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Meetings & Travel (April 2011)

News Briefs

Research Details the Economic Significance of Meetings

The Convention Industry Council has released a new study: The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy, revealing that the U.S. meetings industry directly supports 1.7 million jobs, a $106 billion contribution to GDP, $263 billion in spending, $60 billion in labor revenue, $14.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $11.3 billion in state and local tax revenue. The study, conducted by PwC US, assisted by a team of industry researchers, spanned more than a year in research and analysis and is the first ever study of the size and scope of its kind. The research quantifies the economic contributions made by the 1.8 million meetings, trade shows, conventions, congresses, incentive events and other meetings that take place across the country. Details on the study and the 14 leading membership organizations which formed the research alliance can be found at www.MeetingsMeanBusiness.com


IACC Roundtables Uncover Key Meeting Preferences

The International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) recently conducted a series of roundtables designed to gather direct feedback from customers and potential customers of IACC conference centers. A total of 135 customer participants were provided a deck of 57 cards, each of which had one component of an "ideal meeting," in eight general areas: Business Services; F&B; Financial; Guest Room; Meeting Room; Meeting Amenities; Technology; and Other. Groups evaluated and ranked all 57 components in terms of their importance to the ideal meeting. In this year's roundtables (as well as last year's), the highest ranking item was the ability to customize a menu to accommodate any special dietary requirements. In order, the remainder of the top 10 were:

  • Technology – at least one LCD projector
  • Meeting Rooms – acoustically rated walls that guarantee no sound distractions
  • Guest Rooms – wireless high-speed Internet access in guest rooms
  • Financial – set-up fees included in the package
  • Financial – meeting room rental expenses
  • Technology – flipcharts with easels, pads and markers
  • Meeting Rooms – unobstructed view in meeting rooms (no pillars)
  • Financial – an easy-to-read, one-page invoice
  • Technology – skilled on-site AV/IT technicians to handle every need

Web: For more information go to www.iacconline.org/press/index.cfm?fuseaction=ReleaseView&ID=463

Grand Sierra

GHOTW Predicts Top MICE Destinations

Meeting and incentive travel is firmly back on the menu for 2011, and according to Great Hotels of the World, the sales and marketing alliance for independent luxury hotels, these will be the 10 most popular destinations for meetings and incentive travel during 2011 and beyond:

  1. Montenegro
  2. Croatia
  3. South Africa
  4. India
  5. Lisbon
  6. Turkey
  7. Greek Islands
  8. Iceland
  9. Sardinia
  10. Seoul

Web: Details of these destinations are available at www.ghotw.com/mediapage.aspx?id=13370. More information on Great Hotels of the World can be found at www.ghotw.com


Preliminary Findings Released by MPI

Initial findings from an intensive 18-month study into the business value of meetings and best practices amongst industry professionals around the world are yielding unique findings that will shape not only the report, but also future content development on this topic. Meeting Professionals International (MPI) intends to reveal the entire study at AIBTM in Baltimore June 21-23. The top five preliminary findings:

  • Very few companies have a formal strategy for measurement
  • Companies who are measuring are relying on traditional satisfaction surveys and are not beginning with design concepts and clear objectives
  • There are significant differences and definitions between North America, Asia and Europe
  • Most planners perceive good measurement is too complicated or expensive
  • Measures vary by meeting type: educational, sales, networking etc.

For more information on the Business Value of Meeting initiative, made possible by AIBTM's three-year investment with the MPI Foundation, its deliverables already in market, and other tools for meeting professionals, visit www.mpiweb.org

National Conference Center

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Insights From ESM Meetings & Incentive Travel e-News

The Changing Face of Today's Travel Consumers

How is technology shaping the modern travel consumer? Well, 75% of leisure travelers look to the Internet for travel information – but do they find too much information or not enough to make an informed decision? A recent Travelport study, The Well Connected Traveller, reveals rapid changes in consumer behavior. Want to find out what 62% of travelers are doing now that they probably weren't doing at all five years ago? Travelport engaged The Futures Company to conduct global research into the end-to-end travel process consumers undertake, from inspiration to shopping to booking to post-trip evaluation. Some highlights:

  • Travel suppliers are increasing complexity through the unbundling of their products and introduction of ancillary services
  • The Internet often provides an insufficient means of navigating the vast array of travel options and only basic mobile functionality is available in most regions
  • The time required to research options is the most frustrating part of booking travel
  • Travelers like to book multiple services and add-ons at the same time.

For more information, go to www.travelport.com/customer_community.aspx

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In the Current Issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine

The March/April issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine is out! Here's a look at what you'll find inside:

Authenticity, Tree-Pruning and the 'Wisdom of Crowds'

In a revealing Q&A with ESM's editors, author and motivation guru Derek Irvine talks about how building a culture of recognition offers the most direct path to engagement. To make sure you get your copy of Engagement Strategies Magazine, go to www.enterpriseengagement.org/account/login/ and update your subscription today!

Gift Card Landscape Has Shifted, Bringing New Vistas, Values

Four industry experts discuss how recent changes in the marketplace are affecting the use of gift cards as a motivational tool. Read more in the next issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine.

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News From Selling Communications Inc.

White Paper Links Social Media and Performance

A new White Paper, How Social Media is Changing Corporate Performance, discusses how lessons learned from Social Media are helping corporate employee-engagement experts capitalize on the momentum in self-motivated, peer-driven participation. Corporate recognition, rewards and incentive programs for employees are actually the unsung pioneers of the kind of 'social points' activity like we see in Social Media games like Farmville and others. By leveraging the power of online systems, corporations can provide a familiar social environment similar to those in which people have already chosen to engage during their own time. You can bring the power of Social Behaviors to your employees by offering intrinsic/extrinsic motivation rewards and recognition programs. Peer-to-Peer awards let people recognize each other. Team-based activities allow for relationship-building and trust. Wellness programs show that you care about employees' health challenges and that you want to help through education and online tools. Open 'suggestion programs' accelerate innovation by creating a meritocracy. To view the full report, go to www.dittmanincentives.com

Advertise here!

Connect Your Marketing to Transactions

Does your organization have a transactional website to handle bulk sales of merchandise to qualified buyers or points programs for incentive companies? The incentive industry is one of the few areas of business that doesn't have a true transactional model to support its end-users and incentive companies. The Corporate Rewards Exchange is a cooperative effort of leading brands, incentive fulfillment firms and incentive companies to build a new distribution channel for sale of gifts to corporations, incentive companies and marketing services firms. The CRE enables brands to tap into a large ad hoc market for bulk gifts and rewards in a way they can carefully control, providing a powerful means for incentive companies to more effectively use their products in reward programs via a highly automated billing, redemption, tracking and customer service system. It's designed to support all of the current players in the incentive marketplace by providing a more efficient means of offering rewards to end-users and incentive companies, at a very low cost. For more information, please for a demo.

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About Selling Communications Inc.

Selling Communications, Inc. is a fully integrated, target marketing, media and technology agency that improves results for clients by focusing on the people who matter most. We can help your business grow and save you money by targeting key prospects, getting their permission and strategically integrating your marketing and sales communications with the specific audiences most likely to affect your business performance.

Take advantage of these SCI services to improve your business development:

  • Results Marketing Agency Solutions
  • Target media
  • Integrated Communications Technology

For more information on Selling Communications, its products and services, contact Jim Kilmetis at 914-591-7600, ext. 229 or send an e-mail to .

Tapping new customers, and keeping those you already have, costs less than you'd imagine...

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