Monthly Archives: June 2013

New Industry-Driven Model Allows Broader Member Engagement

Focus on advocacy and communications highlights industry’s vast economic impact

Denver, Colorado – At the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) board meeting and special meeting of members, a new membership model and bylaw amendments were approved. The vote enables AH&LA to transition from a dual membership organization, where partner state associations collect national dues, to a platform of broader engagement. The new model provides a foundation to position AH&LA as an advocacy and communications powerhouse that reflects the lodging industry’s tremendous economic footprint as a major driver of jobs, opportunity, and growth.

Under the new model, hotel companies, owners/REITs, and management companies are provided a greater role and voice in setting the association’s agenda. Lodging properties now are able to join through their brand and independent properties can join AH&LA directly or through their partner state associations. Additionally, the member rate has been lowered. Partner state associations move from collecting branded property national dues to members that provide their state properties with additional benefits and local representation. AH&LA will have a stronger grassroots voice and broader reach as it will represent a much larger percentage of hotels in the United States.

Membership groups will be created, including a Brands Council, Owners Council, Management Companies Council, Independent Hotels Council, and Partner State Association Council. These groups will provide leadership on their specific issues and nominate members for the 75-member board of directors. A 19-person Executive Committee will convene between board of directors’ meetings. Additionally, a Public Policy Steering Committee will provide guidance on key national governmental, regulatory, and media issues.

“From immigration to the implementation of a massive new healthcare law, the industry is at a crucial juncture when Congress and the Administration are debating a myriad of issues that affect hoteliers’ bottom line,” said AH&LA President/CEO Katherine Lugar. “This new structure allows AH&LA to engage more hoteliers throughout the country, significantly grow our political presence, and launch focused public policy campaigns that will garner significant results for the industry.”

Two years ago, a study was commissioned to evaluate the association’s structure and value proposition. Approximately 575 state executives, brand leaders, property executives, and allied members were surveyed. An AH&LA Funding Task Force, in conjunction with the Strategic Planning Committee – both of which were comprised of a broad-cross section of members – developed a new funding model. In April, the board of directors approved the model, and a Bylaws Committee was convened to draft amendments to the existing bylaws.

“We created a business model that accomplishes what members requested, and as promised, we’ll deliver it by the end of the year,” said AH&LA Chair Ron Vlasic, regional vice president of hotels, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. “This restructuring will allow a greater level of involvement from the brands, owners, management companies, properties, and state associations for a truly unified and effective voice in our nation’s capitol.”
AH&LA will continue to provide direction and oversight to its affiliates, the Educational Foundation and the Educational Institute, and will continue partnerships in the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show and the Americas Lodging Investment Summit.

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.

It Pays to Earn the CMP

According to PCMA Convene’s Annual Salary Survey, the average salary for meeting professionals who earned their CMP is $14,308 more than for those without the designation.

CHICAGO, IL – This month, PCMA Convene magazine published the results of its annual Salary Survey, which meeting professionals have referred to each year to benchmark their own earnings. The results of this year’s survey — completed by 328 association, corporate, and independent meeting professionals in March — reveal that they earn nearly 10 percent more than last year.

The average salary for all respondents in 2013 is $77,711, up from an average 2012 salary of $71,038 reported in last year’s Salary Survey. More than three-quarters of respondents have earned the CMP designation and bring home an average salary of $84,865 — compared to $70,557 for those without the designation. “There can be no greater proof that the CMP designation carries weight in this industry,” said Convene Editor in Chief Michelle Russell. “It’s one of the reasons why we publish the CMP Series in Convene each month, to help readers earn credit hours toward earning or re-qualifying for the CMP certification.”

Nearly half of respondents say they are satisfied with their current salary — and 86 percent expressed satisfaction with the meetings profession as a whole. Survey participants also weighed in on what they like best and least about their jobs. “This year’s results indicate that the profession continues to gain ground,” Russell said, “and not only in terms of compensation. On balance, participants’ comments reveal a sense of accomplishment in that they play a key role in their organizations’ overall success.”

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

Travel Portland is Second Destination Marketing Organization in the World to Achieve New Sustainability Certification

Portland, Ore. – Travel Portland, the destination marketing organization for Portland, Ore., has become the second in the world to be certified by a new international sustainability standard. Travel Portland achieved Level One certification with the new ASTM International standard pertaining to the “Evaluation and Selection of Destinations for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows, and Conferences.” The destination standard is one of nine standards introduced by the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry in 2012 to provide event planners and suppliers with specifications for producing events in a more sustainable manner.

“Portland has a well-deserved reputation for environmental and social responsibility,” said Jeff Miller, president and CEO, Travel Portland. “Achieving this certification is confirmation of Portland’s commitment to sustainability and gives meeting planners one more reason to choose Portland as their next meeting destination.”

The ASTM Destination Standard clarifies the procedural requirements for destination selection — the practice of researching, evaluating and choosing the location for a meeting or event. The standard outlines specific performance criteria for staff management, communications, waste management, energy, air quality, water, procurement and community partners. These new industry standards were created in partnership with ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials –, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited standards development organization.

Michael Luehrs, President of the Green Meeting and Industry Council (GMIC) said, “We are very pleased to see a destination that is well-known for its environmental and social commitment adopt the standard and obtain independent certification.”

iCompli, a division of BPA Worldwide, a non-profit international auditing organization, developed the certification protocols for the ASTM International standards and performed the independent third party certification of the Oregon Convention Center’s compliance with the venue standard.

About Travel Portland
Travel Portland is the official destination marketing organization for the city of Portland, Ore. Its mission is to strengthen the local economy by marketing the Greater Portland region as a preferred destination for meetings, conventions and leisure travel. For more information on Travel Portland, visit

About the Green Meeting Industry Council
The Green Meeting Industry Council is a non-profit, membership-based professional organization that provides educational resources to planners, suppliers, and venues seeking to meet the ever-rising standards consumers set for sustainable meetings.

About iCompli
iCompli is a division of BPA Worldwide, a not-for-profit auditing organization established in 1931 to audit circulation for publishers, advertisers and their agencies. Today, BPA’s audit services have expanded to include external assurance of government and industry standards and independent verification of companies’ technology and service claims. iCompli provides GRI reporting services (gap analysis, competitor benchmarking and external assurance) and third-party certification of ASTM International and ISO event standards.

ACC Liverpool Hosts Annual Association Lunch

ACC Liverpool welcomed clients to its annual Association Summer Showcase lunch.

More than 35 guests enjoyed afternoon tea at London’s Fortnum & Mason.

Attendees included The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and NHS Confederation, both organisations have recently held events at ACC Liverpool. The Chief Executive from the British Orthopaedic Association, which will hold three large scale conferences at the venue in 2015, 2017 and 2019, also attended.

Kerrin MacPhie, director of sales at ACC Liverpool, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, said: “Our annual association lunch provides an opportunity for us to enjoy a catch up with our valued existing and potential clients in lovely surroundings.

“We were also able to give venue and city updates including our latest initiative aimed at conference organisers – Advantage by ACC Liverpool; the latest on our exciting new exhibition centre and opportunities around the International Festival for Business coming to Liverpool next year.”

Second Edition of IBTM Industry Research Launched at AIBTM

• Average number of events increases
• Incentive Travel on the rise
• Meeting planners expect to seek new meetings destination in the next 12 months
• The Caribbean identified as offering good value
• Technology expected to play an even bigger role in event planning in the future

Chicago (June 12) — The second edition of the IBTM Global Meetings Industry Research for the Americas was launched at this year’s AIBTM (, on Education Day, which took place in Chicago’s McCormick Place on June 11.

Key findings from the research highlighted that the average number of events organized by buyer/planner respondents increased to 25, compared to 20 last year. In addition to this, 44% of American buyers confirmed that they expect their volume of events to increase in the next 12 months and over 50% predict an increase in their attendance.

The research report, which was conducted by Reed Travel Exhibitions IBTM Event Portfolio and PCMA, in association with The Right Solution, also identified that meeting budgets for the next twelve months were expected to increase on average by 5.2% compared to a 3.7% increase over the past twelve months which is a positive indicator for the industry going forward.

A further positive indicator identified in the research was identified in the broad range of events types organized by buyers in the Americas. The results also identified a 2% increase in Incentive Travel events (rising to 40%, compared to 44% in 2012) and a 6% increase in Exhibition events (rising to 50%, compared to 44% last year).

The research also confirmed that although the Americas would remain the key destination for U.S. meeting planners over the next 12 months, 50% of Buyer respondents who attended AIBTM confirmed a direct interest in placing business in Europe and 40% confirmed an interest in Asia. UK, France and Germany were also identified as attracting significant numbers of events last year.

63% of respondents also predicted the use of new destinations for their events in the next 12 months with Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Antigua & Barbuda receiving the highest satisfaction ratings in terms of value delivered for money. Florida, California and New York were also identified as top states for volume of events.

The expected rise in the use of technology is featured in the research with 76% of planners predicting an increase in the use of new technology to shape event content and 73% confirming that they use social media to communicate with attendees before and during events. 47% of respondents also confirmed that they use smart phone apps to provide event delegates with information.

Visit to view the full AIBTM Americas Industry Research Report.

Join AIBTM on Linked in, Facebook, Twitter , 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.

Design Hotels Offer the Best of Bleisure

Berlin – Whether it’s adding an extra day to a work trip to sample the spa facilities, or inviting family for the weekend to explore the neighborhood, there is a growing trend of mixing business with leisure trips, otherwise known as “bleisure”. Guests want to feel a connection with the local area, whether on holiday or traveling for work. Thus, location is a key consideration in choosing a hotel, both for convenience and to soak up the local culture. With Design Hotels™ member properties, guests can be sure they will experience a hotel that not only has rich offerings of art, culture and wellness, but also acts as a gateway to discovering the destination.

True to the hotel’s artistic locality of London’s East End, South Place Hotel is a creative alternative from typical business hotels.

Located between Liverpool Street and Moorgate, South Place Hotel brings together the creative energy of the East End with the buzz of the City. The entire hotel including the quirky meeting rooms – each named after a ficticious spy or secret agent – reflects this creative synergy.

The Peel Room for example, lined with silver birch trees is a charming alternative to often drab conference rooms. A handmade table which transforms into a Billiards table, red leather chairs, luxurious fabrics and a selection of contemporary artworks are other notable features which give the spaces at South Place Hotel their unique atmosphere.

For those guests who require a quieter place to conduct business, the hotel’s members club, Le Chiffre – named after James Bond’s poker-playing rival in Casino Royale – with its stylish mix of sink-in sofas and armchairs, offers a sanctuary from the city. As do the hotel’s 80 guestrooms, which are fitted with high tech amenities and a spacious work station. When it comes to meeting and greeting South Place Hotel boasts three bars and two noteworthy restaurants. Angler – serving elegant dishes with a focus on British seafood – can be found on the top floor of the hotel with views over London. The roof terrace bar is the perfect setting to toast a business deal with colleagues, and as the sun sets, DJ’s take to the decks and the hotel becomes a hot spot for after-work socializing.

RAWR Awards to Recognize Excellence in Malaysian Business Events Industry

MyCEB and MACEOS announces the launch of RAWR Awards 2013 to recognise excellence within the business events industry and adding to Malaysia’s credentials as Asia’s business events hub

Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) and the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS), today announced the launch of Malaysia’s inaugural business events awards named the RAWR Awards 2013 which will take place this September. This collaboration between MyCEB and MACEOS as joint organisers aim to recognise excellence, leadership, professional standards, innovation and best practices within the industry. It is also to further establish Malaysia as Asia’s premiere business events destination in line with the country’s mission under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

In a call to action to the Malaysian business events industry players, MyCEB and MACEOS strongly encourage the participation of the fraternity to submit nominations for all the 27 categories that will be awarded. The categories include Best International Conference Award, Best Trade Exhibition, Best Incentive Programme, Best Environmental Initiative Award and Best Event which covers the four main components of the business events industry namely meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE). Nominations submitted are being accepted starting from today until 31 July, 2013.

Speaking at the press conference, Ms. Ho Yoke Ping, General Manager of Sales and Marketing, MyCEB, explained, “It is our aim to honour the industry’s most groundbreaking work, judged by the industry’s most elite talents from around the region. As this effort reflects, the idea is to give due recognition of industry professionalism and best business practices. Award winners and finalists will have the opportunity to leverage from their industry recognition in their own sales and marketing efforts and through ongoing public relations and marketing activities by MyCEB and MACEOS. We perceive the organization of the RAWR Awards as timely and as organisers, MyCEB and MACEOS are delighted to present this as another milestone in the country’s thriving business events industry.”

Also present at the press conference is Mr. Jonathan Kan, President of MACEOS who stated, “The awards are called the RAWR Awards which is symbolic for Recognising Award Winning Results within the business events industry. RAWR or “ROAR” is also associated with the growing voice and recognition of the business events sector amongst the private and public sector as a key contributor the Malaysian economy. MACEOS is privileged to be involved in this initiative together with MyCEB which would benefit not just the industry but the country as a whole”.

The awards are open to business event products and suppliers that are members of either MyCEB and/or MACEOS as well as event owners such as national associations or corporations that may not be members of either organisations. Applicants must be Malaysian registered companies operating in the country and apply to events and/or business activities that took place between 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2012. The initial sponsors for the RAWR Awards 2013 include Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Radius and Hot Shoes.

For more information on the RAWR Awards 2013, please contact Mr. Amos Y.C. Wong email or kindly visit

Pacific World Appoints Sales Coordinator for Pacific World EMEA

Retains WMG for Pacific World Asia

Herve Joseph-Antoine, Managing Director of Pacific World, the global MICE player headquartered in Asia and Jane E. Schuldt, CITE, President of World Marketing Group (WMG), based in Minneapolis announced that WMG will continue to perform its well-defined and well-known role as the North American sales, service and support office for Pacific World Asia. The existing and developing customer base for the Pacific World Asia division (including new additions of South Korea and India), along with South Africa, will continue to be supported by WMG.

Herve Joseph-Antoine, also announced the hire of Misti Kittman, based in Houston, TX, to support the Pacific World EMEA division’s destination managers in their North American market development. Misti has lived and worked in Europe for more than 20 years working in DMC operations.

Pacific World’s decision to continue to provide dedicated customer service by destination is at the heart of its philosophy to provide real-time, highly specialized, experienced and conveniently located in-market service and consultative sales support to their MICE customer base.

About Pacific World
Pacific World is a dedicated Destination Management Company, Event Management and PCO company operating in 25 countries and 50 destinations in Europe, Middle East, Africa, India and Asia.
Pacific World is part of TUI Travel PLC, one of the world’s leading international travel groups.

About World Marketing Group
World Marketing Group is a B2B contract sales and marketing company, providing business development services in North America to international hospitality suppliers engaged in the incentive, meeting, conference and special event/product launch markets.

Fairfax County CVB Lauded by the Virginia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus

Fairfax County, VA – June, 2013 – Visit Fairfax ( was honored with three awards at the fifth annual Virgo Travel & Tourism Awards dinner, held recently at the Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon, Virginia. Visit Fairfax is proud to be honored with Virgo Awards in the following categories:

Advertising and Promotions – Online and eMarketing for the 2012 Online Marketing Campaign, which employed a number of integrated strategies that included eNewsletters, search engine marketing and optimization, contextual banner advertising and social media strategies. The result, through a Texas A&M University conversion study, found that the program delivered a total return-on-investment of more than $120 returned for every $1 spent and brought in net visitor spending of $54.3 million.

Advertising and Promotion – Print Brochure for the Fairfax County Civil War Sesquicentennial Brochure, which was developed as a way to increase interest and awareness in County Civil War history and to drive visitors to and around the region. The 12-panel brochure details many of the region’s Civil War attractions, and features interactive QR codes that link to informative videos about several of the sites. The brochure also features a beautiful heritage map and a Civil War timeline. In 2012, Visit Fairfax distributed more than 30,000 brochures to potential consumers and influencers, as well as distributing them to Fairfax County Public Schools and Libraries as an educational piece.

Heritage Tourism (Initiatives that preserve and celebrate the culture, history, and personal interaction within a community) for the Fairfax County Civil War Trails Marker Legacy Project, which saw the implementation of nine Virginia Civil War Trails markers in each supervisory district within Fairfax County. The objective of the project was to properly commemorate the war, but also leave behind a new tourism infrastructure that would spur economic activity relating to heritage tourism for years to come, as well as increase visitation to the newly marked Civil War sites.

The annual Virgo Awards, presented by the Virginia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (VACVB), are handed out to “individuals, groups, businesses and destination marketing organizations that significantly contribute to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s economy through tourism promotion and development.”

Visit Fairfax is the official tourism organization for Fairfax County, Virginia. Charged with destination marketing and tourism promotion, it is directed by many of the County’s top tourism and hospitality leaders. For more information, please visit

Salamander Resort & Spa is Opening in August!

Salamander Resort & Spa opens in August 2013 in historic Middleburg. The perfect location for corporate and association meetings, the 168-room, equestrian-inspired resort offers an array of customizable group activities and unique event spaces, like a Cooking Studio, Culinary Garden, 22-stall Stable, Stallion Barn, Grand Lawn, Spa Courtyard, and, of course, a beautiful ballroom. Just 30 minutes from the Washington Dulles International Airport and one hour from Washington, DC, there are 50 wineries within a 60 minute drive of the resort.

Chef Todd Gray from the award winning Equinox Restaurant located in Washington DC., leads the culinary team, while the 22,000 square foot spa is destined to become one of the world’s finest.