One-to-one Appointments, New Workshops Highlight HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National

  • 09.23.10
More than 2,000 meeting, event and hospitality industry professionals made HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® National Exhibition and Conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. the center of the meeting industry world from Sept. 8-9.

“With a strong turnout, attendees at Affordable Meetings National seemed especially impressed with the variety of exhibitors and educational seminars at this year’s expo,” said Fran Brasseux, executive vice president of HSMAI. “It is our goal to always attract the best planners, exhibitors and speakers. Once again, we are proud to say mission accomplished.” 

More than 300 appointments were booked prior to Affordable Meetings National through HSMAI’s One-to-One Meeting Concierge, who worked individually with planners prior to the show to schedule appointments with exhibitors they were most interested in meeting with. Planners who made appointments through the concierge found great value.

Through her pre-scheduled meetings with exhibitors, Barbara Walker, meeting coordinator, American Association of Poison Control Centers, said she “received valuable information that you just do not get in e-mails, literature, etc. HSMAI’s Meeting Concierge had a great deal to do with my successful day at Affordable Meetings.”

More than 2,000 meeting, event and hospitality industry professionals were on hand  for HSMAI's Affordable Meetings Exposition and Conference Sept. 8-9.
Exhibitors from across the country took note of the business opportunities on the show floor at this year’s show. Regina Richardson from the Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau said, “Affordable Meetings 2010 has been awesome for Long Beach this year. Within the first hour we received five RFPs and I think that beat out all of last year, so we are really excited to be exhibiting this year.”
And, Marian Bianchini, senior director global sales, Wyndham Hotel Group, said, “We received a good amount of viable revenue opportunities during the show that far exceeded previous years.  Our visitors to the booth were less than previous years, but the value of good leads and good customer (or potential customers) attendance far outweighs the usual quantity game.”

Beyond fostering these important relationships, planners were able to attend 28 seminars led by industry experts. Additionally for the first time, Affordable Meetings hosted special workshops and sessions. These included the Meeting Planner Boot Camp, Strategic Meeting Management Workshop and the SPIN Think Tank.

Each year the general sessions featuring keynote speakers generate buzz amongst attendees. This year brought the likes of Michael Tchong, trend analyst, Ubercool LLC, as well as Christine Duffy, president and CEO, Maritz Travel. Tchong energized the crowd with a fast-paced presentation titled, “Reinventing Your Meeting Business,” which explored the latest market trends, while highlighting innovations from the lifestyle and technology sector that are affecting the events industry. Duffy, with her Future of Meetings presentation, provided expert commentary that spoke towards the meeting and events industry as it moves on from the recent global recession. Duffy stressed to the audience that, “Going forward we must work hard to prove the ROI of meetings.”

HSMAI also honored exhibitors with Affordable Meetings booth awards:

  • Best booth overall (for the outstanding creation of an effective, attractive environment that communicates the brand’s message)
  • Multiple booths: InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)
  • Single booth: The Jefferson, Washington DC
  • Best on-site booth promotion/marketing (for original and effective promotional and marketing materials)
  • Multiple booths: Carlson Hotels Worldwide
  • Single booth: Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

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