Monthly Archives: August 2015

PCMA Announces Proposed Slate of 2016 Board Officers and Directors

The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Nominating Committee, chaired by Johnnie White, 2014 past Chair of the Board, met on August 20, in Chicago, IL, and reviewed, in detail, a number of stellar nominee applications for the 2016 open board officers and directions positions. After careful due diligence and deliberation, the committee offers the following slate of candidates for leadership positions on the 2016 PCMA Board of Directors.

According to the PCMA Bylaws, this official announcement of the proposed slate is to be sent to the membership by Oct. 1. The nominating process, according to the Bylaws (Article XII, Section 1(d)), allows for additional nominations for any officer or director position by members who submit a petition. The petition is required to be signed by 5% of the members from the respective membership category appropriate to that position, and submitted to the President and CEO no later than the close of business Nov. 1, 2015.

If you are interested in submitting a petition, please contact Deborah Sexton, President and CEO, at 312.423.7262 or for petition details and procedures.

Unless there are additional petition nominations from the membership, the following officers and directors will be deemed elected and will take office immediately following the 60th PCMA annual meeting, Convening Leaders, in Vancouver, BC, on January 14, 2016.

Convening Leaders takes place January 10 – 13 in Vancouver and will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre.


William F. Reed, FASAE, CMP
Senior Director of Meetings and Community Engagement
American Society of Hematology
Term: 2016

Mary Pat Heftman
Executive Vice President, Convention & Strategic Alliances
National Restaurant Association
Term: 2016

Claire Smith, CMP
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Vancouver Convention Centre

Immediate Past Chair:
Raymond John Kopcinski, Sr., CMP
Senior Director
Million Dollar Round Table
Term: 2016

The following individual will begin serving three-year terms (2016-2018):

Tonya Almond, CMP
Vice President, Meetings & Continuing Education
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Tamela D. Blalock, MTA, CMP
Director of Membership
National Association of Wholesale Distributors

Ben Hainsworth
Executive Director Associations
KIT Group

Gary Murakami, GTP, GLP, CMP
Director, Global Sales
MGM Resorts International

Carol C. Wallace
President & CEO
San Diego Convention Center Corporation

The following individuals are currently serving terms as Directors:

George Aguel
President & CEO
Visit Orlando
Term: 2014-2016

Oscar Cerezales
Chief Operating Officer Asia Pacific
Group Director Association Relations
Term: 2014-2016

Nancy DeBrosse, CMP
Senior Vice President, Sales and Account Management
Experient, Inc.
Term: 2014-2016

Ann Godi, CMP
President & CEO
Benchmarc360, Inc.
Term: 2014-2016

Bill Grusich, CMP, FASAE
Senior Vice President
Associated Luxury Hotels International
Term: 2015 – 2017

Phelps R. Hope, CMP
Senior Vice President, Meetings & Expositions
Kellen Meetings
Term: 2015 – 2017

Kristin K. Mirabal, CMP
Director, Global Events
Association of Corporate Travel Executives
Term: 2014-2016

Kirsten Olean, CMP, CAE
Director of Meetings
American Society of Microbiology
Term: 2015 – 2017

David J. Olender
DMO Associates
Term: 2014-2016

Stuart L. Ruff, CMP
Director, Meetings, Exhibitions, & Events
RIMS – The Risk Management Society
Term: 2015 – 2017

Charles L. Starks
President & CEO
Music City Center
Term: 2015 – 2017

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 6,500+ 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 39 countries. For additional information, please visit the PCMA Web site at

“Back to School” Time– IMEX America Education Program is Now Online

Attendees Customize From 10 Speciality Learning Tracks; New Play Space On Smart Monday Will Feature Cool “Quirkshops”

Though summer break is still in play, the minds of IMEX organizers and partners are already on getting schooled with education at IMEX America 2015.

The full learning program for the event– starting with Smart Monday powered by MPI and Association Day on October 12th and running straight through to the show ending October 15th– is now live on the IMEX America website and is free of charge to all buyers, attendees and exhibitors.

With this online catalog of learning opportunities at their fingertips, attendees can research upwards of 180 options with just a few clicks and create their own custom learning program based on their unique needs, interests and IMEX schedules. Over 75 percent of the education is estimated to qualify for CMP/ CEU certification points. Searches can be done under 10 speciality tracks including Business Skills, Creative Learning, Diversity, General Education, Health/Wellbeing, Marketing and Communications, Research/Trends, Risk Management/Compliance, Sustainability, and Technology/Social Media.

Education Built for Impact
All of the education on the show floor will this year be located at the Inspiration Hub, but recognizing that we all learn in different ways, the space features five distinct learning formats and set-ups. There are seminar rooms, a campfire area and a Hot Topic area providing the opportunity to debate the latest industry issues with peers. The Meet the Experts Clinic offers individual appointments with an industry expert, and presentations at the Research Pod area showcase the latest industry data.

Though education sessions are open to all, two new ways to filter session searches — Young Professionals sponsored by IAEE and Senior Professionals sponsored by SPIN — have also been created based on number of years in the industry to help attendees pinpoint ideal classes.

Those with three years or less in the business might like sessions such as “Six Proven Strategies for High Performing Young Professionals,” delivered by meeting industry pioneers, Susan Sarfati and Liz Jackson of High Performance Strategies.

Meeting professionals with more than eight years in the industry may want to join in a discussion such as “Prove it or Lose it: ROI metrics that matter most to the C-Suite,” led by Dane Risley, Senior VP of Enterprise Event Marketing Sales at Cvent.

Knowing that keeping up with the lightning pace of technology can be challenging, many “wired” sessions will be offered in Vegas from “Beyond the #hashtag” given by Josh Murray of Extraordinary Events and “Welcome to 2016: Tech you’ve never seen” delivered by Courtney Stanley, marketing & industry relations strategist for EventMobi, to a discussion dubbed “Insights from the C-Suite: How to have ‘the talk’ about going digital,” led by Deborah Sexton, PCMA President & CEO and Carolyn Clarke, leader of Virtual Edge Institute (VEI.)

Data fans will want to visit the Research Pod for topics such as “The Global Exhibition Industry: Trends Worth Watching,” with David Dubois, President & CEO of IAEE.

Smart Monday Play Room Features Quirkshops
As past IMEX education has explored, the power of creativity and professional play can add a lot of “love” to business results.

To further punctuate the theme this year, IMEX America will feature ‘The Play Room’ – sponsored by Play with a Purpose – which will run throughout Smart Monday and offer short ‘quirkshops’. This upbeat, fun alternative to classroom learning lets attendees get hands-on experience with a variety of tools, techniques and resources to create more engaging meetings in the areas of room design, tech, networking, teambuilding, F&B and more. The overall goal of the Play Room is to offer tangible, immediately applicable ideas that planners can build into their upcoming meetings.

“We think this year’s line-up of education at IMEX America has something for everyone –from newcomers to industry veterans, from the very analytical to the highly creative, from hosted buyers and exhibitors to students and international participants,” said Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group. “Our goal is always to ensure that the education sessions are insightful and practical, with the end result being that learnings can be brought back to the office and put right to work with teammates and clients alike.”

Keynotes Start Day Off Right
Daily MPI keynotes will lend an intelligent and energizing note to each day of the show.

Smart Monday powered by MPI is headlined by wellness expert Lee Papa discussing “How to Live and Lead Mindfully,” followed on Tuesday by Tim David, author, speaker and former magician touching on “Human Connection: A Lost Art in a Noisy World.”

Wednesday’s program will begin with a keynote from film director Josh Tickell taking the audience through “Managing and Marketing to the Future Generation Y,” and on the final day of the show Patrick Henry, former songwriter and author of “The Pancake Principle: Seventeen Sticky Ways To Make Your Customers FLIP For You,” will teach skills around “Becoming Remember-able.”

Finally, allowing more opportunity for hosted buyers to take advantage of the rich education program – as well as book other appointments and explore the show floor – doors will open this year at 9:45am, with no group appointments held before 11am or after 4pm.

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Gallops Ahead of Milestone Year


On track for strong finish to 2015

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) has chalked up a busy first half in her 10th year of operation recorded 661 events with a total 778,414 delegates and visitors and an economic impact contribution of RM264 million from 1 January to 30 June 2015.

The achievement is on the back of a record 2014 performance, when the number of events jumped 11% from the 2013 record of 1,565 to 1,759.

On the calendar for the remainder of the year, General Manager Alan Pryor says are “over 25 events with an expected total turnout in excess of 420,000 people. And this does not include banquets and entertainment activities or events held at TenOnCall which services the short-lead or just-in-time corporate meetings sector.

“After a decade of operation, it is fitting that in our 10th anniversary year, we have hosted many prestigious government-related events and we are honoured to be have been selected the venue of choice for many ASEAN ministerial meetings.”

In addition, Pryor says, “we are fortunate to have a loyal client base such as BookFest, HOMEDEC, PIKOM PC Fair, ARCHIDEX, Star Education Fair and Asia Oil & Gas Conference who have all made consecutive appearances and/or hosted every (event) edition with us since our opening in June 2005.”

That said, “a knowledgeable and professional team committed to meeting and satisfying clients’ evolving meetings needs by consistently delivering flexible, innovative and value-add solutions across the board has also been integral to our success and a key point of difference.”

Moving forward, to reward loyal repeat clients and entice new regulars, the Centre has extended the 2014 prices for her popular Day Conference Packages (DCPs) With a Difference, PlenaryOnCall, PlenaryHallOnCall and Banquets & Functions menus through to the end of the first quarter next year (2016). “Coupled with what’s happening around the venue, we are confident of finishing (the year) on a strong note and into the next year,” adds Pryor.

This offer is in addition to the Centre’s latest value-add for DCPs; which already include coffee break(s), lunch, ‘Snack on Arrival’, unrivalled IT and A/V support, free Wi-Fi and much more for half and full-day packages, where between now and 31 December 2015, Convention and Conference clients who confirm their bookings for three or more consecutive years will enjoy the previous year’s all-inclusive DCPs rates as well as a ‘special rebate’ of 10% to 25% on venue hire, depending on event size.

There is also a new À La Carte & Venue Hire Package which gives clients a selection of coffee breaks and lunch options costed on a person basis. Here too, confirmed bookings made for three or more consecutive years will benefit from the previous year’s rates and a 3% to 9% ‘special rebate’ on venue hire.

For all the latest news and information on the Centre, visit

ASAE Launches New Website Association CareerHQ

WASHINGTON To meet the needs of association employers working to build top-performing teams and job seekers looking for exciting career opportunities in the association industry, ASAE has debuted Association CareerHQ, a robust online career center bringing together ASAE career and talent management resources in a new way.


The new Association CareerHQ is a hub for job postings and job search. It also provides “jobs plus,” featuring a vast resources area to help professionals manage their association careers and assist association HR departments and staff supervisors in managing and developing their teams.


“We are so proud of the new website. It offers rich content for association professionals in order to help them explore as well move ahead in their career. For people who are considering entering the industry, it provides a look at the variety of career options available and the vibrant culture and community in the association management profession,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham, IV, FASAE, CAE.  


In the career and talent management areas, visitors will find tips and tools, an industry expert blog, association-specific models and samples, salary information, career videos, and ASAE’s new career-focused bite-sized learning modules.


“Association CareerHQ is a great resource for employers to connect with qualified candidates, keep teams at peak performance, explore tools and advice from experts to help associations in recruiting, and find model forms and policies for their HR teams,” said Dixie Arthur, president of ASAE Business Services, Inc.


For any questions about the new website, please contact ASAE Business Services Director Jennifer Baker, MSW, CAE, at

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE,, 202-326-9505.

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 9,300 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit

IAEE and Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF) Sign Reciprocity Agreement

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events™ (IAEE) has entered into a reciprocity agreement with the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF). The agreement further demonstrates IAEE’s and RUEF’s commitment to the international exhibitions and events industry, and it provides additional global opportunities for IAEE and RUEF members to connect to develop new exhibitions and face-to-face events.

IAEE President and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA said, “We are excited and enthusiastic about entering into this agreement with our friends and colleagues at RUEF to offer a new benefit and community for IAEE members. We look forward to collaborating and extending the available resources to members of both associations in the future.”

The agreement carries substantial benefits for members of IAEE and RUEF. The organizations will work together to advance the exhibitions and events industry through education and networking events; member-level pricing for each organization’s events; recognition of the respective professional designations offered; sharing of research, data, news and information; creation of co-sponsored initiatives to facilitate member interaction and opportunities for association leaders to participate in reciprocal events.

RUEF President Sergey Alexeev said, “It is very satisfying for RUEF to enter into this agreement with IAEE, and we are pleased with the opportunities that will now exist for our members. We look forward to working together to provide benefits to exhibitions and events industry professionals globally which will allow the industry to further grow.”

IAEE currently has 25 reciprocity agreements with non-U.S. exhibition industry associations around the world to extend the benefits of like organizations to members to grow their own exhibitions and events. Additionally, Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition is the industry meeting which brings together top-level global exhibition industry executives for the creation of new business relationships, and will be held 1-3 December 2015 in Baltimore, Md.

About RUEF
Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs – an association of the leading exhibition organizers, venues and trade show related companies from Russia represents exhibition firms from Moldova and Ukraine as well. Founded in 1991 the Union became a UFI – the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry member in 1994.

About IAEE
Trusted since 1928, IAEE provides quality and value to its members through leadership, service, education and strong relationships. IAEE is the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry in the world, with a membership of show organizers, exhibitors and exhibition suppliers. Organizers of more than 20,000 exhibitions and buyer-seller events around the world are members of IAEE, and the organization advocates and promotes the awareness of face-to-face exhibitions and events as the primary medium for business development and growth. IAEE provides relevant, timely and innovative education to its members and the industry. IAEE recognizes its strategic partners: BearCom, Delta Airlines, New Orleans Morial Convention Center, New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, Orange County Convention Center, San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, SkyTeam Airline Alliance, Streampoint Solutions, Visit Anaheim, Visit Baltimore, Visit Orlando and VoiceLogic. Visit for more information.

Sonesta Expands ALHI Global Sales Organization Relationship


Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) and Sonesta International Hotels Corporation have expanded their long-tenured relationship with the addition of five more of Sonesta’s luxury-level meetings-focused hotels to ALHI’s prestigious portfolio. Joining ALHI’s present Member hotel, the elegant 195-room Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore (in Baltimore, Maryland), are new ALHI members:  Royal Sonesta Houston (in Houston, Texas), Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach (in Fort Lauderdale, Florida); Royal Sonesta New Orleans (in New Orleans, Louisiana), the Royal Sonesta Boston (in Boston, Massachusetts), and Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island (on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina). The five hotels, which have each recently undergone significant renovations, are now represented by ALHI to meeting professionals, association executives, business executives, and incentive specialists interested in conducting meetings, conventions and/or incentive programs at the hotels. The announcement was made by ALHI President Jim Schultenover.

“We are very proud to expand our relationship with these fine Sonesta properties,” said Schultenover. “Each are AAA Four-Diamond quality hotels or resorts, freshly renovated and reimagined, and situated in excellent locations within their desirable destinations, providing great appeal to groups and their planners. We are proud to welcome these additions in the key cities of Houston, New Orleans, Boston, Hilton Head, and Fort Lauderdale, allowing us to further address the growing demand for these markets that we’ve been experiencing.”

In Houston, Texas, ALHI adds the chic Royal Sonesta Houston to its distinctive portfolio, which now features nine outstanding options in Texas including three exceptional choices in Houston. Located in the heart of Uptown Houston, the AAA Four-Diamond recognized Royal Sonesta Houston completed an impressive $30 million renovation in 2014. Ideally situated just a few blocks from The Galleria for shopping, dining and entertainment, it also is just minutes from downtown Houston. The stylish hotel features 485 guest rooms and suites with contemporary furnishings and mini refrigerators, and 50,000 square feet of function space that can accommodate 1,000 guests. The hotel also offers a rooftop swimming pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, and three dining options including the globally-inspired ARA restaurant. Royal Sonesta Houston, which also is now a new option in ALHI’s “City Solutions” luxury brand segment, is close to the Museum & Theater Districts and Montrose/Midtown, and is conveniently located near George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, ALHI has added the sophisticated 240-room Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach to its portfolio and to its “ALHI Beach & Island Collection” luxury brand segment. It becomes ALHI’s only Member hotel in Fort Lauderdale, and eighth distinctive option in Southeast Florida. The stylish AAA Four-Diamond rated hotel, which provides spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and Fort Lauderdale Beach, offers 240 luxurious guest rooms and suites, and 8,000 square feet of meeting space with floor-to-ceiling windows providing panoramic views. Group options include an oceanfront terrace, a private beach party at the adjacent Bonnet House, and Intracoastal cruises. Additionally, the hotel has a full-service beachfront restaurant, lobby bar, poolside bar, and 24-hour fitness center. Nearby attractions include snorkeling, paddleboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, and nature trails. The beachfront hotel is centrally located on the corner of Sunrise Boulevard and A1A, just minutes from the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District, Las Olas Boulevard, and Port Everglades. Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport is only eight miles away.

ALHI’s new member in New Orleans is the Royal Sonesta New Orleans, located in the heart of the historic French Quarter, in the center of this vibrant city. Providing 483 large guest rooms and suites (which all provide views of the French Quarter or tropical courtyard), the AAA Four-Diamond recognized hotel joins as ALHI’s third outstanding option in New Orleans. Situated on famous Bourbon Street, the hotel features beautiful architecture and offers 20,000 square feet of function space that includes a 5,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom. Outdoor venue options and Bourbon Balcony Hospitality Suites are available, as are an on-site full-service AV production company, 24-hour business center, fitness center, and outdoor heated swimming pool. Multiple dining and lounge options also are offered, including live jazz nightly at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse. The hotel is located 16 miles from Louis Armstrong International Airport, and just steps from the Central Business District, Superdome, Convention Center, Royal Street, French Market and Mississippi River attractions.

Joining ALHI in Boston is Royal Sonesta Boston, situated on the banks of the scenic Charles River, and offering views of the Boston skyline and historic Beacon Hill. The 400-room hotel, which completed a $15 million renovation in 2014, becomes ALHI’s sixth Member in Boston. The chic hotel, rated Four-Diamond by AAA, provides 400 stylish guest rooms and suites that offer breathtaking views of the Charles River, Cambridge, or the Boston skyline. Featuring a modern design, the hotel offers 26,000 square feet of meeting space, which can accommodate up to 550 guests, that includes covered outdoor entertaining space on the banks of the river. Dining options include the innovative ArtBar, and Restaurant dante offering classical Italian dishes. An atrium-style indoor swimming pool and 24-hour health club also are available. The hotel is within walking distance to many shops, museums and historical sites, and just minutes from the business, educational and shopping points in both Boston and Cambridge. Boston’s Logan International Airport is just three miles away.

ALHI’s new member in South Carolina is Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island, which is ALHI’s only Member resort on Hilton Head Island, and second distinguished option in South Carolina. Offering 340 spacious guest rooms and suites on 11 acres of lush, beautifully landscaped beachfront property, the AAA Four-Diamond rated resort completed a $30 million renovation in 2013. Boasting 23,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, this includes the attractive 7,000-square-foot Oceanfront Pavilion overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Onsite dining options include Heyward’s Restaurant, Seacrest Terrace and Patio, and Bayley’s Bar and Terrace. Additionally, the resort features Arum Spa, and outdoor and shaded swimming pools. Convenient to all of the island’s attractions and activities, the resort is just 8 miles from Hilton Head Island Airport, and 48 miles from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

In addition to these new Members, ALHI’s worldwide portfolio also features other outstanding options for planners in these appealing cities, including:  Houston’s elegant Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE, providing 244 luxurious guest rooms and 10,000 square feet of meeting space; and the Forbes Four-Star The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, offering 32,000 square feet of meeting space in a picturesque setting of towering pines and majestic oaks in Houston. In New Orleans:  the acclaimed and historic Hotel Monteleone, offering 570 beautifully decorated guest rooms and located on famed Royal Street in the French Quarter; and the superb, 285-room Loews New Orleans Hotel, providing expansive views of the Mississippi River or New Orleans skyline.

Other distinguished Boston options in ALHI’s impressive portfolio include:  the ultra-modern, 424-room InterContinental Boston, situated on Boston’s historic and newly redefined waterfront; downtown Boston’s elegant The Langham Boston, featuring 10,000 square feet of meeting space just steps from Boston’s most popular attractions; the luxurious and contemporary 225-room Loews Boston Hotel, located in the heart of prestigious Back Bay; and the recently renovated and very popular 428-room Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, featuring dazzling city and harbor views.

ALHI ( is the leading independent Global Sales Organization (GSO) serving the North American meetings and incentive (M&I) marketplace for its Membership of over 170 Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels and resorts worldwide. In addition to the 115,000 rooms and 10 million square feet of function space in the hotel portfolio, ALHI also provides GSO “Alliance” sales services for 9 luxury cruise ships appropriate for M&I programs; and a worldwide Destination Management Company (DMC) offering program support from 100 service providers in over 65 countries. One call connects to an experienced ALHI GSO Sales Professional with advocacy and sales assistance for meetings, conventions, and incentive programs.

ALHI is a dues-funded organization, so there is no cost to the planning organization to access the GSO network with local professionals and ease of discussing viable options for your programs.

Collectively ALHI is prepared to assist Accounts with their programs in the U.S.A. and over 75 countries and destinations worldwide. ALHI provides a team of experienced and knowledgeable sales professionals for Account advocacy with full market one-call professional GSO sales assistance and access to their distinctive hotels, resorts, and venue resources for M&I programs of any size and scope worldwide. ALHI helps Accounts best achieve their objectives and budgets, with distinctive venues, vital insights, and responsible service to enhance the ease and success of their programs.

For information about any of ALHI’s Members and resources, planners should contact their nearest of the 20 professionally-staffed ALHI Global Sales offices situated coast-to-coast in the United States and in Canada, with locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Richmond, Southern California (3), Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Washington (state). For specifics, go to to identify the “ALHI Team” sales professionals in your state/area.

For more information about ALHI, to inquire about any of the ALHI portfolio properties, and/or to acquire a free copy of ALHI’s “2015 Meeting Facilities Guide” or the ALHI app, contact your nearest ALHI Global Sales Office, or call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit .

Most CEOs are likely to agree that ‘conferences and meetings yield tremendous value’, according to new survey for IMEX America

Most CEOs and Board Directors are now likely to agree that conferences, seminars and meetings yield tremendous value for companies, according to meetings and conference executives across the globe.

That is the striking finding of exclusive research carried out for IMEX America by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) as part of its Meetings Outlook ™ survey. IMEX America will take place 13 – 15 October at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian® | The Palazzo® Las Vegas.

MPI members were asked: “During North America Meetings Industry Day and IMEX America 2014 Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, said ‘I’ve witnessed how conferences, seminars and meetings yield tremendous value for companies.’ How much would your CEO or your clients’ CEO’s — or C-Suite — agree with this statement? ”

33.2 per cent of 327 respondents said that the CEO or C- Suite would strongly agree with the opinion, 47.8 per cent would agree and 14.6 per cent would slightly agree, making a total of 95.6 per cent agreeing to some degree and just 4.4 per cent disagreeing.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, commented: “This result is very encouraging for the meetings industry worldwide. While many people in the industry have increasingly sensed supportive attitudes, we are pleasantly surprised by these positive results, especially as they are credible representing the opinions of senior industry buyers and suppliers who are well placed to assess the views of Board level directors.”

“It seems that all the hard work that has been invested into demonstrating the value of meetings has started to gain recognition at the top of the corporate world.”

At the same time, the IMEX Group has just released on its website highlights of Bill McDermott’s impressive keynote speech at the opening ceremony of IMEX in Frankfurt 2015. His positive view of the benefits of meetings included “Meetings matter; you have to celebrate the victories, reinvent the business and inspire the people.”

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Snaps Up AIPC Innovation Award 15


TenOnCall Product Wins the Day

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) has again made Malaysia proud by bringing home another international award. Against global competition, the Centre’s TenOnCall (TOC) offering beat 13 finalists to win her first International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) Innovation Award 2015.

Receiving the award at the AIPC Award Dinner held in conjunction with the organisation’s  2015 Annual Conference and 57th General Assembly in Boston, USA, recently, Deputy General Manager, Simon Lomas conveyed that “winning this prestigious AIPC Award for a ‘home-grown’ innovation as we celebrate our 10th year (of operation) makes the victory even more special.”

Lomas shares that TenOnCall was conceptualised in November 2008 to address low-occupancy and under-utilised meeting rooms on what was then the Centre’s level 4. “TOC comprises 10 flexible meeting spaces offering a differentiated meeting experience for short-lead bookings or just-in-time meetings, where clients can walk in, select their pre-set room configuration and execute a same-day meeting for 15  to 150 persons.”

Once off the ground, TOC’s unique full- and half-day meeting packages with no hidden costs became a point of difference between the Centre and her competition. “The all-inclusive packages comprise complimentary WiFi access, use of audio-visual equipment and an AV technician on standby, built-in LCD signage at the entrance foyer plus its signature, innovative all-day dining concept that includes free-flow lifestyle cuisine and beverages, enjoyed in an open central atrium, throughout the meeting duration,” explains Lomas.

“Besides delivering an innovative, flexible and value-added solution to clients that had not existed prior to its launch, TOC has provided an additional revenue stream. The popularity of TOC has also grown significantly, registering a 357% and 343% increase in events held and attendance numbers respectively, since its first full-year of operation (2009) and last year (2014).”

Bearing testimony to TOC’s success is the fact that several venues have made an educational and knowledge exchange visit to the Centre with a view to implementing the TOC innovation while on the home front, many venues (primarily hotels) have made efforts to imitate the offering which has spurred interest and demand for just-in-time meetings in Kuala Lumpur.

The Centre has since expanded on the TOC offering with additional innovations such as TenOnCall PLUS which extends the TOC benefits to three more function areas of varying sizes with the ‘PLUS’ being a unique space with natural lighting, own personal free-flow lifestyle cuisine and beverage service, and a dedicated private meeting room and an outdoor balcony as a designated smoking area; as meeting designs become more prominent, TOC Beanie Experience with cosy and comfortable bean bags, versus standard banquet chairs, provides an innovative and relaxing out-of-the-norm meeting experience that comes with takeaway latte, cappuccino, coffee or tea, and complimentary Bean-ovation value-adds such as titbits, energy booster drinks and energy bars, comfy slippers and a stress ball; and TOC ‘Sundown Hour Packages’ so clients can bring their meeting programme to a relaxing conclusion with a two-hour cocktail hour of free-flow beverages. This provides a perfect social hub to maximise interaction.

AIPC represents a global network of 170 leading convention centres in 54 countries and boasts the active involvement of more than 950 management-level professionals worldwide. The Innovation Award reflects AIPC’s mission of Encouraging and Recognising Excellence in Convention Centre Management and is designed to recognise innovations and creative thinking in all areas of convention centre management, marketing and operations.

For all the latest information and updates on the Centre, visit

ASAE Announces Four Recipients for its Inaugural Scholarly Research in Association Management Grants

WASHINGTON— ASAE Foundation names four university programs to receive research grants in the new Scholarly Research in Association Management Grants program. The SRGP is one vehicle the Foundation uses to advance knowledge in association management through rigorous research efforts. The lead investigators will receive funds to support research on a cross-section of questions relevant to nonprofit membership and member-based associations. Each award is for one year, at a level of $7,500 — with the funding period beginning this month.

The four awardees are:

Florida State University

Principal Investigator: David Berlan, Ph.D, Reubin O’D. Askew School of Public Administration & Policy; Co-Investigator: Sarah Young, M.B.A.

Building the Capacity of Capacity Builders: A Study of Nonprofit Associations

University of Florida

Principal Investigator: Charles Dahan, Ph.D, Department of Political Science

Co-Investigator: Brian Calfano, Ph.D., Missouri State University

Measuring Variables Affecting Individual-Level Decisions to Enter Association Fields

University of Georgia

Kristina Jaskyte, Ph.D, School of Social Work and Institute for Nonprofit Organizations

Board of Directors and Innovations in Associations

Wichita State University

Gery Markova, Ph.D, W. Frank Barton School of Business

Being a Professional: The Role of Professional Associations

“These grants will allow us to expand the reach of our research efforts and engage the academic community in the exploration issues facing associations. The ultimate goal is to provide additional insight that is both useful to our members and an enhancement to our profession,” said ASAE Executive Vice President and ASAE Foundation President Susan Robertson, CAE.

Award recipients will submit an interim and final report, and they will be invited to present findings at the ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition or another appropriate ASAE-sponsored learning event.

For more details about the Scholarly Research in Association Management Grant program, visit ASAE Foundation website.

About ASAE and the ASAE Foundation

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 9,300 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit

World’s Largest Cupcake Mosaic Created in a Mega Bakeoff at Suntec Singapore

Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre (Suntec Singapore) was the proud Venue Partner for the making of the World’s Largest Cupcake Mosaic. Held today at the Centre, the momentous effort to set a new Guinness World Record™ saw close to 30,000 cupcakes being baked over 7 hours that resulted in a stunning 133 square metre mosaic of the skyline of

Organised by Betty Crocker, the leading brand of baking mixes from General Mills,
this event was part of the SG50 celebrations held to celebrate Singapore’s 50th
Birthday. The cupcakes were mixed and baked on the spot by over 500 volunteers
that included pastry chefs and students from the All Spice Institute, Sodexo and
Youth Corps Singapore. The bake-off was an open invitation to Singaporeans from
all walks of life to participate in this meaningful event of baking 30,000 cupcakes
that will distributed to charities and beneficiaries across Singapore.

As the current holder of the World’s Largest HD Video Wall, Suntec Singapore is not
new to the Guinness World Records. The Big Picture screen, which is made up of
664 units of 55in HD LED screens and measuring 15 m by 60 m, was accorded the
record in 2013. It provides a stunning backdrop for visitors when they arrive at the
Centre and acts as a giant video wall for interactive multimedia content. At the
adjoining Suntec City Mall, the Fountain of Wealth located at the heart of the
compound was named the World’s Largest Fountain in 1998.

“We are very delighted to be involved in breaking yet another Guinness World
Record at Suntec Singapore. As we celebrate SG50 with the nation this year, we
are delighted to host the world’s largest cupcake mosaic bake-off. We are
increasingly seeing more special events at Suntec Singapore that include aquatic
exhibitions, pet shows, martial arts competitions and e-gaming tournaments. Our
Centre has been designed and built with flexibility and convertibility in mind. As
such, we are able to easily adapt our spaces to accommodate a wide spectrum of
special events” said Arun Madhok, CEO of Suntec Singapore.