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HSMAI Affordable Meetings West Recap: Meeting Planner
Attendance Tops Prior Year, Educational
Component Delivers
MCLEAN, VA (July 6, 2007) – Eager to hone their skills from the unparalleled education delivered in five intensive workshops and 15 seminars presented over two days, meeting planner attendance at the 11th Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Affordable Meetings West® exceeded last year’s count with 667 attendees.
Presented by HSMAI at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center last week, the multi-faceted show also featured an exposition of over 22,000 square feet of exhibit space with 272 companies occupying 248 booths.
Planning professionals at all levels experienced expert insight, fresh ideas and inspirational advice in the interest of producing more successful, cost-effective meetings.  The educational program catered to a wide range of expertise, from beginner and part-time planners, to experienced professionals with over 10 years of industry practice.
Catering to a diverse audience, the topics ranged from Meeting Planning Boot Camp: The Basics: Part I and Part II, 180 Ways to Transform Your Meeting, Mastering Memory: An “Essential” for Meeting Planners and Communicate with Strength: 19 Words that Undermine Your Effectiveness to technology-oriented sessions such as Computer Magic: Finish Everything Six Times Faster and Technology Applications and Devices that Add to Your Meeting Attendee's Experiences.
Also, specifically created for independent meeting planners was a session on Creating a Targeted Marketing Strategy to Help Grow Your Independent Meeting Business.
A highly spirited and interactive General Session on “The Future of the Meetings Industry: Impact and Actions” was presented by Joan Eisenstodt, Chief Strategist, Eisenstodt Associates, and Marsha L. Rhea, CAE, Senior Futurist, Institute for Alternative Futures.  With input and participation from the audience, the duo painted a vivid picture of what the meetings industry will be like in years ahead and what core competencies planners will need in the future to be considered a successful meetings professional.  
The highly-anticipated return of five, three-hour workshops offered attendees in-depth coverage of important industry topics, including: Working With Hotels: How to Create Win-Win Partnership; Successful Negotiations: How to Negotiate Like a Pro; Forms That Work: Tools for Organizing, Tracking, Reporting, and Communicating; On-Site Management: The Final Stretch to Meeting Success; and Igniting the Creative Spark Within You.

Karen Purves, president, Innovative Impact,
hosts session titled “Communicate with
Strength: 19 Words that Undermine
Your Effectiveness.”

Theresa Syer, Syer Hospitality Group,
Oakville, ON, Canada, welcomes exhibitors
with a seminar entitled “The Importance
of Follow-Up”
Best Booth Awards
Honoring booth excellence, “Best Booth Awards” were handed out in three categories for both single and multiple booths.  Award recipients were:

Best New Exhibitor 

  • Single booth: Company: The James       
  • Multiple booth: Absolutely Fabulous/Spandex USA
Best On-Site Promotion/Marketing
  • Single booth: Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau 
  • Multiple booth: Sonoma County Tourism 
Best Overall Booth
  • Single booth: GoPicnic 
  • Multiple booth: Marriott, Renaissance & J.W. Hotels & Resorts
Prize Drawings

Prize drawings were also held for cash and travel rewards.  Winners and prizes are:
Roundtrip airline tickets on jetBlue Airways and $250 in AMEX gift cards:

  • Mary Coelho, Executive Assistant/Event Planner, Dreyer’s Grand Inc. Cream, Oakland, CA
  • Thuy Yamamoto, Exec. Admin., Hewlett Packard, Palo Alto, CA 
  • Brandy Rogers, Seminar Coordinator/Events, LawProse, Inc., Dallas, TX
Cash prizes:
  • Heidi Hurdy, Admin Services Generalist, Camico Mutual, Redwood City, CA
  • Alice Hamamoto, Marcom Specialist/Meeting & Events, Spectra-Physics, Mountain View, CA
  • Londa Barber, Conference Planner, CA Dept. of Education, Sacramento, CA
  • Alla Urisman, Sr. Meeting & Event Coordinator, Judicial Council of CA, San Francisco, CA
New for the West show this year was an Exhibitor Welcome Breakfast, followed by an Exhibitor Educational seminar titled “The Importance of Follow-Up,” presented by Theresa Syer, Syer Hospitality Group, Oakville, ON, Canada.  Additionally, exhibitors received a toolkit providing the essentials for a successful show, increasing the opportunity for greater ROO (return on objective).  The toolkit was sent to every exhibitor prior to the show and consisted of pre-show marketing and promotional items, booth display information, sales tips for use during the show, and post-show follow-up tools.
The impressive list of sponsors for the 2007 West show included: San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau (conference tote bags); Plasticard Locktech (hotel key cards); PC Nametag (name badges and lanyards); Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau (seminar handout book); and the San Jose Museum of Art (hosting a complimentary private viewing of its art collection on the opening evening of the show). 
New Companies Join Exhibition Line-Up

Evidence of its powerful ‘return on investment’ for participants, the line-up for this year’s event showcased a variety of suppliers, including new companies joining the roster of exhibitors.  A sample of companies exhibiting for the first time at HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® West were: Absolutely Fabulous! Events and Productions, The Callanish Group, Ghiradelli Chocolate Company, GoPicnic, Inc., Las Vegas Monorail Company, Orange Tree Golf Resort, Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, DMI Hotels, Spandex USA, Sprint-Nextel and Air Fulfillment Services.
Beyond a broad selection of destinations, hotels and services at all price points, the exhibition featured a West Affordable Meetings® Bookstore offering a one-stop shopping source for attendees to find the most up-to-date publications and resource materials focusing on the needs of meeting planners at every level of experience, as well as a complete line of CMP study materials.
The exposition also offered opportunities for planners to meet one-on-one with industry experts at the Speakers Corner and research a broad selection of destinations and services at all price points.
The final show on the 2007 program is HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National, taking place Sept. 5-6, 2007 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
In 2008, the show dates are: 

  • HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Mid-America, April 9-10, 2008, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL 
  • HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® West, June 11-12, 2008, Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA 
  • HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National, Sept. 10-11, 2008, Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.
HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® is owned and presented by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International Americas region and managed by George Little Management, LLC (GLM).  
HSMAI is an organization of sales and marketing professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry.  With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry, and bringing together customers and members at annual events, including HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings®.  Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 39 chapters in the Americas Region.

8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 300, 
McLean, VA 22102, 
phone (703) 610-9024

Also See: Wrap Up - HSMAI's Affordable Meetings® Mid-America Show, Chicago Navy Pier / April 2007


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