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 HSMAI’S 20th Annual Affordable Meetings®
National Event Caps Successful Year of Making Connections

Jonathan Tisch, CEO of Loews Hotels, Delivers Keynote

MCLEAN, VA (September 22, 2009) – The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International’s 20th annual Affordable Meetings® National capped a successful year for the tradeshows that saw solid meeting planner attendance and steady exhibitors at all three shows in 2009.

At Affordable Meetings National and Event Technology Expo, Sept. 9-10 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., the nearly 1,400 attendees benefited from over 40 educational sessions covering everything from meeting planning fundamentals to social media network set-up, and they were able to connect with more than 300 exhibiting companies. Across the three shows, including HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Mid-America and HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® West, almost 2,700 meeting professionals and over 800 exhibiting companies took part in 2009.

“We’re very happy that we were able to connect so many meeting planners and exhibitors at the three shows this year in a tough economy,” said Robert Gilbert, CHME, CAE, president and CEO of HSMAI. “We heard great things on the show floor from exhibitors who were excited about meeting so many potential new customers and from meeting planners who were glad to be able to talk to properties and destinations from different areas of the country and at different pricing levels.”

On the first day of the National show, attendees heard a keynote address from Jonathan Tisch, chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels, who rallied the group and talked about the importance of the travel industry and keeping it at the forefront of the nation’s minds.

“The theme is partnership, and we have to put aside our individual concerns and work together for the greater good,” Tisch said. “We need to provide a better understanding and appreciation for what we do for the working people of America as an industry.”

Attendees also benefitted from the Event Technology Expo™ (ETE), making its second appearance at National. With ETE, meeting planners could mingle with companies offering technologies specific for meetings and events producers. Attendees also took advantage of the ETE Pavilion Theatre, where exhibitors talked about the latest innovations during 15-minute Technology Spotlights, and heard from Leading Authorities keynote speaker Scott Klososky, an Internet and technology expert, who talked about ways to use social media to increase attendance at meetings and measure online impact.
Several attendees won getaways sponsored by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau (Alabama), Natural Bridge of Virginia, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Choice Hotels International, Turf Valley Resort (Maryland), Beaches of South Walton (Florida), Gaylord National, and Hershey Resorts. Roundtrip airfare was sponsored by JetBlue Airways.

HSMAI also selected Exhibitor Booth Award winners in the following categories: 

Best Booth Overall (for the outstanding creation of an effective, attractive environment that communicates their message.)
  • Travel Portland – Best Single Booth
  •  Myrtle Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau – Best Multiple Booth

Best On-site Booth Promotion/Marketing (for original and effective promotional and marketing materials.)
  • Visit Milwaukee – Best Single Booth
  • Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority – Best Multiple Booth
HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® start up again in 2010 with HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® Mid-America, April 14-15, 2010, Chicago’s Navy Pier – Chicago, Ill.; Affordable Meetings® West, June 16-17, 2010, Long Beach Convention Center – Long Beach, Calif.; and HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National and the Event Technology Expo™, Sept. 08-09, 2010, Walter E. Washington Convention Center – Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

About HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings®
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. Visit for more information.
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 40 chapters in the Americas Region. For more information on HSMAI, contact the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, Va. 22102; (703) 506-3280; fax (703) 506-3266, or visit the website at


Rachel Rosenberg


Also See: 20 Reasons to Attend Affordable Meetings® National; Second Keynote announced on “Dominating Through Technology” / August 2009

HSMAI University Fall Webinar Line-up to Focus on Business Development and Current Economic Climate / August 2009

20 Reasons to Exhibit at HSMAI’S Affordable Meetings® National and Event Technology Expo™ / July 2009

HSMAI Aims to Establish Sydney Chapter / July 2009

HSMAI'S Affordable Meetings® National Celebrates 20 Years; Welcomes Jonathan Tisch as Keynote Speaker; Annual Conference and Exposition Features Second Annual Event Technology Expo, 42 In-Depth Educational Sessions and New Electronic Matchmaking Service "networkNow!" / July 2009

HSMAI Announces 2009 Adrian Awards "Call for Entries", Entry Submission Opens July 15 in Competition Honoring Travel Marketing Excellence / July 2009

Recap: HSMAI's Revenue Management & Internet Marketing Strategy Conference; Mark Robertson Named HSMAI Revenue Management Professional of the Year / July 2009

Changes in Communication, the Social Media Revolution, and Evolving Search Engine Optimization Forcing Marketers to Rethink How They Market Destinations and Hotels; Recap HSMAI-CHA Conference / January 2008

Recap HSMAI Hotel Sales Strategy Conference: Meeting and Event Professionals Tell Hotel Sales & Marketing Directors That Budgets Were Not Going Up and They Better Get Online for Both RFPs and Bookings / September 2007


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