Planners Get Down to Business at HSMAI's Affordable Meetings West

  • 06.30.09
Planners attending the 13th Annual Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) Affordable Meetings® West Conference & Exposition meant business.

Attendees used their time to meet with exhibitors on the convention floor and take advantage of 24 educational sessions that made up the conference program June 10-11 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

“Attendees wanted to make the most of their valuable time at the conference and exposition and seemed to walk through the doors with a gameplan,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI. “Many of our exhibitors reported having a very positive show and were able to make qualified leads and connect with important clients.”

Planners representing corporate, association and independent sectors visited exhibitors representing hotels, resorts, CVBs, convention centers, airlines, conference centers, transportation companies, trade publications, DMC companies, unique meeting sites, software providers, entertainment companies, event rental companies, audio visual companies and other suppliers who service the industry.

“The show went amazing,” said Denise Gigoux, director of national sales with Destination Hotels & Resorts. “On the first day from our many booth visitors, we developed two very qualified leads.  Honestly, just by making those two connections, it was well worth attending Affordable Meetings West…. and I still had day two to develop more.”

The more than 450 meeting planners that attended were looking for reliable and affordable partners to help them produce high-quality events while working within the smaller budgets allotted to them during the economic downturn. Many were searching for partners that could help them be more efficient in their own operations, while seeking venues that offered value to their clients and delivered on customer service.

Attendees also benefited from the 24 educational sessions, including the panel session, “Meetings Mean Business,” and Event Technology Expo preview educational sessions, including, “Get More Done! A Productivity Workshop with the Email Coach” and “Technology Trends Meeting & Event Planners Need to Know.”

As in years past, HSMAI also honored exhibitors with Affordable Meetings’ Booth Awards:

  • Best Booth Overall (for the outstanding creation of an effective, attractive environment that communicates their message.):
            - Beach House Hotels – Half Moon Bay, Hermosa Beach – Best Single Booth
            - Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority – Best Multiple Booth
  • Best On-site Booth Promotion/Marketing (for original and effective promotional and marketing materials.):
            - Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau – Best Single Booth
            - Marriott, Renaissance and J.W. Hotels & Resorts – Best Multiple Booth

“The quality of leads at HSMAI'S 13th Annual Affordable Meetings West was very good,” said exhibitor Bob Hamm, senior account manager, Omnipress. “We found more director, CEO and executive director titles this year than in the past with a very nice mix of corporate, association and independent planners. We are looking forward to another great show at Affordable Meetings National and Event Technology Expo in September.”

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