Meeting News - April 21, 2008 - (Page 1)

INSIDE THE INDUSTRY NBTA talks recession forces p. 5 TECHNOLOGY MPI attendees go spotting p. 12 MN WEBCAST REPORT International travel hurdles p. 38 CHEF TALK Jeff Leidy cooks up a storm at San Diego Convention Center page 6 MeetingNews w w w. M e e t i n g N e w s . c o m April 21, 2008 July 16, 2007 Crisis Among the Carriers Three airlines discontinue passenger services, leaving meeting planners, attendees, and some destinations scrambling for solutions destinations were on their own. Michelle New York—Over a one-week span, passengers DeClerck, president of Des Moines, IA-based on three airlines received the news that their Conference Event Management was hit with a flights had been canceled— double whammy. Her incentive permanently. On March 30, group of 50 top producers from Aloha Airlines, Hawaii’s secan insurance company was The airline ond largest carrier, announced packing their bags for a reward that it was discontinuing its industry is so fragile program in Maui when she got interisland and transpacific because of the cost the news. Most of the group was passenger services, effective of fuel and current scheduled to fly on Aloha, so immediately. On April 3, IndiDeClerck and her team immecredit markets. anapolis-based ATA shut diately began rebooking atten—-Rex Johnson, president, down its flights. And on April dees on other airlines—includHawaiian Tourism Authority 5, Skybus, based in Columbus, ing ill-fated ATA. “I was most concerned about the client’s budgOH, declared that it, too, was ceasing operaet and being able to accommodate our guests and tions. Each airline also declared bankruptcy. continued on page 41 Meeting planners, attendees, and affected By Lori Morris Hotels & Resorts EXTREME MAKEOVER PLAN FOR SHERATON IN THE U.S. Sheraton launches complete redesign program for its 100 properties across the country. see page 8 Transportation & Svcs AIRLINES RUSH TO GET PLANES CHECKED OUT American, United, and Delta take planes out of service after Southwest fallout. see page 10 TRAVELING BACK IN TIME AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS Moulin Rouge venue and Wild West Arena whisk meeting groups away. see page 10 AVID ASSOCIATED LUXURY ENTICES WITH DISCOUNTS Anticipating recession crunch, hotel collective offers banquet F&B credit. see page 8 SOFITEL SOARS TO GREEN ON WIND POWER PURCHASE Hotelier to buy wind energy for its nine U.S. properties. see page 8 “ International BENCHMARK SETS FOOT INSIDE LATIN AMERICA Company will operate three hotels in Panama starting with the Orchid hotel at end of 2009. see page 11 ” Convention Centers MeetingNews ExclusiveResearch Where do you usually go to source speakers? Recommended by professionals within my organization Choose from within the corporation/association Speaker bureau Recommended by other meeting planners Internet search I do not source speakers 0% 10% ACCOR PULLS INTO ASIA WITH BIG EXPECTATIONS European firm looks to ramp up Pullman business hotel brand in China and rest of the region. see page 11 Walking the Green Talk In taking steps toward green meetings, planners—and their organizations— should practice thorough due diligence By Robert Carey 60.0% ST. LOUIS STRIKES A DEAL WITH ITS UNION WORKERS Convention bureau reaches agreement with labor reps to avert strikes. see page 9 SHREVEPORT CENTER IS IN THE RED AFTER 2 YEARS Fledgling venue has a $2.2million deficit but management is confident business will pick up. see page 9 40.6% 21.9% 18.1% 12.7% 20.3% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Volume 32/Number 8/$10.00 Source: MeetingNews survey of 315 meeting planners Internal Affairs Planners are using speaker bureaus and outside talkers less due to costs and a focus on more see page 13 targeted content. New York—On April 2, Nielsen Research (parent company of MeetingNews) released a report revealing that online buzz surrounding sustainability increased 50 percent over the course of 2007. That’s a big number. But it wasn’t all about the great work industries have undertaken in the name of the environment. Much of the online chatter, according to Nielsen’s “Sustainability through the Eyes and Megaphones of the Blogosphere” report, was devoted to revealing the underside of ecoawareness: Industries and companies that don’t live up to their ecofriendly claims. Or, in the lingo of the environmentally aware, the practice of “greenwashing.” “More CEOs are publicly saying, ‘We are going to reduce our continued on page 40 Destination Insider PHOENIX-SCOTTSDALE Paradise Valley emerges as meetings player; Phoenix cited by for value; Starwood tries again with aloft. see page 14

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Meeting News - April 21, 2008