@MPIGNY - Spring 2014 - (Page 11)
'GREEN' AT AIBTM 2014
The Orange County Convention Center.
BY MICHAEL LYONS
ow in just its fourth year,
the Americas Incentive,
Business Travel &
(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
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
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
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
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
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of @MPIGNY - Spring 2014
Ask the Board
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
Mpigny’s Engaging Evening
Notes From the Field
Asheville CVB Injects Unique Destination Flare Into Meetings
History Comes Alive in Boston
@MPIGNY - Spring 2014