Hotel Online  Special Report

 Hotels, Conference Centers, CVB's See Increased Number
of Meeting Planners at HSMAI's 2004 Affordable
Meetings Events; Schedule Set for 2005


MCLEAN, VA (Oct. 21, 2004) – Organizers of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) Affordable Meetings® events report that the three-show series welcomed more meeting planners and exhibitors this year than in 2003. 

A total of 3,419 meeting planners participated in 2004 (1,171 at Mid-America, 620 at West and 1,628 at National) as compared to 3,320 planners in 2003. 

In terms of exhibiting companies, HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® welcomed 1,113 exhibitors (318 at Mid-America, 268 at West and 527 at National).  Out of the exhibiting companies, a total of 257 were new to the series (80 for Mid-America, 80 for West and 97 for National).

Growing its educational component, HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® presented 82 outstanding educational seminars with 49 quality speakers in 2004.

“These impressive figures cap an already outstanding year for HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings®,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI.  “Each of the three shows in the Affordable Meetings® series – Mid-America, West and National – were successful in their own right, which is firm evidence that the meetings and event planning market is a vital, growing segment, so we will continue to present events that are educational, valuable, and generate business,” Gilbert added.

2004…A Banner Year For HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings®

HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® enjoyed tremendous success in 2004 thanks to an impressive trade show boasting a 3 to 1 planner/exhibitor ratio, free-of-charge registration for qualified meeting planners, an unrivaled educational component, and exceptional networking opportunities.  Highlights of 2004 are as follows:

  • The HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® series of Mid-America, West and National events was named the Best Industry Trade Show in a readers’ poll conducted by Meetings Media, publisher of Meetings East, Meetings West and Meetings South.  Every September, Meetings Media polls its readership to pinpoint the most distinguished facilities, service elements and activities in the lucrative meetings industry, and this year, HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® received the coveted title of Best Industry Trade Show.
  • Meeting planner attendance soared to 1,171, a 23 percent increase over the prior year and the highest ever for HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Mid-America.
  • To allow meeting planners time to network and do business on the trade show floor, expo hours during the Mid-America show were changed to 10:30 am – 1 pm on each day.  During the trade show, meeting planners received a $10 coupon on both days of the show to buy lunch at the food concessions in the exposition hall, compliments of the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau.
  • Building on its success as one of the most popular and well-attended conferences and expositions for meeting planners, the eighth annual HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® West show moved from San Jose to Long Beach, CA, to bring the show to a new audience of meeting planners in Southern CA. 
  • A survey of pre-registrants who attended the 15th annual HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National show revealed that HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National was the top show at which they conducted business.  Additionally, 59 percent of respondents anticipate planning more meetings in 2005 with a majority of those respondents anticipating planning one – nine more meetings.  Perhaps even more significant, the survey revealed that 65 percent of all HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National attendees were looking for new facilities, products or services. 
The 2005 Calendar

Meetings industry buyers and suppliers can mark their calendars for the 2005 HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® shows as follows:

HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Mid-America
April 6 – 7, 2005
Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® West
June 15 – 16, 2005
San Jose McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, CA
(This marks the show’s return to San Jose, CA in 2005)

HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National
Sept. 7 – 8, 2005
Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC

Meeting and event planners attending HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® exposition and educational conferences represent a variety of organizations, with a majority from association, corporate and independent sectors and the balance from government, non-profit, education, religious, and medical/health care organizations, travel agents, trade show management and the military. 

Each of the HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® events offers an exceptional educational component that presents a broad range of topics such as meeting contracts, on-site management, negotiation skills, budgeting, effective communication, technology, marketing, designing a brochure and more.  As an added benefit, attendees receive a complimentary bound book containing handouts from all of the seminars.

One of the most appealing components of each HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® show is the diverse trade show featuring an abundance of properties and services at all price points.  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.  Prepared to provide the best products and services, exhibitors assist planners by offering cost-effective meeting packages and enticing incentives. 

Rounding out each show are tremendous networking opportunities and prize giveaways in addition to the HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Bookstore where planners have access to material specific to the industry – printed materials and audio/visual resources as well as a complete line of CMP study materials.

HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® is owned and presented by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International Americas division and managed by George Little Management, LLC (GLM). 

For exhibitor information, contact Beth Petersen, show manager, GLM, Ten Bank Street, White Plains, NY 10606-1954, or call (914) 421-3377; fax (914) 948-2918; e-mail:  Attendee information is available by calling 1-800-272-SHOW.  Additional information and a complete program schedule can be obtained by visiting the show’s web site at

HSMAI is an international 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, while operating as a leading voice for both hospitality and sales and marketing management disciplines.  Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising nearly 7,000 members worldwide, with 41 chapters in the Americas region.

Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International
8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 300
McLean, VA 22102
(703) 610-9024
Also See: HSMAI's Affordable Meetings®, Distinguishes Itself As an Essential and Informative Forum / Sept 2001
'Know Your Customer' was Consensus Advice from HSMAI's Moving the Industry Forward Strategic Conference; Discounting Is Not the Answer / Feb 2002

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