Industry Update
Press Release19 September 2007

Exhibitors Praise HSMAI's Affordable Meetings® For Quality Attendees, Networking At National Show

Meeting, Event Planner Attendance Hits 1,622, Booths Top 508

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HSMAI Affordable Meetings

MCLEAN, VA | Exhibitors at the 18th Annual HSMAI Affordable Meetings® National Show praised the quality of the attendees and the networking results as an impressive number of 1,622 meeting and event professionals gathered at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center where they participated in a variety of seminars and a tradeshow that boasted 508 booths from 429 exhibitors.

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“It’s the Super Bowl of tradeshows,” said David M. Jackson, CMP, Regional Sales Manager for the Pocono Mountains Convention & Visitors Bureau, who has been attending the Affordable National show since 1998. “When you come to the registration area you already know you get quality attendees,” he added.

MCLEAN, VA | Exhibitors at the 18th Annual HSMAI Affordable Meetings® National Show praised the quality of the attendees and the networking results as an impressive number of 1,622 meeting and event professionals gathered at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center where they participated in a variety of seminars and a tradeshow that boasted 508 booths from 429 exhibitors.


David M. Jackson, CMP, Regional Sales Manager for the Pocono Mountains Convention & Visitors Bureau

Nancy Bass, Sales Manager for the Richmond Virgina Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, has been coming to the Affordable Meetings show for more than 12 years and said: “It’s a great show where we make a lot of friends and get to expose the benefits of Richmond. We especially like the new format of the lunch because it added another networking segment to the event.”

Larry Atchison, Senior Director of Sales, Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau, has been attending the Affordable Meetings National and Mid-America shows for 14 years and said: “Attendees coming to Affordable Meetings shows have shown an interest in booking meetings and events in the Southwest and it works for us.”

Bradley Bosfield, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, has been attending all three Affordable Meetings shows for the past five years and said: “I like the ratio of planners to exhibitors and the seminars are phenomenal with great information even for exhibitors.”

Planning professionals at all levels experienced expert insight, fresh ideas and inspirational advice in the interest of producing more successful, cost-effective meetings. The educational program catered to a wide range of expertise, from beginner and part-time planners, to experienced professionals with over 10 years of industry practice.

Like exhibitors, planners enjoy the show for a variety of reasons. Kelly Landis and Alison McGechan, both meeting planners out of Merck & Company in Pennsylvania, have been to both the Affordable Meetings National and Mid-America programs and indicate that they like the seminars and the shows are convenient. “The tradeshow is great and strong and it’s nice to make the connections to the key cities,” said Landis.

Barbara Carnahan, Executive Assistant Travel Manager at Ratner Companies, said it was her first time at the show and found it “a great forum for networking.”

Booth Award Winners

Honoring booth excellence, “Best Booth Awards” were handed out in four categories including two new Planners’ Choice Awards. Award recipients were:

  • Best On-Site Marketing & Promotion – Single Booth:
    University of Georgia
  • Best On-Site Marketing & Promotion – Multiple Booth:
    St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Planners’ Choice Award for the Best Single Booth:
    Memphis CVB
  • Planners’ Choice Award for the Best Multiple Booth:
    Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts

Prize Drawings

Prize drawings were also held each of the two days for cash and travel rewards. Winners and prizes are:

2 roundtrip jetBlue Airwarys tickets & $250 AMEX gift cards:

  1. Joan Doxey, Event Planner, State Farm Insurance, Charlottesville, VA
  2. Linda M. Rosito, Meeting Coordinator, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA
  3. Renee Jordan, Independent Travel Agent, Protravelnetwork, Philadelphia, PA

$3,000 Cash Prize:

  1. Bishop Ingo A. Beard, Executive Meeting Planner, International Fellowship of Churches, Inc., Philadelphia, PA
  2. Antoinette P. Robinson, CMP, Owner – Consultant, Printis-McCullough & Associates, Upper Marlboro, MD

$2,000 Cash Prize:

  1. Bill Neveker, vice president, IES, Baltimore, MD
  2. Arlene Alfano, Meeting Coordinator, Remodelers Advantage, Laurel, MD

Ray Shepard, Director of Field Marketing with Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts

Best On-Site Marketing & Promotion – Multiple Booth: St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Pictured Above: Overview of Lunch, Sponsored by the Mexico Tourism Board

The Affordable Meetings National Show showcased an enhanced agenda this year with the addition of two dynamic general sessions and two networking luncheons designed to further enrich the experience for show attendees. American Express was the event’s sole Benefactor and sponsored the program’s two general sessions, an educational component, and seminar handout book. The two networking luncheons for meeting planners, exhibitors, speakers and other attendees were hosted by the Mexico Tourism Board and GoPicnic.

Another new feature of the Affordable Meetings National program included a daily newsletter – AM Access – which was sponsored by the Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation and was distributed to all exhibitors and attendees each morning, featuring newsworthy items such as weather forecast, prize drawings featured during that day, exciting seminars, and much more. Another new feature included The Scene, a resting place for attendees located in the center of the tradeshow floor, complete with a lounge, coffee bar, speakers’ corner and bookstore.

“Designed for meeting planners looking to increase resources for organizing high-caliber events, as well as for exhibitors seeking to target quality planners, the National show attracts a wide selection of individuals from across the meeting planning spectrum and throughout the country,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, President and CEO of HSMAI.

“Celebrating our 18th year of programming and unique show offerings, we are proud of the exceptional educational, networking, and business-generating opportunities, that allow them to remain on the cutting-edge of essential industry information in the ever-changing society,” Gilbert added.

Courtesy of The Convention Store, an exhibitor at Affordable Meetings National, 110 attendees received a FREE 90-minute bus tour of Washington’s famous monuments on Wednesday, Sept. 5. The tour took attendees to the Capitol Building and reflecting pool, the museums on the Smithsonian Mall, the Washington Monument, and made stops at the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, FDR Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial.

28 EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Meeting planners participated in 28 seminars that presented a broad range of topics essential for today’s fast-paced industry. Attendees received a complimentary spiral-bound book containing handouts from all of the seminars so they could have access to the ideas and insights shared during each of the sessions and workshops.

Year-after-year, the highly-acclaimed trade exposition is a main attraction for attendees looking to meet and network with knowledgeable suppliers who are determined to help produce cost-effective meetings and assist with purchasing decisions.

Exhibitors represented hotels and resorts, university conference centers, unique meeting sites, convention and visitor bureaus, transportation companies, trade publications, software and audio/visual businesses, and other meeting and convention suppliers.

The exposition encompassed a plethora of activities and opportunities for meeting planners such as one-on-one meetings with industry experts at the Speakers Corner and researching broad selections of destinations and services at all price points.

Meeting planners also visited the HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings Bookstore, a one-stop shopping source for attendees to find the most up-to-date publications and resource materials focusing on the needs of meeting planners at every level of experience, as well as a complete line of CMP study materials.

The 2008 show dates are as follows:

  • HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings Mid-America, April 9-10, 2008, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
  • HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings West, June 11-12, 2008, Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA
  • HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings National, Sept. 10-11, 2008, Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

For exhibitor information, contact Beth Petersen, show manager, GLM, 804-261-3929, Fax 804-918-1547; e-mail: [email protected] Attendee information is available by calling 1-800-272-SHOW. Additional information and a complete program schedule can be obtained by visiting the show’s web site at .

HSMAI’S AFFORDABLE MEETINGS® | HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® is owned and presented by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International Americas region and managed by George Little Management, LLC (GLM).

HSMAI is an organization of sales and marketing professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry. With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry, and bringing together customers and members at annual events, including HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings®. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 39 chapters in the Americas Region.

For more information on HSMAI, contact the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, 8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 300, McLean, VA 22102, phone (703) 610-9024; fax (703) 610-9005, or visit the website at .

Contact
Leigh-Mary Kearney
Phone: (516) 594-4100
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