Successful Meetings - April 2008 - (Page 18)

News & Analysis > On The Record Steve Goodling Says Long Beach is Ready For Its Close-Up Long Beach, CA, appears nightly on television sets throughout the world. But even though the producers of the international hit series CSI Miami do most of their shooting in his city, Steve Goodling, CEO and president of the Long Beach Area CVB, admits that “We’re still being discovered.” He recently spoke to Successful Meetings about new business and about the groups that have fallen in love with what is arguably SoCal’s most walkable city. SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS: How are California’s current economic woes affecting Long Beach? STEVE GOODLING: It’s becoming a lot more competitive; some other convention city that might have a hole in its calendar can be being extremely competitive over those dates. But we continue to see record attendances. By and large, we have professional associations booked and, by nature, those meetings are designed to keep your toolkit sharp, your skill levels high, and your networking current. People don’t like to cut that out if they can avoid it; they still like to attend their annual meeting. And we were fortunate with that. We’re still holding up very well. SM: California is also one of the most aggressively “green” states. You’ve just put in a solar panel in your convention center, as well as hosted a solar conference. GOODLING: Last September, we hosted served to them was completely green, from biodegradable boxes to a special ink, utensil, and the type of food that was offered. Even the plant decorations were sustainable. SM: What’s your exciting news? GOODLING: We’ve just announced STEVE GOODLING, Pres. & CEO, Long Beach Area CVB their best attendance yet. As a community we have a heightened sensitivity to what is sustainable. Our assistant city manager is a guru on green initiatives and has been great leader in getting us there. We’re building a platinum LEED facility for the Aquarium of the Pacific; it’s the highest level of LEED that you can achieve. Another development on the green side: the Aquarium is an advocate in the preservation of our oceans. SMG Food Service is the official food caterer at Aquarium of the Pacific and the convention center, and the Aquarium has learned a lot about sustainable fish and products, and that has been incorporated into our convention center food service offerings. This year, the committee for the Women’s Governors Conference (which we’ll be hosting in 2008, 2009, and 2010) asked us for more green initiatives, and so the lunch that was that we will be the host for the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference, starting next February. We sent an advance team to Monterey this year to look at how they do it and it’s just amazing. It’s going to be a great conference for us—it will expose Long Beach to leaders from all industries and around the world. SM: What was the tipping point there for choosing Long Beach? GOODLING: The focus of TED is the con- 2007 Solar Power Conference and Expo, which had great attendance; actually tent and the networking experience. Everyone who comes is a leader in their industry or field, and definitely a progressive thinker. The feedback we’ve been getting is that the size of our city, the walkability of it, and the number of restaurants—we have 100 restaurants in an eight-block radius—is really conducive to networking. Our public transportation system just reconfigured the downtown shuttles into one contiguous route. It runs every eight minutes, and it’s free; visitors can get on at the convention center and ride over to the Queen Mary. [Groups who come here have] a terrific experience. And that continues as we get discovered. The TED conference is just another example. APRIL 2008 SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS 18

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - April 2008

Successful Meetings - April 2008
Editor's Note
Industry Trends
On the Record
Planner's Spotlight
Technology Talk
Personal Success
Websites of the Month
Food & Beverage
On Site
Professional Development
On Site
Professional Development
Miforum Q&A
Beyond the Flames
Reservation for—21,000
Casino Riches
Entertainment Jackpot
Who Needs a Passport?
The International Swing
Around the World in 18 Holes
Places & Spaces
Puerto Rico
Show Special: Washington DC / Frankfurt, Germany

Successful Meetings - April 2008