HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® West Offers Educational Sessions on Service, Value

  • 05.06.09
When selecting an event location, customer service and value were deciding factors for meeting planners, as found in a recent HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® survey.

The 13th Annual HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® West at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif., June 10-11, 2009, will target attendees’ needs and offer affordable ways to provide high-quality service and value, as well as strategies to get connected with the facilities, destinations and vendors to get the job done.

HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings West will feature NetworkNow!, an online attendee/exhibitor matching program that will also help foster new relationships between buyers and sellers by capturing and matching relevant buyer interest to exhibitor product benefits. The trade exposition is a main attraction for attendees looking to meet and network with knowledgeable suppliers who are determined to help produce valuable meetings and assist with purchasing decisions. Exhibitors represent hotels and resorts, conference centers, unique meeting sites, convention and visitor bureaus, transportation companies, trade publications, software and audio/visual businesses and other meeting and convention suppliers.

Attendees will have the opportunity to choose from 24 educational seminars and workshops designed to offer in-depth coverage of important industry topics including budgeting, contracts, event planning and marketing. Some highlighted sessions include:

  • The Sky is Falling, The Sky is Falling – Is this a Chicken Little Era for Meetings and Events?: How to Cope in Troubled Economic Times. The economy is on the skids.  Public perception of companies and their activities is at an all time low. Jonathan Howe, a renowned industry attorney, will address those issues that most impact planners and suppliers today.
  • In Tough Times, Customers Demand Off-the-Charts Service. Is Your Organization Kicking Up Its Game? Customers expect service because, well, they ARE the customer!  But in tough times like these, they expect even more because everything they pay for is under scrutiny.  This session takes a no-sacred-cows approach to helping attendees identify where to kick up the customer service.
  • The Art of the Deal: How Hotels Value Your Meetings. In this interactive session, participants will learn how to succeed and maximize results, regardless of shifts in the marketplace, including how to create an action plan and strategic negotiation process that will add value to meetings and the bottom line.
  • Plan and Think Before You Ink – Strategic Hotel Contract Negotiations. This interactive workshop goes beyond dates, rates and space, and will discuss strategies to negotiate all hotel contract components, value-added concessions, hotel fees and surcharges and performance clauses. 
  • Practiced Spontaneity: Maintaining Personal and Professional Balance in Unbalanced Times. Everyone needs to be nimble, confident and creative these days in order to personally thrive while inspiring others.  Interestingly, the same is true of Improv Theater performers.  Participants will take part in some improvisational theater games that are deceptively powerful tools for enhancing our leadership, teaming and communication skills. 

The schedule also includes seminars covering some of the most vital technology-related issues and trends as part of HSMAI’s Event Technology Expo™ (ETE) Preview. Event Technology ExpoTM debuted last September at HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings National.

More than 1,000 attendees, representing meeting and event planners from a variety of organizations, with a majority representing corporate, association and independent sectors and the balance from government, non-profit, education, religious and medical/health care organizations, trade show management and the military, are expected to visit HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings West 2009 show.  Attendance at HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings West is free of charge for qualified meeting planners.

Booth space is still available at the West Show and can be obtained by contacting Craig Baker, account manager, J. Spargo & Associates, Inc., (703) 679-3942, e-mail: amexhibits@jspargo.com. Attendee information for HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings West is available by calling 800-564-4220. 

Other shows for 2009 include HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings National and Event Technology Expo, Sept. 9-10, 2009, Walter E. Washington Convention Center – Washington, D.C. For additional information and a complete program schedule, visit www.affordablemeetings.com.

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