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Economy and Gas Prices Continue to Affect Travel and Meetings Industry,
According to HSMAI Survey


75 Percent of Respondents Concerned with Rising Gas Prices

MCLEAN, VA (April 7, 2011) – A vast majority (72 percent) of the meeting planners surveyed by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) in advance of its Affordable Meetings® Mid-America Conference & Exposition at Chicago's Navy Pier, April 13-14, 2011, cited a need for meeting planners to be more strategic when organizing meetings. Companies can rest assured, however, as industry professionals are excited and ready to rise to the challenge.

According to the conference’s pre-show survey, conducted by J. Spargo & Associates and analyzed by HVS Performance Management™, a leader in talent management and enhancement tools and solutions for the service-hospitality industry, meeting planners expressed the economy still is a major issue, and 75 percent of respondents are concerned that rising gas prices will negatively affect meeting-related travel.

In fact, 59 percent of respondents believe the economy and 26 percent of respondents believe travel expenses will be the two biggest factors that may affect growth of the U.S. meetings industry. Currently, 63 percent of survey participants site booking timelines as comparable to 2010.

“With the current challenges meeting planners face, there is a clear need for smarter meeting management, and Affordable Meetings attendees have the opportunity to learn how to make more strategic planning decisions,” said Dr. James Houran, Partner, HVS Performance Management™. “The real pitfall continues to be the economy and rising fuel prices, which are seen as the major hindrances to the growth of the industry.”

On April 13-14, more than 1,000 attendees, including experienced meeting and event planners from a variety of organizations, with a majority representing corporate, association and independent sectors, and industry professionals, are expected to be on hand at HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Mid-America. Planners attending Affordable Meetings account for almost 40,000 meetings annually, representing groups from 10 to 10,000. 

Affordable Meetings® Registration is open to qualified meeting planners for the Mid-America event at Chicago’s Navy Pier.  Several of the event’s 17 educational sessions will directly address the meeting management issues planners are facing, including: 
  • Prove It!  Using Online Tools to Measure and Increase the Value of Your Event,
  • Demonstrate Real Meeting Value to Senior Management, and
  • The New Normal - Measuring Experience Effectiveness.
“We look forward to seeing all of our meeting planner attendee and exhibitor partners at the Affordable Meetings® Mid-America conference next week,” said Bob Gilbert, president and CEO of HSMAI.  “We believe that that by offering the most relevant and customized programming will provide even greater value and help meeting planners with their increased need for even more strategic meeting planning.”

Booth space is still available at the Affordable Meetings® Mid-America exposition and can be obtained by contacting Craig Baker, account manager, J. Spargo & Associates, at (703) 679-3942 or amexhibits@jspargo.com.

Attendee information for HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Mid-America is available by calling 800-564-4220. For additional information and a complete program schedule, visit www.affordablemeetings.com.

Other Affordable Meetings® events for 2011 include:
  • HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® West - June 15-16, 2011, Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA
  • HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National and Event Technology Expo - Sept. 7-8, 2011, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.
About HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Mid-America
HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Mid-America will once again offer attendees the opportunity to meet and do business with more than 200 exhibiting companies during a unique exposition that will showcase venues, products and services to help produce various types of meetings and events.  Year-after-year, the highly-acclaimed trade exposition is a main attraction for attendees looking to meet and network with knowledgeable suppliers who are determined to help produce valuable meetings and assist with purchasing decisions.  Exhibitors represent hotels and resorts, university conference centers, unique meeting sites, convention and visitor bureaus, transportation companies, trade publications, software and audio/visual businesses, and other meeting and convention suppliers. HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® is owned and presented by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International Americas region and managed by J. Spargo & Associates, Inc.. Visit www.affordablemeetings.com for more information.  Join our networking communities on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About HSMAI
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals & their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings, Adrian Awards, and Revenue Management Strategy Conference. HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at http://www.hsmai.org/, www.facebook.com/hsmai, www.twitter.com/hsmai and www.youtube.com/hsmai1.

About HVS Performance Management
HVS Performance Management is a service of HVS Executive Search, which provides advisory services to leaders of the hotel, restaurant and gaming industries. Practice areas include senior-level executive search, mid-management recruitment, compensation consulting and performance management. Offices are located in New York, London, Moscow, Hong Kong, New Delhi and Mumbai. To find out more, visit www.hvs-executivesearch.com.
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Contact:

Lindsay Stout
Edelman
(214) 443-7586
lindsay.stout@edelman.com 

Jenna DiMaria
Edelman
(407) 377-6850
jenna.dimaria@edelman.com

 
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Also See: HSMAI Awards Greater New York Chapter its 2010 “Chapter of the Year” Award at its Annual Leadership Conference / February 2011

HSMAI Declares New Mission and Names 2011 Board Of Directors & Executive Committee; Association Reaffirms Emphasis on Helping Hotels and Their Partners Grow Business / February 2011

HSMAI and National Geographic Traveler to Honor First Ever ‘Leader In Sustainable Tourism’ Awards at Adrian Awards Gala January 31; Finalists Include Fairmont Hotels, Hotel Punta Islita/Costa Rica, Inkaterra/Peru, Namibia/Africa and The Boat Company/Alaska / January 2011

HSMAI Names the Top 25 Minds in Hospitality and Travel Sales and Marketing; Winners to be Honored at Reception and Adrian Awards Gala January 31 / January 2011

HSMAI Names the Top 25 Minds in Hospitality and Travel Sales and Marketing; Winners to be Honored at Adrian Awards Gala / January 2010

HSMAI Names the 37 Advertising Division Award Winners, the 53 Public Relations Division Award Winners and the 33 Web Marketing Division Award Winners for the Year 2009 / December 2009

HSMAI's 52nd Adrian Awards Honors Top Companies and Individuals in Hospitality Advertising, Public Relastions and Web Marketing / January 2009

HSMAI's Adrian Awards, Known as the “Oscars” of Travel and Hospitality Marketing, Presented at Gala In New York City / February 2008
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