Meeting News - August 11, 2008 - (Page 1)

TRANSPORTATION Talon Air digs into market p. 26 TECHNOLOGY Hotel Wi-Fi is big in the U.S. p. 27 GREEN BEAT DNC will run on beer power p.29 CHEF TALK Going for Gold: Jennifer McCrary is in charge of the main dining hall at the Beijing Olympics. page 12 MeetingNews w w w. M e e t i n g N e w s . c o m August 11, 2008 July 16, 2007 Progress Over Protest MPI is forging ahead with meetings in overseas destinations that raise human rights questions Some members also are unhappy over an upcoming I was taken into foray by MPI into South Africa for hospitality traincustody for 48 ing, because the country’s hours in Qatar president allegedly supports There are, however, rising because I have a Robert Mugabe, President of concerns from members Zimbabwe, who is known to Jewish last name. over perceptions of unfair deploy terror tactics. James Mendelsohn, treatment of certain minoriBut an MPI official said travel director, Chicago. ty groups in those spots. there are chasms between At issue in the Mideast region is the perception and reality. alleged treatment of women as well as gov“I have not been able to reconcile peoernment stances on Judaism and Israel. continued on page 66 By Rayna Katz Hotels & Resorts HIGH-END MEETINGS FULL OF CONSCIENCE Both Fairmont and Ritz-Carlton introduce social responsibility programs for groups. see page 20 International LATIN AMERICA BECKONS AS DOLLAR COUNTS DOWN Central America and South America emerge as go-to locales where buck goes farther. see page 28 Meeting Professionals International is planning to move forward with upcoming programs in the Middle East and South Africa. “ ST. REGIS PULLS OUT; RITZ-CARLTON STEPS IN Year-old property in Fort Lauderdale has its flag switched after Starwood contract dispute. see page 21 Southern Meetings A TASTE OF HOLLYWOOD From Louisiana to Florida, meetings at movie sites make attendees feel like A-listers. see page 32 ” Convention Centers SHREVEPORT’S OIL RUSH Energy firms setting up shop means bonanza of meetings. see page 22 NATURE HAS THEIR BACKS Venues by the lake offer natural beauty and ‘getaway’ meetings. see page 35 MeetingNews ExclusiveResearch Do you see yourself as a planner…? In Five Years’ Time Age: <30 Yes 75.9% No 24.1% Age: 31-40 Yes 78.3% No 21.7% Reeling Regionals? Gas cards, free parking, hot dates are intended to add value to drive-to meetings By Corrie Dosh Destination Insider BOSTON Beantown remains hopping on both regional and international fronts. see page 63 DALLAS-FORT WORTH Irving Convention Center goes after high-end groups starting in 2010. see page 64 OTTAWA SAYS GOODBYE Old convention center will be torn down for a new one in 2011. see page 22 In 10 Years’ Time Yes 58.6% No 41.4% No 42.7% Yes 57.3% Age: <30 Age: 31-40 Volume 32/Number 14/$10.00 Source: MeetingNews survey of 273 meeting planners Planning The Future Most planners envision themselves in the profession in five years; beyond that is a more see page 30 cloudy matter. Anticipating a drop in drive-to meetings demand due to high fuel prices, many hotels and venues have begun to offer incentives such as gas cards and free parking to attract regional business. Starwood Hotels & Resorts last month announced it will offer $25 gas credits and reduced rates through Sept. 30 at more than 100 properties in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Southeast regions. The offer is good for Thursday through Sunday stays and requires a two-night minimum stay. Conference center chain Benchmark Hospitality International is offering a complete meeting package at the Chattanoogan Hotel in Chattanooga, TN, with reduced room rates and $25 gas cards. North of the border, continued on page 26 CVBs ORLEANS CHANGES MULLED NOCVB reportedly wants to unify city’s marketing agencies. see page 24 Meeting Planners Handbook REAL LIFE LESSONS By and for our readers. starts on page 37 ORLANDO’S SKY HOOK Bureau stamps its new slogan on AirTran plane. see page 25

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting News - August 11, 2008

Meeting News - August 11, 2008
What’s Up @
Inside the Meetings Industry
Social Scene
People Making News
Hotels & Resorts
Convention Centers
MN Webcast Report
Southern Meetings
Meeting Planners Handbook
Destination Insider
Advertisers Index
Live from the Forum

Meeting News - August 11, 2008