Meeting News - March 9, 2009 - (Page Cover1)

INSIDE THE INDUSTRY MeetDifferent draws raves p. 4 TRANSPORTATION Airfares remain buoyant p. 19 GREEN BEAT A city’s waste-to-energy drive p. 21 CHEF TALK Fit for a King: Tarver King uses farm-to-table approach at Goodstone Inn & Estate page 6 MeetingNews w w w. M e e t i n g N e w s . c o m M a rc hJuly 16, 2007 9 , 2009 The Industry Strikes Back Meetings constituents fight negative perception By Rayna Katz Following reports of recently bailed out financial companies holding big meetings and events, the meetings and incentive travel business is under attack—by the general media, the public, and consequently the government—like never before. As a result, the industry has mobilized an unprecedented, all-hands-on-deck response with a coalition of industry associations and corporations to create legislative and public relations campaigns, as well as unique research, intended to show the importance of meetings and business travel. In addition, individual organizations and members of the field have developed their own retorts. “Sometimes, a crisis like this creates a call to action,” said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of Maritz Travel, and a key driving force behind the coalition that, at press time, included Meeting Professionals International, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, International Association of Exhibitions and Events, Professional Convention Management Association, Destination Marketing Association International, Site (formerly the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives), and U.S. Travel Association, as well as some meetings and travel management firms. At press time in late February, Duffy et al intended to ask hoteliers to come aboard, too. In early February,the Treasury Department proposed a “rule” that all companies that got continued on page 48 Convention Centers OMNI FORT WORTH PROPELS CITY’S NEW MOMENTUM The recently opened anchor hotel is the force behind Fort Worth’s record convention bookings. see page 18 Destinations TENNESSEE Nashville sets the stage for Music City Center, with imminent vote on the new convention facility; Memphis reports it has already gained 200,000 convention room nights this year; Gaylord Opryland’s new group menus focus on value and quality. see page 44 Planners Guide to Florida We have hot meetings deals, market intelligence on large and small destinations, and firsthand planner accounts on doing business in the state. starts on page 22 BOSTON The big Arisia science fiction convention invades the Hyatt Regency Cambridge annually. I n an Event Report, we infiltrate the festivities. see page 46 Value Meetings CHEAP MEETS Four pages of listings of meetings deals and group packages, organized by region, in the U.S., Mexico, Caribbean, Europe, and Canada. starts on page 12 Planners Feel Jobs Are Safe But in harsh downturn, their staying power is being tested By Julie Barker Layoffs are on everyone’s mind: In January, the U.S. shed 598,000 jobs, after cutting over one million in the prior two months. But, surprisingly, of the 301 planners who responded to MeetingNews Exclusive Research, most felt secure about their jobs. Volume 33/Number 4/$10.00 DALLAS-FORT WORTH Dallas approves Omni and the developer for its convention hotel; Wildcatter Ranch in Graham, TX, caters retreats. see page 47 When asked “to what degree are you worried about your job in 2009?” just 9 percent of respondents were “very worried.” Those who were “somewhat worried” numbered 44 percent. “Not worried” got the biggest response: 47 percent. continued on page 20 We’ve Got all the Pieces.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting News - March 9, 2009

Meeting News- March 9, 2009
What’s Up @
Live from the Forum
Inside the Industry
People Making News
Value Meetings
Convention Centers
Green Beat
Planners Guide to Florida
Destinations: Tennessee
Destinations: Boston
Destinations: Dallas-Fort Worth
Ad Index

Meeting News - March 9, 2009