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HSMAI Introduces New, Cutting-Edge Event - MEET℠:
Meetings, Events, Education, Technology




MCLEAN, VA (June 9, 2011)
– The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), announces a new way to MEET.  Building on more than 20 years of success with connecting planners and suppliers and adding to its efforts this year to rebrand the organization’s mission and focus, HSMAI’s renowned Affordable Meetings® conference and exhibition is taking on a new name and a new vision.

Starting with its National show, Sept. 7-8 in Washington, D.C., meeting and event professionals will be invited to join their hospitality industry colleagues at HSMAI’s MEET℠: Meetings, Events, Education, Technology .

“With new show components, HSMAI’s MEET is more than just a new name,” said Fran Brasseux, HSMAI Executive Vice President. “It’s entirely new and offers an inviting venue for learning and experiencing all aspects of event planning. MEET is the evolution of HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings, and emphasizes the essence of why we are all in the business of meetings – because we are believers in the power of face-to-face interaction to build and maintain strong business relationships.”

MEET’s new components include:
 
  • MEET University – Revisioned educational program
  • TEEM Up – Reverse tradeshow buyer appointment expo
  • MEET Exhibitor Concierge
  • MEET On – Virtual extension of the two-day conference
Revisioned Conference Educational Program – MEET University
Moving away from the traditional classroom setting, planners from across the meeting and event industry can learn from and interact with industry experts and each other while getting hands-on experience with some of the new educational formats offering great takeaways, including:
  • MEET University Certificate Boot Camps
  • Case study workshops
  • Peer-to-peer roundtables
  • Keynote with “Continuing the Conversation” breakout
  • Top 10 station sessions
HSMAI, in conjunction with leading industry training firm Signature Worldwide, will also produce a new education track for exhibiting sales and marketing professionals.

“Education today needs to engage, inform and excite the audience,” said Vicky Betzig, CMP, president/owner, Meetings Industry Consulting, and HSMAI’s MEET educational consultant.  “The innovative program at MEET will do all three and will introduce a new way of looking at educational programming that attendees can implement for their own events.  In addition, unique sessions and formats will provide exactly what every planner needs in today’s reality – practical and immediately-usable tips and tools to be more productive and create more successful, cost-effective meetings and events.”

TEEM Up
A “reverse” tradeshow within the traditional trade show expo, roles will be reversed as suppliers have the opportunity to visit the planners. HSMAI has joined with several organizations, including Maxvantage, to bring in top-level planners who will take part in this new way to connect buyers and suppliers in a series of short, scheduled appointments.

“I’m really looking forward to this new business-building aspect of MEET,” said Chuck Salem, president of Unique Venues and member of the MEET exhibitor advisory board. “It will be a great opportunity to be introduced to new planners who are the decision makers for their organizations.”

MEET Exhibitor Concierge
Building on HSMAI’s One-to-One Meeting Concierge introduced last year, and its commitment to grow business for hotels and their partners, an HSMAI staff member is now dedicated full-time as the Exhibitor Concierge, working one-on-one with exhibitors to maximize their time before, during and after the show and meet their goals.

Exhibitor Concierge assistance includes:
  • Working with the MEET appointment setting program, networkNow!, on exhibitor profile information
  • Coordinating with HSMAI’s Meeting Concierge to arrange one-to-one appointments on site
  • Discussing ways to connect with planners to drive traffic to exhibitors’ booths
  • Providing timely follow-ups after the show
  • Taking advantage of all sales and marketing resources available
“A key part of HSMAI’s mission is to fuel sales and inspire marketing,” said Mike Fegley, vice president global sales, The Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group, and HSMAI Americas board member. “The new MEET Exhibitor Concierge adds a personal touch to make these goals a reality.”

MEET On
Bringing MEET educational content to a wider audience, and connecting exhibitors with planners 365 days a year, HSMAI is adding a virtual extension of the two-day conference – MEET On – held in conjunction with Freeman.

MEET On will broadcast select, live sessions from the show Sept. 7 to tens of thousands of planners and will feature interviews with exhibitors and presenters. The educational and exhibitor content and contact information will remain accessible online throughout the year and will be updated following each MEET show, extending the value of participating in the show via year-round networking, educational and sponsorship opportunities.

“Having a virtual component is cutting edge, which is where HSMAI and MEET need to be to share best practices with meeting and event planners and deliver the ROI that is necessary to justify participation today,” said Ayuko Kimura-Fay, CMP, director of meetings, American Society of Hematology, and HSMAI MEET planner advisory board member.

Portions of the new MEET components, including the Exhibitor Concierge, will roll out in conjunction with HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings West in Long Beach, Calif., on June 15-16, and additional components of MEET National will be announced in the coming months, including a MEET social responsibility partnership, a MEET monthly newsletter, enhanced information and industry resources on the MEET website.

“We value the feedback of our members and advisory boards in developing this exciting new event that focuses on elements that truly fuel sales, inspire marketing and optimize revenue,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI.

Visit www.hsmaimeet.com for more information and to find out how to be part of HSMAI’s MEET.

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 MEET, Adrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization 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 www.hsmai.org, www.facebook.com/hsmai, www.twitter.com/hsmai and www.youtube.com/hsmai1
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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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