Here - Meeting Professionals International

mpiweb.org

Here - Meeting Professionals International

Go With a Sure Thing

WOULD YOU RATHER FLIP A COIN AND TAKE A CHANCE, OR GO WITH A SURE THING?

The sure thing, of course.

So why are so many businesses continuing to make connections the old-fashioned

way—gather as many contacts as possible and then after the event try to find

the ones that fit best. That’s the new business strategy of 95 percent of businesses

today. Does it work? Sure, but there’s a better question—is it the best way to build

lasting relationships?

Relationships are clearly made even when we have chance meetings in hotel lobbies

or on trade show floors, but they are often haphazard and almost always lack

substance. You know the drill—exchange pleasantries and business cards and then

it’s off to the next location. As the planner, or buyer, in the scenario, you’ve gained

no valuable insight into what the supplier has to offer, and as the supplier you end

up with a stack of business cards and an exorbitant amount of time spent calling to

re-introduce yourself to 100 people you “met,” of which maybe one or two might

turn into valuable contacts.

Trust me, there is a better way. Our cover story this month (Page 46) is about

hosted buyer events, and paints a clear picture of what these relationship-driven

events offer, how they work and how you can get involved. More importantly, I think

you’ll see that the “better way” of making connections is easier than you think.

Whether you hear the term “hosted buyer,” “appointment-based trade show”

or “appointment-based event,” the concept is the same—suppliers and buyers, vetted

through a qualifying process and paired because of their shared business needs

and offerings, meet face-to-face for a set period of time allowing them to build a

rapport and discuss how they can help each other succeed.

What comes out of it? Business gets done. Here’s a great example. After the

hosted buyer program at last year’s World Education Congress (WEC) in St. Louis,

more than 94 percent of participants said they left with multiple new business

opportunities either already done or in the works. At IMEX

America last year in Las Vegas, it was estimated that hosted

buyers there placed more than $2.2 billion in orders with

the suppliers on site. That’s efficiency at its finest, and

those are just two of the many hosted buyer programs in

our industry today.

Unlike chance meetings, hosted buyer events offer

opportunities to build strong relationships that will last

well into the future. And we know it’s working because we

see the program that was born in the meeting and event

industry now showing up in other industries as

well. The secret is out.

So, if you’re a planner or supplier who is

tired of flipping a coin and hoping for the best,

allow our cover story to give you the confidence

to

take the leap from the mountain of business

cards piling up on your desk and start making

real, valuable connections—one appointment

at

a time.

EDITORIAL STAFF

EDITOR IN CHIEF David Basler, dbasler@mpiweb.org

MANAGING EDITOR Blair Potter, bpotter@mpiweb.org

EDITOR Michael Pinchera, mpinchera@mpiweb.org

DIGITAL EDITOR Jason Hensel, jhensel@mpiweb.org

ASSISTANT EDITOR Stephen Peters, speters@mpiweb.org

DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Jeff Loy, jloy@mpiweb.org

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jeff Daigle, jdaigle@mpiweb.org

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Javier Adame, jadame@mpiweb.org

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Holly Smith, hsmith@mpiweb.org

DESIGN AND PREPRESS Sherry Gritch, SG2Designs, sherry@sgproductions.net

COVER DESIGN Jeff Daigle, jdaigle@mpiweb.org

MPI ADVERTISING STAFF

Su Cheng Harris-Simpson, suchenghs@mpiweb.org, Phone: (10) 5869-3771 (Asia)

Katri Laurimaa, klaurimaa@mpiweb.org, Phone: (817) 251-9891

(AL, AR, CO, IA, IL, KS, KY, LA, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NM, OH, OK,

SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI, WV, WY)

Jennifer Mason, jmason@mpiweb.org, Phone: (772) 233-0678

(FL, GA, HI, MA, ME, MI, NH, NY, RI, VT, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico,

South America)

Lori Stockman, lstockman@mpiweb.org, Phone: (401) 315-2192

(AK, AZ, CA, CT, DC, DE, ID, MD, NJ, NV, OR, PA, WA)

Roben Brannon, Manager of Strategic Partnerships, rbrannon@mpiweb.org,

Phone: (972) 702-3043

MPI EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

Paul Van Deventer, Chief Executive Officer

Cindy D’Aoust, Chief Operating Officer

Sandra Riggins, Chief of Staff

Junior Tauvaa, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Chairman of the Board

Kevin Hinton, Associated Luxury Hotels International

Chairman-elect

Michael Dominguez, MGM Resorts International

Vice Chairman of Finance

Kevin Kirby, Hard Rock International

Vice Chairman

Carl Winston, San Diego State University

Immediate Past Chairman

Sebastien Tondeur, MCI Group Holding SA

BOARD MEMBERS

Krzysztof Celuch, CMM, CITE, Vistula University

Jordan D. Clark, Caesars Entertainment

Ricardo Ferreira, GRUPO ALATUR

Hattie Hill, CMM, Hattie Hill Enterprises Inc.

Cornelia Horner, CMP, American Land Title Association

Allison Kinsley, CMP, CMM, Kinsley Meetings

Carol Muldoon, CMM, KPMG LLP

Fiona Pelham, Sustainable Events Ltd.

Alisa Peters, CMP, CMM, Experient Inc.

Darren Temple, CTA, Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau

Erin Tench, CMP, CMM, Penn State University

Stephanie Windham, CMP, ARIA Resort & Casino

Legal Counsel: Jonathan T. Howe, Esq., Howe & Hutton Ltd.

POSTMASTER: One+ (Print ISSN: 1943-1864, Digital Edition ISSN: 1947-6930) is printed

monthly, except the months of January and October, by Meeting Professionals International

(MPI), a professional association of meeting + event planners and suppliers. Send address

changes to One+, Meeting Professionals International, 3030 LBJ Freeway, Suite 1700, Dallas,

TX, 75234-2759. Periodicals postage paid at Dallas, Texas, and additional mailing offices.

SUBSCRIPTIONS: Members receive One+ as a membership benefit paid for by membership

dues. Nonmembers may subscribe to the publication for $99 annually. “One+”

and the One+ logo are trademarks of MPI. © 2013, Meeting Professionals International,

Printed by RR Donnelley

CONTACT ONE+: Contact us online at www.mpioneplus.org or e-mail us at

editor@mpiweb.org. View our advertising, editorial and reprint policies online

at www.mpioneplus.org.

®

May 2013 • Volume 6 • Number 4

MPI VISION: Build a rich global meeting industry community

GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS:

Dallas, TX

REGIONAL OFFICES:

Doha, Qatar Ontario, Canada

Luxembourg Beijing

Magazine printed on FSC Certified Paper. The body of One+ is printed

on 30 percent post-consumer-waste recycled content. Please recycle this

magazine or pass it along to a co-worker when you’re finished reading.

DAVID BASLER is editor in chief of One+. He can be reached at

dbasler@mpiweb.org. Follow him at www.twitter.com/onepluseditor.


MAY 2013

46

46

Hosted Buyers:

Coming Soon to a

Meeting Near You

BY PETER GORMAN

50

50 The Lure of the

Unique

Finding that special something to make

your meeting stand out is more important

than ever. Emerging destinations may do

the trick.

BY DULCY GREGORY

34 38

34 The ‘BIG’ Day

The Girl Scouts are about much more than selling

cookies, as they proved with year-round events in

St. Louis celebrating the organization’s 100th year.

BY ROWLAND STITELER

56 Making Public

Space Personal

Artist and “Before I Die” creator Candy

Chang transforms space through

curiosity and humanity—and will teach

delegates of MPI’s World Education

Congress to do the same.

BY JASON HENSEL

42

38 Let’s Dance

Penn State’s THON, a 46-hour dance marathon,

has been raising money for pediatric cancer

research since 1973.

BY KRISTY ALPERT

42 The Light Brigade

Calgary’s GlobalFest centers around partnership,

youth engagement and experimentation,

beneath a canopy of spectacular lights.

BY ROB COTTER

56

mpiweb.org 5


MAY 2013

10

A MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

We Are Here to Serve You

12

IMPRESSIONS

Musings on the “dance

floor of death.”

20

TOP SPOTS

A comprehensive

renovation is unveiled at

the Statehouse Convention

Center in Little Rock,

Arkansas.

22

IRRELEVANT

Uh oh!

60

YOUR COMMUNITY

Getting to know MPI’s new

president and CEO, Paul

Van Deventer.

61

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Participate in the MPI

Foundation’s exciting World

Education Congress events.

62

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

Good news for event

attendance.

88

UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN

Face-to-face meetings will

always have a place.

14 17

18

20

22

24

26

28

The BUZZ

14 Leap of Faith

If you’re waiting for the perfect time to start your

own business, you’ll be waiting forever.

17 Art of Travel

There’s a fork. There’s a knife. There’s a pair of

chopsticks. Don’t leave home without your Fork-

Chops.

18 U.K. Economic Impact Revealed

A first-of-its-kind study finds the United Kingdom’s

meeting and event sector is big business.

19 Agenda

SPINCon is an award-winning event designed exclusively

by senior planners, for senior planners.

Columns

24 When It’s Virtual, It’s Real

Can virtual connections help pave the way to mindblowing

corridor experiences that will make face-toface

meetings superior?

BY JACKIE MULLIGAN

26 Connecting With Hosted Buyers

Suppliers can’t view hosted buyer programs as onesize-fits-all

propositions.

BY YVONNE NASSAR

28 Walking a Fine Line

How an event’s popularity can challenge its very soul.

BY DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF

30 The Six C’s of Sustainable Success

How to lay the groundwork for framing event-based

CSR programs.

BY ELIZABETH HENDERSON

30

60

61

88

mpiweb.org 7


online:05.13

www.mpioneplus.org

Coverage of digitalNow 2013

Meeting industry journalist Rowland Stiteler recently attended the digitalNow conference at Disney’s

Contemporary Resort for One+. The event featured a who’s who of professional associations, such

as the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the American Institute of CPAs and the Professional

Golfers Association. Digital media directors for the various associations conducted workshops and symposia,

and about a dozen corporate resource partners provided a trade show component. The following are excerpts

from Stiteler’s digitalNow blog posts. Visit MPIWeb.org to read full coverage.

Dr. Kaku on the

Value of Meetings

Dr. Michio Kaku, the

Henry Semat chair and

professor of theoretical

physics at the City

College of New York,

as well as writer and

frequent reporter

and commentator on

CC-LWPKOMMUNIKACIO

technology for the BBC

and the Discovery Channel, is a prolific speaker at corporate and association

events. At the 13th annual digitalNow conference, One+

caught up with Dr. Kaku to find out his thoughts about where

future technology will take the meetings industry.

One+: How do you envision the future of associations, and the

ways people congregate professionally, changing in the next few

years?

Dr. Kaku: Technology is a gigantic wave, and we have to be surfers

on that wave. Just as we have conferences today, we will have conferences

in the future, but we will have to combine all of the latest

technology. Even today, we have conferences online and people can

ask questions online. But in the future, there will be holographic

images and people will appear as they appear in their living rooms

and their holographic images will “attend” the conference. And

then we will have the contact lenses with the Internet in them, you

will look in the room and it will appear to be filled with people,

but half of them will be holograms. But none of this will bring an

end to the need for face-to-face meetings, no matter the technology

advancement.

Social Media’s Impact on Profit Still

Questionable

If you’re looking for detailed specifics

about how social media impacts the profits

of your business or the membership levels

of your association, they may not be out

there yet.

That’s the conclusion of Susan Etlinger,

social media analyst and strategist for the Altimeter Group, a consulting

agency with a Fortune 500 clientele.

“If you are looking for outside standards and outside benchmarks

as to what constitutes an effective social media program,

right now you are wasting your time, because they are just not

out there…maybe two or three years from now, but right now the

standards are not out there,” said Etlinger, a keynote speaker at the

digitalNow conference.

Follow the #MPI Twitter stream for great links and timely information from our

community, such as the following.

@ConvIndustry

Economic growth at

3% in 1st Qtr, but

pace expected to slow

down http://on.mktw.

net/10uAXJa

@MarketMyShow

The Top 35 Event

Designers & Their

Best Ideas http://buff.

ly/15AnOib

@rockettm

Two Extremes Of

Conference Content

Capture: Bite Size Best

http://ow.ly/kdTwv

@PMPI1

Nothing Can Substitute

for Meeting Face-to-Face

http://ow.ly/kg5sj

8 one+ 05.13


MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

We Are Here To Serve You

>

SINCE BEING ANNOUNCED AS MPI’S NEW PRES-

IDENT AND CEO on April 16, your outreach via

email, phone calls and social media has been

overwhelming and has made me feel very welcomed

into the MPI community. I would like

to thank all of you for your engagement and

the warm show of support I have received.

The opportunity to join MPI was attractive

because of the strength of its brand, the

dedication of the community and the opportunities

we have as an organization to expand

our reach and advocacy as an association, both

inside and outside of our industry. With my

past experiences and the passion that I have

for the meeting and event industry, business

travel, customers and employees, I believe

that this position is a great fit for me, and

I’m very excited to now be a part of the MPI

community.

Although I have only been on the job for

a short period, from Day 1

I have witnessed firsthand

the passion and commitment

that the members of

the board, the MPI team

here in Dallas and around

the world and you, the

members, have

for MPI as

an association and a community.

While I undoubtedly face a steep learning

curve, my goal is to quickly develop and communicate

a clear vision that enhances the effective

strategy that MPI already has in place and

positions MPI as the industry’s leading voice.

My plan for the next 60 to 90 days is to

build on my past experiences in business travel

and meetings and events by taking the time to

reach out and listen to the team at MPI, our

key partners and as many of you as possible. I

want our success as the MPI community, and

my success as a leader, to truly be a collaborative

effort.

One of the greatest rewards a person can

receive in life is the ability to provide service to

your community, and service is the backbone

of any association. Like every other member

of the MPI team here in Dallas and around the

world—including our many tireless volunteer

leaders—I am here to serve you, the members

of this dynamic association. MPI was founded

with a vision to serve the needs of our member

community, and I will work alongside the

knowledgeable headquarters staff to continue

that tradition.

I have jumped into this role with both

feet, and welcome the opportunity to talk

with as many of you as possible in the

coming months—getting to know you

and how MPI can help you personally

and professionally. I also look forward

to meeting many of you in person

this July at MPI’s World Education

Congress in Las Vegas.

Thank you again for your warm

reception. I look forward to working

together.

The MPI Foundation continues its drive

to provide innovative, career-building

thought leadership development

through the following key industry

partnerships.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Future of Meetings

Quest for Talent

Strategic Meetings Management

PAUL VAN DEVENTER is president and CEO of

MPI. Contact him at pvandeventer@mpiweb.org.

10 one+ 05.13


BLOGS >>

IMPRESSIONS

>>

Space to Fill

[Re: “Tapping Into Show Business,” April ‘13]

Some great tips on seating arrangements, Andrea. I’ve heard the large gap

between the stage and audience referred to by comedians as the ‘dance floor

of death.’ Many people would be surprised how many Las Vegas shows use

dozens or sometimes hundreds of seat fillers to make them look sold out.

They are usually locals who get in for free or at a huge discount.

—Larry Jones

Follow One+ and

MPI Staff on Twitter

Cindy D’Aoust:

@CindyDAoust

David Basler:

@OnePlusEditor

Jason Hensel:

@pimplomat

Jessie States:

@Jessie_States

Michael Pinchera:

@mpinchera

Jeff Loy:

@JeffLoyMPI

MPI Headquarters:

@MPI

One+ Staff:

@MPIOnePlus

Something to Try

[Re: “Is Your Culture Infected?”

April ‘13]

I really like this suggestion: When

hearing an idea that sounds problematic,

ask what obstacles or

adversity this idea would have to

fight through? I like to present ideas

and get so discouraged when the first

words out of my audience’s mouths

are negative or objecting.

—Kevin Priger

Pushing the Envelope

[Re: “Curators in Chief,” April ‘13]

Eli, well said! I really have to thank

Joan for all her contributions to the

industry and to me, personally. I

love how Joan questions the status

quo, pushes the envelope and really

thinks beyond her community. Joan

continues to be the voice of reason!

—Sekeno Aldred

Spoiler Alert

[Re: “Using Brain Waves,” Oct. ‘12]

Reading other people’s thoughts

sounds quite far-fetched to me. Even

if it were possible, I don’t think I

want any part of it. That skill would

definitely spoil the fun for all of us.

Where will the challenge be if we

can all read minds?

—Anonymous

Like us on Facebook

tinyurl.com/FansOfOnePlus

E-mail the editorial team

editor@mpiweb.org.

▼ MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE

“Why Mindfulness Matters”

POSTED BY: Bridget DiCello

Our day will run without us and

take us with it, unless we are mindful.

In fact, productivity increases

significantly when we are mindful. I

believe that the only thing you have

to do to manage your time well is

to make the right decision every

moment of every day.

▼ FIT TIPS

“Ways to Stay Healthy While On

the Road”

POSTED BY: Gregg Gregory

Great common-sense advice. I always

get a fridge for my room for

yogurt and water. I also try to walk

the hall near my sleeping room purposefully

for about 10-15 minutes

before going to bed.

▼ PIRATED

“Beware the Room Block Pirates”

POSTED BY: Dana Tilghman

I just passed along information to

a conference we’re attending in August

regarding hotel pirates. I know

housing doesn’t officially open until

May and I received seven calls offering

me discounted rooms. It’s so

frustrating!

12 one+ 05.13


16

Leap of Faith

If you’re waiting for the perfect time to start

your own business, you’ll be waiting forever.

BY LIZ KING

17

18

19

In the process of determining the right time to leave my

day job and take my own company full-time, I learned

three invaluable lessons.

Many meeting professionals are balancing full-time

jobs while pursuing dreams in their spare time. Your

full-time job may be completely in line with where you

want to be, but for others, that’s not the case. Balancing

more than one job is often a way to start building your

own business without a large financial investment up

front. But figuring out when to take the all-important

leap to independence is one of the hardest moments

you’ll ever experience.

The Path is Not Straight

Before I opened my business, I envisioned a fairly direct

path. While working a full-time job, I would create my

own business and establish it legally, set up my website

and then start getting clients. I would have one client,

then three, then five. At a certain point, I would have

enough clients to take my own business full time—or

I’d have enough money in savings to support my fulltime

efforts in growing my business. Those were the

goals I set when deciding to leave my job. I realized that

building a business is never so straightforward.

Over the course of the two-and-a-half years when I

was building my business, I became involved in all kinds

of projects. I learned the key to setting up a successful

business is partnering with the right people and taking

I set out to be an event

planner, but I also became a

blogger, a speaker and a coach

for other businesses.

chances and putting yourself out there in circumstances

in which you may not have initially felt comfortable. I

set out to be an event planner, but I also became a blogger,

a speaker and a coach for other businesses.

I worked on a few events where things didn’t pan

out as I’d hoped. Sometimes, you take the risk to work

for an event that you think will grow bigger each year,

but it just doesn’t happen. Setting a goal for the number

of events I would be working on when I left my job

was not very realistic. I needed to figure out the right

balance between my projects, my client events and my

own initiatives. Especially in a down economy, I didn’t

feel comfortable relying on clients to choose to hire me.

So I started my own initiatives and programs to satisfy

my desire to host my own events. I needed to figure out

how to balance all of this to leave my full-time job.

Real vs. Potential

As I was gearing up to take my business full-time, I

realized the power of potential. While working a fulltime

job, I had limited potential for my own business.

14 one+ 05.13


A friend in the industry once told me that

he loved my work but would never take me

seriously if I didn’t take myself seriously. He

meant if I couldn’t trust myself to do my

business full-time, then he couldn’t trust me

either.

This moment stuck with me because it

was the first time I realized how people could

perceive my split life. From my perspective,

the full-time job was just what I had to do as

I built up my business. Over time, I realized

that my clients and others

in the industry needed to

see me take the next, confident

step.

My potential was also

being limited because my

time and attention were

split and, eventually, I

was working more than

100 hours a week. How

could I dedicate time to

business development

or creating new relationships or working

on new ideas, when I didn’t even have time

to sleep? I needed to consider not only the

amount of business I was bringing in, but

also my potential.

In order to pursue some new and exciting

potential, I had to take the risk of jumping

out into the business before I felt ready.

There would be some downtime, but I needed

that to finally work on so many initiatives

that were potentially game changing.

People talk about “the tipping point”—well,

I learned that you have to be able to identify

your tipping point far before it actually

happens. The resources needed to devote to

your company before you actually can tip

over are too intense to manage while pursuing

two careers. You need to know when

you’re headed in the right direction so that

you can focus all of your attention and energy

on scaling up to the next level.

You need to know

when you’re headed in

the right direction so

that you can focus all

of your attention and

energy on scaling up

to the next level.

You Will Never Feel Ready

I finally made the decision to leave my job

in July, but I stayed until December—a final

six months to get everything in line. I made

an extensive list of everything that I wanted

to do before I left my full-time job so I had

goals to work toward. I broke down my

goals by month and then by week. I felt

really great having a strong plan. It didn’t

take long before I realized I would never

get everything on my list done. I considered

moving the date

back again, but I just

couldn’t do it. I needed

to push myself to make

the jump, even though I

didn’t feel ready. I realized

I would never feel

ready. No matter how

long you wait, there’s

always something that

you wish was more in

line.

It’s been four months since I left my

full-time job and so many incredible opportunities

have come my way, partially

because I can now focus on generating new

opportunities instead of treading to stay

above water. Running a business has been

one of the most challenging and amazing

experiences of my life and it has already

taught me many important lessons. Learn

to trust yourself, set big goals and know

that your hard work will pay off.

LIZ KING took her own business, Liz King

Events, full time in January. For even more

regular updates, follow @lizkingevents on

Twitter.

Visit www.mpiweb.org/blog for more background

on Liz King and how she decided to

start her own company.

Staying Healthy

on the Road

University of Colorado Boulder researchers

recently released a study showing that

sleeping only five hours a night and having

unlimited access to food can cause people

to gain almost two pounds of weight a

week. The study suggests that getting

more sleep could help curtail the obesity

epidemic.

The researchers found that staying

awake longer requires more energy;

however, the quantity of food consumed

by the study participants offsets the extra

calories burned.

Meeting professionals are a ripe

workforce for insufficient sleep. Planning

and supplying meetings and events can

tax even the most healthy individual. There

are ways, though, you can keep your body

healthy and your well-being in shape.

“For me, a hotel with a 24-hour gym is

a must,” said Charles Massey, CMP, founder

and CEO of SYNAXIS Meetings & Events.

“On site and when travelling on a ‘regular’

business trip (whatever that is) I try to get

at least 30 minutes worth of cardio plus

some stretches in every morning. Some

mornings, that might require getting up at

4 a.m.”

Massey says hydration is also key to

keeping healthy.

—Jason Hensel

Read more blog posts at MPIWeb.org/blog.

16 one+ 05.13


How Associations Can

Help Your Career

A co-worker passed along an article the other

day titled “10 ‘Sit Up Straight’ Exercises to

De-slump Your Career.” It included tips such as

“make learning a priority,” “adopt an attitude of

gratitude” and “pay attention when people make

suggestions.”

One suggestion, though, really stood out to

us: “Join an industry association.” The article

says that the “payoff in terms of networking

opportunities, early insights on industry

developments and heads-up on emerging

opportunities will be invaluable.”

Of course we agree with that statement, and

it’s not just individuals who benefit from joining

industry associations.

ART OF

TRAVEL

“Membership in trade associations not only

benefits employees of your company, but it

also projects a positive image of your firm to

your customers,” said Betsy Demitropoulos,

senior editor of American Business Magazine.

“Membership in associations shows a business’

initiative, its engagement in a particular trade

and its commitment to staying abreast of current

developments in the market.”

Staying abreast of current trends is one of the

many valuable benefits of joining (or retaining)

MPI membership. So, help take your career and

business to the next level and join or renew your

MPI membership. And while you’re at it, consider

volunteering with your chapter.

—Jason Hensel

Read more blog posts at MPIWeb.org/blog.

Forkchops

(ForkChops.com, US$5.00)

ForkChops 3-in-1 Eating Utensils are

three of the most common utensils

all mashed into one. There’s a

fork. There’s a knife. There’s even a

pair of chopsticks. The tips of the

chopsticks are textured for better

gripping. ForkChops are made from

food-safe polystyrene and are reusable

and dishwasher safe.

SOSCharger

(SOSReady.com, US$29.99)

Ever been low on cell phone power

during an important call? Ever reach

for your flashlight just to find the

battery dead, especially during a

power outage? The SOSCharger

helps in both cases. It’s compact,

small and reliable—simply wind

the handle to generate the power

needed to make a quick call, send a

text message and light your way.

Inflatable Hangers

(Magellans.com, US$6.85)

The problem with drying clothes on

the road: half the hotels only supply

thin, wire hangers, while the other

half won’t let you take hangers from

their closet rods. So if you like to

wash out your clothes and have

them dry without hanger creases,

consider taking along these smooth,

durable vinyl hangers, which fold

into a tiny corner of your suitcase.

Two hangers per package.

GSeat Lite

(GelcoProducts.com, US$69.95)

The GSeat Lite was designed specifically

with travel and recreation

in mind, one pound lighter than the

original GSeat at the request of customers

who were always on the go.

Lightweight and with the benefits of

the original ergonomic design.

mpiweb.org 17


U.K. Economic Impact Revealed

A first-of-its-kind study finds the United Kingdom’s meeting and

event sector is big business.

In mid-March, at the International Confex

in London, the MPI Foundation released

its profile findings of the U.K. Economic

Impact Study (UKEIS)—the first of its

kind. The Foundation commissioned the

research team from the International Centre

for Research in Events, Tourism and

Hospitality (ICRETH) at Leeds Metropolitan

University, which has reviewed published

reports and other secondary data in

creating the UKEIS.

In addition, ICRETH analyzed more

than 3,460 survey responses from venues,

meeting organizations and destination

management organizations across the

U.K.—as well as from attendees and exhibitors

in the U.K., France, the U.S., Ireland

and Germany. The following are some key

findings.

• More than 1.3 million meetings

took place in the U.K. in 2001 and

attracted 116.1 million attendees,

who accounted for spending almost

US$60.79 billion.

Meetings took place in 10,127 venues

across the U.K., and the venues

occupied 645.83 million square feet

and offered a total seating capacity

of approximately 8.5 million seats.

• On average, each venue was used

for 125 days in the year. Large hotels

with meeting facilities held all types

of meetings, conferences, consumer

shows, exhibitions and incentive

events.

• On average, meeting organizations

staged 147 events in the year.

• 64 percent of meetings were classified

as small meetings, with fewer

than 100 attendees; nearly 30 percent

were for between 100 and 500

attendees; and 6 percent attracted

more than 500 attendees.

• The average length of a meeting was

two days. More than 53 percent of

meetings in the U.K. in 2011 lasted a

single day or less.

• 78.5 percent of people attending

meetings were from within the U.K.

In 2011, the total spending generated

by international meetings attendees

was $16.4 billion, while spending

by national meeting attendees

was $32.37 billion.

• The largest expense for meeting

organizations in the U.K. was on

venue hire (17.4 percent); the most

prominent income was from delegate

registration fees (38.1 percent).

• The largest expenditure for attendees

was on accommodations (20.6

percent).

• U.K. venues spent most on salaries

and wages (18.6 percent), maintenance

and repairs (17.8 percent) and

other administrative expenses such

as professional fees and contracted

services (17 percent).

• Out of the four key business tourism

markets surveyed, U.S. attendees

($5.93 billion) spent more than the

other business tourism markets Ireland

($3.8 billion), Germany ($1.82

billion) and France ($1.37 billion).

These profile findings are just the start

of establishing the full economic picture,

which will be announced at The Meetings

Show UK in July. For more information on

the UKEIS, visit www.mpiweb.org/UKEIS.

18 one+ 05.13


SPINCon 2013 FICP Education Forum WEC

June 5-7

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Join senior-level industry peers at the

award-winning event designed exclusively

by veteran planners, for veteran

planners. SPINCon is a one-of-a-kind

conference where planners outnumber

suppliers two-to-one and attendees will

be sure to walk away with new ideas,

energy, connections and a true sense of

community.

June 12-14

Park City, Utah

Building off a strong 2012 event, FICP

(Financial and Insurance Conference

Planners) design team members are creating

a schedule of events not to be missed.

This unique event provides quality education

in an intimate atmosphere ideal for

attendees to learn and network with

others, all while exploring a potential

conference site.

July 20-23

Las Vegas

At the 2013 World Education

Congress in Las Vegas, you’ll find

solutions for the challenges you face

and a new vision for yourself and the

meetings you plan. WEC is designed

to inspire, challenge and promote

new thinking. You’ll learn what to

keep, what to leave behind and what

to simply make better. Our goal is to

revitalize you so your meetings will

revitalize others.

AIBTM DMAI Annual Convention GBTA Convention

June 11-13

Chicago

AIBTM is a leading global exhibition

for the U.S. meeting and event industry.

This year, meeting and event industry

professionals from around the world

will come together in Chicago for three

days of focused business. Meet with

more than 300 leading suppliers to the

meeting industry.

July 15-17

Orlando, Florida

DMAI’s Annual Convention is the

leading event developed exclusively for

destination marketing professionals.

Gain insight through approximately

40 education sessions and spend time

with top suppliers and colleagues from

throughout the industry, discovering

new opportunities and making connections

to propel you, your destination

and the industry forward.

August 4-7

San Diego

The business of travel has brought the

world within reach, as borders blur

and people converge together. GBTA

Convention 2013 also puts valuable

industry insight and market knowledge

within reach for travel managers

around the world. There is no limit to

the connections you’ll make with the

thousands of travel managers as well

as industry suppliers showcasing the

latest technologies, tools and trends.

mpiweb.org 19


TOP

Spots

Statehouse

Convention Center

The Statehouse Convention Center in

Little Rock, Arkansas, recently took

the wraps off of a number of comprehensive

renovation projects, ongoing

since 2010. These upgrades include

new carpet, paint and wall treatments,

as well as upgrades to the

sound system, lighting and security.

Additional air walls were installed

in the 18,500-sqaure-foot Wally Allen

Ballroom, expanding the meeting capabilities

and space flexibility in the

facility. The ballroom can hold more

than 2,000 people in a theater-style

setting.

The convention center offers

250,000 square feet of public meeting

and exhibit space in heart of the downtown

meeting and entertainment district.

It also offers a 650-space parking

deck, located only one block south.

Grand Hyatt

San Francisco

Grand Hyatt San Francisco welcomed its

40th year by completing a US$70 million

renovation. The transformation

boasts technology enhancements to

guest rooms and $14 million of upgrades

to its meeting facilities. A newly minted

meeting space on the 36th floor, which

opened in March, features 360-degree,

panoramic views of the city by the bay.

Orlando World Center

Marriott

Phase one of a multimillion-dollar transformation

is complete at the Orlando (Florida)

World Center Marriott. Extensive renovation

enhancements have been made to the

North Tower’s 504 guest rooms and 10

suites, as well as the 14 Hall of Cities meeting

rooms, whi ch offer nearly 14,000 square

feet of meeting space. The hotel also features

230,000 square feet of ballroom space.

20 one+ 05.13


Four Points by Sheraton Berlin Airport

Slated to open in 2014, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will

debut its first Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Berlin (Germany).

The hotel will feature 253 guest rooms, two restaurants, a lobby

bar and a fitness center. In addition, it will have meeting and event

space and a fully equipped business center.

Baccarat Hotel, Rabat

Opening in 2014, the Baccarat

Hotel, Rabat (Morocco)

will offer 130 guest rooms in

a courtyard setting of mini

villas. This property will be

the first of the Baccarat Hotel

brand in Morocco, with two

more set to open in 2015 and

2016. The Baccarat Hotel,

Rabat will feature meeting

spaces and ballrooms and

will be located adjacent to

the new business district. It

will have the latest in technology

for guests, meetings

and business travellers.

Hilton Garden Inn

Gurgaon Banni Square

The Hilton Garden Inn Gurgaon Banni

Square in Gurgaon, India, is this second

Hilton Garden Inn hotel in the country. It is

a 10-minute drive from DLF Cyber City,

the central business hub in Gurgaon. The

hotel features 201 guest rooms, including

six suites and four meeting rooms, which

can accommodate 20 to 150 people each.

There is also an 18,000-square-foot conference

and banquet facility.

mpiweb.org 21


IRRELEVANT

UH OH!

Despicable Me 2 and Jurassic Park action figures

(Amazon.com, US$9.99, $19.99)

PHOTO: JEFF LOY

22 one+ 05.13


FUTURE OF MEETINGS

WHEN IT’S VIRTUAL,

IT’S REAL

Can virtual connecons help pave the way to the

mind-blowing corridor experiences that will make

face-to-face meengs superior?

BY JACKIE MULLIGAN


process and allows airline passengers

to choose a flight and a seatmate

based on their social network profiles.”

Could your attendees start

their conversations on the way to

your meetings through software

like this?

The Trendr team has already seen

the opportunities within events and

meeting spaces to leverage benefits

for attendees. Davison explains, “We

just got back from CrossmediaTO

2013. We had people using Trendr

to meet with each other and did a

test drive of our Trendr Meeting

Zone services. We worked with the

event team to ensure that there were

calls to action and networking times

available for all.”

For Davison the technology will

speed up our abilities to connect in

real time and will enhance those

connections, particularly through

meetings.

“We can help solve that key pain

point that is being talked about,

written about and showing up on

survey cards—participant experience.

Trendr will have participants walking

away from conferences with

valuable and meaningful exchanges.”

As well as highlighting new entrants

into the meeting business, the

company demonstrates the opportunities

that virtual connections can

provide to conferences to enhance

the benefits and richness of networking.

In the future of meetings research,

Jesse Schell, author of the Art

of Game Design: A Book of Lenses,

believed that more effective networking

can and will be achieved through

technology.

“There are opportunities to have

smartphone systems to connect with

other people at the conference somewhat

more efficiently than we do

now. Right now you kind of drift

around, you plan ahead to some

extent, and then you drift around

and you kind of bump into people,

but I know there are some companies

that have started to create products

that help you find people you’re

looking for at conferences and I

think that sort of thing is going to

start to grow.”

The importance of networking at

conferences face-to-face is a critical

factor and one that Dr. Graeme Codrington,

in the white paper series

“From the Outside In,” believed

could not be ignored. Recognizing

the pressure within the sector to do

something that cannot be digitized,

he explains, “The default setting is

for meeting planners to say ‘yes, it’s

the corridor meetings that are the

most important,’ which is nonsense.

If the corridors are the real value,

then put effort into that. If the rest is

necessary in order to have a corridor

experience, at least build something

into the corridor experience. We

need to create the most mind-blowing

corridor experience!”

Perhaps these new moves to make

more of our virtual connections can

help pave the way to the mind-blowing

corridor experience that will

make face-to-face meetings superior?

It offers a good starting point for us

all to consider from our own business

perspectives if we really are

doing enough to help our attendees

use our meetings to make their virtual

connections real.

JACKIE MULLIGAN

is a principal lecturer in

events and director of enterprise

for the International

Centre for Research in

Events, Tourism and Hospitality

at Leeds Metropolitan

University UK, with more

than 20 years of experience

managing events, tourism

and communications. Follow

her on Twitter @jackiemulls

or email her at j.mulligan@

leedsmet.ac.uk.

mpiweb.org 25


MARKETING

BY YVONNE NASSAR


SXSW

WALKING A

FINE LINE

How an event’s popularity can

challenge its very soul.

BY DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF


The struggle to remain true to its soul

holds lessons for anyone in the events

industry or, frankly, anyone who succeeds

beyond his or her own expectaons.

Seattle meeting of techies. It was the

place to build the culture of interactivity,

nested in the original values of

cyberspace: working in our underwear,

at any time of the day and with the

ability to bring our wildest dreams to

the screens of the masses.

But like a computer virus run

amok, Interactive kept growing and

growing. Interactive technology had

become central to business, marketing

and society itself—and SXSW

Interactive grew right along with it,

the only real anchor that many of us

in the expanding “industry” had to

what mattered. This became relatively

public knowledge.

So through the decade that followed,

anyone and anything that

wanted to be associated with the

Internet came to SXSW. This year, I

even saw Cap’n Crunch walking the

street, peddling the cereal brand. The

world’s biggest corporations, from

technology firms like Samsung to

consumer brands like Pepsi, ran their

own pavilions and demos, either highlighting

relevant technology products

or, in most cases, simply making their

brands relevant to technologists.

The downside, of course, is with all

this peripheral energy and corporate

hoo-ha, SXSW started to lose its soul.

Media companies and advertising

agencies came to do live broadcasting

from the event, both to spotlight

emerging ideas and trends as well as

simply to associate themselves with

all this interactive energy. High-tech

businesses even began to time their innovations

to the conference. This was

the place to introduce new software,

websites and apps. Or to come up

with an excuse to make an announcement,

hold a press conference and

throw one of the hundreds of cocktail

parties competing for attendees.

Not that this was ever a problem.

For what plagues SXSW more than

anything these days is the size of the

crowds. Every panel and party seems

overcrowded, and even Austin’s

famous saloon-lined 6th Street gets

denser than New Orleans on Mardi

Gras. Worst of all, the heart and soul

of SXSW as an explosion of creative

arts became diluted by the evergrowing

emphasis on big business

and promotion.

However, its organizers are on the

case. To begin with, they have worked

hard to keep the central focus on

members of its culture. Yes, there is

an exhibit floor and plenty of panels

on business, but the keynotes are from

innovators and thinkers, not corporate

shills. Moreover, the Interactive conference

began a “Hall of Fame” through

which it inducts prized technologists,

academics and others whose particular

connection to interactivity exemplifies

the virtue at the core of net culture.

Finally, and most daringly, SXSW

has come to recognize and embrace

the massive unintended commercial

consequences of its interactive conference.

Instead of trying to repress it

or distract us from it, organizers are

setting it free as a spinoff conference

for “innovators and entrepreneurs,”

called V2V. They’re not even doing

it in Austin, but in Las Vegas, which

seems better suited both physically and

temperamentally for the onslaught.

It’s a gambit, for sure, but it could

just relieve SXSW of the pressure to be

a servant of two masters and acknowledge

the growing constituencies of

attendees who shouldn’t be punished

just for having a different agenda than

conference organizers.

By truly understanding and protecting

the core values of your conference

and its community, you can come to

recognize and even serve those who

are there for something completely

different.

DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF

is the author, most recently,

of Present Shock: When

Everything Happens Now

and a regular, special contributor

on CNN’s Opinion

page. He can be contacted

at www.rushkoff.com.

mpiweb.org 29


CSR

THE SIX C’s OF

SUSTAINABLE SUCCESS

How to lay the groundwork for framing event-based CSR programs.

BY ELIZABETH HENDERSON


SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT

Visit Indy

visitindy.com

With a surprise around every turn and

US$3 billion in new tourism-related

infrastructure, Indy is easy to love and

bigger than you think. This vibrant destination

offers the country’s most complete

and connected convention package,

with 7,100 hotel rooms and 749,000

square feet of exhibit space set in the

heart of a walkable downtown with

hundreds of options for networking and

entertainment.

Indy has earned its reputation as a

great meetings destination by putting

everything planners and attendees need

just steps away. The convenient nature

of the city’s location and design, partnered

with a connected downtown that

stays activated in the evenings, ensures

a great overall experience for planners

and attendees alike.

Indy After 5

Although best recognized as a sports capital

and for the iconic Indianapolis Motor

Speedway, Indy offers so much more,

from world-class cultural institutions and

performing arts to six eclectic cultural

districts, and from Robert Indiana’s original

LOVE sculpture to the world’s largest

children’s museum. More than 200

diverse restaurants—many of the farmto-fork

variety—80 bars and clubs and

50 major attractions are within walking

distance of downtown hotels, including

White River State Park, with a glimmering

canal walk, one-of-a-kind museums

and a top-10 zoo. The park is home to

250 acres of urban green space, Segway

tours and gondola rides, the NCAA Hall

of Champions, the Eiteljorg Museum of

American Indians and Western Art, the

Indiana State Museum, the Indianapolis

Zoo, Victory Field and the 6,000-seat

Farm Bureau Lawn concert venue.

Another prominent outdoor space

is Monument Circle, which serves as

the iconic heart of downtown and was

named one of the “10 Great Public

Spaces” by the American Planning Association.

The 284-foot Soldiers & Sailors

Monument provides spectacular eagleeye

views of the city. The Cabaret at the

Columbia Club is a swanky nightspot set

in an historic 1889 building, and Hilbert

Circle Theatre is home to the renowned

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and

special event space. Cafes, a news ticker,

horse-drawn carriages and a popular

underground cigar bar are other staples.

The new, internationally acclaimed,

$63 million, eight-mile Indianapolis Cultural

Trail connects bicyclists and pedestrians

to six distinct cultural districts,

each offering an eclectic mix of boutique

shopping, dining, entertainment,

art galleries and live music.

The city physically removed a lane

of traffic along main thoroughfares to

make way for the trail that connects

visitors in a green way to restaurants,

attractions, hotels and meeting venues.

SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT 05.13


It has garnered international attention

as a model for urban revitalization,

and city planners from Portland to Paris

have traveled to Indy to see the project.

Guided tours and bicycle rentals are conveniently

available throughout the city.

Indianapolis offers diverse dining

options for all palates and price points.

With its rich soil and surrounding agriculture,

Indy has been supporting farmto-table

restaurants for decades, with

local farmers providing the freshest in

produce and protein to menus. International

fare, world-famous steakhouses

and sports bars with plenty of televisions

for viewing the big game are also

just around the corner.

When the workday is over and the

clock reads 5 p.m., Indianapolis comes

alive with hundreds of places for good

times, good drinks and good conversation.

From happy hour hotspots to late

night live music venues, attendees will

find themselves in an activated downtown

with endless entertainment and

networking options conveniently close by.

Bigger Than You Think

Indy is designed to host major conventions,

meetings and events of all sizes.

Whether a venue that can hold a village,

a hotel that can host meetings or

a unique space to create a distinctive

event is needed, Indianapolis has it all.

More than 4,700 hotel rooms connected

to the Indiana Convention Center

and Lucas Oil Stadium (that’s more

than any other city in the country) and

7,100 rooms downtown creates the

most connected and convenient meetings

package available. Included in

that connected hotel inventory is the

world’s largest JW Marriott with 1,005

rooms and 104,000 square feet of

meeting space. Skywalks also connect

visitors directly to the four-story Circle

Centre Mall and numerous restaurants

in the heart of the city.

A $275 million expansion of the convention

center in 2011 nearly doubled

it in size to offer 566,600 square feet

of contiguous exhibit space in 11 halls,

71 meeting rooms, 49 loading docks

and three ballrooms (including the

33,335-square-foot, column-free Sagamore

with sophisticated acoustics and

seating for 3,400), making it a powerhouse

destination for the largest events

in the country. Connected to the center is

Lucas Oil Stadium, offering an additional

183,000 square feet of exhibit space, 12

meeting rooms, a retractable roof and

seating for 63,000. Three transformed

blocks of Georgia Street adjacent to the

convention center provide a unique outdoor

event plaza and

a pedestrian-friendly

connector between the

center and Bankers Life

Fieldhouse, home of

68,000 square feet of

event space.

Indy is convenient

to get to as well. The

LEED-certified, J.D.

Power top-ranked Indianapolis

International

Airport is an easy 15

minutes away, and

Airports Council International

just named

it Best Airport in North America. For

those arriving by car, the city is within a

day’s drive of over half of the country’s

population.

Still Growing

The city’s newest hotel is a boutique

Dolce property, The Alexander. This

state-of-the-art conference center

opened in January with an emphasis

on art and design. The Indianapolis

Museum of Art curated the $44 million

property’s 60 works of contemporary

art by renowned artists, including graffiti

art in the parking garage by leading

British artist Nick Walker and a mixology

lounge designed by MacArthur ‘genius’

award-winning artist Jorge Pardo.

Listed in the National Register of

Historic Places and recognized as the

nation’s first Union Station, the Crowne

Plaza will undergo an $8 million renovation

in 2013. To expand upon an

already nostalgic lodging experience,

guest rooms, meeting space and restaurants

will receive upgrades that preserve

the architectural charm.

The luxurious Conrad Indianapolis

will conduct its first internal facelift,

installing $1 million in new furnishings

and décor. This will complement

the hotel’s new Long-Sharp Gallery, an

inspirational meeting space showcasing

works from Picasso, Andy Warhol,

Roy Lichtenstein, Salvador Dali and

more. And Indy’s longest-standing four

diamond hotel, the Omni Severin, will

complete a $15 million renovation of

rooms, meeting venues and restaurants

in time to celebrate its 100th

anniversary.

To learn more about Indy’s innovative

growth, visit www.VisitIndy.com.

SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT 05.13


The ‘BIG’ Day

The Girl Scouts are about much more than selling cookies,

as they proved with year-round events in St. Louis

celebrating the organization’s 100th year.

BY ROWLAND STITELER

BECAUSE THE 100TH BIRTHDAY OF THE GIRL

SCOUTS OF THE USA was, by its very nature,

a once-in-a-lifetime event for those planning

its celebratory activities, it was filled with

huge upside potential and, of course, some

pretty daunting downside scenarios.

“I guess anyone responsible for something

this big is going to have worries,” said Mary

Ann Owens, director of member services for

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri (GSEM), the

St. Louis-based council with 58,000 members,

supported by 19,000 adults. “My big

fears were that we would give this big party

and nobody would come, or that we would

have terrible weather and it would get rained

out or something. As it turned out, neither

fear was realized, and our celebration was a

success beyond our wildest dreams.”

More than 35,000 girls and their parents

attended the Girl Scouts’ biggest celebration

in the city during 2012, the BIG (Believing

in Girls) Day on Sept. 22, which featured

a parade, a 100-plus-exhibit festival and a

concert by teen idol singers and other per-

formers. Another GSEM event in the city in

spring of 2012, April Showers, set a Guinness

World Record for most items contributed

to a charity drive—1.4 million. April

Showers is an annual event in which the

girls collect new toiletry items door-to-door

that are donated to the needy. And a dance

party and birthday bash GSEM held midyear

at St. Louis University attracted more

than 10,000 girls and their parents. All these

events were part of the big, macro celebration

of Girl Scouts entering their second

century.

Owens says that success was due in no

small part to the fact that the GSEM turned

the planning and execution of this birthday

bash into a two-year-long process with

very specific goals, and that GSEM brought

in professional help from Switch: Liberate

Your Brand, a St. Louis experiential marketing

and event agency, working with a team

of professionals headed by Rosie Ford, account

manager, and Lynn Jacobs, executive

producer at Switch and a member of the

MPI St. Louis Area Chapter.

“We could have never accomplished

it without the guidance and help from

Switch,” Owens said. “Their fabulous staff

opened many doors for us and always went

the extra mile to make everything perfect

and make our dream come true.”

Both Jacobs and Owens say the key to the

ultimate success of what would be an entire

year of St. Louis events conducted by the

Girl Scouts was the most basic element of

any truly successful event: well-defined goals

and a strategic plan for how to accomplish

those goals.

In this case, the goals all centered around

raising community awareness of the Girl

Scouts, reconnecting with Girl Scout alumnae

and getting them involved in the organization

again—and in doing the first

two steps, growing Girl Scout membership

and adult sponsorship and volunteer

participation.

Jacobs says Switch provided a wide range

of services to GSEM, ranging from big-

34 one+ 05.13


picture strategic planning and marketing

to re-branding a Girl Scout display tent the

girls use when going to other entities’ public

events around the community. Switch,

a full-service event company located in a

100,000-square-foot headquarters in St.

Louis, used their in-house capabilities to

drive pre-event publicity for the Girl Scouts

through custom websites and social media

and provided complete event production

through their in-house technical services and

large-format print facility.

Another key partnership the GSEM

forged early in the two-year planning and

execution process for the anniversary celebration

was with an even bigger entity with

huge reach—the community of St. Louis

itself.

“When you are going to pull off something

this big, you first need the complete cooperation

of the city, from the mayor down

to the parks department to the events department

and more,” Owens said. “The city was

very open and welcoming to us and helped

Success was due in

no small part to the

fact that the GSEM

turned the planning

and execution of this

birthday bash into a

two-year-long process

with very specific

goals, and that

GSEM brought in

professional help.

us at every turn. They could have made my

life miserable; instead they made me very,

very happy.”

Rosie Ford, the Switch account executive

who was the GSEM’s primary and essentially

constant contact for the whole two-year

period—and is also a veteran St. Louis-area

event planner—says what makes the city a

great place for events is a strong community

spirit focused on public events.

“This is part and parcel of what the community

loves to do,” she said. “The community

really likes to have lots of events that the

public can enjoy and attend for free; not just

to entertain themselves and have fun, but to

bond with each other.”

Owens says one of the community organizations

Switch steered GSEM to early in

the planning processes is a uniquely St. Louis

group called the Mysterious Order of the

Veiled Prophet, founded in 1878 to enrich

the life experience of the citizens of St. Louis.

The Veiled Prophet is famous for its philanthropic

work—and its spectacular July 4

parade, both of which date back to the 19th

century.

“Getting the Veiled Prophet on board

was key,” Owens said. “The opening event

for our BIG Day celebration in downtown

St. Louis was the parade. And thanks to

the help of the Veiled Profit, we are not just

talking about a few groups of marching Girl

Scouts and a band or two—we are talking

elaborate floats, dozens of units in what was

truly a spectacular parade.”

While the BIG Day was the culmination

of the yearlong event in September, the

2012 celebration kicked off in February with

Dessert First, a new event created with the

help of Switch featuring high-profile chefs

presenting desserts created from Girl Scout

Cookies, in a culinary contest with local celebrity

judges. The event also included a dinner

gala and fundraiser, along with awards

to community supporters of the Girl Scouts

and the presentation of $5,000 educational

scholarships to two St. Louis area Girl

Scouts.

“It was a wonderful event for us to kick

the year off, and what was really nice about

it is that it had a lot of elements to really help

get the community involved,” Owens said.

“It was a new event for us, but we will be

having it annually going forward.”

The February Dessert First gala was

followed in March with a Girl Scout birthday

and dance party on March 31 at

mpiweb.org 35


Chaifetz Arena at St. Louis University, in

which 10,000 girls not only got to have

all the birthday cake they liked but started

learning a dance they would later use in a

“flash mob” at the BIG Day celebration in

September. Switch helped by creating a micro

website where the girls could go to see

the dance performed and practice it in the

months leading up to the BIG Day, Owens

said.

By the time the BIG Day was drawing

close, earmarks of success for the event

were starting to appear. More than 140 exhibitors,

most of them offering interactive

experiences with appeal to kids and their

families, signed up. Ameren, the electric

utility that serves the St. Louis area, set

up a science exhibit that covered an entire

city block; other offerings ranged from an

antique car show to an endangered wolf

learning exhibit to a face-painting booth.

“The Soldier’s Memorial area downtown

has a bunch of open areas and parks

that you can reserve for events,” Ford said.

“We ended up booking all of them for the

BIG Day events.”

For some, the highlight of the event was

the “flash mob” dance mid-afternoon, in

which thousands of girls performed the

dance they had been practicing for six

months. For others, it was the teen idol

singers, such as local star Nick Calandro,

Katherine Hughes of Disney’s “Next Big

Thing” and Ryan Beatty, a touring artist

who performs on Radio Disney.

But for the planners of this mega-event,

the highlight was the results.

“This is the biggest event the Girl Scouts

of Eastern Missouri has ever had, and probably

the biggest event we ever will have,”

Owens said. “We definitely achieved our

goals. More girls are joining. And people

who used to just think that Girls Scouts

was only about selling cookies are learning

about the scope of what the girls really do.

It’s a huge payoff for us and well worth every

bit of effort that went into it.”

ROWLAND STITELER is a frequent One+

contributor based in Florida.

36 one+ 05.13


Let’s Dance

Penn State’s THON, a 46-hour dance marathon, has been

raising money for pediatric cancer research since 1973.

BY KRISTY ALPERT

BY ROB COTTER

AS HE MADE HIS WAY THROUGH THE

STREET, lined with zealous onlookers and

cheering fans, that led to the main dance

floor inside the Bryce Jordan Center, it

wasn’t only the encouraging yells from the

student body that led Penn State University

senior Dan Bitner to press forward—it was

his sense of devotion to the cause.

In 2012, Bitner was one of the 700 student

dancers among the 15,000 student

volunteers who helped raise more than

US$10.6 million for charity through the

46-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping Penn State

InterFraternity Council (IFC)/Panhellenic

Dance Marathon, dubbed THON.

The culmination of an entire year’s hard

work from nearly every student organization,

fraternity and sorority at Penn State,

THON is the largest student-run philanthropy

in the world. It started in 1973

when former IFC President Bill Lear proposed

a dance marathon to raise money for

a worthwhile cause and add excitement to

a dreary February in central Pennsylvania.

Over the years, thousands of students

have volunteered their time and resources

to take part in this event, which strives to

fight pediatric cancer. All funds raised from

THON go directly to the Four Diamonds

Fund and its pediatric cancer patients,

families and researchers at Penn State Hershey

Children’s Hospital. Charles and Irma

Millard established the fund in 1972 after

the death of their 14-year-old son, Christopher,

to pediatric cancer.

The event is named after a story Christopher

wrote shortly before losing his

battle with cancer, in which a brave knight

seeks to find the four diamonds of courage,

wisdom, honesty and strength so he can be

released from the captive powers of an evil

sorceress. The cause steadfastly upholds

Christopher’s four diamonds that remain

so vital to children hoping to overcome

cancer.

Fueled by Passion, Run by Students

Whether it’s mailing THONvelopes to

38 one+ 05.13


solicit donations, dancing in the event or

serving on the sidelines, THON has raised

more than $89 million for the Four Diamonds

Fund since its inception, and has

provided an outlet for numerous college

students to pour their hearts and energy

into a greater cause.

“It was an absolute rush,” recalled Bitner,

currently a pilot in the United States

Air Force and a Penn State University

graduate in energy, business and finance.

“I was blown away by the number of

people already in the stands to be there for

the start and to be standing by for moral

support for all the dancers. It was a surreal

feeling in that I knew I was representing

The culmination

of an entire year’s

hard work from

nearly every student

organization, fraternity

and sorority at

Penn State, THON is

the largest studentrun

philanthropy

in the world.

my organization (the Emergency Medical

Services Association). But really, when I

started walking through the human tunnel,

I realized I was representing so much more.

Everyone was looking to the dancers to be

that tangible part of the hope we bring to

the families who are struggling.”

Fueled by an intense passion “For the

Kids” (a THON motto), the student body

across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania

has been the heart and soul behind the

true success of THON over the years. Although

the event culminates in a 46-hour,

no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon of

gigantic proportions (drawing a crowd of

more than 16,000 annually), THON is

actually a yearlong fundraising and awareness

campaign that fights against pediatric

cancer. To pull it off each year, the event

staff relies upon thousands of students to

keep the multiple facets of this mammoth

event running smoothly.

“Because of THON’s size, planning and

execution would not be possible without

teamwork,” said Cat Powers, executive

public relations chairperson for the Penn

State Dance Marathon (THON). “One individual

could not execute the many facets

of THON, and volunteers must collabo-

rate to brainstorm new fundraising and

outreach techniques. The different committees

rely on effective communication

and cooperation, and, with so many volunteers,

THON stays connected through

its many liaisons and its consistency.

“Since THON volunteers are students

first, it provides valuable experience about

time management, and committees are encouraged

to plan weeks in advance to work

most efficiently. While THON is a studentrun

philanthropy, it strives to maintain a

level of professionalism and, therefore,

prepares students to be competitive in the

working world.”

Along with the ever-constant ebb and

flow of the student population at Penn

State, THON sees a unique set of volunteers

that transition every year. With each

new set of volunteers, the need for leadership

and communication is vital to success,

so every year the Overall Committee—comprised

of 15 chairpersons—that

will plan the next year’s event is selected

immediately after THON Weekend ends

in February. They then choose captains for

each of their respective committees by early

September of the following school year,

sometimes even as early as spring so they

can start planning for THON weekend

over the summer break.

Rallying Support

Although college students generally lack

the funds necessary to provide for a charity’s

financial needs, this generation’s passion

and desire to impact change in the

world make them the perfect source for

volunteers in such a large organization.

In fact, according to a study by the

Corporation for National and Community

Service, over the course of three years,

the number of U.S. college students who

volunteered grew from 2.7 million to 3.3

million.

Realizing their students’ passion for

philanthropy, the leadership of THON created

more opportunities to get involved. In

addition to joining a THON committee,

students can get involved through their respective

organizations (fraternities, sorori-

mpiweb.org 39


ties, sports teams, clubs, branch campuses

and other fundraising groups) to provide

support for the THON events and fundraising

initiatives held throughout the year.

From bake sales to date auctions, students

all over campus have bought into THON

and embraced it as part of their campus

identity.

Powers suggests that participation in

THON Weekend remains so high due to

the continual motivation building all year.

By holding various events, such as the

THON 5K, 100 Days ‘Til THON and

Family Carnival, the leadership is able to

keep volunteers interested and inspired.

Each facet of the fundraiser captures a

part of the THON Weekend atmosphere

and is a constant reminder of the goal the

students are working toward…eradicating

pediatric cancer.

“Arguably the biggest benefit of THON

being completely student-run is the relationships

that the students build with

the Four Diamonds families through the

Adopt-A-Family program,” Powers said.

“Penn State organizations, from athletic

teams to sororities and fraternities to major-specific

clubs, fill out forms to be paired

“While THON is a

student-run philanthropy,

it strives to

maintain a level of

professionalism and,

therefore, prepares

students to be competitive

in the working

world.”

with a family based on the child’s interests.

These are relationships that last for

years. Since students don’t have fulltime

jobs, they have the opportunity to

put in time not just for fundraising, but

for building these close-knit relationships

that really make THON unique

from other philanthropies.”

While the success of the event is

without a doubt the enormous amount of

funds raised, the other major gift THON

gives to children and their families is the

ability to forget about cancer for a weekend.

It’s one weekend during which the

kids can see how much they are cared for

by such a large group of people, allowing

them the freedom to play carefree. Many

of the Four Diamonds children regard

THON Weekend as better than Christmas,

as it gives them the chance to run around

blowing bubbles, squirting water guns and

dancing for hours alongside their college

role models.

“When asked why we dance, the answer

is simple: it’s ‘For the Kids,’” Bitner

said. “I wanted to be part of something

larger than myself. Getting to spend a

large part of the weekend hearing stories

from the THON families and with the kids

themselves makes it all worth it. Exhaustion

of course sets in, but there was never

a question about the importance of what

I was doing, and more importantly what

dancing represented.”

KRISTY ALPERT is a freelance contributor

based in Mississippi.


The Light Brigade

Calgary’s GlobalFest centers around partnership,

youth engagement and experimentation, beneath

a canopy of spectacular lights.

BY ROB COTTER

TRACEY BROSH

AT THE NORTHERN FOOTHILLS OF THE

ROCKIES, the Canadian city of Calgary

is perfectly positioned for one of nature’s

most dazzling performances.

During the spring and fall months,

when enough particles are fully charged

and colliding in the firmament, the city

often becomes bathed in the glorious

green glow of aurora borealis, the

northern lights.

Perhaps the sorcery of this empyrean

spectacular was the secret force

behind the chance meeting of two Calgary

organizations, whose respective

particles collided to charge up an event

that’s not doing badly in competing

with nature’s phenomenon. Global-

Fest, a festival celebrating Calgary’s

cultural diversity and artistic excellence,

was spawned from an unscheduled

encounter between the Calgary

Fireworks Festival Society (CFFS) and

the International Avenue Arts and Culture

Center (IAACC) and is rapidly becoming

a calendar highlight taking

place under a canopy of extravagant

fireworks displays.

“Both organizations were interested

in beginning a multicultural festival

based in East Calgary, and the two

groups made presentations to the International

Avenue Business Revitalization

Zone on the same day,” explained

Bryan Francisco, forum director for

GlobalFest. “Discussions began, and

they soon realized the amazing impact

their events would have if they partnered

together to give Calgary a truly

world class celebration of cultural

diversity.”

With a shotgun marriage of

IAACC’s cultural pavilions to CFFS’s

fireworks displays getting the Global-

Fest celebration under way in 2003, little

could the newlyweds have reckoned

on such an instant impact—a remarkable

100,000 visitors to its first outing.

“Our organization and the city

were overwhelmed by the volumes of

people we were able to attract,” said

Lindsay Dann, GlobalFest founder and

executive producer. “After the success

of the inaugural year, there were a lot

of lessons to be learned. We really had

to work with the city over the years to

garner support and refine the logistics

of a major event in an urban center.”

42 one+ 05.13


“We want visitors

to Calgary to know

that we aren’t just

a cowboy-and-oil

province, but that

we’re also a hub

of culture and art

as well as a tourist

destination.”

These demands of instant success

were triggers for GlobalFest organizers

to be resourcefully innovative in building

a platform from which the event

could really push on. In order to bolster

their team in planning for an event,

centered on energy and creativity, they

turned to the most plentiful source—

young people, specifically students, attracted

by establishing their Youth

Leaders of Tomorrow (YLOT)

program.

“Students that qualify for the

YLOT program must be enrolled in or

have recently graduated from a postsecondary

institution with a relevant

degree or major,” Francisco said. With

a nod to its career springboard potential

he added, “Our current director of

corporate partnerships last served as a

YLOT a few years ago, and a previous

YLOT now works for the Provincial

Government.”

Engaging students via the YLOT

program proved to not only be a boon

to the organizing team and foot-up the

career ladder for young event organizers,

but also a rich vein of ideas to

brighten GlobalFest’s cultural agenda,

generating what has developed into

one of its central pillars and a CSR beacon,

the Human Rights Forum (HRF).

“The HRF was created by a YLOT

student intern in 2007 with the intent

of sharing information about issues as

part of a larger international coalition

being promoted through UNESCO’s

Coalition of Municipalities against

Racism and Discrimination,” Dann

said. “It has been recognized as an excellent

platform for sharing experiences,

knowledge and practical solutions

necessary to address issues of racism

and discrimination in a positive and

safe environment.

“It can kind of be seen as the more

serious part of our mandate, where we

invite local, national and international

experts—such as former lieutenant

generals, child soldiers and other champions

of human rights—to converse on

a variety of topics related to multiculturalism

and human rights.”

Investing early in youth engagement

paid out a second dividend with the

creation of the Youth Forum, a spinoff

created in 2010 to take its core ideas

out to thousands of schoolchildren in

Calgary in advance of the event and

encourage them to express themselves

artistically, culminating in their own

dedicated arts stage during GlobalFest

and leaving another huge CSR

footprint.

“It’s since been very successful with

an annual tour featuring UNITY (Urban

Non-violent Initiatives Through

Youth) Charity from Toronto visiting

Calgary schools and an after-school

program in various schools and locations

in Calgary running 10-20 weeks

in both 2012 and 2013,” Dann said.

All of these major initiatives helped

ensure the success of GlobalFest’s 10th

anniversary outing in its Elliston Park

venue in mid-August, which was aided

by a number of operational strides tak-

mpiweb.org 43


en to elevate the event further. First,

among many of these, has been its

thorough greening—organizers set out

a Green Vision that was developed into

a Green Action program supported by

Green Team volunteers charged with

the maintenance and care of the park.

“We believe in protecting and preserving

our environment, and we have

an all-inclusive program to encourage

our visitors to deposit their garbage

and recyclables in marked bins placed

throughout the park,” Francisco said.

“We have also taken further smaller

steps in this direction, including providing

free bike racks and providing refillable

water bottles and potable water

tanks for the more than 750 Global-

Fest volunteers.”

Such a large number of volunteers

was required not only to assist visitors

but also to channel clear and consistent

information over a wide area. This

meant the increasing use of social media

to get live information out, which

has turned out to be a particularly

valuable tool for an event that can be

held hostage by mother nature.

“We have made strides in recent

years in improving our social media

presence and find Facebook, Twitter

and our website to be invaluable tools

in providing information about the festival,”

Dann said. “It allows us instantaneous

interaction and feedback from

the public; for example, letting them

know about weather delays as soon as

they are called. We’re also considering

a mobile app that will allow visitors to

take surveys on their smartphone

devices.”

Introducing this app would be the

latest stage of an ongoing experimentation

with the event that organizers

have not shied away from over its short

life, in particular, testing the right blend

of facilities and activities to garner

success.

“We’ve experimented with the

numbers of the ethnic food booths, the

cultural pavilions, the format of a night

market, the performance stages and

also with a Kiddies’ Koral and an Aboriginal

Tipi Village,” Francisco said.

“GlobalFest 2013 will see a similar

number of facilities, but slightly

smaller.”

Slightly smaller in numbers for this

year, perhaps, but with ever-increasing

ambition and expectations. With the

event’s place on the Canadian events

calendar already assured, the organizers

are pushing for more international

recognition and constantly working to

get the news out to the widest possible

audience.

The participating

countries have their

appointed evening

in which to flaunt

their national choreographic

skill by

illuminating the

night sky to the

accompaniment of

a musical program

rooted in their

native tunes.

“With our established reputation in

the city, we would definitely say we are

a success,” Dann said. “We want visitors

to Calgary to know that we aren’t

just a cowboy-and-oil province, but

that we’re also a hub of culture and art

as well as a tourist destination. We

have two staff members dedicated to

overlooking tourism and corporate

partnership, who travel to trade shows

in Canada and abroad in order to gather

ideas and spread information about

Calgary and GlobalFest.”

As the organizing team takes the

GlobalFest message out to the world,

the world brings its own message to

GlobalFest through the fireworks displays

that bring down the curtain. The

participating countries have their appointed

evening in which to flaunt their

national choreographic skill by illuminating

the night sky to the accompaniment

of a musical program rooted in

their native tunes.

As their fireworks rise higher and

explode in a riot of color, so too do the

many powerful ideas behind Global-

Fest—the potency of event partnering,

the value of youth engagement, the

readiness to constantly experiment towards

finding the successful formula

and the significance CSR takes on

when it’s fully integral rather than at

arm’s length.

There’s a lot to be said for event inspiration

coming from the sky above...

the aurora borealis certainly hasn’t

done too badly for Calgary.

ROB COTTER is a frequent One+

contributor based in Germany.

JEFF CRUZ

PAULA TROTTER

44 one+ 05.13


Hosted

Coming Soon to a

IF YOU USED THE TERM “HOSTED BUYER” outside of

Europe three or four years ago, few people would have known

what you were talking about. These days, it’s become a buzzword,

and blown up for good reason. It’s a model of meeting that ensures

top buyers attend events and meet with the right suppliers.

“When Ray Bloom, founder and director of the IMEX Group,

designed the hosted buyer program in the late 1980s, it was to

guarantee the best meeting planner buyers came to his shows,”

explained Kit Watts, media representative for IMEX Group,

which holds trade shows in both Europe and the U.S. “He wondered

how he could know the buyers would really come and make

it worthwhile for the suppliers/exhibitors to enter the shows.”

Bloom’s plan started with visiting the editors of meeting industry

magazines and identifying their best buyers. Armed with that

list, he took a financial risk and offered to pick up the cost of

travel and accommodations for select planner buyers who promised

to attend his trade shows.

Since those early IMEX shows, the program has grown every

year.

“It’s become a very expensive program, because we’re now

bringing in people from 56 countries and arranging for their visas

as well,” Watts said.

But it’s worth it because of how much business gets done in

the few days the show lasts. As such, hosted buyer programs have

begun spreading beyond the meetings-for-meeting-professionals

market.

HOSTED BUYER BREAKS OUT

Brian Perkins, a partner in South Portland, Maine-based Highliner

Events, has started utilizing hosted buyer meeting models for

46 one+ 05.13


Buyers:

Meeting Near You.

BY PETER GORMAN

meetings in the perishables industry. The unique twist

Highliner Events adds is that buyers and suppliers don’t

get to talk with one another prior to the actual meetings.

“Since we’re dealing with food products, what is important

are food tastings and presentations,” said Perkins,

a former large trade show organizer. “And that is

done during our intimate two-and-a-half-day meetings.”

He reiterates what Bloom realized years ago: Real

business gets done with the hosted buyer model, noting

that two participants in his first hosted buyer meeting, a

seafood event, closed a US$8 million account.

The success of Highliner Events’ hosted buyer program

is partly due to their small scope, generally 100-150

people.

“We have buyers who are absolutely aware of what

they purchase, but they’re not necessarily aware of what

else is available in the market,” he said. “And on the sellers’

side, what we’re finding is that while they might already

do business with a particular buyer, they’re only

selling them part of their line—and our events allow those

buyers to see and taste the whole line.”

The result of that is a sizable expansion of product

and option awareness for Perkins’ attendees.

Meeting professionals must be fully informed and

more-thoroughly educated on the possible customizations

and modifications that can be made to the general

hosted buyer model. Then the model can be effectively

pitched to their clients and rolled out in countless

industries.

“Then it will really take off,” said Meaghan Ferrazza,

manager of hosted buyer and marketplace for MPI’s

World Education Congress (WEC).

PROPAGATION OF THE MODEL

In 2010, MPI held its first hosted buyer pilot program in

Cancun—which drew 105 planners and 76 suppliers.

Fast-forward to the hosted buyer program at MPI’s 2012

WEC in St. Louis, Missouri, and those numbers were up

to 240 and 163, respectively.

But the WEC hosted buyer program features its own

twist on the IMEX model: no traditional trade show, just

face-to-face business meetings.

For planners—the buyers—to be hosted, they’ve got

to fill out an application that includes what events they’ve

worked previously and what they’re planning to execute

in the future.

“Our program gets the leg work out of the way,” Ferrazza

said. “Long before the actual face-to-face meetings,

both planners and suppliers can see what products and

services work best for them and they can set up appointments,

so they can prepare and speak accordingly upon

arriving at the WEC.”

Why no trade show component? For many suppliers,

this approach is simply more accessible, Ferrazza says.

This enables the cost for suppliers to drop (e.g. savings

in both shipping booth materials and marketing).

“Our matching software allows suppliers and planners

to communicate before they meet, in order to understand

their unique requirements,” Ferrazza said. “Then,

when it’s time for the face-to-face meeting they are making

the most of their time.”

The hosted buyer model is also viewed as a logical

evolution in meetings according to Michael Dominguez,

senior vice president of corporate hotel sales for MGM

Resorts International.

mpiweb.org 47


Each hosted buyer program is different,

but this year you have the chance to

experience the two prevailing models—

both in Las Vegas.

Apply as a hosted buyer for MPI’s 2013

World Education Congress, July 20-23,

by visiting www.mpiweb.org/wec.

OCTOBER 15–17, 2013

LAS VEGAS

2013

World Education Congress

July 20–23 • Mandalay Bay • Las Vegas

Stay tuned to www.imexamerica.com/

hostedbuyers.html to apply as a hosted

buyer for IMEX America, Oct. 15-17.

“In the past, some companies didn’t do their homework

and didn’t get the anticipated traffic, and then

blamed the show,” Dominguez said. “But with the hosted

buyer model, the benefit is that it allows companies

to attend where they might not otherwise have been able

to due to budget constraints.”

For Marguerite Florsham, founder and president of

Strategy US and a meeting industry veteran with 30 years

of experience, the complimentary transportation and

accommodations that come with hosted buyer programs

are the least important elements of the program. The

value she recognizes in the hosted buyer model is in its

respect and appreciation of her time.

“Planners are inundated with invitations from hotels

and trade shows, so complimentary access is pretty much

taken for granted,” she said. “I probably get five invitations

a week to go somewhere. But there are two hosted

buyer programs that I always attend, MPI’s WEC and

IMEX America, because those are the two standout

shows in North America. And WEC is the pivotal hosted

buyer conference in North America if you are a meeting

planner. Why? Because when you come to WEC as a

hosted buyer the suppliers take you very seriously.”

Dominguez sees the shared hosted buyer expertise of

the IMEX Group and WEC as a force that can only drive

more innovation in this meeting model.

“WEC will continue to increase marketplace oppor-


tunities which allow for ever more interaction and engagement

with and between all WEC planner attendees

and participating suppliers,” he said. “It doesn’t have to

be all or nothing; you can have a hybrid model in certain

situations.”

Gregg Herning, vice president of Peabody Orlando,

reaped the benefits of his company’s involvement with

the 2011 WEC, including its hosted buyer program. The

Peabody was a host hotel for the event and between the

hosted buyer program, site tours and an RFP Lounge, his

sales team identified $18 million in potential meeting

business and expects to

close on up to $8 million

of that, more than tripling

his expectations.

That is a lot of business.

And he’s not alone.

When IMEX America

launched in 2011, and

began working with MPI

and other leading industry

associations, an exit

survey of hosted buyers

revealed that total business

placed on site

amounted to $281 million,

with an expected

$1.9 billion worth of business to be placed in the following

nine months.

When buyers and suppliers are happy, organizers are

happy. IMEX America has grown each year and, Watts

says, they are now bringing in Latin American and Brazilian

buyers—so the show will continue to grow.

The next step for smart meeting professionals is to

show the value of the hosted buyer meeting model to the

C-suite and clients—highlighting the opportunities for

customization and flexibility of the model—and we’ll

then see a significant transformation in the meetings

landscape.

PETER GORMAN is an award-winning investigative

journalist.


the

Lure

Unique

of the

Finding that special something to make your meeting

stand out is more important than ever. Emerging

destinations may do the trick.

BY DULCY GREGORY

50 one+ 05.13


he mere thought of planning

an event in an unfamiliar

locale generates

excitement. Many planners

say the best meetings they’ve executed

have been in up-and-coming

locations. In today’s world of information

and opportunity overload, the chance

for some attendees to visit a place they’ve

never been could be the deciding factor as to

whether they go to your event or that of a competitor.

Before deciding to shake things up, consider what you

know and don’t know about emerging destinations.

There is rhyme and reason to choosing a great location.

Don’t abandon an existing rationale just to trade a familiar

city for an unfamiliar one; however, that theory is

certainly open to adaptation.

UNCOVERING THE BASICS

Destinations are typically viewed as emerging when they

experience a notable increase in the number of meetings

hosted. This growth could be due to expanding or developing

infrastructure, a political shift that supports new

meetings or even placement on one of many travel and

tourism Top 10 lists. Such locations have a strong

potential for growth and

usually offer good ROI.

Identifying these places,

however, takes a little

research.

“Where business goes

meetings follow,” said Patricia

Durocher, CEO of

Global Cynergies, an international

hotel and venue

sourcing company that

works in more than

450

destinations in 65

countries.

Following travel

and

tourism trends

is another way to

get a pulse on what’s

Emerging doesn’t solely

refer to exotic places tucked

into a corner of the world

where no one has dared to

plan events. There could be

a blossoming events mecca

in the city next door, such as

Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

hot. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC,

www.wttc.org) provides economic data on travel and

tourism industries. Tracing the paths of behemoth events

such as the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup—the locations

for which are decided years in advance—will give

insight into up-and-coming destinations. FIFA’s 2022

World Cup, for example, is set to take place in Qatar, a

country that already reports 95 percent of its international

visitors come for business, meetings and/or events. Accordingly,

Qatar is investing US$20 billion in its tourism

infrastructure.

Smart planners will also look at the concept with an

open mind. “Emerging” doesn’t solely refer to exotic

places tucked into a corner of the world where no one

has dared to plan events. There could be a blossoming

events mecca in the city next door, such as Cedar Rapids,

Iowa, where the U.S. Cellular Center is expected to bring

in more than 375,000 visitors (and $34 million) annually

after it opens later this year. Remember that destinations

tend to go through cycles, which makes re-emerging

locations just as relevant as those that might be fresh on

the scene.

Many times, cities and locations new to the spotlight

are simply looking for ways to gain exposure. Events go

a long way in helping these places break stereotypes and/

or reinvent themselves.

“As long as there is

accessibility, there is opportunity,”

said Eli Gorin, vice

president of global client

relations at ABTS Convention

Services, who has

planned events throughout

South America.

WHEN MEETING SEEKS

DESTINATION

Let’s talk about the advantages

of holding an event in

an emerging destination.

When convincing clients to

uproot, money always matters.

Evaluate the benefits

mpiweb.org 51


elated to the bottom line. With price points in major cities

only getting higher, second- and third-tier cities have

the chance to offer the same services at more reasonable

rates. Some countries even have government funding

available to entice planners to book events in up-andcoming

cities. And, of course, VAT refunds.

Sonia Camara de la Fuente, president of Connecticutbased

Eventful Minds, witnessed cost savings and

enhanced engagement first-hand when she executed an

incentive meeting in Uruguay. By the numbers, the Uruguay

event had 37 percent more attendees and cost 35

percent less than the previous year’s event held in Miami.

De la Fuente did her homework—speaking with references,

reading news about the region, examining online

venue reviews and conducting a site visit nine months

before the event—to ensure the country’s infrastructure

could sufficiently handle the 250-person group.

But she also understands that money isn’t everything.

Planners who have worked in emerging locations say that

the real added value has to do with the attendee experience.

Unlike major event hubs, which offer everything

from an established infrastructure to the latest equipment,

reliable vendors and plenty of ground personnel,

“an emerging destination has an innocence,” de la Fuente

said. “As professional as veteran destinations are,

sometimes they don’t have the heart.”

Although she had no destination management

company in Uruguay to assist, the hospitality of the local

people far outweighed the short-lived effects of any

hiccups in the program. According to de la Fuente, the

novelty of the experience made the event one of the most

memorable meetings she’s planned.

“That’s the thing to remember,” she said. “In emerging

destinations, it’s the culture that makes planners and

attendees want to return, not the quality of Wi-Fi or

number of adequate hotel options.”

It’s worth noting that these locations are, generally

speaking, more accommodating and flexible than others.

This applies to a range of event logistics, from F&B to

finances. However knowledgeable they might be, cities

that have been through the mill when it comes to meetings

often have structured formulas—a “this is how we

do it” mentality—wherein the planner’s job becomes

more about fitting the program into the mold of the

destination rather than allowing meeting and destination

to evolve and adapt together (a more likely scenario in

emerging areas).

And emerging locations can make up for a lack of

experience with a determination and willingness to make

anything work.

“They won’t nickel and dime you,” Gorin said,

remembering a meeting in Colombia. “The group didn’t

pay anything upfront to the hotel. I had never seen such

faith and trust from a destination before.”


WHEN DESTINATION SEEKS MEETING

This willingness and flexibility works both ways. Perceptive

planners understand they aren’t the only party that

has a vested interest in a meeting’s success. There’s something

in it for destinations, too, and emerging locations

could stand to benefit more from certain types of

meetings and events.

Consider attendee demographics. Are participants

open-minded or well traveled? Meetings tailored to

younger generations or groups that hail from fairly

innovative or forward-thinking industries might be more

willing to travel long distances, be amenable with

expectations and understand nuances in the local culture.

“Attendees are getting tired of well-known event locations

or those that are full of luxury,” de la Fuente said.

For such groups, an emerging destination makes for

a refreshing change of pace.

Success also depends on what the conference is about.

If impoverished communities surround a destination, a

luxury event or an expensive exhibition won’t exactly fit

in. The same thing goes with the need to have specific

brands and/or products, which might not be available in

a particular location.

Lastly, planners should evaluate the complexity of

their event program. In some cases, there might be fewer

choices for event venues or hotels. Accordingly, a small

meeting housed under one roof may provide greater ROI

Top 5 Emerging Destinations

As Shared by Global Cynergies CEO Patricia Durocher

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Brazil

Ramping up quality level and infrastructure

for the 2016 Summer Olympics

Johannesburg, South Africa

World-class accommodations with evolving

understanding of the meetings market

Panama

Growing awareness of meetings’ needs with

established international business history

United Arab Emirates

Growing infrastructure, airlift and midway to

blossoming Indian and Chinese businesses

Colombia

Safety well beyond its decades-old reputation

and a service level based on client success


and engagement than a large meeting with multiple room

blocks, venue sites and a layered program. Properly

ascertaining the size and type of event that an inexperienced

destination can handle gives the local people a fair

chance to impress and meet all deliverables.

While some components might be tricky, it all comes

back to the readiness to make it work. If the audiovisual

equipment isn’t cutting-edge or has some hiccups, wise

venues in emerging destinations will make up for it.

Many times what might be seen as a disadvantage

actually turns to your favor.

A WIN-WIN MODEL

While all meeting professionals strive for a successful

attendee event experience, it’s an even greater accomplishment

to execute an event that is mutually beneficial

for both meeting and location. Veteran destinations have

a plethora of successful meetings taking place daily and

have demonstrated professional and technical capabilities

time and time again. An emerging location, on the other

hand, has something to prove and the most to gain.

Meetings can help break lingering stereotypes for

emerging and re-emerging destinations, too. A successful

event experience can transform attendees into brand

ambassadors for the destination.

“Colombia was a very unsafe place a few decades

ago,” Gorin said. “It’s known to many as the drug

capital of the world. But those numbers have dropped

and [the country doesn’t] deserve that reputation. Events

can help prove these antiquated reputations false. People

think they know a place, but then they visit and realize

they [were wrong].”

As the movement from Wall Street to Main Street

gains traction, so does the notion that meetings don’t

always need to happen in major metropolitan areas.

“Bottom line, people want to go where their neighbors

haven’t been,” Durocher said.

Planning events in Uruguay, Colombia or Cedar Rapids,

Iowa, can make this friendly competition a reality for

meeting-goers everywhere, but location and meeting need

to work together in order to make it memorable. Emerging

destinations have plenty of potential for Cinderella

stories. The magic can happen, but the shoe has to fit.

DULCY GREGORY is a freelance writer and event planning

consultant with a knack for balancing creativity and organization.

She received her MFA in creative writing from The

New School in 2012. For more information, visit

www.dulcygregory.com.

54 one+ 05.13


MAKING PUBLIC

SPACE

Personal

TULANE PUBLICATIONS

Artist and “Before I Die” creator Candy Chang transforms

space through curiosity and humanity—and will teach delegates

of MPI’s World Education Congress to do the same.

BY JASON HENSEL

56 one+ 05.13

REVOR COE


2013

World Education Congress

July 20–23 • Mandalay Bay • Las Vegas

Candy Chang will be speaking during

MPI’s 2013 World Education Congress

in Las Vegas, July 20-23. Register

now at www.mpiweb.org/wec.

here was a house in New Orleans on

Burgundy Street in the Marigny neighborhood,

and for months it stood abandoned,

a community blight. Candy

Chang decided to change that. On one side of the

building she placed huge chalkboards with a phrase:

“Before I die, I want

to_____.” Soon, passersby

picked up chalk

and wrote in wishes

that, if fulfilled, would

offer happiness or satisfaction.

“How it developed

in New Orleans, during

the next seven months...

people young and old

took pieces of chalk,

people cried alone

and laughed together...

neighbors introduced

themselves to each other,”

Chang says.

Before installing the

project, Chang spoke with neighbors who indicated

that, at the very least, the house wouldn’t be any

worse off.

“A grandmother across the street said people are

around all the time, the block is safer now,” Chang

says. “[That’s] one of the most meaningful things to

me; this place was very down and out, a lot of crime,

[but now there were] more people around.”

Getting people

to talk to one another

is one of

Chang’s specialties.

“I think public spaces have

the potential to do a lot.

They are shared spaces, they

have power to nourish our

well-being and help us see

we’re not alone and help us

make sense of our lives.”

One of her early public space projects started conversations

about rental differences among New York

City residents. Another project had people post “I

Wish This Was_____” stickers—styled after “Hello,

My Name is” badges—onto abandoned buildings

and undeveloped projects in order to elicit civic discussions

about neighborhoods.

Chang’s ultimate goal is to improve well-being by

creating conversation opportunities. Public spaces

offer that opportunity.

“I was recently at the Greenbuild conference in

San Francisco where I made a ‘Before I Die’ wall just

outside of the Moscone Center,” she says. “When

walking into the event, there was a giant wall out in

public space, and people started to write their hopes

and dreams. A lot of them were very green-oriented.

There were also more

emotional goals—

‘Before I die I want to

stop being afraid,’ ‘…

enjoy waking up early’

or ‘…quit worrying

about money.’”

Chang noticed

something else as she

watched attendees

write on the board.

“People started to

have conversations

with one another,” she

says. “The board was a

kind of icebreaker for

people from around

the world who were all

alone at this giant conference. Having this kind of

project in a public space helps people to open up.”

Chang was born in Pittsburgh, received her Masters

degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University

in New York and has worked as a designer

for The New York Times, as a field researcher for

Nokia, for a record label and with community

groups worldwide. All of these experiences helped

shape her into the person she is today, providing a

unique perspective of her place in the world.

She currently lives in New Orleans’ Bywater

neighborhood, an area that houses a creative

mpiweb.org 57


community that is welcoming and open to

new experiences.

“New Orleans is very incubating,” she

says. “I feel like I have the space to step

back and reflect. The city helps me slow

down a bit. It’s also very stimulating;

there’s always something strange and wonderful

going on down the street, always

something interesting happening.”

A city like New Orleans, capable of offering

a sensory overload and a respite

Great artistic projects

are expressions of struggles.

They’re a form of

self-help—helping the

artist understand her

place in the world.

from life—sometimes at the same time—is

exactly what she needs.

“That’s one of the most important

things of all, and that’s where my projects

are going, related to health and well-being,”

she says. “I believe in a future where

more of our public spaces can be these kind

of profound sanctuaries to help us become

our best selves. I feel like these days people

are always talking about how we’re more

connected than ever. Because of the Internet,

because of technology, we’re connected

to more people, more everything, all of

the time. Part of that is very exciting; it can

also be distressing, because it’s much harder

to make that space you need for solitude

and the time to pause, step back and be

quiet and reflect. I think right now, because

of all this connectedness, it’s more

important than ever to find ways to be able

to maintain perspective on what matters

most to us. I think public spaces have the

potential to do a lot. They are shared spaces,

they have power to nourish our wellbeing

and help us see we’re not alone and

help us make sense of our lives.”

Great artistic projects are expressions of

struggles. They’re a form of self-help—

helping the artist understand her place in

the world. Questions are raised with the

work, and often, answers are found within

the same piece. Upcoming projects will

take Chang to the Deep South and the desert

Southwest to explore how public spaces

nourish well-being.

“The Almanac of Self-Neglect,” an installation

at the Centre for the Living Arts

in Mobile, Alabama, aims to “help us see

that we’re not alone as we try to make

sense of our lives,” she says.

“It will have a giant field of red

umbrellas, then one singular colonnade, a

cleared white path, a clearing in the middle

with a singular desk and a chair and a

book,” she says. “You can walk into this

field with umbrellas and have this kind of

sublime solitude for a moment where you

can open up the book and share your deepest

needs for personal well-being. Over the

year, the Almanac will grow into a collect-

58 one+ 05.13


ed record of things we need to shield from

our chaotic environment in order to become

our best selves.”

Chang’s other project, “Library of Reinvention,”

will be set in a Mojave Desert

ghost town on Route 66. There, she and a

partner will assemble a library.

“It will be about pilgrimages, and the

books in the library will be about pilgrimage

and the idea of taking new trips to reinvent

yourself, to change your life, to

make yourself better,” she says.

Appropriately, the Mojave Desert is one

of Chang’s favorite natural spaces. Growing

up in the U.S. Midwest and on the East

Coast, the vast, varied landscapes of the

country continue to inspire her.

“The West has always had this wideopen

romantic feel to me,” she says. “I just

took a road trip again; this is something I

do regularly, to step back and get away

from it all, mentally and physically, to restore

perspective and think deeply about

my life. I love the desert for that, and

there’s a great spot in New Mexico, the

Valley of the Gods, that just feels like

you’re on Mars. There are few countries

that have such a wide range of landscapes

from the deserts to the beach to the mountains

to everything in between, and it’s

wonderful.”

Chang has also found inspiration in a

creative 19th-century gardener, Sir Joseph

Paxton, and sees his story as a lesson for

the ages.

“We can all learn from creative people,”

she says.

Paxton was the first person in England

to grow the giant water lily pad. In doing

so, he realized it had a specific rigid structure

that made it incredibly strong. To test

the plant’s strength, he placed a child on a

lily pad…and then more children. It was

clear the plant’s form enabled it to support

significant weight, so he began applying

that knowledge to other things, including

experimental greenhouses.

From his observations while growing a

lily pad, he eventually designed The Crystal

Palace in London, a celebration of the latest

technology and the industrial revolution.

The curious gardener became an

architect.

“It shows how small or big we want to

make our disciplines, how your work and

life can change depending on your attitude,”

Chang says. “It wasn’t some unattainable

flash of genius. He was just curious,

he tried things out and kept an open

mind—because of that he did really great

things. That’s something we can all do.”

JASON HENSEL is multimedia editor for

One+.


YOUR COMMUNITY

>

Getting to Know MPI’s New CEO

The MPI board of directors named Paul

Van Deventer as the association’s new CEO

and president on April 16. Let’s learn a little

about him.

One+ multimedia editor Jason Hensel:

Whose style has inspired you as a leader?

Paul Van Deventer: For personal leadership

inspiration, I say the style of my parents and

what I’ve learned from them. For business

leadership inspiration, the most significant

is Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express,

because of his focus on the people and

leadership development side of the business.

JH: What’s your management style?

PVD: I’m a manager who likes a collaborative

approach and to empower leaders by

giving them a clear definition of expectations

and the tools to get things done.

JH: Do you volunteer or work with any

charities?

PVD: I have worked in several different

charities, engaged on boards for my kids’

school systems, as well as a group called Go

Lightly Travel, an educational academy built

in the Detroit inner city to help underprivileged

students find a career path. Other travel

executives and I made a commitment to hire

students from the academy as they came

through the school. It was inspirational to

be involved with it. Currently, my family is

engaged in supporting a homeless shelter for

men in Carlsbad, Calif., by helping deliver

food to them.

JH: What will you bring from your previous

business experience to the association world?

PVD: My work experiences have been primarily

working in the B-2-B environment,

working with large employers, specifically

in lots of cases, travel providers. When you

look at what we’re doing at this association,

it’s very relevant from a B-2-B perspective,

because the funding source is primarily coming

from large employers and corporations,

including travel providers. I think those

relationships I built and my understanding of

those industries will be very helpful for us.

The other side of my business experience

has been very customer and relationship

focused. The association business is all about

leveraging relationships, building value for

our members and being able to engage and

leverage the skill set of volunteers. I’ve done a

lot of that in my career.

JH: Any other thoughts you’d like to share

with the members of the MPI community?

PVD: Well, I’m excited to be back in the

travel community, and I’m excited to be a

part of the MPI organization and working

closely with the community, and I look

forward to meeting everyone face-to-face at

WEC this summer in Las Vegas.

There’s even more to this exclusive with Van

Deventer at www.mpiweb.org/blogs.

Act Quick, Proposals Needed

At the end of this month, the 2014 European Meetings and Events Conference (EMEC) call

for speaking proposals will come to a close.

MPI is looking for presenters who can bring a unique focus to education and professional

development at EMEC. The person is someone who will innovate with new topics, be engaging

in presentation style and can surprise and inspire participants attending the event.

More details and requirements can be found at www.mpiweb.org/Events/CallForSpeakers.

If you have someone in your portfolio of speakers who could make a big impact on the

audience of meeting and event industry professionals and can present a session that will

create an unforgettable learning experience, please contact mpispeakers@mpiweb.org. All

proposals are due back to MPI no later than close of business on Friday, May 31, 2013.

60 one+ 05.13


MAKING A

>>

DIFFERENCE

The Best Networking Payout in Vegas

The MPI Foundation will be in full swing with its mainstay of

WEC fundraiser events in Las Vegas this year.

The very successful Silent Auction, sponsored by Benchmark

Hospitality, will be available throughout the entire conference, July

20-23. Throughout the last 10 years, the Foundation has raised

more than US$700,000 in donations as all funds raised go directly

toward MPIF’s ongoing commitment to investing in programs such

as research, scholarships and grants.

The Foundation will also be holding the Players Golf Tournament:

Ryder Cup Style in an East vs. West showdown. Enjoy a

challenging round of golf on Saturday, July 20, at the Rio Secco

Golf Club set at the foothills of the Black Mountain Range. Try

your luck at winning a new set of clubs and US$1,000,000!

The ever-exciting The Big Deal on Sunday, July 21, at Caesars

Palace is back with a night of high rolling networking, gaming,

celebrities and giveaways. Planners will get in free as spectators

and one lucky player will win a seat at the 2014 World Series of

Poker (WSOP) Main Event. Trevor Lui won the 2012 Big Deal in

St. Louis and will compete for millions at the WSOP Main Event

in July.

Last, and certainly not least, is Rendezvous on Monday, July

22, at the Voodoo Lounge, Rio Hotel and Casino. Come dressed

and prepared to get your groove on with a throwback to the 70’s.

Rendezvous is one of the can’t-miss events at WEC, with great networking,

live music and dancing. A quiet area is designated at the

exclusive ‘Wine Cellar.’ Your ticket gets you in to both events.

For more information about all of these events or sponsorship

opportunities, visit www.mpiweb.org/wec.

Peabody Offers Scholarship for WEC

The Foundation continues to roll out scholarship opportunities for those wanting to attend the World

Education Congress (WEC) in Las Vegas. The Foundation has a new scholarship thanks to the support

and investment by the Peabody Hotel Group.

Three scholarships will be provided to corporate planners for each of the next three WECs, which

includes conference registration, hotel accommodations, airfare and a daily per diem, which totals up to

a US$2,500 per stipend.

For corporate planners interested in taking advantage of this—and many other scholarship opportunities—visit

www.mpiweb.org/MPIF/Scholarships.

INVESTORS The MPI Foundation thanks the following organizations and individuals for their generous support.

THOUGHT LEADER

Active Network

Freeman AV

Gaylord Entertainment

IHG

IMEX

Jumeirah

Marriott International

PSAV

Wyndham Hotel Group

INNOVATOR

Dallas CVB

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Rosen Hotels and Resorts

San Francisco Travel

ADVOCATE

Abu Dhabi Tourism Culture Authority

AT&T Park

AVT Event Technologies

Caesars Windsor

Canadian Tourism Commission

Las Vegas CVA

Loews

MCI

Mediasite by Sonic Foundry

GATEKEEPER

Disney Destinations

HelmsBriscoe

Travel Alberta

ASSOCIATE

AC Lighting

Aimbridge Hospitality

M&IT

CONTRIBUTOR

Destination Halifax

Direct Energy Centre & Allstream

Centre at Exhibition Place

CHAPTERS

Arizona Sunbelt

Chicago Area

Middle Pennsylvania

Montréal & Québec

Northern California

Ohio

Orange County

Philadelphia Area

Potomac (D.C. Area)

Rocky Mountain

Tampa Bay Area

U.K. & Ireland

Washington State

mpiweb.org 61


INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

>

Why, Hello People!

Does it seem like there are more people at your event this year? There are. Just 15 percent of industry professionals have

seen decreases in their attendance over the last year—and they project even better numbers for the next 12 months—

according to MPI’s April Business Barometer. The full report goes live May 14 at www.mpiweb.org/barometer.

Favorable:

52.25%

Favorable:

57.41%

Flat:

32.43%

Flat:

32.41%

Negative:

15.32%

Negative:

10.19%

Change In Attendance Since Last Year

Projected Change In Attendance Over

The Next Year

62 one+ 05.13


MPI STRATEGIC PARTNERS

STRATEGIC ALLIANCE

GLOBAL PARTNERS

MPI MARKETSMART BUSINESS SOLUTIONS TM

PREMIER PARTNERS

SIGNATURE PARTNERS

PREFERRED PARTNERS

CHOICE PARTNERS

64 one+ 05.13


SPECIAL SECTIONS

Golf

PAGES 66-67

Kalahari Resorts

PAGES 68-69

Geneva National Resort

Tennessee

PAGES 70-71

Country Music Hall of Fame

PAGE 72

Hutton Hotel


GOLF RESORTS SPECIAL SECTION

Kalahari Resorts

kalaharimeetings.com

Featuring authentic

African artifacts,

artwork and furniture,

these state-of-the-art

convention centers

are also home to

America’s largest indoor

waterparks and awardwinning

outdoor and

indoor attractions.

Inspired by the adventure of Africa, Kalahari

Resorts and Convention Centers, located

in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., and Sandusky,

Ohio, offer guests one of the Midwest’s most

unique event and trade show destinations.

Featuring authentic African artifacts, artwork

and furniture, these state-of-the-art convention

centers are also home to America’s largest

indoor waterparks and award-winning

outdoor and indoor attractions. With everything

conveniently located under one roof,

Kalahari Resorts provides an amazing mix of

business and social amenities for a memorable

meeting or event experience.

Sandusky, Ohio

Located midway between Cleveland and

Toledo, Kalahari Resort and Convention

Center in Sandusky features more than 800

individually appointed guest rooms and six

4,100-square-foot, standalone entertainment

villas that can accommodate up to 22 people.

The completion of a $22 million expansion

brings the total square footage of meeting and

exhibition space to 215,000 square feet, making

the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky the only

under-one-roof complex in the Midwest to

offer a resort convention center of such scope.

Designed to host the best in regional and

national conferences, conventions, consumer

and industry trade shows, Kalahari Resort and

Convention Center in Sandusky has exhibit

space for more than 400 booths, 39 meeting

rooms and three exquisitely appointed

ballrooms.

Conference attendees will find the latest

audiovisual technology available, including

interactive whiteboards, video conferencing

options, high-end acoustical sound systems,

HD-quality projectors and formatted screens,

advanced lighting control systems and digital

signage. Meeting planners will also appreciate

smart design elements, such as electronically

lockable built-in-bars and registration areas, as

well as added warming kitchens in key areas

to enhance food and beverage service options.

For business travelers accompanied by their

families, Kalahari Resorts boasts the nation’s

largest indoor waterpark, a 77,000-square-foot

outdoor waterpark and the 115,000-squarefoot

Safari Outdoor Adventure Park.

Wisconsin Dells

Located immediately off I 90/94 at exit 92,

the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center

in Wisconsin Dells is just a short drive from

Madison, Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay

and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Guest accommodations

include 756 guest rooms and suites and

16 five-bedroom entertainment villas, many

with kitchens, fireplaces and balconies.

Distinctive meeting and exhibit space covers

100,000 square feet and features 35 meeting

rooms, two ballrooms and space for more

than 300 booths. Admission to Wisconsin’s

largest indoor and seasonal outdoor waterparks

is included for all registered guests. In

an area carved by glaciers, nearby Trappers

Turn Golf Club provides a first-class, 27-hole

golf course and club providing breathtaking

views and elegant dining or meeting space for

250 guests.

For more information or to inquir e about

holding an event at Kalahari Resorts, please

call (855) 411-4605 or visit www.kalahari

meetings.com.

66 one+ 05.13


GOLF RESORTS SPECIAL SECTION

Geneva National Resort

genevanationalresort.com

Long known for the 54

holes of legendary golf

designed by the masters—

Arnold Palmer, Gary

Player and Lee Trevino—

as well as impeccable

meetings and events in

the clubhouse.

Geneva National Resort in Wisconsin

is now the premier meeting and

event destination in the Midwest.

Long known for the 54 holes of legendary

golf designed by the masters—Arnold Palmer,

Gary Player and Lee Trevino—as well as impeccable

meetings and events in the clubhouse,

the company is now excited to announce the

addition of Geneva Ridge Resort and the Inns

of Geneva National to the offerings.

The Inns of Geneva National were purchased

by the golf club in August of last

year, and are undergoing a major remodel,

due to be completed in May. Offering a relaxed

setting for smaller groups, the inns are

comprised on six adjacent villas, each featuring

six individual and luxurious guest rooms,

two great rooms and powder rooms, a patio

with seating and a grill and a fully functional

kitchen. With 36 rooms in total, the inns are

often used when intimate breakout space is

desired, or room for more casual discussions,

as well as receptions, meetings and non-business

groups of all types.

Geneva Ridge Resort is just a few minutes’

drive from the inns and the golf club. The

full-service, 146-room hotel offers versatile

meeting space for up to 400, beautiful outdoor

space, a full-service spa and salon, indoor

and outdoor pools, two bars and two

restaurant outlets, a business center, marina

activities and all of the amenities you would

expect. Small and mid-size meetings enjoy the

intimacy of the resort—large enough to meet

all of their needs, yet small enough to gain the

complete attention of the entire staff.

For meetings and events, no space in all

of Lake Geneva compares to Geneva National

Resort. At the golf club, more than 10,000

square feet of elegant meeting and banquet

space, including unique and well-furnished

spaces, are available, with nearly every room

offering impressive golf and lake views. At

Geneva Ridge Resort, more than 12,000

square feet of meeting and banquet space is

available, as well as a stunning outdoor veranda

area.

After the work is done, the staff at Geneva

National Resort is available to assist guests

in taking full advantage of the Lake Geneva

area. Spa, golf and marina activities are right

on property (and not just any golf, three of

the most acclaimed courses in the Midwest).

Located just a few miles outside of downtown

Lake Geneva, shopping, boating, cruises and

nightlife is just a few moments away, and the

resort offers free shuttle service for guests.

For more information, and to begin making

plans for your next group or getaway, please

call Geneva National Resort at (262) 245-7000,

e-mail groups@gnresort.com or visit www.

GenevaNationalResort.com.

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TENNESSEE SPECIAL SECTION

Country Music Hall of Fame ®

countrymusichalloffame.org/expansion-spaces

The new expansion of the Country Music

Hall of Fame ® and Museum in Nashville,

Tennessee, will have a profound effect

on the city, culturally and commercially—and

will reach far beyond as the institution continues

to grow its global profile.

The museum is the definitive keeper of

the history of an American art form and a

gateway to its future, featuring the largest

collection of country music artifacts in the

world. And with the new expansion—including

greatly increased museum gallery and

archive areas, as well as incredible new event

spaces—the Country Music Hall of Fame and

Museum is fast becoming one of the country’s

most desirable meeting destinations.

The role that the museum will play in the

evolving downtown arts and entertainment

campus will be a major one. The building

will be twice its previous size, with triple the

exhibition and archive space, and will feature

a new, state-of-the-art, 800-seat CMA

Theater and a stunning, 10,000-square-foot

Event Hall.

“Since the museum opened in 2001, it

has become one of Nashville’s signature cultural

assets and a key economic engine,” said

Mayor Karl Dean.

The Event Hall, featuring a 40-foot glass

wall that overlooks the downtown Nashville

skyline, may serve many functions. This

incomparable space provides an unforgettable

setting for receptions, dinners, weddings,

trade shows, exhibits and much more. It may

also play host to live concert events, placed

against the most unique backdrop in Music

City.

The Event Hall lobby space may also serve

many needs, beyond the obvious uses for preevent

registration and orientation. Adjacent

to both the Event Hall and the Carlton Terrace,

the space may also play host to receptions,

trade shows, artist meet-and-greets—

and even banquet dinners.

The Carlton Terrace awaits those who step

outside the Event Hall lobby area, providing

one of the most pleasing outdoor spaces in

the city—the perfect setting for receptions,

networking, outdoor dinners and weddings, a

part of the Nashville skyline itself. The terrace

may also serve as a unique outdoor venue for

live music.

A Private Dining Room will allow guests

the flexibility of hosting a more intimate gathering—ideal

for VIP dining and private dinners

or lunches. This space offers another matchless

view of the downtown cityscape and is

tailor-made for entertaining a smaller gathering

of guests. The space may also serve as the

best artist green room in town.

These unique new spaces fittingly complement

the uncommon story of country music,

and the evolving story of a city’s rise.

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TENNESSEE SPECIAL SECTION

Hutton Hotel

huttonhotel.com

Hutton Hotel redefines Southern luxury

with unparalleled service and elegant,

contemporary design. Named to

Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List and Travel + Leisure’s

500, the four-star, four-diamond property

offers an ideal Midtown location for business

or pleasure and is nationally recognized

for its innovative green initiatives. The hotel

is located eight miles from Nashville International

Airport and within walking distance of

many Nashville attractions.

MEETING SPACE

The ballroom offers amazing views of the

Nashville skyline. 14,000 square feet of flexible

meeting space is located on one dedicated,

private floor and can be divided into

nine rooms. Meeting planners receive personal

IP phones that provide direct communication

to the conference and banquet team.

SERVICE & AMENITIES

Complimentary manager’s wine reception

weekdays, 5-6 p.m. State-of-the-art fiber

optic electrical, lighting a nd sound systems

and bandwidth capabilities that can handle

any meeting needs. Nationally recognized

executive chef who brings restaurant-style,

four-star catering to banquet events. Additionally,

the award-winning 1808 Grille offers

an ideal setting for private dinners or receptions.

Hybrid courtesy vehicle for use within

three-mile radius.

GUEST ROOMS

Guest rooms are appointed for refined comfort

and modern convenience with flat-screen

TVs, media hubs and rain showerheads. Each

floor has complimentary Nespresso machines.

Multiple room types, including suites and

Cardio Kings equipped with in-room elliptical

machines.

The hotel is located eight miles from Nashville International Airport and

within walking distance of many Nashville attractions.

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CALIFORNIA

MPI’S 2013 GUIDE

Pages 76-77

Team San Jose

Pages 78-79

San Francisco Travel

Association

Pages 80-81

LA Tourism

Pages 82-83

Pasadena CVB

Pages 84-85

Monterey

County CVB

Page 86

Visit Napa Valley


MPI’S MEETING GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA

Team San Jose

sanjose.org

WHY YOU SHOULD BOOK SAN JOSE

One-Stop Service

Instead of handing you off to other organizations

once you book a meeting—as most cities do—Team

San Jose (TSJ) does it all, from housing, convention

center event services and customized food and beverage

menus to permits, marketing support and technically

savvy special events, it’s no wonder 98 percent of

planners say they’d return to San Jose in the future.

Whether you’re a small corporate or citywide

group, San Jose offers the ease of booking the destination

as if it were a big box hotel property. This saves

the event planner valuable time, energy and resources,

so they can focus on the success of the meeting.

Coupled with our walkable and exciting downtown,

planners don’t need to worry about group

transportation—a plus for planners and delegates

visiting San Jose.

Unlike other CVBs, Team San Jose manages the

main meeting venues, ensuring quality control of

your experience from beginning to end. In addition to

managing the San Jose Convention Center, TSJ manages

the San Jose Civic (home to a variety of concerts

and special events, some of which are customizable),

the Center for the Performing Arts (home to Broadway

and ballet), California Theatre (home to the

opera and symphony), Montgomery Theater (home to

Children’s Musical Theater), Parkside Hall and South

Hall. Our close relationships with local hotels, arts

groups and labor mean you’ll have the best packages

and service from them as well!

NEW RENOVATIONS AND EXPANSIONS

Coming September 2013: Bigger, Better Convention

Center.

The San Jose Convention Center is undergoing a

major revitalization reflective of the destination’s

innovative spirit as the Capital of Silicon Valley. In September

2013, the center—which remains open and

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2013

100 percent operational throughout the project—will

complete a $130 million expansion and renovation,

adding 125,000 square feet of flexible ballroom and

meeting space to the center’s existing 425,000 square

feet and renovating the existing convention center.

After the project concludes, the center will offer

550,000 square feet of total usable space for meetings,

conventions and events.

Accommodations

Hotel Rooms Citywide: 8,900

Hotel Rooms within walking distance to the

Convention Center: 2,500

Hotel Rooms within a short Light Rail ride of the

Convention Center: 2,900

Team San Jose does it all, from

housing, convention center event

services and customized food

and beverage menus to permits,

marketing support and technically

savvy special events.

Discover San Jose

Stay and play like a local with 300 days of sunshine,

diverse cultural attractions, world-class golf courses

and central access to Northern CA beaches, wine

country and attractions.

For more information go to www.SanJose.org.

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MPI’S MEETING GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA 2013

San Francisco Travel Association

sanfrancisco.travel/meeting-planners

One might say that the city is LEEDing

the way. With the completion

of a $56 million renovation,

Moscone Center became the West

Coast’s first LEED ® Gold (Existing

Building) convention center.

San Francisco has been rolling out the green carpet

for decades to ensure that the right environment for

successful meetings includes eco-friendly practices.

One might say that the city is LEED-ing the way.

With the completion of a $56 million renovation,

Moscone Center became the West Coast’s first

LEED ® Gold (Existing Building) convention center.

San Francisco also claims these green firsts for two

existing buildings: AT&T Park is the first major league

ballpark to earn LEED Silver and SFO’s Terminal 2 is

the country’s first LEED Gold airport terminal. And

the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate

Park is the world’s greenest museum, having received

a second LEED Platinum rating from the U.S. Green

Building Council in 2011.

Now’s the time to also see what’s new in San

Francisco:

• The first of its kind in the U.S., the SFJAZZ Center

opened in January.

• Completed in February, phase one of the new

cruise terminal at Pier 27 will be used for the

America’s Cup Village.

• Called a “milestone in public art” by Christo, The

Bay Lights, which premiered in March, was inspired

by the 75th anniversary of the Bay Bridge and is

the world’s largest LED sculpture.

• Princess Cruises’ 2,600-passenger Grand Princess is

now based year-round for the first time at the Port

of San Francisco.

• The Exploratorium, San Francisco’s internationally

acclaimed museum of art, science and human perception,

at Piers 15 and 17, opened on April 17.

• Races for the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup

Challenger Series and America’s Cup Finals span

July 4 - Sept. 22.

• San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will complete

a $6.281 billion seismic retrofit in September; the

new east span will feature the world’s largest selfanchored

suspension bridge.

San Francisco is also taking care of the customer well

into the future. In February 2013, the San Francisco

Board of Supervisors approved the creation of the

Moscone Expansion District (MED), which will provide

the majority of funding for the expansion of the

center. The expansion of Mosc one Center will add

approximately 350,000 to 400,000 square feet to the

convention center, including 80,000 or more square

feet of contiguous exhibit space.

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MPI’S MEETING GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA 2013

LA Tourism

discoverlosangeles.com/meetings

From the laid-back beach cities of Santa Monica and

Malibu to the glamour of Hollywood, Los Angeles is

a multi-faceted collection of unique neighborhoods,

each with its own personality. Choosing just one can

be a tough decision, so the Los Angeles Tourism &

Convention Board (LA Tourism) recently formed a

new team of regional hotel sales directors who act as

liaisons for each of LA’s neighborhoods—The San Fernando

Valley, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

and the Beach Cities, Downtown Los Angeles and

Hollywood and the Westside. Each regional director is

based in the area they represent and has an extensive

knowledge of that area’s hotels, cultural venues, attractions

and restaurants to help meeting professionals

better navigate the city. This new approach allows

LA Tourism to deliver personalized service that makes

every client a star in their own right.

But the thoughtful service doesn’t end after the

venue and hotel have been booked. Whether it’s a

small corporate retreat of 50 or a citywide convention

of 50,000, LA Tourism has a dedicated team of

professionals for events of all sizes. For groups with

up to 50 rooms per night, LA Tourism’s new Direct

Line Service program is designed to serve the needs of

smaller conferences and events. For citywide conventions

with peak blocks of more than 1,500 hotel

rooms, the citywide team assists with every step of

the planning process, including hotel packages, roomblock

availability, VIP programs, convention center

booking and more.

At A Glance

LA Tourism services: Assistance with RFP distribution,

venue/hotel selection, promotional items and

visitor materials, telemarketing support and more

GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY

Convention facilities: The Los Angeles Convention

Center offers 770,000 square feet of exhibition space

and 64 meeting rooms totaling 147,000 square feet

Hotel rooms: 97,000 including close to 12,000 near

the Los Angeles Convention Center

Transportation: Los Angeles International Airport

(LAX) is the gateway to the West Coast, the No. 1

international gateway to the Asia/Pacific region and

offers direct flights from 88 domestic cities and 61

int ernational destinations

PACIFIC OCEAN AT SUNSET

For more information: Los Angeles Tourism & Convention

Board, (888) 733-6952, sales@LATourism.org,

www.discoverLosAngeles.com/meetings

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MPI’S MEETING GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA 2013

Pasadena CVB

pasadenameetings.com

Pasadena showcases the best of

Southern California. Located just

10 miles north of downtown Los

Angeles, Pasadena is known for

its small-town charm and urban

amenities.

Pasadena showcases the best of Southern California.

Located just 10 miles north of downtown Los Angeles,

Pasadena is known for its small-town charm and

urban amenities.

Getting to Pasadena is easy. The city is readily

accessible from Los Angeles International, Burbank,

Long Beach and Ontario airports. Shuttles, buses

and light rail take visitors anywhere in the city and

throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

The expanded Pasadena Convention Center is

LEED ® Gold certified, making it one of the greenest

convention centers in North America. The stateof-the-art

facility features 55,000 square feet of

exhibit space (expandable to 80,000 square feet), a

25,000-square-foot ballroom, 29 breakout rooms and

the renowned, 3,000-seat Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Full-service catering, electrical and audiovisual production

services, high-speed telecommunications and

onsite parking complete the package.

Planners seeking a unique venue will find a host of

spectacular gardens, renowned educational institutions,

museums and theaters. A few of these include

the Rose Bowl Stadium, Caltech and the Pacific Asia

Museum.

This pedestrian-friendly destination offers 2,500

guest rooms, more than 1,200 of which are within

walking distance of the Pasadena Convention Center.

Delegates can also walk to Old Pasadena, a bustling

22-block entertainment district offering 200 one-ofa-kind

boutiques, galleries, top-rated restaurants and

clubs.

With 500 restaurants, Pasadena has more eateries

per capita than New York City. Adding to its culinary

credentials, the city is the birthplace of Julia Child and

is home to one of only 16 prestigious Le Cordon Bleu

Schools in the nation.

Pasadena is alive with remarkable art collections,

architecture, literature and entertainment. Enjoy

masterpieces by Van Gogh, Picasso and Rembrandt at

the Norton Simon Museum. Marvel at The Huntington

Library, Art Collections and Botanical Garden’s original

Gutenberg Bible, Ellesmere’s manuscript of Chaucer’s

“Canterbury Tales” and the famed “Pinkie” and “The

Blue Boy” paintings. Sixteen awe-inspiring gardens,

including authentic Chinese and Japanese gardens,

round out the experience.

For recreation, play a round of golf, see a sporting

event at the world-famous Rose Bowl Stadium or hike

through the scenic Arroyo Seco. Afterward, unwind

with a relaxing massage. In the evening catch a play

or concert, enjoy hot jazz or cool comedy or groove at

a local club.

The Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau’s destination

experts offer a variety of services to meeting

planners. In addition to no-cost site selection assistance,

the CVB can help with housing, transportation,

spousal tours, promotional materials and much more.

For more information, visit PasadenaMeetings.com.

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MPI’S MEETING GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA 2013

Monterey County CVB

meetinmonterey.com

There’s something extraordinary about meetings in

Monterey. With natural beauty known around the

world, and an unparalleled amount of activities and

amenities, your attendees will be overjoyed to experience

an event in Monterey County.

Our staggering variety of natural resources pairs

with a wide range of hotel and resort options, more

than 12,000 rooms total from 200 properties. In the

heart of the California coast, our temperatures average

65 degrees year-round, so you can plan your program

with confidence that Mother Nature will likely

be on your side. And now with added airline flights

it’s even easier to access the heart of California.

Hold a team-building activity along the Big Sur

coastline, offer an incentive trip that includes racing

cars at our Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca or plan your

offsite dinner at Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch (and

he may just show up to play piano). And we make it

easy for you. When you book your meeting through

us, we offer you complimentary services via our

destination specialists. Our professional staff acts as a

liaison between your association, company or group

and our member hotels, Monterey attractions and

convention facilities.

We also offer a wide variety of attendance promotion

tools such as photos and videos, brochures and

other collateral. We offer complimentary visitor services

and registration staff starting with four hours for

groups with 100 to 299 peak rooms and eight hours

for groups with 300+ peak rooms. Delegate housing

services are also available for groups with 450+ peak

rooms per night for two or more nights utilizing four

or more hotel properties.

The Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau

is a one-stop shop for all your meeting needs. Call us

at (800) 555-6290 or email sales@seemonterey.com to

discuss upcoming program requirements. Let’s brainstorm

unique ideas. And we can send your request

for proposal out for bids. View our planner section

at MeetInMonterey.com for venue and meeting

facilities that will accommodate groups from 10 to

3,000 and discover the many ways delegates can enjoy

Monterey inside and outside the boardroom.

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MPI’S MEETING GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA 2013

Visit Napa Valley

visitnapavalley.com

Plan Your Next Meeting in The Legendary Napa Valley:

America’s Premier Wine, Food, Arts and Wellness

Destination.

Come experience The Legendary Napa Valley—where

world-class wines, friendly faces, historic surroundings,

miles of nature preserves and a spirit of wellness set a

slower pace, inviting you to relax, savor

and restore.

Our farm-to-table culinary scene will

delight you, with more Michelin stars per

capita than any other wine region.

You’ll receive a warm welcome in

our winery tasting rooms, where you’ll

feel a rush of excitement on your palate

when you sample our legendary

wines.

A vibrant art, live-music and theater

community will scratch your cultural

itch. And our healing hot-spring waters,

crisp-clean air and luxurious spa resorts

will renew you. You’ll want to stay a

little longer.

• More than 5,000 rooms in 150

properties from 5-star luxury

resorts to intimate bed and

breakfasts

• More than 200,000 square feet

of meeting space from ballrooms

to barrel rooms and wine caves

to vineyards

• More than 400 wineries with

95 percent family owned and

operated

• More than 125 of North America’s

finest restaurants and 12

Michelin Stars

• 4 International airports

The Napa Valley is proud to be the

official wine region of the 34th America’s

Cup, and will be bringing its legendary

hospitality and world-class wine to the

San Francisco Bay this summer.

Whether you’re planning an executive

retreat, a large conference or an incentive

program, we’re here to help make you

shine. To get started, fill out our online

RFP at www.visitnapavalley.com,

email us at sales@visitnapa valley.com

or call (707) 260-0075.

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UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN >


Good leadership is always

going to involve the North Star, so

to speak—keeping your original

goal, which is unchanged by

evolving technology. In corporate

business an unchangeable goal

is to know your consumer; with

associations know your membership.

Be guided by that knowledge. And as

part of gathering that knowledge,

face-to-face communications, including

meetings, will always have a place.”

—Dr. Michio Kaku,

interviewed by One+ during digitalNow 2013

at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

(CC) DSTL UNR

88 one+ 05.13

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