Successful Meetings - February 2009 - (Page 8)

EDITOR’S LETTER The Authority on Meetings & Incentives Nowhere to Run ack in November when the story broke about AIG hosting a dealer incentive trip right after accepting government bailout money, I saw something in the consumer media that I never thought I’d see. Larry King invited Edward Liddy, the chairman and CEO of AIG to “have his say.” It was a refreshing change to the usual approach the print and electronic media take when covering incentives of all kinds. That approach portrays incentive travel as “fat cats partying” and merchandise programs as “bribes.” On King’s show, Liddy had the opportunity to educate the public on a business model that is based on independent brokers and on how incentives and training programs play a crucial role in getting AIG’s products the attention necessary to move successfully through that sales chain. He was even able to touch briefly on how incentive activities are self-liquidating. It was the first time, in my recollection anyway, that our industry’s side of the story has ever been told to a mass consumer audience. And that’s our fault. As an industry we’ve done a terrible job explaining to the public at large exactly what role meetings and incentives play in the success of an organization. But hopefully that will start to change in about 18 months. That’s the tentative time frame for an initiative that most of the major meetings and incentive industry associations are underwriting that’s aimed at making the government and the public more aware of these practices. The initiative, announced at the annual meeting of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) last month, will include a lobbying effort on Capitol Hill by the U.S. Travel Association and a comprehensive study of the impact of the meetings and incentive industries that will involve those two groups and industry associations Meeting Professionals International, American Society of Association Executives, the Convention Industry Council, and the National Business Travel Association as well as Maritz Travel. The days of running for cover are finally reaching an end. And it’s an end that has been long overdue. B PUBLISHER: NELLA VELDRAN vice president and group publisher, travel group (646) 654-7325, VINCENT ALONZO editor-in-chief, KINLEY LEVACK managing editor, CORRIE DOSH destinations editor, ANDREA DOYLE senior editor, NANCY LAZARUS research director, JENNIFER RUF art director, CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Rayna Katz, William Ng, Michael Goldstein, Tom McDonald PRODUCTION (646) 654-7293, Grace Casey, production manager CUSTOM PUBLISHING (305) 884-0295 MARILYN MOORE, editorial director; Alison Golub, executive editor; Karen Gines, executive editor (performance); Sarah Veit, associate editor; Denniston Brown, creative director; Michelle Tropiano, art director; Jonathan Chang, associate art director; Tessa Sestina, associate art director INFORMATION MARKETING (646) 654-5879 Tracey Dwyer, associate director, audience marketing, SUBSCRIPTIONS (847) 763-9050 MARKETING (646) 654-7263 Jennifer Pepper Stam, senior marketing manager, travel group, ADVERTISING (646) 654-7327, New York office REPRINTS The YGS Group, Jenny Kintner, (800) 324-2930, For one-time use of our content: Barbara Grieninger, (646) 654-4675, LIST RENTAL (646) 654-7220 Michelle Wiesner, Editorial Offices: 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 (646) 654-7361; Fax (646) 654-7365; President: Greg Farrar • Senior Vice President, Human Resources: Michael Alicea • Senior Vice President, Marketing: Mark Hosbein • Senior Vice President, Finance: Derek Irwin • Senior Vice President, Entertainment: Gerry Byrne • Senior Vice President, Marketing, Media & Visual Arts: Sabrina Crow • Senior Vice President, Retail: David Loechner • Senior Vice President, Online: Linda McCutcheon • Senior Vice President, Building & Design: Joe Randall • Senior Vice President, Central Services: Mary Kay Sustek • Vice President, Licensing: Howard Appelbaum • Vice President, Manufacturing & Distribution: Jennifer Grego • Vice President, Audience Marketing: Joanne Wheatley Plea se Re e This M cycl a ga ec y cling zin e e In ov Rem Vincent Alonzo, Editor-in-Chief se rts for & Samples Be 8 I SM I February 2009 I eR

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - February 2009

Successful Meetings - February 2009
Editor's Letter
News Update: Meetings Associations Band Together
Planner Spotlight
Technology Talk
Food & Beverage
Making Cents of It All
Meanwhile, Back at Headquarters
Seal of Approval
Come Sail Away
Making Tracks
Places & Spaces
Florida’s East Coast
3 Days in Philadelphia

Successful Meetings - February 2009