Hotel Online  Special Report

Affordable Meetings Mid-America Show Sells Out
with 344 Booths Representing Hotels and Resorts,
Conference Centers, CVBs
April 6 – 7, 2005, Chicago’s Navy Pier


MCLEAN, VA (Mar. 10, 2005) – The trade show at the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) fifth annual Affordable Meetings® Mid-America show, taking place April 6 – 7, 2005 at Chicago’s Navy Pier, is sold-out with a confirmed 344 booths representing 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. 

Show organizers will add booth space to the floor plan of 34,000 square feet to accommodate some of the companies that have been wait-listed. 

“Our sold-out status is a reflection of the trade show’s relevance for exhibitors who are provided with an unmatched opportunity for conducting business with a quality group of meeting and event planners,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI.  “The exhibitors know they can stay a step ahead of the competition by showcasing their products, whether a venue, airline or other service, to a captive audience of buyers during HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Mid-America,” Gilbert added.

This year, the show welcomes 69 NEW exhibiting companies such as the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, the New York Helmsley, the MGM Grand Hotel, Universal Orlando, Kimpton Hotels, Kennedy Space Center & Visitor Complex, Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort, the Greater Hartford CVB, Don Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club, Casa De Campo, University of Memphis, Radisson Hotel Branson, Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Arabian Nights Dinner Attraction, House of Blues Chicago, Embassy Suites Lake Tahoe Resort, the Fort Worth CVB, Wyndham San Diego at Emerald Plaza and many others.

Of particular note, the Illinois Council of CVBs is taking a creative approach and has designed a ‘Meet in Illinois’ road campaign to highlight all the wonderful meeting destinations throughout the state.  Additionally, the Las Vegas section has grown as they are celebrating their Centennial Anniversary.

In an effort to provide meeting planners with all the resources they’ll need to effectively plan all aspects of their events, the exposition at HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Mid-America will feature booths from Independence Air, Conferon (a meeting management and event services company) and Regency Exposition Services – all new exhibitors.

In addition to a broad selection of destinations, hotels and services at all price points, the Mid-America trade exposition features a Speaker’s Booth where meeting planners can liaise with industry experts, and the HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Bookstore, 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. 

Getaway and cash prizes, as well as drawings at many exhibitor booths remain popular attractions.

To allow meeting planners time to peruse all that’s available on the trade show floor, expo hours are 10:30 am – 1 pm on each day.  During the exposition, exhibitors and attendees will be provided with 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 and American Express.

Rounding out the program for meeting planners is an outstanding educational component (featuring 25 seminars) where planning professionals of all levels of experience can choose from a variety of valuable seminars that will focus on the various “need to know” key subjects of the industry.  This FREE comprehensive educational series will offer attendees the opportunity to acquire expert insight, new ideas, and inspirational advice, helping them to produce more successful, cost-effective meetings.

Over 1,100 attendees, representing meeting and event planners from a variety of organizations, with a majority representing corporate, association and independent sectors and the balance from government, non-profit, education, religious and medical/health care organizations, trade show management and the military, are expected to visit HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Mid-America 2005 show.  Attendance at HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Mid-America is free-of-charge for qualified meeting planners.

Other shows for 2005 include: HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® West, June 15 – 16, 2005 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, and HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National, September 7 – 8, 2005 at the 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).  For the second consecutive year, HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Mid-America and West events were named the Planners’ Best Bets for 2005 in a readers’ poll conducted by Meetings Media, publisher of Meetings East, Meetings Mid-America, Meetings West and Meetings South.  Additionally, HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® was named the most popular meetings event according to an online survey conducted by Meetings & Conventions magazine.

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 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 15 annual events.  Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising nearly 7,000 members worldwide, with 38 chapters in the Americas region. 


Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International 8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 300
McLean, VA 22102
phone (703) 610-9024

Also See: Hotels, Conference Centers, CVB's See Increased Number of Meeting Planners at HSMAI's 2004 Affordable Meetings Events; Schedule Set for 2005 / October 2004
HSMAI's Affordable Meetings®, Distinguishes Itself As an Essential and Informative Forum / Sept 2001

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