Monthly Archives: February 2015

CAbernathy Consulting Named 40 under 40 by Collaborate Magazine

Congratulatitons to CAbernathy Consulting and VIP (Very Important Planner) Events for being named one of Collaborate Magazine’s “40 under 40” Corporate Planner Issue recipients this year.

In the program’s inaugural year (2014), they raised over $10,000 for charitable causes, stuffed over 400 toiletry bags for DC’s homeless, and made a cancer patient’s dream trip come true.

I am a matchmaker in a sense,” says Abernathy. “I put together events that bring together planners and vendors to network and do good for the community.”

She studied event management at Victoria University in Melbourne and then jumped into meeting planning after college. She sits on the customer advisory boards for Reno-Sparks CVA, Cleveland CVB, San Jose CVB, Destination Hotels & Resorts and, and also chairs Green Meeting Industry Council’s Sustainable Meetings Foundation.

Abernathy has presented at major industry conferences, including PCMA’s Convening Leaders and IAEE’s Expo! Expo! on personal branding and professional development.

Local Hospitality Highlights from Visit Arlington

  • Newly-opened Fresh Kitchen welcomes groups of up to 200 people and offers comfort food with a D.C. twist in a relaxed, yet stimulating environment.
  • The Residence Inn by Marriott Arlington Courthouse will have a complete renovation of all guest rooms, meeting areas and common spaces starting in November of 2015.
  • The Westin Arlington Gateway has completed a full renovation of their more than 17,000 square feet of meeting space. Stay tuned for more exciting enhancements for this upscale hotel in the heart of Ballston.
  • Book a group staying three nights or more in February and receive a discounted rate, double points and one complimentary room per 30 rooms booked at Le Méridien Arlington.
  • Reagan National Airport is #4 on the Top 10 U.S. Airports for Healthy Dining list!

Step into Spring with The Embassy Suites at the Chevy Chase Pavilion

We are giving you a Fitbit!

Host a meeting or event between April 1- July 31, 2015 valued at $5,000
or greater and receive a Fitbit after your program is finished!
Use it for
yourself or gift it to a fitness fanatic. Either way, this spring we want you
to truly immerse yourself in everything DC – one step at a time.

More Booking Incentives
Should your group actualize with us by July 31, 2015, choose from the following concessions:

$5,000- $9,999* minimum spend – Choose 3
$10,000-$19,999* minimum spend- Choose 4
$20,000* or above – Choose 5

-Complimentary Wi-Fi in the meeting room
-Complimentary Wi-Fi in the guestroom
-25% AV discount
-3 complimentary parking passes daily
-1 per 40 comp policy
-80% attrition
-Hilton Honors signing bonus, 1000 points per every 10 room nights
-2 Premium suite upgrades per night
-5 complimentary passes to evening reception (for non-overnight guests)
-Complimentary tea/coffee service in meeting space based on $5,000 food and beverage minimum

Please contact Rachel Nedelman at (202) 349-2004 or  for more information.

*Revenue spend includes guestroom, food and beverage and audio visual costs. Exclusive of tax and service charge. Promotion valid on new bookings only.

Venue Specifications
Situated directly on top of the Friendship Heights Metro station and within the Chevy Chase Pavilion, our hotel offers 198 newly renovated two-room suites including two floors of premium level suites perfect for your VIP or executive level attendees. We offer 6,300 square feet of flourishing meeting space close to downtown Washington, DC. Hosting various meetings and events is more than possible in these flexible venues:

  • Mezzanine: unique location to host 150 guests for reception-style events under the hotel’s signature glass atrium
  • Chevy Chase or Tenleytown Ballrooms: private spaces to host parties up to 100
  • Newlands Boardroom: Our executive boardroom featuring ergonomic seating, built in audio visual equipment, and video conferencing capabilities.

Annual Statistics 2014: Record-Setting Year for Conventions in Berlin

According to the latest statistics* of the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office, last year saw some 11 million participants (+3% over the previous year) coming to more than 131,000 events (+4%) held in the German capital.

“Berlin can look back at 2014 as its most successful year for conferences and meetings yet, with an average of 360 events and 30,000 participants each day. The German capital continues to position itself as one of the world’s top destinations for meetings and conventions,” says Heike Mahmoud, Director of Conventions at the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office.

For the first time ever, the city’s conferences generated more than seven million hotel stays (+4.5%), representing approximately a quarter of all hotel stays in Berlin. The meetings industry has grown to become a reliable planning factor for Berlin’s hotels and overall economy.

Berlin impresses as science location

The German capital is especially in demand for events related to the sciences: Measured by the number of participants, meetings and conferences related to science and research represented 15 per cent of the total in 2014 (up from 14% in 2013), followed by politics and public bodies (12%). 2.1 million participants came from abroad, meaning one in five participants at events in the city came from outside Germany.

Major economic engine for Berlin: Berlin’s meeting and convention industry generated €2.2 billion in 2014 (up 9% over 2013) and is responsible for approximately 38,000 full-time jobs in the German capital. Conference attendees spend an average of €232 a day when visiting the city.

DeDe Murcer Moffett to Keynote HSMAI’s MEET National Conference

DeDe Murcer Moffett, motivational speaker, author, trainer, comedian and niece of New York Yankees legend Bobby Ray Murcer, will be the keynote speaker at the 26th annual HSMAI’s MEET National conference to be held Sept. 9-10 at the Marriott Wardman Park, Washington.

Presented by Questex Hospitality + Travel, the event is expected to draw more than 900 attendees, bringing together meeting and event-planning professionals with 120 leading suppliers representing hotels, resorts, meeting venues, convention and visitors bureaus, technology, event services and promotional and marketing products.

Moffett, also known as “The Snap Out of It! Woman,” was voted “Meeting Planners Favorite Speaker” in 2014. She delivers a one-of-a-kind transformational message, drawing upon her extensive career climbing the corporate ladder, battle with and triumph over a 24-year addiction and her lifelong experience as a singer, actress and stage performer.

“Living life with passion, knowing what you were born to do then doing it full out is my definition and experience of success,” said Moffett. “Today more than ever people want authentic leaders who will help them unlock their potential and reduce internal obstacles so their talent can take center stage. That’s the promise of ‘Snap Out of It:’ Transform your life by seeing new achievable possibilities and go from being numbed out to feeling fully alive.”

Marilyn McHugh, Questex Hospitality + Travel vice president, global events, said the event, which caters to mid-size market meeting professionals, has proven successful by offering one-to-one meetings and top-of-the-line training that provides valuable continuing education credits and robust networking opportunities.

“We are committed to delivering dynamic educational content to challenge and engage our conference attendees,” she said. “DeDe Murcer Moffett’s high energy and entertaining presentation promises to provide leadership tools that will help our attendees tap into their inner strengths to maximize their performance and change the way they view and overcome obstacles.”

Moffett is the author of the best-selling book “Wisdom Wedgies and Life’s Little Zingers” and is working on her next book, “Snap Out of It Already! The Simple Steps to Achieve Your Dreams and Ignite Business Success.”

HSMAI’s MEET (Meetings, Events, Education, & Technology) conferences are designed for hospitality sales and marketing professionals to present their properties, destinations and services to the industry’s leading planners and decision-makers. For more information about HSMAI’s MEET series of events, visit

About Questex Hospitality + Travel

The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group of Questex LLC serves the worldwide hospitality, travel and related industries that together contribute over $6 trillion to the global gross domestic product. Through an innovative platform of targeted solutions, the group serves the sector’s entire ecosystem, from tourism and hotel development and investment to hotel design, purchasing, management and operations.

The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group serves every business-to-business segment of the industry, from investment and development to management operations, sales and marketing of hospitality and travel products to destination development and marketing, via proven demand generation, learning, loyalty and rewards solutions as well as a network of live events. This division of Questex is aligned around three broad market segments – hospitality, travel and meetings – and supported by its Digital Media staff.

Additional information is available at

Be the Best – Be Green: Submissions Now Open for IMEX-GMIC Green Awards

Applications are open for the prestigious IMEX-GMIC Green Awards 2015 honouring outstanding environmental and social initiatives. Jointly run by IMEX and the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) and now in their 13th year, these awards recognise outstanding achievement in green meetings planning, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. The deadline to apply for the IMEX-GMIC Green Awards is 1 March 2015.

The awards span four categories covering key aspects of the green meetings sector: Green Meeting Award (small), Green Meeting Award (large), Green Supplier and Commitment to the Community Award.

Environmental awareness among meeting organisers is recognised by the Green Meeting Award, which judges a specific event based on a planner’s efforts to prevent and reduce environmental impact. The Green Supplier Award recognises a meeting supplier that has made innovative efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their operations. Finally, the Commitment to the Community Award honours those who have demonstrated innovative efforts to benefit a charitable initiative.

Nominations for the IMEX-GMIC Green Awards are judged by a panel of international industry experts and awards will be presented at the prestigious IMEX Gala Dinner (20 May) taking place at the Frankfurt Alte Oper, during IMEX in Frankfurt (19 – 21 May 2015).

See for further details and to view case studies of previous winners.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, comments: “The IMEX-GMIC Green Awards have been developed to recognise organisations within the industry that are excelling in their efforts to minimise their environmental and social impacts.

“As companies and planners alike seek out ways to give back to the local communities and destinations where they gather, these programme elements become ever more important to the overall impact of the event. We are proud to support and recognise such meetings and events that have a positive impact that goes beyond the meeting room.”


Eighth Annual PCMA Citywide Auction to Feature Nashville

Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation and Music City Center Partner with PCMA to Raise Funds for Industry Education

The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation and Music City Center have partnered with the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) for the eighth annual PCMA Citywide Auction.

The Citywide Auction is designed to raise money to fund high level meetings industry education. The auction annually offers meeting professionals tremendous savings and package inclusions to ensure their convention is truly a unique experience.

“Nashville is ‘hot’ these days and on everyone’s consideration list,” said Deborah Sexton, PCMA President and CEO. “The city of Nashville and the new Music City Center are authentic, accessible, accommodating and affordable – offering so much that you can’t find anywhere else. Their participation in the Citywide Auction demonstrates their sincere commitment to our industry and PCMA, while offering planners their southern hospitality and an incredible deal for their destination.”

The auction officially kicked off during Convening Leaders and will remain open until November 30, 2015 at 5pm CST, unless sold through the “Buy It Now!” option (which will immediately close the auction). The package is available between the years of 2017 and 2022.

The PCMA Citywide Auction package includes:

353,000 continuous gross square feet of exhibit and meeting space for up to 10 days
100 hours of complimentary registration clerks
10% discount on convention center food and beverage
10% discount on AV needs
25% discount on Internet access for show management and Free Wi-Fi in public space
Board dinner for up to 30 people
10% discount on average prevailing group rate at the Omni
Assistance in negotiation of any and all talent on behalf of the meeting
Complimentary song writer show to promote the convention the year the meeting for an audience of 200-250.
Autographed guitar to utilize as auction item for the organization and/or meeting
Bidding for the 2015 Citywide Auction package from Nashville, minimally valued at $675,000, starts at $85,000 with bid increments of $10,000. If a bidder chooses the “buy now” option, the cost is $135,000 and closes the auction immediately.

“We are pleased to partner with the PCMA on this innovative program,” said Butch Spyridon, President & CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. “To be able to support PCMA as they provide high level industry education and to creatively market Nashville is a win/win and a no brainer!”

Charles Starks, President/CEO of the Music City Center said “The Music City Center is honored and excited to have this opportunity to showcase our center while simultaneously supporting our industry. PCMA has been a true champion for the meetings industry and together we will help advance those endeavors in 2015.”

The PCMA Citywide Auction has previously featured packages in Philadelphia, Hawaii, San Diego, Orlando, Washington DC, Chicago and New Orleans, with convention planner members receiving incredible value while giving back to the organization.

Learn more about the PCMA Citywide Auction or submit your bid visit


About PCMA
PCMA is the multi-channel professional resource and premier educator for leaders in the meetings, conventions, events and trade show industries. PCMA provides their 6,500+ 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

Read more:

ACC Liverpool Encourages Delegates to Explore the City with Privilege Card

ACC Liverpool has again joined forces with hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions to encourage your delegates to explore the city during conference and return in the future.

Our updated Delegate Card, which is available to all visitors attending conferences at our venue, was created to encourage attendees to explore as much of the city as possible with a series of offers, discounts and privileges.  It also provides an incentive for visitors to return with their friends and families.

Our aim is to ensure that your delegates get the most out of the city and have an interesting and varied programme for any downtime around your conference.  They may want to enjoy a meal in one of the city’s top restaurants or take in attractions.

A trip to Liverpool wouldn’t be complete without learning more about the Fab Four and the card now features an ‘Experience The Beatles’ section which includes offers from The Beatles Story, Cavern Club and Magical Mystery Tour bus.  Liverpool One, City Central BID and Albert Dock are official partners.

The Delegate Card can be branded for each individual event.  For more information

The Lodge at Torrey Pines Awarded 2015 AAA Five Diamond Designation

California Resort Receives Two Prestigious Awards

The Lodge at Torrey Pines has captured one of the travel industry’s most coveted designations: the 2015 AAA Five Diamond award for the 13th consecutive year.

Since its opening in 2002, The Lodge has maintained its Five Diamond designation annually, based on the rigorous criteria put forth by AAA. “This award is well known among sophisticated  travelers  as  a  reflection  of the  ‘Best  of the Best’ amid luxury properties,” said Bill Gross, General Manager of The Lodge at Torrey Pines. “This is notjust about our luxurious amenities. It is about the caring and personal service–going above and beyond– is what earns us the Five Diamond designation, year after year.”

According to the Auto Club, AAA inspectors collectively visit some 1,200 hotels and restaurants every week and conduct multiple unannounced evaluations of each property. In addition to evaluating the physical attributes of the resort, inspectors assess all aspects of guest service, from initial reservation through checkout, to determine if the hotel offers the custom service today’s luxury hotel guest expects. Only .3 percent of the nation’s 59,000 hotel properties and restaurants earn the Five Diamond distinction.

In addition, The Lodge at Torrey Pines has been voted by readers to the prestigious T+L500 The World’s Best Hotels 2015.

Released each year to considerable anticipation, this award is the result of Travel +Leisure’s annual World’s Best survey, a questionnaire that asks readers to rate hotels based on  rooms,  facilities,  location,  service,  restaurants,  value  and  a  number  of  other characteristics. Represented hotels are among an elite group held in high regards by the esteemed magazine, its readership and a worldwide community of avid travelers.

The Lodge at Torrey Pines embodies the pinnacle of Pacific coastal living.  Designed in thetradition of architects Charles and Henry Greene, The Lodge is a loving homage of California Craftsman architecture, emphasizing authentic materials and style, respect forthe natural landscape, and integration of indoor and outdoor living.The Lodge at Torrey Pines is owned and operated by Evans Hotels, San Diego. For hotel reservations call 858-453-4420, for restaurant reservations call (858) 777-6635, or visit

Global Spectrum Contract Renewed at St. Charles Convention Center

(ST. CHARLES, MO) – The St. Charles County Convention and Sports Facilities Authority and the City of St. Charles today extended the management contract with Global Spectrum to continue operating the Saint Charles Convention Center for an additional three years and eligible for a two year renewal in 2018.

“We are honored by the responsibility and excited by the opportunity to continue to manage the Saint Charles Convention Center on behalf of the City of St. Charles and the St. Charles County Convention and Sports Authority,” said Global Spectrum’s Shura Garnett, General Manager and Regional Vice President at the St. Charles Convention Center.  “We will continue to bring a high standard of excellence for the Center and events that meet the many interests of our community.”

“Global Spectrum would like to thank the city of Saint Charles on extending our contract for another three years,” said Global Spectrum President John Page. “The St. Charles Convention Center is an important part of our business and one in which we take great pride in providing the ultimate experience for our guests, the show organizers, the meeting planners and the surrounding region. This extension is a true testament to the hard work of our on-site team, led by Shura Garnett. We look forward to many more great successes in Saint Charles.”

Global Spectrum has managed the St. Charles Convention Center since its doors opened in April 2005.  In almost ten years of business, the St. Charles Convention Center has held over 3,600 events and hosted nearly two million people. They are accountable for attracting mainstay public events to the St. Charles area such as the Working Women’s Survival Show, the Home and Garden Show, and St. Louis Weapons Collectors.  Their partnerships with local businesses include Miller-Coors, Pepsi, Goellner Printing, New Frontier Bank, and Community News.

“Global Spectrum’s expertise in the convention center business continues to be a huge asset for our community,” said Mayor Sally Faith.  “On behalf of the City of St. Charles it is truly my honor to congratulate Shura Garnett and her entire team on this recent contract renewal, as Global Spectrum represents a perfect fit for the St. Charles Convention Center.  We are incredibly proud to have Global Spectrum as our partner in ensuring this local facility remains a leader in the convention and meeting industry, and look forward to further developing solid partnerships through the Greater Saint Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau.”

“The success combination in business is: 1. Do what you do better and 2. Do more of what you do,” said Thom Wapelhorst, Chairman of the St. Charles County Convention & Sports Facilities Authority.  “We believe this mentality sums up the Global Spectrum Team and their management of the St. Charles Convention Center. Their record-setting successes and commitment to be one of the finest full-service conventions venues proves they can do it better.  The Authority is pleased to acknowledge Global’s achievements with the renewal of their management agreement for another three year commitment to the future success of the St. Charles Convention Center and Global Spectrum partnership.”

The Saint Charles Convention Center opened in April of 2005 and has hosted over 3,600 events since opening. Named “Best Place to Hold a Meeting”  by local businesses, the facility boasts an elegant 16,200 sq. ft. Grand Ballroom, and 27,600 sq. ft. of Exhibit Hall space expandable to 35,700 sq. ft. through the adjacent Junior Ballroom. The facility features additional meeting rooms, the Executive Board Room, and our Cyber Café.  One-stop shopping is always available as the Center features shipping through the Business and Guest Services Center as well as in-house catering, decorating, audio/visual, state-of-the-art communications, marketing, and event staffing for meetings and exhibitions.  The Saint Charles Convention Center is conveniently located on I-70 only 15 minutes from Lambert St. Louis International Airport and is attached to a 296-room Embassy Suites Hotel.

Global Spectrum ( manages more than 125 other public assembly facilities around the world. Nearly 24-million people attended more than 15,000 events in Global Spectrum venues last year. Based in Philadelphia, PA, Global Spectrum is part of Comcast-Spectacor, one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment companies. Comcast-Spectacor, which operates in 48 of the 50 United States, also owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider, Paciolan, the leading provider of venue establishment ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions, Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company, and Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks.