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 Wrap Up - HSMAI's Affordable Meetings® Mid-America Show, 
Chicago Navy Pier
MCLEAN, VA (April 24, 2007) – The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) Affordable Meetings® Mid-America show, which took place recently at Chicago’s Navy Pier, welcomed an impressive 1,040 meeting professionals running the gamut from industry newcomers to seasoned veterans.  Whatever their tenure, all planners took advantage of an exceptional educational series featuring 15 seminars and five in-depth workshops.  Additionally, delegates had the opportunity to network with fellow industry professionals including 302 exhibitors (occupying 334 booths), 14 of which were new to this year’s show, representing various destinations, hotels, airlines, technology companies, and other industry-related suppliers.

Joan Eisenstodt (left) and Marsha Rhea Host Packed
General Session During Mid-America Conference
This year’s general session, titled “The Future of the Meeting Industry: Impact and Actions,” drew a packed crowd eager to learn about the technological advancements that have flooded the industry over the last few years and the continuous impact they have.  During the session, hosts Joan Eisenstodt and Marsha Rhea (pictured above) discussed the future of the meetings, hospitality and tourism industries and shared the core competencies that are needed in order to move forward into the future of the ever-changing profession.

“We strive to provide our attendees, both the experienced planner and those new to the field, with workshops and seminars to help them further develop skills while offering insightful industry information that will allow them to thrive in the business,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI.

Dubuque Convention & Visitors Bureau Take Home ‘Best On-Site Booth
Promotion and Marketing’ Award
For the second consecutive year, HSMAI held its “Best Booth Awards” competition and challenged exhibitors to use their creativity to design exhibits that would truly “wow” delegates, and this year’s booths included some of the best to-date.  The “Best Booth Awards” were given out to multiple and single booth exhibitors in three categories, with winners as follows:

• Best Overall Booth
            Single: Champaign County Convention & Visitors Bureau
            Multiple: Carlson Hotels Worldwide

• Best New Exhibitor Booth
            Single: Renaissance Orlando Hotel
            Multiple: Hawthorne Race Course & Expo Center

• Best On-Site Booth Promotion and Marketing
            Single: Dubuque Convention & Visitors Bureau (pictured above)
            Multiple: Tampa Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau

Exhibitors new to the show this year included: 

  • Cable Beach Resorts, The Islands of the Bahamas; 
  • Clowning Around; 
  • Grace Hospitality Hotels & Resorts; 
  • The Hyatt Lodge; 
  • Illinois State University; 
  • jetBlue Airways; 
  • Paragon Casino Resort and Hotel; 
  • Sodexho Conferencing; 
  • Simon Fine Art; 
  • Spandex USA; 
  • Tiger Oak Publications; 
  • World Hotels; 
  • and a new luxury hotel group, Morgans Hotel Group consisting of the New York-Royalton Hudson, Miami-Delano The Shore Club, Los Angeles-Mondrian, San Francisco-Cliff, Scottsdale-Mondrian and London-St. Martins Lane Sanderson.
Exhibitors weren’t the only winners at the show.  Prize drawings for meeting planners included jetBlue Airways tickets to anywhere in the Continental U.S. along with $250 American Express gift cards, as well as HSMAI-sponsored cash prizes.

Winners of jetBlue Airways tickets and $250 American Express gift cards were:
• Jennifer Cohen, guest services assistant, Season’s, A Center for Renewal, Kalamazoo, MI 
• S. Orlove, P.E, RPSLMC, Chicago, IL 
• Amy Komorowski, meeting assistant, Association Management Center, Glenview, IL 

HSMAI-sponsored cash prizes of $2,000 and $1,000 went to:
• Margie Johnston, vice president, The Meeting Designers, Long Beach, CA 
• Evelyn Tolliver, meeting planner, National Association, Women Church of God, IL 
• Barbara Ferriter, meeting and event manager, American Dental Association, IL 
• Darnella Harris, specialist conference services, Alzheimer’s Association, Richardson, IL 

Others sponsors of this year’s show included:

  • University Conference Center, Chicago, IL – Sponsor of the conference bag and tote
  • Visit Minneapolis North, Minneapolis, MN – Bookstore sponsor
  • Mexico Tourism Board – Sponsor of the seminar handout book
  • Bagmasters – Sponsors of the educational sessions’ padfolios for all attendees
  • Plasticard Locktech – Custom hotel key cards
  • PC Nametag – Sponsors of the attendees badge holders
The next show on the 2007 schedule is HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® West, being held June 19-20, 2007 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center – San Jose, CA (new date pattern).  The final show of the 2007 series will be HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National, Sept. 5-6, 2007, Washington Convention Center – Washington, D.C.

For exhibitor information, contact Beth Petersen, show manager, GLM, 804-261-3929, Fax 804-918-1547; 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’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.


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McLean, VA 22102
phone (703) 610-9024

Also See: Recap - HSMAI's Affordable Meetings® Mid-America Show at Chicago’s Navy Pier / April 2006

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