What do Taiwan, Albuquerque, and Philadelphia have in common?

They all want more convention business, and they're all going after it in their own unique ways. Taiwan recently held a meetings industry marketing forum to help its folks market on an international level:

    Mr. Donald Lu, executive vice-president of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), which helped implement the Marketing Forum, explained the importance of holding such a symposium.

    “Taiwan’s service sector in 2005 will account for 70 percent of the economy. The main question now is how to increase the pie? We feel that internationalizing our show industry can help grow our economy,” said Lu.

New West editor Emily Esterson has some interesting things to say about why, when it comes to conventions, Albuquerque so often gets bypassed. She acknowledged that it has safety problems, a dearth of hotels, and a not-so-hopping downtown, but:

    So what does Albuquerque have to do to get on the good side of meeting planners? Probably focus on the right kinds of conventions. We're never going to be Las Vegas or Santa Fe (which has plenty of upscale hotel rooms but not real convention center, go figure), with oodles of walkable streets and interesting sites and great downtown restaurants. What we do have, though, may be more valuable: affordability for meeting planners and conventioneers, lots of interesting science resources, and a great winter climate.

    And Philadelphia, of course, is pinning high hopes on the Professional Convention Management Association's annual conference in January.

    The confluence of these three areas' marketing efforts hitting my desktop today just hit me as interesting. Cities and countries are really starting to scrap for meetings business. But will it mean better deals for planners? We shall see.

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