into the first quarter of 2014. Additionally 8.5% anticipate significant increases.

When asked about budget levels, 49% have seen their 2013 budgets increase slightly compared to 2012, with nearly 8% experiencing a significant increase. Over a quarter have successfully held the line on budget levels.

Commenting on the headline figures, IMEX Group Chairman, Ray Bloom, said: “These results tell an interesting story; one that is borne out by experience and the feedback we hear from the market every day. And that is that business fundamentals in North America are strong, and gradually getting stronger, and that the overall trend is upwards, albeit gently.

“Our experience, and that of our North American partners, is that the big picture is healthy and moving in a positive direction. This is also evidenced by the increases in demand we’re already seeing from exhibitors and, importantly, from hosted buyers for IMEX America this October, for which we will be issuing a full business update soon.”

Top 5 Buying Influences
Tapping into the top five factors currently influencing buying decisions and meeting planning behavior, respondents were asked to rank their answers on a scale of 1-5. Of the 354 who responded, “pressures, needs and requests to reduce costs” continue to dominate and are the single most important factor in daily decision-making. “Complying with new company meeting and expenses policies” ranks second while “continued uncertainty about the global economic outlook” came in third. Other influences affecting decision-making and workload, such as “a need to plan green meetings” ranked in fourth place, with “concerns about being out of the office” and “incorporating social media into meetings and events” neck-and-neck in fifth place.

Other factors made a showing but none of them significantly. They included: “compliance with new meeting and events policies”; “how best to blend live and face-to-face elements at meetings and events” plus “risk management” and “rising supplier costs and fees”.

Giving Back is Industry Norm
The IMEX survey also asked if CSR programs and green meetings practices are becoming more important. Over a third, 38%, expected no change in their planning or operational practices, agreeing with the statement “it already underpins everything that we do.” Just shy of 22% confirmed that they “know it is critical and are currently developing policies and guidelines” adding further proof of the industry’s growing desire to make a shift. Another 23% of respondents admitted they “are aware it’s important but don’t yet have programs in place.”

The National Conference Center White Paper Encourages “Commonsensing Your Meetings”

(LEESBURG, VA) – May 2013 – The National Conference Center has released an industry white paper as part of its ongoing quarterly series, “Meeting Discoveries” which explores industry trends and advice to meeting planners on generating more productive meetings. The spring 2013 white paper (“Commonsensing Your Meetings”) posits: How do meeting planners find options to continue to hold meetings without jeopardizing employee training? The answer: simplify. Take it back to the basics.”

With insightful information from noted industry experts, author Dyanne Lagman, Marketing Manager at the National Conference Center, examines the challenges of the current economic landscape and the impact on face-to-face meetings. She notes that meeting planners comment that when forced to stretch the dollar, conducting meetings “smarter” becomes critical. The white paper theme emerged during an exchange with a current customer who noted that his company was going through a “commonsensing” of its culture. “The solution is not to cut back on face-to-face meetings altogether,” said Lagman, “but rather to employ the commonsense approach of taking it back to the basics“.

“Commonsensing Your Meetings” further examines this concept and outlines the core fundamentals of effective meetings offered by conference centers to maximize and achieve the best outcomes.

The entire white paper, “Commonsensing Your Meetings” is available for free download at: