The Professional Convention Management Association Heartland Chapter held a "Destination Celebration" at Studio Dan Meiners in Kansas City, Mo., in honor of NAMID. Organizers included (left to right): Destination Celebration Meeting Planner Missy Johnson, CMP, MJMeetings LLC; Event Co-Chair David Kinney, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau and PCMA Heartland Chapter president-elect; Kristen Kimbrel, CMP, American Academy of Family Physicians and PCMA Heartland Chapter president; and Event Co-Chair Lisa Lopez, NYC & Company.
The 36 suppliers who attended PCMA Heartland’s NAMID Destination Celebration included convention bureau and hotel national sales offices representing more than 40 North American destinations.
The Message from Vegas
Representatives from the Las Vegas meetings community joined together April 16 with the messages of NAMID. Front row (from left): Michael Massari, Caesars Entertainment; Veronica Nalbandian, Meetings Means Business coalition; Lynda Richardson, Tropicana Las Vegas; Maureen Robinson, South Point Hotel; Kurt Wuebbenhorst, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas; Joseph Piurkowski, McCarran International Airport. Back row (from left): Steve Blanner, Wynn Resorts; Carmen Rubino, JW Marriott Las Vegas; Don Ross, Caesars Entertainment; Michael Toney, Golden Nugget; Kirsten Dimond, Sands Expo and Convention Center; Chandra Allison, Sands Corp.; Meg Fasy, Bellagio; Cathy Tull, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority; Brian Keenan, MGM Resorts International
Albany: An Upstate State of Mind
In honor of NAMID, Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau organized a press conference at the Albany International Airport Observation Deck to discuss the power of the meetings and conventions industry on the local economy and community. In Albany County alone, meetings generated more than 90,000 room nights in 2014, with meeting attendees spending approximately $37 million and generating more than $4.6 million in state and local taxes. Pictured: Michele Vennard, president/CEO, Albany County Convention & Visitors and Todd Garofano, president, Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau.
NAMID Mexico City
At the Banamex convention center in Mexico City, government officials and the presidents of the Mexico chapters of 11 meetings industry associations—including Meeting Professionals International, Society of Incentive Travel Excellence, International Congress and Convention Association, and Professional Convention Management Association—met on NAMID to establish further collaboration among groups working toward improvements for the meetings industry in Mexico.
Danielle van der Kwartel, president-elect of MPI Mexico and general director for Moneyback, which provides VAT refund services, is the official spokeswomen for NAMID in Mexico.
Chicago Honors Local Heros
In Chicago, more than 200 people convened at the Museum of Contemporary Art to celebrate the first NAMID by honoring locals who do so much for the meetings community. The Professional Convention Management Association, the PCMA Education Foundation, Choose Chicago, Chicago Area Chapter of Meeting Professionals International, Midwestern Chapter of International Association of Exhibitions and Events, and the Greater Midwest Chapter of PCMA organized their first Four Star Awards, honoring local heros who advocate for meetings and bring service to a new level. Pictured (from left): Deborah Sexton, president and CEO of PCMA; Chicago broadcast legends Marianne Murciano and Bob Sirott (who emceed); and Don Welsh, president and CEO of Choose Chicago. More from the event.
NYC: Make it Face-to-Face
NYC & Co. marked North American Meetings Industry Day with the release of a new video that features New York City meeting and convention delegates and exhibitors talking about why face-to-face meetings are so important. As one interviewee put it: “To see how other people’s minds and creativity work just inspires you to do more in your own business.” Watch the video.
New England NAMID at Kings
The Professional Convention Management Association New England Chapter marked the first annual NAMID with some friendly competition and conversation among industry colleagues. Meeting planners and suppliers had a fun evening at Kings Bowling in Boston.
Enjoying the networking during PCMA New England’s NAMID social at King’s Bowling (from left): Melody Moore, Signature Boston, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority; Peter Abraham, Freeman; Brenda Houlihan, Maritz; and Mari Alvarez, PSAV
Education in Vancouver
For NAMID, the British Columbia Chapter of Meeting Planners International held a discussion at the Vancouver Convention Center on the impact of legacy events on the economy and people of host cities. Photo courtesy of Jon Benjamin Photography.
The panelists for MPI British Columbia’s NAMID event included (from left): Paul Van DeVenter, president and CEO of MPI; Iain Black, president and CEO of the Vancouver Board of Trade; Ty Speer president and CEO of Tourism Vancouver; and moderator Robin Stickley, anchor of Global BC’s Early News. Photo courtesy of Jon Benjamin Photography.
An Official Proclamation
Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, an independent meeting planning company based in Caledonia, Wis., got involved with the first North American Meetings Industry Day by raising awareness on its home turf. The company submitted a request to the Wisconsin Governor’s office asking for support of NAMID and for April 16, 2015, to be designated Meetings Industry Day for the State of Wisconsin. Tina Madden, CPA, CFO & Partner (left) and Jean Johnson, CMP, Chairman, CEO & President, Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, hold the NAMID proclamation from the Wisconsin Governor.
South Florida Comes Together
In Fort Lauderdale, South Florida’s meeting organizations gathered on April 16 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, for lunch, a lively discussion, and a keynote by Jonathan T. Howe, Esq. The event had many sponsors, among them the Florida/Caribbean chapter of the Green Meeting Industry Council; Society of Incentive Travel Excellence, Florida & Caribbean Chapter; Visit Florida; and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. From left: Eric Rosenberg, president of Swantegy and panel moderator; Paula Carlson, senior sales manager at Margaritaville Resort and president-elect of the SITE Florida & Caribbean Chapter; Steven Pollock, manager, global accounts at HelmsBriscoe, chairman of the NAMID South Florida event and president of the GMIC Florida/Caribbean Chapter; Karen Farquharson, manager, marketing & sales at AreSale-Xtra Airways and president of the SITE Florida & Caribbean Chapter; and Francis Purvey, director of sales & marketing at Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach.