Monthly Archives: August 2013

Multi-million pound Exhibition Centre and Hotel gets the go ahead

PLANS to create a world class exhibition centre and hotel in Liverpool – propelling the city into the premier league for hosting large scale trade and consumer exhibitions – have been given the green light.

It’s all systems go for the new £40m Exhibition Centre Liverpool and £26m integrated hotel at Kings Dock, after the ambitious plans were approved by the city’s planning committee today (Tuesday 23 July).

It paves the way for work beginning, in late autumn, on the construction of the 8,100 sqm, three-hall exhibition centre and the 200-room ‘headquarters’ hotel, which will form part of ACC Liverpool, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena.

The new facilities will open in spring 2015.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “This is fantastic news for Liverpool. I’ve pushed this project hard from the beginning, because I know the huge economic benefits it will bring to our city, attracting new visitors, boosting local business and creating jobs.

“This decision from the planning committee means we can now press ahead with delivering an absolutely world class waterfront development.

“Exhibition Centre Liverpool and the integrated hotel will allow us to build on the massive success of ACC Liverpool, and will drive our transformation into one of Europe’s leading destinations for large-scale conferences, exhibitions and events.

“It’s a huge boost for our city and yet more evidence that despite the recession, we continue to forge ahead with delivering important regeneration schemes. I’m looking forward to construction getting underway.”

Exhibition Centre Liverpool will be capable of hosting large scale conferences, trade and consumer exhibitions, concerts and sports events on a national and international scale. Plans for the facility include an atrium, meeting rooms and a business centre. The three halls will each be 2,700 sqm and will be separated by movable walls.

Pullman will be the brand for the integrated, upscale, four-star hotel, which will include 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.

Pullman, which is owned by international hotel company Accor, has hotels all over the world, including all the major European cities, but currently only one in the UK, in St Pancras, London. Branded Hotel Management (BHM) was appointed as hotel operator in April this year.

Bob Prattey, chief executive of ACC Liverpool, said: “Receiving planning permission for Exhibition Centre Liverpool and the headquarters hotel is another significant milestone in Liverpool’s development. ACC Liverpool has already generated more than £620m in economic impact since opening in 2008. This project is further proof that the city means business when it comes to competing with European destinations in hosting major conferences and exhibitions.

“Today’s approval is the culmination of more than two years of extensive planning and we are eager to move onto the next phase of the project and the continued progression of the city.”

Exhibition Centre Liverpool and the integrated hotel will be directly connected to the existing facilities at ACC Liverpool, via an interlinking bridge, making the venue the only purpose-built interconnected arena, convention and exhibition centre in Europe.

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 support 1,300 jobs in the wider economy and contribute in the region of £40 million per year in economic benefit to the Merseyside area. The hotel is expected to create about 45 to 60 permanent jobs.

Arlena N. Jackson Named Public Relations Director for Association Vision

WASHINGTON, DC – Association Vision, a Washington, DC-area communications company, has named Arlena N. Jackson as Public Relations Director. Jackson, who has 15 years of experience in communications and marketing, will develop and implement programs for several Association Vision public relations accounts. She will also create website content for the company and write occasional articles for Association Vision publishing clients.

“Arlena has a proven background in several high-level corporate and agency positions and is skilled in developing both strategy and programs to increase media coverage,” says Association Vision President Al Rickard, CAE. “We are thrilled to have her on board to increase the value we provide to our public relations clients.”

Jackson began her career with Ketchum Public Relations Agency where she served as the national spokesperson for a Proctor & Gamble product tour. She later joined IBM where she worked for nearly 10 years in public relations and marketing roles, garnering major media and top-tier trade press coverage for products, services, events and c-level executives. She has also worked for NASA Marshall Space & Flight Systems, where she served as Communications Director for the Science and Systems Missions Division.

Prior to joining Association Vision, Jackson worked as a global public relations executive for Emerson Network Power’s Avocent Division, where she was responsible for developing and executing a global public relations and analyst relations program, which required her to build and lead cross-functional teams throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas.

“I am elated to join Association Vision and look forward to creating and managing public relations campaigns that will deliver winning results as we expand our clients mindshare and share of voice with their customers and stakeholders,” Jackson says.

Jackson’s work has been recognized by the Public Relations Society of America. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Florida A&M University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Syracuse University.

Recently, Jackson began her doctoral studies in international public relations. Her research agenda dissects the complexities of cultural factors and how they affect localization strategies of multinational corporations operating outside of the United States.

Visitor Registration Opens for EIBTM in Barcelona

Register at

EIBTM (, the leading global event for the meetings, events and business travel industry, taking place in the award winning business and tourism destination of Barcelona, has announced that Trade Visitor registration is now open. All meetings industry professionals are invited to register at for the event that will take place one week earlier than its usual dates.

Benefits of pre-registering as a Trade Visitor Buyer include: Free fast track entry saving valuable time queuing, flexibility to arrange personal schedules, discounted travel and accommodation and pre-show information and updates allowing attendees to effectively plan their visit.

Attending EIBTM also allows meetings industry professionals to keep up to date with what is new in the industry. To support this demand, EIBTM will deliver a series of EIBTM Knowledge sessions covering the latest industry hot topics including dedicated sessions on technology, innovation, sustainability and industry trends and research (

The 2013 show will see the launch of the second EIBTM Forum on Monday 18th November. Open to everyone attending the show, the EIBTM Forum will provide a thought provoking opening conference and will set the tone for the following three days of business. The speaker line up will include expert perspectives from an emerging market and a unique look at the global economy, in addition to the presentation of the EIBTM Lifetime Achievement Award, which was also launched in 2012.

The event organisers have also announced that the Official EIBTM Welcome Reception will take place onsite at EIBTM, which will allow people prompt access following the show on Tuesday. They will also conduct the EIBTM Networking Hour on Wednesday the 20th November, prior to the EIBTM Club Night which will once again be hosted in Opium Mar (

Graeme Barnett, Reed Travel Exhibitions, EIBTM Senior Exhibition Director commented, “Last year, 96% of Trade Visitors were satisfied with their experience at EIBTM. This year we are confident that we will deliver this high level of satisfaction again and we are delighted to confirm that we will be announcing a host of new activities for this year in the coming months.”

Travel and Accommodation

EIBTM will offer a range of travel and accommodation offers for all EIBTM attendees including up to 50% discount on air, rail and ferry fairs as well as reduced rates on accommodation. There are a number of official and unofficial partner hotels offering rates starting from €81 per person per night. For full details visit

The organisers have also once again partnered with Lufthansa German Airlines, who offer a comprehensive global route network linking major cities around the world. As the official airline partner, Lufthansa will offer special prices and conditions to all visitors. To make a reservation, visit and enter the access code GBZAMBJ in the “Access to Event Booking” area. This will open an online booking platform that will automatically calculate the discount offered or provide you with an even better offer if another promotional fare is available.

EIBTM Hosted Buyer Programme

If you are a top-level decision maker or make budgetary decisions for meetings, incentive travel, business travel, international conventions or events, you could be eligible to attend EIBTM as Hosted Buyer. To find out more, please visit

EIBTM 2013 will take place from 19th – 21st November, a week earlier than in previous years. The EIBTM Forum will take place the day before the exhibition on 18th November.

Eighty Motorcoach Operators in Howard County for four-day National Association of Motorcoach Operators Conference & Mini-Tradeshow

Hosting this conference is an important first for Howard County, as each operator has potential to bring hundreds of future groups to stay in our hotels and visit our attractions & restaurants

Ellicott City, MD (August 2013) Howard County Tourism & Promotion announces it will proudly host the National Association of Motorcoach Operators on August 14 – 18, 2013. The purpose of the National Association of Motorcoach Operators (NAMO) is to establish and implement solutions to their current transportation concerns and to advocate fairness and protection for all motorcoach operators. Additionally, it is their purpose to lead the way in safety awareness and set standards of superior service throughout the motorcoach industry. Members Include:

• Alabama
• Florida
• Georgia
• Illinois
• Louisiana
• Massachusetts
• Maryland
• Michigan
• North Carolina
• New Hampshire
• New Jersey
• New York
• Ohio
• South Carolina
• Texas
• Virginia

The Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel will be their Headquarters and we will have eighty (80) Operators in attendance from all over the country. On Thursday, August 15th, Howard County Tourism & Promotion will sponsor a Welcome Reception along with a mini-tradeshow to present our hotels and attractions in and around the county. “Each operator has potential to bring hundreds of students and seniors to our area to stay in our hotels and visit our attractions and restaurants” said Taffy Rice, Director of Sales, “this is a big coup for our Tourism Team.”

Strong Exhibitor Interest in IMEX America – 30 New Booths Confirmed; Demand for Booth Space at All-Time High

Strong demand from new and existing exhibitors over the past few months means that the next edition of IMEX America will see a significantly expanded show floor in its new halls at the Sands Expo® in Las Vegas (Oct 15 -17). To date more than 70 returning exhibitors have increased their booth space and over 30 new booths are confirmed. New exhibitors include a diverse range of suppliers including a significant number of US destinations, technology exhibitors and hotel chains.

Says IMEX Group Chairman, Ray Bloom: “The demand for the next show is looking very strong and we are pleased to announce further growth in the number and scope of exhibitors for buyers to do business with. We’ve seen a marked rise in demand from new exhibitors and also significant requests for booth increases over the summer. This momentum makes the run-up to the next IMEX America in Las Vegas this October very exciting.”

Recently confirmed new exhibitors include: Baskow & Associates, Charleston CVB, Daytona Beach, Detroit CVB, Effective Registration Inc, Exclusive South America and Fudale. Technology companies Double Dutch and Attendify will also be first-time exhibitors at the show, indicative of rising demand from meetings and events technology suppliers.

Among the new initiatives being launched at IMEX America 2013 will be a Tech Hub, which will provide hands-on and expert technology education. The Tech Hub will be sited near to the App Bar and the Technology Pavilion, providing a clear-cut technology zone on the show floor.

Following its success at IMEX in Frankfurt, IMEX America will also introduce a Research Pod on the Inspiration Center. The new pod will allow for industry research reports to be presented, reviewed and discussed in a single, tailor-made location.

The show’s hallmark pre-show education day, Smart Monday, Oct. 14, which is powered by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), has also undergone a number of subtle transformations based on feedback from attendees. These include new deep-dives for meetings business owners with at least 15 years’ experience and new education sessions delivered by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), the International Special Events Society (ISES), the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) and Site.

Registration for IMEX America is free.

National Conference Center Develops 158,000 sq-ft Parking Facility “To Accommodate Increasing Demand”

(LEESBURG, Va.) – August 2013 — Kurt Krause, General Manager at The National Conference Center has announced the development of a new 158,000 square-foot parking facility for the 65-acre facility in Loudoun County, VA. The National Conference Center – which has received 12 consecutive months of 100% meeting planner satisfaction — is a residential training center that features 917 guest rooms and 250 meeting rooms and offers comprehensive services for group meetings and gatherings, including dining and lodging.

Loudoun County recently purchased 46 undeveloped acres from NCC to facilitate the development of the greatly anticipated and much-needed Riverside High School. The transaction generated the concept of building the parking facility. According to General Manager, Kurt Krause, “The new parking garage will provide quicker and more convenient access to the facility and is part of our long-range master plan to accommodate increasing demand.”

A newly developed boulevard will guide guests to the facility and the new 493-space, three-level parking garage will also include reserved prime spaces for commuters and hybrid fuel cars. Conveniently located directly across from West Belmont Place, the 16,000 square-foot ballroom at NCC, the new parking facility will provide easy access to the front entrance of the main building.

“The National Conference Center is a busy campus, and we want to make the construction phase as easy and as convenient as possible,” said Scott Kimble, project manager with Howard Shockey & Sons. “We are working closely with the staff to ensure continued guest convenience and are quickly rerouted to convenient available parking.”

The National Conference Center is also adding an at-grade parking lot with an additional 150 spaces, which will make it easier for guests to check in, as well as improving some of the access roads at the center.

The new garage is scheduled for completion in December 2013. Project owner is Oxford Capital Partners Inc., of Lansdowne, Va. Family-owned Howard Shockey & Sons Inc. is the design-builder.

The expansion of parking facilities is Shockey’s second construction project at the National Conference Center. Previously, Shockey developed West Belmont Place, which includes the largest ballroom in Northern Virginia accommodating up to 1,800 guests. West Belmont Place at The National Conference Center was recently awarded “Best Venue” by the International Special Events Society which celebrates and honors the best of the best in the special events industry.

For more information on The National Conference Center, visit

More about The National Conference Center
National Conference Center (NCC) is one of the largest and most comprehensive conference centers in the nation. With 917 guest rooms and over 250,000 square feet of meeting space, NCC has become a hub for productive meetings. NCC was recently named 2013 Best Venue by the International Special Events Society and is also on the GSA schedule. For information call 800-640-2684 or visit

The National Conference Center is managed by ARAMARK Conference Centers. ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. In FORTUNE magazine’s 2009 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies,” ARAMARK was ranked number one in its industry, consistently ranking since 1998 as one of the top three most admired companies in its industry as evaluated by peers and analysts. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 260,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at the company’s Web site,

ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 250,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at