Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Extra, Extra!: Convene Newsstand

Welcome back to Extra, Extra!, the Convene blog's semi-weekly news supplement.  So what's news?

IMEX America, scheduled for this coming Oct. 11–13 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, has released its full-show preview. Highlights include 1,800 exhibitors and 2,000 hosted buyers. A fifth of the total space at the show will be occupied by European destinations, including Croatia — which, Convene read elsewhere on the Internet, just founded the new Croatian Meeting Professionals Association (CMPA).

In a pair of news items from IAEE, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, the association has partnered with Prometric "to develop the exhibitions and events industry’s first definition of core competencies in the exhibition management field." Sounds interesting! IAEE President Steven Hacker, CAE, FSAE (who recently announced that he would be stepping down from his position this month, after 21 years with IAEE), said, "This unprecedented initiative ... will provide thousands of exhibitions and events industry professionals a standard for their chosen careers."

The other IAEE item concerns proposed regulations from the Office of Government Ethics, which would bar U.S. federal government employees from going to "'widely attended gatherings' hosted by lobbyists or companies and trade associations that are registered to lobby," as a journalist for the Washington Post put it. What would this mean? In a statement, Hacker made plain his opinion of these proposed rules:
This reckless intrusion into commerce, if adopted, would further isolate regulators from the industries they must understand. The learning and communications that routinely take place during trade events are among the most important ways that government officials and business leaders can exchange views and ideas.
Now for some quick bits: Are you a fan of "Hell's Kitchen," the reality show wherein Gordon Ramsay screams at some chefs, and also some food occasionally gets made? If so, stayed tuned for the lodging version of the show, which has reportedly (by Entertainment Weekly) been ordered up by Fox: "Hotel Hell."

In a statement, Ramsay said of the new show, "These are stories that everyone can relate to, because virtually all of us have had a bad hotel experience that’s turned a holiday or business trip into a total disaster. It’s time to put the hospitality industry to the test."  That's certainly true — now how long do we have to wait for "Airline Hell"?

This past summer (past already — it went by so quickly!), Professor Judi Brownell, of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, published a paper in which she argued that men and women do business travel differently — "especially," as a journalist for the Chicago Tribune writes, "when it comes to hotels."  Click here for a Q&A between the writer and Brownell, wherein the two discuss, among other topics, Brownell's assertion that women business travelers desire above all "to feel safe, comfortable, empowered, and pampered" when visiting a hotel.

Finally, the eco-minded mantra of "reduce, reuse, recycle" is being practiced to a great degree, it seems, by a pair of meetings-industry venues. One, the newly reflagged DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington Minneapolis–South, which, when it was converted from a Sheraton in July, got rid of all its Sheraton-branded products by basically holding a yard sale. The property donated 2,000 logo-ed pens and notepads to a local high school's special-needs program; donated towels and sheets to a local charity; and sold "two tractor trailer loads of logo-ed and brand-specific products to other Sheratons in the five-state region," according to a story from Hotel Interactive.

The second of the two venues may be more familiar: McCormick Place in Chicago, which is seeking to find some way to get value out of the neglected parts of its Lakeside Center, a portion of the facility which dates from 1971, making it the oldest part of the convention campus. Ideas that have been put forth for Lakeside Center, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune, include "data storage facilities, office space that companies could use in disaster situations, call centers< and research centers."

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