Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) Adds Four New Member Hotels to Boost Its Convention Portfolio

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), the leading independent Global Sales Organization (GSO) serving the Meetings & Incentive marketplace, has expanded its worldwide portfolio and “ALHI Convention Collection” with the recent addition of four new member hotels. This includes:  the new InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf, slated to open in October 2017 on the beautiful Potomac River in Washington, D.C.; the grand and completely refurbished Omni Shoreham Hotel, offering 834 rooms in Washington, D.C.; the 1,059-room Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center, the only AAA Four-Diamond convention hotel in downtown Atlanta; and the luxurious new 612-room Omni Louisville Hotel, opening in spring 2018 in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. The announcement was made by ALHI’s Chief Sales Officer Mark Sergot.

With the new additions, ALHI now offers 30 member hotels in its “ALHI Convention Collection.” ALHI’s worldwide portfolio features more than 250 luxury-level and upper-upscale hotels and resorts, which are either independent or are with an independent hotel brand, and which specialize in serving the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions/Conferences and Exhibitions/Events (M.I.C.E.) marketplace.

“The Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. and the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center are both outstanding convention hotels in cities of tremendous appeal for meetings and conventions,” said Sergot. “We are very pleased to add those two fine hotels to our portfolio, and very excited about the two exceptional new hotels that will soon open, the InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf and Omni Louisville Hotel. All four hotels are terrific choices for groups.”

Expected to open in October 2017, InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf is the newest addition to the reimagined Wharf neighborhood. Ideally situated on the picturesque Potomac River, the hotel will offer 278 elegant guest rooms and suites with state-of-the-art touch panel technology, more than 17,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and incredible waterfront views of Washington, D.C.  The sophisticated hotel will offer two on-site dining options, and will be very convenient to all of D.C.’s famous attractions. The hotel is only seconds away from major thoroughfares, just a few blocks to major transit stops, and four miles from Reagan National Airport.

Known for its stunning indoor and outdoor spaces, the grand Omni Shoreham Hotel has been hosting groups and guests in our Nation’s Capital since its opening in 1930. Now completely refurbished and restored to its original grandeur, the hotel is Washington, D.C.’s only AAA Four-Diamond convention hotel. In addition to featuring 834 guest rooms and several dining options, the hotel offers 24 meeting rooms totaling over 100,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes seven ballrooms and scenic gardens for outdoor functions. The hotel is just 8 miles from Ronald Reagan National Airport, 34 miles from Baltimore/Washington International Airport, and 28 miles from Dulles International Airport.

Ideally located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, the AAA Four-Diamond Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center is conveniently connected to the Georgia World Congress Center and is also the nearest hotel to the newly built Mercedes Benz Stadium. The hotel offers 1,059 spacious guest rooms and suites, which offer magnificent views of Atlanta’s downtown skyline, the lively CNN Center Atrium or Centennial Olympic Park. In addition, the hotel features 45 meeting rooms with more than 120,000 square feet of function space, which includes the 19,864-square-foot Grand Ballroom. Also providing three unique dining options, the hotel is just 12 miles from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Opening in spring 2018, the luxurious Omni Louisville Hotel will be located in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, and will feature a unique design of intersecting towers that represent the crossroads of the past, present and future of Louisville. Inspired by the city’s rich history and authentic character, the hotel will offer 612 guest rooms and suites, and 65,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The latter will include the 20,000-square-foot Commonwealth Ballroom, the 10,000-square-foot Olmsted Ballroom, and 18 additional breakout rooms. Additionally, the hotel will have a full-service spa, fitness center, a rooftop café, and a speak-easy with bowling lanes. The hotel will be only 8 minutes from Louisville International Airport.

InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf and the Omni Shoreham Hotel become ALHI’s fifth and sixth member hotels in Washington, D.C., joining such acclaimed hotels as:  the renowned Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C., offering 397 newly renovated guest rooms; the recently renovated, boutique-style Washington Court Hotel on Capitol Hill; the renowned and centrally located The Watergate Hotel on the banks of the Potomac; and the elegant and prestigious Willard InterContinental, just two blocks from the White House.

Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center becomes ALHI’s third option in Atlanta, joining the sophisticated 422-room InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta on Peachtree Road in the center of Buckhead, and the stylish 414-room Loews Atlanta Hotel in the heart of trendy Midtown.

For more information about ALHI, any of its member hotels and resorts or Global Luxury Alliance members worldwide, contact your nearest ALHI Global Sales Office. For specific contacts, go to alhi.com to identify the nearest “ALHI Team” sales professionals in your area. Or, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free in the U.S. at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit alhi.com .

About ALHI, with 250 Hotels & Resorts + Alliance Members

ALHI, established in 1986, is the leading independent Global Sales Organization serving the meetings and incentive marketplace, providing one-call access for its distinguished membership of more than 250 luxury-level hotels and resorts, which are either independent or are with an independent hotel brand. Hired and authorized by member properties, ALHI features a distinctive portfolio of exquisite resorts, luxury-level city center business hotels, historic grand landmark hotels, lifestyle hotels, and boutique hotels. ALHI’s portfolio also features a Global Luxury Alliance partnership including 23 luxury cruise ships appropriate for meetings and incentive programs, and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) in 100-plus locations worldwide. ALHI offers 21 Global Sales offices in the U.S., Canada and now London, providing extensive Global Sales services, valuable expertise, local connectivity, market intelligence, and account advocacy for meetings and incentive programs of any size and scope worldwide, at no cost to accounts. alhi.com

New ASAE Book Talent Generation Offers Strategies for Associations to Engage, Retain Employees

WASHINGTON—ASAE has released a new book called Talent Generation: How Visionary Organizations Are Redefining Work and Achieving Greater Success by Sarah L. Sladek, CEO and Founder of XYZ University. It examines the different talent theories and explains why organizations need to change their culture, strategy, and structure to recruit and retain employees in today’s post-industrial 21st century-raised workforce.

According to Gallup’s How Millennials Want to Work and Live report, turnover in the workforce cost companies an estimated $30.5 billion a year. In Talent Generation, Sladek describes how we have entered the Talent Economy, an era that is driven by an innovative, mobile, collaborative, and on-demand workforce.

She outlines key areas organizations can seek to improve in order to increase engagement, growth, and relevance in the Talent Economy:

  • Leadership: passion, optimism, urgency, and humility
  • Acceptance: inclusion and trust
  • People First: mission, vision, and strategy
  • Future Focus: trends, research, and opportunities
  • Collaborate: innovation via team building
  • Build for the Future: education and business alignment

“Since I started working in associations, the workforce has seen significant changes. The new workforce culture, technology, and demographics are impacting how we operate as well as how we recruit and retain talent,” said President and CEO John H. Graham, IV, FASAE, CAE. “It’s critical for associations to understand how the Talent Economy will impact the industry. Talent Generation gives great insight on how organizations can make smarter and more informed decisions.”

Sladek includes different case studies that demonstrate how companies have engaged employees and saw positive results by becoming more people-centric and future-focused.

To learn more or order a copy of Talent Generation, visit asaecenter.org/bookstore.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE, skidwai@asaecenter.org, 202-326-9505

 

About ASAE

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 35,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 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 www.asaecenter.org.

A First Business Events Alliance for Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Teams Up with Industry Partners in the KLCC Precinct to Drive Business Events Proposition

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) has established the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Business Events Alliance (KLCC BEA) in partnership with key business events players and stakeholders in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) precinct. The KLCC BEA is a powerful collective consisting of the Centre, leading hotels, professional event planners, shopping, dining, entertainment and transportation partners strategically located in the heart of the city, at the foot of the iconic PETRONAS Twin Towers and scenic KLCC Park.

The Centre’s General Manager, Alan Pryor, shared, “The alliance presents a compelling business events proposition that provides a seamless and single point of first contact for Meeting Planners and Event Organisers. A private sector initiative, the KLCC BEA allows us to market the fully-integrated city centre offering and create an all-inclusive proposition for meetings and events from a venue, planner, accommodation and entertainment perspective.”

He continued, “This initiative is to stimulate more collaborations and is the right time for us to package the KLCC precinct in a dynamic way to attract more international and regional events to the city, and grow Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia’s business events footprint.”

“Focused on providing a value proposition that will help drive lead generation and conversion, the partners of the alliance have come together to offer a specific set of benefits to Meeting Planners and Event Organisers.” Pryor explained, “We have developed a Benefits Programme which will provide customised value adds from each of the alliance partners.”

“The KLCC BEA partners include the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, Impiana KLCC Hotel, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Kuala Lumpur, the Marini’s Group, MCI Malaysia, Suria KLCC Shopping Mall and Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur,” Pryor concluded.

For all the latest news and information on the Centre, visit www.klccconventioncentre.com.

ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition Offered Strategies for Organizational Growth, Managing One’s Career

WASHINGTON— More than 4,500 association professionals and industry partners gathered in Toronto, August 12–15, for the 2017 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition. Participants listened to keynotes by Nilofer Merchant and Chef Jeff Henderson, participated in more than 120 education sessions, five game changers, and a packed expo hall with close to 400 companies.

The final attendance breakdown: 2,484 executives, 1,758 exhibitors, 343 others, including guests, spouses, press, vendors, and staff, for a grand total of 4,585. A total of 395 companies representing 676 booths exhibited in the expo hall, which resulted in a strong ratio of 59 percent buyers (association staff) to 41 percent sellers (industry partners).

“Both keynotes were outstanding and our members were inspired by their insight and stories. Nilofer Merchant stressed the importance that stressed the importance of understanding and embracing the fact that everyone can have new ideas and contribute to innovation, progress and economic growth. Chef Jeff Henderson cooked live on stage and shared his perspectives on the importance of leadership, values, and understanding that the most important moments in life is where inspiration happens,” said ASAE President & CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE.

Merchant kicked off the meeting as the opening keynote. She discussed the importance of embracing “onlyness” as a key approach to making ideas powerful enough to dent the world. Challenging participants to reject behaviors that spotlight otherness, she observed that associations are in a unique position to bring “onlys” together through belonging. She asked people to think about what’s unique and inspires them and embrace it to form meaningful relationships with others around that same identity. Creative ideas will spread through networks, collaboration, and co-creation instead of hierarchies.

For the closing keynote, Chef Jeff Henderson did a cooking demonstration on stage while sharing his personal journey of redemption—from imprisoned drug dealer to executive chef at several top restaurants to award-winning television personality. His said you need to focus on building relationships because it leads to opportunities. He encouraged attendees to enhance their cultural intelligence in order to better attract and develop employees from different backgrounds and illustrated the business case for diversity on teams.

ASAE presented five game changers: Major Mary Jennings “MJ” Hegar, Purple Heart-decorated Air National Guard combat pilot and Texas Congressional candidate; Daniel Lerner, Psychology Professor at New York University and author of U Thrive; Luvvie Ajayi, celebrity blogger at AwesomelyLuvvie.com and executive director of The Red Pump Project; Nyle Dimarco, Deaf Activist and winner of America’s Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars; and Chris Bailey, author of The Productivity Project.

ASAE raised $27,231 for two charities: the Royal Canadian Legion and the Toronto Humane Society.

Next year’s ASAE Annual Meeting will be in Chicago, August 18–21, at the McCormick Place West Building.

ASAE thanks the following Alliance Partners for their continued support of the association community:

Strategic Partners
Atlanta CVB
Business Events Canada
Choose Chicago

Experience Columbus

Community Brands
Reno Tahoe USA
Visit San Jose

Corporate Partners
Visit Baltimore
DelCor Technology Solutions
Visit Dallas
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
Fort Worth CVB
GEICO
Louisville CVB
Mexico Tourism Board
Naylor Association Solutions
Visit Omaha
Visit Orlando
Visit Salt Lake

Event Partners
Advanced Solutions International

BrightKey
The Broadmoor
CliftonLarsonAllen
Dubai Association Centre
Hong Kong Tourism Board
Johnson Lambert LLP and Vault Consulting
Korea Tourism Organization
Manifest
MemberClicks
Meet In Minnesota
New Orleans CVB and New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE skidwai@asaecenter.org, 202-326-9505

About ASAE and the ASAE Foundation

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 39,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 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 www.asaecenter.org.

Stadium Series East Batted 1.000 for MICE Industry’s Finest

Questex Travel Group’s second go at the Stadium Series, the industry’s first MICE event offering private meetings in baseball stadium suites, took their event to new heights at Yankee Stadium last month.

As the pioneer of the private, one-to-one appointment concept, the creators of the Global Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchanges, took the initial chance on this concept back in November of 2016, and based on its success, organized the event, as well as a future Stadium Series on November 8 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California.

The Stadium Series gathered a selection of pre-qualified Northeast US-based meeting planners and incentive buyers for 533 one-to-one appointments with global travel suppliers in private luxury suites located on the SAP Suite Level at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. Suppliers included hotels, resorts, cruise lines, tour operators, destination management companies, and other unique venues akin to the atypical stadium experience.

The event opened with a valuable keynote address from former US ambassador to Algeria, Indonesia and South Africa, Cameron R. Hume. In his presentation “The Use of Smart Power Strategy,” Hume leveraged his own experience to help attendees build better relationships through diplomacy.

One-to-one appointments ran throughout the one-day event, inclusive of an exceptional networking lunch, a behind-the-scenes tour of Yankee Stadium that included a visit to Monument Park, and ended with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and great prizes at the closing reception in the Delta SKY360° Suite.

“This event continues to offer a winning platform for the MICE industry,” said John McMahon, executive vice president for the Questex Travel Group. “We appreciate all of the positive feedback we received yesterday and will continue moving this regional event around the country to pair buyers and suppliers together for the most productive experiences.”

The Stadium Series event brings together regional buyers and global suppliers for a day of one-to-one private, pre-scheduled appointments, networking receptions and meals, and a forward-thinking keynote speaker. Suppliers include hotels, resorts, cruise lines, destination management companies, and other unique meeting venues akin to the atypical stadium experience. For more information visit stadiumseriesevents.com.

Questex’s Global Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchanges (GMITE) have proven to be successful by offering one-to-one meetings and top-of-the-line training and networking opportunities for meeting and event-planning professionals, as well as incentive buyers. For more information, visit GlobalTravelExchanges.com.

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 B2B 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 questex.com/markets/hospitality-travel.

SEATTLE SOUTHSIDE REGIONAL TOURISM AUTHORITY LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE WITH ADVANCED TRIP PLANNING FUNCTIONALITY

Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA), the official destination marketing organization for the cities of Tukwila, SeaTac and Des Moines, today announced the launch of its newly revamped website. Featuring a dynamic user experience, the website offers quick and easy access to essential information for trip planning, using the My Seattle Southside Trip Builder. Visitors will have access to a comprehensive guide that allows them to find a bounty of options to explore, play at, eat at and stay in across Seattle Southside.

“This new website provides a powerful and visually compelling look at Seattle Southside as a destination,” said Ashley Comar, vice president of marketing and communications of Seattle Southside RTA. “We’re thrilled to offer a clean and easy-to-use site that group business, events, conferences, conventions and leisure travelers can use to plan their next trip to Seattle and beyond.”

Visitors looking to plan a trip in and around Seattle Southside will find features such as deals on parking, hotels, dining and adventures. The “Add to Trip” function allows the user to add a restaurant, hotel, event or offer to their customized itinerary. When the itinerary is complete, the user has the ability to create a personalized URL to share with family, friends or colleagues.

Seattle Southside’s website offers ways to explore “Seattle’s Backyard” with preplanned itineraries, such as “Trek Around the Northwest,” “Family Fun,” “Food Fanatic,” “Discover the Great Outdoors” and “Sports Lover.”

“This new site truly showcases all there is to see and do in Seattle Southside and provides visitors with an easy way to plan their next visit,” said Katherine Kertzman, president and CEO of Seattle Southside RTA. “Visitors and groups can do and see more due to the destination’s affordability, central location to and from the airport and downtown Seattle, multiple transportation options and unique attractions like the Museum of Flight and the new Seattle Chocolates factory tour. All of this and more is easily found and easily accessible on the new website.”

Visit SeattleSouthside.com to stay informed of the latest news in and around the region and access group and event planning support, as well as tour group recommendations and resources.

 

About Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority

Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) is the official destination marketing organization for Seattle Southside. The organization is responsible for competitively marketing the area as an ideal destination for leisure and business travelers who wish to explore Western Washington, and for meeting and event planners to hold their events. Seattle Southside RTA is funded by a self-assessed hotel fund and supported by a lodging tax from the cities of SeaTac, Tukwila and Des Moines. For more information, please visit www.seattlesouthside.com or call (877) 885-9452.

The National Conference Center Celebrates First Graduation of National Jobs Program, Project Search

The National Conference Center is the first hospitality organization in Virginia to partner with a public school system and Didlake® to host Project Search.  The program commenced last school year with The National and the Loudon Country Public School System and will continue into the 2017-2018 academic school year.

Project Search, a national high school transition program for students with intellectual delays, is a total workplace immersion program combining classroom instruction, career exploration, and relevant job-skills training through strategically designed internships. It includes long-term job coaching and continuous feedback from teachers and employers. The nine interns placed at The National learned time management, social interaction, and a variety of stockroom, culinary and housekeeping skills.

“This is an excellent program to help young adults transition from home and school to being in the real world,” says Emily Meyers, Didlake Employment Specialist. Project Search, which is funded by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, began in Virginia during the 2009-2010 academic school year. Since then, more than 700 students across the Commonwealth have gained valuable work experience and skills through their internships.

When Loudoun County Schools came to meet with Geoff Lawson, vice president and general manager at The National, along with his executive team, there was no question in his mind that this was a program he wanted to host at The National. “Our entire team at The National Conference Center and West Belmont Place was delighted to be involved with Project Search,” says Geoff Lawson. “We placed our nine interns in a variety of departments, including Culinary, Engineering, Housekeeping, Audio Visual, Grounds and Event Services.”

This program not only helped the interns, but The National Conference Center as well, as the staff showed compassion and mentoring skills to these young future hospitality professionals. The interns shared The National’s Pillar of Excellence service credo by adopting “the customer is our first priority.”

The National’s team took time to help the interns understand and grasp the market and the conference center’s customers as they look to become part of the next generation of meeting support professionals. The National Conference Center employs over 200 people and also works with the local Riverside High School in Loudoun County, training youth in all hospitality functions. Three of the nine Project Search participants have been offered jobs at The National in the Front of the House, Culinary and Events Departments.

Graduation for the nine interns, ages 18 to 22, took place in early June at The National. Family, teachers, friends and local school administrators joined in the celebration. To learn more about Project Search, check out this video – a visual explanation of the program.

About The National Conference Center

Located in Northern Virginia, 12 miles from Dulles International Airport and 35 miles from Washington, D.C., The National Conference Center is one of the largest and most comprehensive conference centers and training facility in the nation. With 917 guest rooms and over 265,000 square feet of meeting and group function space, including the West Belmont Place catering complex with its 16,552 square foot ballroom, The National has become the nation’s headquarters for productive meetings and West Belmont Place the hub for Loudoun County and surrounding area social functions and special events.  Visit us on Facebook & Twitter @TheNationalNoVa and LinkedIn.

West Belmont Place was named 2013 Best Venue by the International Special Events Society. The National Conference Center is also on the GSA schedule. The National is owned by NCC PS Enterprises LLC, a venture between PCCP, LLC and Stoneleigh Capital, LLC., which retained LaKota Hotels & Resorts to oversee all aspects of the day-to-day operations.  Visit us on Facebook & Instagram @WestBelmontPlace and Twitter @WestBelmontVA

For information call 800-640-2684 or visit www.conferencecenter.com and www.westbelmontplace.com.

ALHI Hosts 65 Senior-Level Women In The Meetings & Hospitality Industries at Its 12th Annual Executive Women in Leadership Conference

SAN DIEGO, CA (July 2017) – Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), the leading independent Global Sales Organization serving the Meetings & Incentive marketplace, held its 12th AnnualExecutive Women in Leadership Conference” from June 8-10, 2017. The conference, hosted at the iconic Hotel del Coronado in Coronado/San Diego, California, brought together 65 senior-level women executives from the hospitality and meetings industries, including meeting professionals and hotel executives.

The conference was chaired by Victoria Hettleman, ALHI Senior Vice President of Sales, and Amber Voelker, ALHI Regional Vice President for the West. The event was co-hosted by Delta Air Lines and Hotel del Coronado.

Majestically set on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, Hotel del Coronado provides panoramic views and offers 679 guest rooms and suites, 65,000 square feet of meeting space, a world-class spa, a full-service recreation department, nine restaurants and bars, and a 24-hour fitness center. The resort is just across the bay from downtown San Diego, and only 15 minutes from San Diego International Airport.

ALHI provides one-call access for its distinguished membership of more than 250 luxury-level and upper-upscale hotels and resorts, which are either independent or are with an independent hotel brand. In addition to offering distinctive hotels and resorts worldwide, ALHI’s portfolio features a Global Luxury Alliance partnership including 23 luxury cruise ships appropriate for meetings and incentive programs, and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) in 100-plus locations worldwide. ALHI provides extensive Global Sales services, valuable expertise, local connectivity, market intelligence, and account advocacy for meetings and incentive programs of any size and scope worldwide, at no cost to accounts.

For more information, contact your nearest ALHI Global Sales Office, or call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free in the U.S. at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit alhi.com.

ASAE Foundation’s Innovation Grants Program Expands to Five Grants, Applications Now Available for Associations

WASHINGTON—ASAE Foundation is accepting applications for its Innovation Grants Program (IGP) through October 1. Celebrating its sixth year, IGP is a program that provides monetary awards to support innovation exploration and development in the association community. GEICO has joined on as another supporter for the IGP.

The IGP grants are funded through a major grant from the SunTrust Foundation with additional support from GEICO and Whiteford, Taylor, & Preston L.L.P. There will be up to five grants awarded in either of three categories: travel, exploration, and hybrid (a combination of travel and exploration). Grant recipients will receive awards up to $10,000.

“The community has seen the impact of the Innovation Grant Program, and we appreciate the continued support from SunTrust Foundation and Whiteford, Taylor & Preston L.L.P. We are excited that GEICO’s donation helps us continue to support and cultivate a culture of innovation throughout the association community,” said ASAE Chair-Elect and ASAE Foundation Chair Matthew R. Shay, CAE, President and CEO National Retail Federation. “I urge our members to apply, so they can create programs that deliver tremendous results for the organization and its members.”

Individuals from professional or trade associations, nonprofits, association industry partners, and consulting companies that serve the association community are eligible to apply, and applicants or applicant teams must include at least one ASAE member. The ASAE Foundation is looking for proactive and creative ideas that help propel association management in such areas as leadership development, technology, marketing, membership and community engagement, product development, and business practices.

“Associations create programs and services that influence everything we do on a daily basis.  The ASAE Foundation strives to inform our community about the different approaches associations are using to implement projects, ideas, and services. These grants have influenced how organizations initiate and practice innovation through developing programs that are making a difference. Our goal is to share the results, and inspire new ideas with our members,” said ASAE Executive Vice President and President of the ASAE Foundation Susan Robertson, CAE.

Criteria and details about the application process are on asaecenter.org/IGP. For questions regarding the innovation grants, please contact Dr. Sharon E. Moss, CAE, at smoss@asaecenter.org.

PCC’s Board of Directors Knows the Results of the Last Year’s Economic Activities

The results of the Prague Congress Centre’ s financial activities in 2016 are known and the financial statements finished by December 31, 2016 have been independently audited. The Prague Congress Centre remains in positive numbers and generates profit.

The Prague Congress Center ended with a profit of CZK 35.8 million in 2016. Compared to the record year 2015, when a profit of CZK 84.9 million was achieved, there was a decrease in revenues and an increase in costs. However, the year-on-year comparison of sales is influenced by a change in the way catering services are invoiced, which led to a decline in revenues and, at the same time, the cost of purchased services. Most importantly, the result was influenced by the cost of renovation of the main congress building and the interior of the Holiday Inn Prague Congress Center.

In the segment of short-term leases, revenue in 2016 reached the same level as in the successful 2015. The biggest events include the European HABITAT (4,000 delegates), the 23rd Congress of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing ISPR 2016 (2,468 delegates) or the Living Planet Symposium 2016 (2,000 delegates).

A total of 84% of the proceeds was realized in the segment of large events with turnover more than 1 million CZK. These actions are for PCC crucial and most of marketing activities and sales promotions focus on their acquisition. The share of small events with turnover up to 200 thousand CZK was about 6%.

The structure of sales by type of client has changed significantly over the previous years. The share of public sector events (22 %) increased, while the number of association events (47 %) decreased. In addition to the mentioned European Habitat organized by the Ministry of Regional Development and a traditional fair for education organized by the City of Prague called Schola Pragensis or the International Interpol Conference of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic. The segment of corporate clientele and cultural events then contributed to the budget with 14 % of revenues. The ratio of foreign and domestic clients has remained the same for the long term and it is 65 % to 35 %.

An important part of the financial management of PCC is also revenues from long-term leases, which decreased by 2.6% compared to the previous year to 152.5 million CZK. However, despite the fact that the most important tenant, T-Mobile left the Business Centre Vysehrad (which is part of the PCC), the occupancy of the premises was 91 %.

The Holiday Inn Prague Congress centre was the most successful in terms of year-over-year revenue growth. Its sales grew by 2.6 % compared to 2015 and reached the level of 129.7 million CZK, with an average occupancy of 64.8 %. In 2016, the kitchen was renovated and the first phase of the interior renovation of the rooms continued in the beginning of 2017. This should further on increase the interest in accommodation and gastronomic services of the hotel, whose cuisine is increasingly appreciated by experts and the hotel meets the demanding standards of the InterContinental Hotels Group.