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Meetings & Travel (April 2010)

News Briefs

Wilmington & Brandywine Valley

IMEX America Increases Hosted Buyers by 30%

IMEX America, the new show to be held at the Las Vegas Sands Expo Center October 11-13, 2011, has experienced strong demand from U.S. and international association, hotel groups and agencies. In fact, just five months after announcing the new show, IMEX organizers have decided to increase the number of qualified hosted buyers by 30% to 2,000 in order to accommodate this widespread interest. According to Ray Bloom, Chairman of the IMEX Group, 80% of these buyers will come from North America, with the balance coming from around the world. "Our previous figures were confident, but conservative," says Bloom. "Recent discussions with our partners and other new business alliances make it clear that there is pent-up demand. I'm confident we will see 2,000 hosted buyers at IMEX America." The program will bring top quality association, corporate and agency buyers from the meetings and events industry onto the show floor to do business with exhibitors. In keeping with the established IMEX model, buyers will spend longer periods of time on the show floor meeting exhibitors as compared with non-hosted trade visitors. For more information, go to www.imex-america.com/

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The 2010 EEA Networking Expo…Be there!

The Enterprise Engagement Alliance will hold its first annual EEA Networking Expo at the Doral Arrowwood Hotel Conference Center in Rye Brook, NY, June 3-5, 2010. The event is designed to help organizations profit from engaging their key audiences and engineer new ways to use rewards and recognition to drive performance. A slate of interactive education sessions will enable attendees to share the latest and most effective policies, procedures, strategies and tactics in the field of engagement, offering unique, actionable ideas and information they can use to boost performance and profitability, and build relationships with all key audiences. Exhibitors representing the top products, programs and performance-improvement companies will be available during eight hours of dedicated exhibit time, as well as at other networking events and activities during the EEA Networking Expo, to share their extensive expertise with attendees. The Doral Arrowwood is convenient to all major metropolitan areas in the Boston/NYC/Philadelphia/Washington, DC corridor, located only 10 minutes from Westchester Country Airport and 40 minutes from New York's LaGuardia airport. For more information about the Enterprise Engagement Alliance Networking Expo, go to www.eeaexpo.com

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Starwood Introduces Global TelePresence Meeting Suites

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. recently unveiled its first in-hotel Cisco TelePresence meeting suites. The W Chicago City Center and Sheraton on the Park Sydney are the first in Starwood's global portfolio to introduce the new meeting facilities, showcasing the state-of-the-art Cisco TelePresence technology. Cisco TelePresence provides life-like, high definition, conferencing facilities with superior audio, video and environmental qualities allowing participants to meet their colleagues, customers and business partners across a virtual table. The public facility offers users who do not have telepresence rooms within their company access to this cutting-edge technology at an affordable per hour rental rate. In addition to the W Chicago and Sheraton on the Park Sydney, two more Cisco TelePresence meeting suites will open in the first half of this year at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers and Sheraton Centre Toronto. For more information about Starwood Hotels Cisco TelePresence Suites, visit www.tatacommunications.com/telepresence/

Rapid City

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People on the Move...

Joe O'Brien, a sales and marketing executive with over 25 years experience in the travel and meetings and incentives industries, has joined Dittman Incentive Marketing as Director of Sales. O'Brien will be setting the strategic direction for Dittman's growing Independent Sales Consultant channel. He will also oversee new business acquisition and client retention. Prior to joining Dittman Incentive Marketing, O'Brien was Vice President of Sales at Premiere Global Sports

Incentium, LLC recently announced that Rich Phillips has been named President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. Phillips, a veteran loyalty and incentive executive, was most recently President of Maritz Loyalty and Motivation

Carlson Marketing recently announced the hiring of Sherry Derby Kapralos as Senior Director of Business Development.  Kapralos had been at American Express for 15 years – most recently as Vice President and General Manager, Relationship Management. She is active in the Corporate Event Marketing Association, Meeting Professionals International and the Marketing Executives Networking Group.

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Insights From ESM Meetings & Incentive Travel e-News

Industry Insider Releases New Book

Andrea Michaels is literally one of the backbones of the special events industry. Launching her business when there was no formalized or defined marketplace, she was and still is a trailblazer, pioneering the way for others to follow. Always on the cutting edge, she has stacked up a pile of firsts (and 50 prestigious awards) in her legendary career – from initiating corporate branding and messaging into events and interactive themes that create experiences for the guests to entering the international market ahead of her colleagues and incorporating never-before-used technology into her events, just to name a few. Now she has written it all down in Reflections of a Successful Wallflower – Lessons in Business, Lessons in Life

"Everyone has been prodding me to write this book for a decade," says Michaels. "After a lifetime of producing events, I wanted to help others avoid the pitfalls I've stumbled across in both my business and my personal life."

Michaels, the first inductee into the Special Event Industry Hall of Fame, openly shares both the public wunderkind and the inner woman, revealing how life's challenges and tumultuous relationships shaped her into a driving business force. Travel along inside the mind of Andrea Michaels as she produces events around the world during the past 30+ years. To order Reflections of a Successful Wallflower - Lessons in Business, Lessons in Life, go to: www.amazon.com. For more information about Andrea Michaels and Extraordinary Events, visit: www.extraordinaryevents.net

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In the Next Issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine

The June/July issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine will be mailing in a few weeks. Here's a preview of what you'll find inside:

Collaboration: More than the Sum of its Parts

A pair of articles examines this critical building block of engagement from two different perspectives. The first, Internal Collaboration: Why Partnering Works, by Rodd Wagner and Gale Muller, Ph.D.,  notes that great partnerships don't just happen. Whether your joint mission is to build a great company, coach a team, improve the government, do something spectacular for a charity, or any other worthy goal, all successful partnerships share the same crucial ingredients. The second article, External Collaboration: When You Can't Do It All, looks at some of the companies in the engagement marketplace that have successfully used collaboration to expand their reach through alliances and partnerships. To make sure you get your copy of Engagement Strategies Magazine, go to www.enterpriseengagement.org/account/login/ and update your subscription today!

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At American Airlines, the People are the Process

Sue Gordon has been with American Airlines for over 20 years. As a result of her vast and varied experience, she not only knows American Airlines and the American Way very well, she also understands very clearly how the company's internal communications and branding efforts work to promote employee engagement and employee retention, while at the same time contributing to a more positive customer experience. In other words, she's seen it all – what works and what doesn't. "From 2001 to today, our industry has essentially been in turmoil," she says. "But we found the most traction by involving employees in the business. This is where we've seen the greatest process improvements and the greatest cost savings. It's where we get our best ideas and the greatest amount of buy-in, by involving our employees from soup to nuts in the process." Read more in the next issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine – coming in May.

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News From Selling Communications Inc.

Engagement Links Directly to Higher Sales

An in-depth review of a 2009 annual meeting of a major healthcare provider reveals that a comprehensive engagement strategy can help increase sales and boost profits. Researchers from the ROI of Engagement Group and the Enterprise Engagement Alliance recently measured the return on investment (ROI) from a gathering of brokers and management personnel that featured a program of training, relationship building and networking opportunities designed to increase sales and profits in specific markets and engage channel partners. The report, The 'ROI in Channel Partner' Conferences – A Case Study, found that the engagement program translated into brokers presenting and quoting the company's products more frequently, which in turn resulted in significantly stronger reported sales from event participants. Specifically, 94% presented the firm's products more often; 98% quoted them repeatedly; and 90% reported greater sales of these products. This is the third major research study released by the Enterprise Engagement Alliance examining the effectiveness of corporate engagement strategies. The company in question (referred to in the report as "Allsante, Inc." at the company's request, due to competitive reasons) wanted to measure the effectiveness of the "Allsante, Inc. Encounter" conference and come up with hard data against which to make decisions about improving future programs. Initial results reveal that the program had a profound impact on the way brokers thought and felt about Allsante, its products and its people. A copy of the study, The 'ROI in Channel Partner' Conferences – A Case Study, can be downloaded at: www.enterpriseengagement.org

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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 contact us 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:

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 jkilmetis@sellingcommunications.com.

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

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CA Short

EGR International Inc.

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