@MPIGNY - Spring 2014 - (Page 11)

#feature DELIVERING THE THE 'GREEN' AT AIBTM 2014 The Orange County Convention Center. BY MICHAEL LYONS N ow in just its fourth year, the Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meeting Exhibition (AIBTM) has quickly established a reputation in the U.S. as a leading exhibition - and with good reason: AIBTM in 2013 resulted in buyers placing $250 million in business worldwide. But, come June, AIBTM 2014 will not only be delivering qualified hosted buyers and eligible trade buyers, but environmental sustainability as well. The three-day conference is being held at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The OCCC is host to 1 million delegates annually, and it is responsible for generating $1.9 billion in total economic impact for Central Florida. In addition to its outsized financial output, the center is also physically massive: 7 million square feet, 2.1 million of which is exhibit space, making the OCCC the second largest convention center in America - not to mention the largest convention center in the world to have been awarded LEED Gold certification. For AIBTM, holding a "green" event is an honor, as well as plain good business. The meeting industry has emerged as a significant economic contributor in the U.S., with a total economic output of more than $700 billion across every sector of the market. Public demand and increasing government regulation are turning environmental sustainability and the "green movement" into less of a choice and more of a requirement. In holding our 2014 event at the OCCC, we are aiming to do our part for the environment and for our stakeholder. A Green Building Created in 1998 by the U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC), LEED, short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a rating system for the design, construction and operation of green building projects in America. The new LEED OCCC results in more efficient water and energy consumption compared to simply building to code. In addition to its LEED Gold certification, the OCCC was also environmentally certified for its recycling program and is the third convention center in the world to be certified under the recently established APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Event Standard for Meeting Venues. But its best application of sustainability is simple enough to be genius: The sun - the greatest asset Florida can offer - is being used to help power the OCCC through photovoltaic system on its rooftop. Indeed, by maximizing efficiency of operations through sustainable programs, water conservation and innovative energy use, the OCCC as a green building has minimized its environmental footprint on Orlando and Central Florida. Interesting Time The ongoing resurgence of the U.S. meetings, coupled with the fact that today - for the first time ever - meeting professionals have access to a framework for sustainability, has made 2014 a very interesting time to be a part of the industry. The meetings industry is in fact being charged by sustainability. Standardization has been achieved for audio-visual, communication and marketing, food and beverage service, transportation, and addressing air policy, waste and procurement. Meeting professionals are in position to make a call to action to every kind of shareholder involved in the industry to become sustainable. A truly green city, such as Orlando, will be a more than accommodating partner, while the OCCC is a venue deserving of its reputation for sustainability. Again, 2014 is a very interesting time for the U.S. meetings industry, but also a defining time: If meetings truly mean business, then sustainability is good business, in addition to being the right thing to do. @ Michael Lyons is exhibition director at AIBTM. info@mpigny.org 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of @MPIGNY - Spring 2014

Ask the Board
President’s Message
Speaking the Language of Sustainability
11 Delivering the ‘green’ at AIBTM 2014
IMEX America’s Sustainability Efforts: Greenhouses, Gardens and Growing Commitments
A CSR Preview of MPI’S WEC 2014
Greening Trends: Meeting Planners ‘go Local’ to Drive Down Costs
Sustainability at Caneel Bay Resort
Let’s Get Physical: Team Building for the Active Attendee
Delta Force
Mpigny’s Engaging Evening
Legal Review
Member Spotlight
Fitness Focus
Notes From the Field
Asheville CVB Injects Unique Destination Flare Into Meetings
History Comes Alive in Boston
New Members
Advertiser’s Index

@MPIGNY - Spring 2014