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Your Resource For Meetings in The Midwest

Minnesota p. 48

Missouri p. 58

Wisconsin p. 76

Planes, Trains and Automobiles p. 25 Cruise Through Your Next Meeting p. 18


Your pressing questions… • The entanglements of social media: Business or Personal? Shadia Cook, a veteran of the hospitality industry, is experienced in coordinating conferences with corporate, government and association meeting professionals. Have a pressing question? Ask Shadia! Post your question online or write to Editor@MidwestMeetings.com.

Q: A:

from meetings and events to your teenagers. This

If people are sharing bad experiences with your brand or

has caused a big gray area for most groups and businesses. Where

event, have the appropriate person respond and do so promptly.

is the line between personal and professional? As in most cas-

If an employee has an issue with a colleague or manager, social

es, there were no standardized policies in place as social media

media is not the arena to discuss it.

How do I regulate social media for my organization? How do you draw the lines between personal and professional?

If in doubt, ask yourself, “Is this something I’d be comfortable saying to the CEO or shareholders? Are these photos a good representation of our group and/or business?” Remind everyone

Good question! It seems that social media is every-

that everything and anything you post is out there for all of your

where, from your grocery store to your company,

Facebook® friends or fans to see.

swept and continues to infest the marketplace. Executives have

You need to make it clear to employees that there are bound-

had to learn the hard way in cases of rogue users, and they often

aries. If your employees have their own personal page, you may

chose to treat the majority based on the minority by restricting

want to remind them that they are still considered representa-

access to everyone.

tives of the company and they should err on the cautious side

Social media is all about making personal connections, with

in making any remarks or posting any questionable photos, etc.

people, with businesses, events and just about everything under

It’s a good idea to separate work from fun/personal by using a

the sun. The problem is separating professional and personal. It’s

network like LinkedIn® for professional connections and keep

not easy to do in person and much more difficult with these new

Facebook for friends and family. Tempting as it is, it’s generally

media forums.

not a good idea to friend your boss and colleagues on Facebook.

In the business arena, deciding your purpose and goals is a

A real-life situation resulted in the loss of a job when a guest

good starting point. It may sound like a no-brainer, but many

service representative posted that she hated her job and asked if

people are jumping into them without formally deciding their

anyone knew of anything. She forgot that her manager was one

strategy. This can result in an inconsistent message with an open

of her Facebook friends. Yes, it does happen.

invitation for confusion. After you decide what your goals are

If you feel uncomfortable ignoring a request, let the person in

and put action plans in place to achieve them, you can decide

question know that you’re using your Facebook page for family

who within your company should be responsible for the content

and close friends, and if you are inclined, tell them that you’d be

posted. This way you’re not having a half-dozen people posting

happy to add them to your LinkedIn network. Most people will

irrelevant and inconsistent messages. No one cares what Megan

understand if you explain and may even begin to do the same

is making for dinner, unless she’s the chef at the restaurant you’re

after you share your rationale.

promoting! All of your postings should pertain to your strategic plan, be it facts and fun trivia relating to your business or sharing

2

promotions and industry information.

Rest assured, social media is not going away anytime soon, so embrace it and face the challenges head on.

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


Finally

• The US Travel Promotion Act is officially a law • What to expect now

A

fter years of introduction, un-

international travelers feel welcome will be

derstanding and negotiation by

major hurdles that must be overcome by

members of Congress and US

the appointed board. The Travel Promo-

travel advocates, the Travel Promotion

tion Act, at its core, allows the US to be

Act was signed into law on March 4, 2010.

competitive with other countries that spend

This law has the potential to strengthen the

millions of dollars each year promoting trav-

United States’ economic backbone and has

el to their respective countries.

garnered the support of both Congress and President Obama.

J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Chairman and CEO of Marriott® International Inc., sums it

The bill was sponsored by Senators Dor-

up well. “Travel has the potential to open

gan (D-ND) and Ensign (R-NV) and Rep-

minds and hearts to other people and cul-

resentatives Delahunt (D-MA) and Blunt

tures,” he said. “Not only will the Travel

(R-MO) and received bipartisan support.

Promotion Act stimulate our economy and

Moving forward, the law establishes an

boost our economic recovery, it will encour-

11-person board that will oversee promo-

age more citizens of the world to come see

tional efforts, convincing international

what we are all about.”

travelers to consider the United States for

After a long process of travel advocacy,

business and leisure travel. Most important-

the travel community is celebrating their

ly, an appointed chairperson will manage

victory; however, the journey has just be-

the day-to-day operations of the aforemen-

gun. Providing evidence that US travel pro-

tioned campaign to move promotional

motions are effective will be the next uphill

tactics forward in the most efficient way

battle. Midwest Meetings® will continue to

possible. Plus, no US taxpayer money will

cover the progress of the Travel Promotion

be spent to fund the bill or the promotional

Act as it comes through its infancy.

tactics.

Information compiled from the US Travel

Effectively branding the US and making

Association

“Travel has the potential to open minds and hearts to other people and cultures. Not only will the Travel Promotion Act stimulate our economy and boost our economic recovery, it will encourage more citizens of the world to come see what we are all about.” - J.W. “Bill” Marriott

According to PowerOfTravel.org, the Travel Promotion Act will yield: • Millions of new visitors • $4 billion in new economic stimulus

According to the Congressional Budget Office, over the next ten years the bill will:

• 40,000 new American jobs

• Reduce the deficit by $425 million

• $320 million in new federal tax revenue

• Increase revenues by $135 million

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

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Midwest Meetings

Summer 2010

Table of Contents Features

08

In-Depth Look At Meeting 084 An Trends

Top ten trends for 2010… Benchmark Hospitality International

174

A look at the life and work of Josh Schamberger…

Departments

024

Ask the Expert

034

Finally

254 Planes, Trains and Automobiles

074

Letter from the Publisher

284

104

Meet in the Midwest

114

Industry Insites

1044

Destination Index

184 224

18

Person of the Decade

Cruise Through Your Next Meeting

The unexpected benefits of holding meetings on small cruise lines…

Enhance Your Meeting

Lessons learned from hybrid meetings… by John Otrompke Transportation options for Midwestern events…

304

To Be or Not to be a CMP

Everything you need to know about becoming a CMP…

Wake-Up Calls For Meeting Planners

Six ways to keep attendees alert… MeetingSource.com

314 What’s Happening Now 324 Associations Going Digital

Social Media: Business or Personal? by Shadia Cook

An overview of the recently passed US Travel Promotional Act…

Hot trends in the meetings industry…

Digital marketing options for association event planners…

22 25

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Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


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© 2010, City of Madison


Midwest Meetings

Summer 2010

Table of Contents

(continued)

Special Section on Budgets

344 Supply + Demand = Savings Perspectives

444

404

454

How event planners and suppliers are working together to save money…

434

Budgets…

Where to start when managing your event budget…

Deals, Deals and More Deals

Break the Ice

Ideas for meeting icebreakers…

Teambuilding on a Budget

Keeping costs down while building team synergy… By Brian Middle

464

Uncovering savings through hotel and venue rewards programs…

50 Ways to Boost Your Budget

Finding cost savings in unlikely places…

Meeting States O

pen your eyes and gaze at the stars in

pice up your next meeting or event and show your attendees how to live like they mean it in

Show, Courtesy of Red Wing

Wisconsin. Head toward Wisconsin for a one-of-a-

Marina

kind adventure. Better yet, ride your Harley-David-

Previous page bottom - Valleyfair®, Steel Venom - Shakopee, Courtesy of Valleyfair

cities, you’ll come to love Minnesota for its grand variety of adventure. The Minnesota Twins™, Minnesota Wild™, Minnesota Timberwolves™, Minnesota Thunder and Minnesota Vikings are sure to impress ™

S

Previous page top - Red Wing Ski

Minnesota. Whether you indulge in the

serenity of star gazing on the rolling plains in Minnesota or keep up with sports stars in the

all who behold them. With five professional clubs in the state, Minnesota is always bustling with activity, sports fans and state pride.

son® motorcycle to its birthplace in Milwaukee. Slide on over to catch a glimpse of the infamous Rock Aqua Jays in Janesville; this water ski club uses

Left - Mississippi River Bridge at Lake Bemidji Inlet, Courtesy of Larry Young

more than eight miles of tow rope per show as they

Below - Mount Kato Ski Area Mankato, Courtesy Mount Kato

Stroll down State Street in Madison for your pick

thrill and astound viewers every week during the summer. of dining, entertainment or shopping. This pedestrian mall connects the University of Wisconsin-Madison

The state of Minnesota boasts a long history

and the state’s capitol building. It’s bustling abun-

of diversity, bringing together both rural and urban lifestyles. Widespread agriculture in rural ar-

North Star State

Live Like You Mean It

eas coupled with a strong manufacturing sector in urban areas offers residents many choices. Of the top 1,000 publically traded companies in the US, thirty-three are headquartered in Minnesota. These include General Mills, Target®, Land

AJ MIDWEST MTG SUMMER ISSUE 2010 05.04.10.pdf

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®

®

or try their luck in the various gaming facilities. In the summer, bask in the sun or take on some twisted water slides at Noah’s Ark Waterpark, America’s larg-

and visit Como Park; it’s a great place to relax and to take in the

MADISON - CAPITAL

wonderment that Minnesota has to offer. Dive into the Great

Unleash the artist within by visiting the Fox Cit-

Best Western® Hotels ..............................................................IFC, 1 City of Sheboygan.......................................................................92 Country Springs Hotel ..................................................................97 Devils Head Resort & Convention Center .......................................87 Fox Cities CVB ......................................................................78, 79 The Geneva Inn ...........................................................................91 Glacier Canyon Lodge® at the WildernessSM ........................102, 103 Hilton® Garden Inns of Wisconsin.................................................94 Holiday Inn Neenah Riverwalk .....................................................80 Janesville Area CVB ....................................................................83 Jefferson Street Inn ......................................................................99 Kalahari® Resort................................................................100, 101 Lake Lawn Resort™ .....................................................................81 Lambeau Field™ ...................................................................84, 85 Landmark Resort .........................................................................82 Marcus Center for the Performing Arts ..........................................89 Marriott Milwaukee West .............................................................97 Menominee Casino Resort............................................................86 Monona Terrace® Convention Center ........................................5, 88 Oshkosh CVB..............................................................................90 Overture Center for the Arts .........................................................87 Radisson® Hotel LaCrosse.............................................................87 Radisson® Paper Valley Hotel and Conference Center ....................80 Real Racine.................................................................................91 Stevens Point Area CVB ...............................................................93 Stoney Creek Hospitality Corporation ...........................................99 Tomah CVB ................................................................................94 Waukesha County Expo Center ....................................................97 Waukesha & Pewaukee CVB..................................................96, 97 Wausau/Central Wisconsin CVB..................................................98 Wisconsin Dells VCB ...................................................................95

Awaken the child within yourself by visiting LEGOLAND® in Bloomington. Thrill your inner dare-devil by riding the Steel Venum roller coaster at Valleyfair® in Shakopee as it twists, turns and drops you in a flash. Catch your breath and relax at one of the 10,000 lakes in this water-rich state. If you’d rather get some exercise, partake in some high-speed watersports like jet skiing, water skiing, tubing, fishing and boating. Take a hike. Minnesota is one of the healthiest states nationwide. The North Star State has 72 scenic and refreshing state parks that are used by outdoor enthusiasts for hiking, biking or camping. Plus, Minnesota has more miles of biking trails than any other state in the US. Bring your next meeting or event to a state that offers the best of both worlds. Whether you’re looking for a metropolitan locale, a cozy suburb or a truly agricultural setting, look no further. Minnesota offers visitors all of this and more. Follow the North Star to Minnesota and you will find the key to your next successful C

meeting or event.

est waterpark.

FIND THEM HERE...

variety of species that call this aquarium home.

FIND THEM HERE...

and meeting attendees needing a break from their regular routine will enjoy a trolley-escorted night on

can treat themselves to an exciting shopping getaway

Explore the great variety Minnesota has to offer. Travel to the

Lakes Aquarium in Duluth; you’re sure to leave impressed by the

Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center......................50 Best Western® Hotels ................................................IFC, 1 Burnsville CVB...............................................................52 Jackpot Junction® Casino Hotel .......................................53 The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes & Waterpark.......................53 Mall of America® Meeting Space ....................................55 Maple Grove Community Center ....................................49 The Northland Inn .........................................................53 Owatonna Area C of C & Tourism ..................................54 Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort ...........................................50 Red Wing VCB..............................................................54 Saint Paul Meeting Center ........................................56, 57 Visit Bemidji ..................................................................51 Willmar Lakes Area CVB ...............................................54

Jump on one of Racine’s Lakefront Trolleys to experience a unique tour of the downtown area. Event

Make a splash in Wisconsin Dells. Event attendees

privately owned company in the US, is located in Minnesota as well. SPAM® Museum in Austin. Swing over to the edge of St. Paul

ST. PAUL - CAPITAL

dance of activities will surely provide hours of entertainment for your next meeting or event.

the town participating in a “pub and grub” tour.

O’Lakes and Best Buy . Cargill , the largest ®

M

ies Performing Arts Center in Appleton. This unique facility was opened in 2002 and hosts numerous concerts and musicals among other events and meetings. Its sheer design and magnitude are sure to impress your meeting guests and attendees. Punt, pass or kick your way to Lambeau Field® in Green Bay to experience a game-day like no other. Ranked the number one stadium experience of any professional sport in the US by ESPN®, Lambeau Field offers visitors an unrivaled experience. This newly remodeled field and stadium recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and is a major part of the Wisconsin landscape and even closer to Packers™ fans’ hearts. Finally, hit up Milwaukee for a tour of the Miller® Brewery, the nation’s second largest brewery. The Milwaukee campus rests on 82 acres of land and resides in 76 buildings. No matter what you do or how you get there, live like you mean it in Wisconsin.

Previous page top - Wisconsin River, Wisconsin Dells Photo Credit: Wisconsin Dells CVB Previous page bottom - Miller Park™, Milwaukee Photo Credit: Wisconsin Department of Tourism Top - Rotary Botanical Gardens, Janesville Center - Big Falls County Park, Altoona Bottom - Rolling Meadows Golf Course, Fond du Lac

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idwestern charm and excitement will greet you throughout the state of Missouri. In the Show-Me State, you’ll find plenty to see, do and eat.

For your next meeting or event, head to Kansas City. The Crown Center of-

fers three levels of shopping and dining surrounded by hotels, office buildings, a residential community and entertainment. Don’t forget about their fingerlicking-good barbecue. It’s a way of life in Kansas City and and you’re sure to find the opportunity with nearly 100 barbecue options. Columbia is located right in the center of the state. They have a calendar full of events and festivals, so there is never a shortage of things to do. Positioned between three colleges, the “District” is a continually evolving and is a vibrant hot spot for live performances, one-of-a-kind specialty shops and owner-operated retail stores. If the sun shining on your face is more alluring, there are plenty of options to pick from. Columbia has several parks, trails, gardens and recreation areas. Find your unique getaway in St. Louis. Visit the Gateway Arch and gaze from your birds-eye view at the landscape from its peak. On ground, visit the St. Louis Art Museum, where the extensive artwork will leave you in awe and entrance

Show-Me State

is always free. This eye-catching city will keep you coming back for more. Branson is known as the “Live Music Show Capital of the World”, with more than 50 live performance theaters. Morning, afternoon and night, Branson offers a variety of entertainment options for all visitors. You can also travel on land and in water aboard the WWII replica DUKW vehicle and see the Ozarks up close and personal. Ride The Ducks is also the premier splashdown attraction in the area. Start your day in Independence at The Big Biscuit. Be sure to bring your appetite to this restaurant since the name tells it like it is. After you’re fueled up, take a stroll through Harry S. Truman’s neighborhood; stop in the soda fountain where he had his first job, and enjoy many other Truman sites. Take a mule-drawn, covered-wagon ride to learn even more about the history of In-

JEFFERSON CITY - CAPITAL

dependence. The capitol, Jefferson City, is rich with historical traditions, beautiful land-

FIND THEM HERE...

scapes, fine cuisine and attractive shopping centers just waiting for your arrival.

Amtrak® ........................................................................60 Best Western® Branson Inn & Conference Center ..............61 Best Western® Hotels ................................................. IFC, 1 Branson Convention Center .......................................62, 63 Branson Lakes Area CVB ................................................61 City of Independence ......................................................64 Columbia CVB .........................................................66, 67 Greater Saint Charles, MO CVB ................................68, 69 Lumière PlaceSM ........................................................70, 71 Hyatt® Regency St. Louis at the Arch ..........................72, 73 Meeting & Conference Services University of Central Missouri ........................................75 Rolla CVB - Havener Center, University of Rolla ................61 Silver Rails Event Center..................................................65 Springfield, MO CVB......................................................74 The Stratford Inn ............................................................65 Tan-Tar-A Resort, Golf Club, Marina & Indoor Waterpark .....................................................65 Trout Lodge....................................................................75

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Begin with a capitol tour and finish out on the blufftop. Overlooking Highway 54, the Missouri River and Jefferson City sits the Summit Lake Winery. Grab a bite to eat, a glass of wine and unwind in their garden terrace. When you want to explore caves, be sure to spend plenty of time in Springfield. Include Fantastic Caverns in your journey and experience America’s only ride-through cave. After the tours, sit back and enjoy a meal at one of Springfield’s more than 800 restaurants. Or, if it’s a sweet-tooth you have, stop at one of the two locations of Candy House Gourmet Chocolates. Take a little extra time there and see how their candy is made. Traveling the Mother Road? Lebanon’s five miles of Route 66 will take you back in time. Visit the Route 66 Museum, take in trout fishing, canoeing, enjoy scenic beauty or shop for antiques or outlet mall bargains. You are sure to find the perfect attraction. Don’t forget Missouri for your next meeting or event; Missourians will surely show you a good time.

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Previous page top -Branson Landing Fountain and Fire Show, Branson - Photo Credit: SwiftShots for Branson Landing Previous page bottom - Pony Express Statue, St. Joseph Top - Missouri State Capitol building, Jefferson City Center - Fantastic Caverns, Springfield Bottom - St. Louis Arch

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Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


Summer 2010 Publisher Randal Hennen Randy@MidwestMeetings.com

Editor Editor@MidwestMeetings.com

Cruising Forward (With Caution)…

Assistant Editor Amanda Bechen Info@MidwestMeetings.com

Office Manager Susan Zafft Susan@MidwestMeetings.com

Circulation/Subscription Department Circ@MidwestMeetings.com

Art Director Amy Hennen Amy@MidwestMeetings.com

Sales Director Steve Van Maanen Steve@MidwestMeetings.com

Sales Manager Becky Sheets Becky@MidwestMeetings.com

A special “thank you” to all those that contributed to this issues articles: Benchmark Hospitality International Brian Middle John Otrompke Kelli Buisker MeetingSource.com Shadia Cook

Dear Midwest Meetings® readers, Undoubtedly, budgeting and return-on-investment (ROI) based meetings are here to stay. Midwest Meetings is here to help you today and in the future. Let’s cruise forward, with caution, and make the most out of every meeting in the Midwest. There is no question that summer is a great time for the meetings industry. With jobs in the professional sector showing some slight signs of growth for the first time since 2008, this quarter’s issue looks to usher in the good news with a host of tips on how you can enjoy the Midwest’s countless meeting options without breaking the bank.

Midwest Meetings® is a registered trademark owned by Hennen Publishing. Midwest Meetings is published by Hennen Publishing. 302 6th Street W, Brookings, SD 57006 800-288-8510 Fax: 605-692-9031 Info@MidwestMeetings.com www.MidwestMeetings.com Hennen Publishing reserves the right to reject or edit any manuscripts received for publication. Postmaster: Send address changes to 302 6th Street W, Brookings, SD 57006 Midwest Meetings welcomes all unsolicited material. Volume: 18 Issue: 3 © 2010 Midwest Meetings. All rights reserved. Reproduction without written permission is prohibited.

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

From expert tips on managing and boosting your budget, to profiles on engaging, budget-friendly meeting destinations, our Summer edition will provide you with all the tools and advice you will need to help boost your budget and move forward. We’re looking forward to showing how the mild weather, stunning scenic beauty and cost-effective meeting facilities in our neck of the woods make the Midwest a premier summer meeting destination… especially when you have to meet on a budget. Sincerely,

Randy

Midwest Meetings Publisher

7


• Benchmark Hospitality International’s top ten trends for 2010 • Staying on top of the ever-changing meeting climate

S

potting trends and using them to brighten future outlooks is extremely important today. Benchmark Hospitality International has spotted ten trends in the

Trend #2 - Smaller Booking Windows

meetings industry. Midwest Meetings® interviewed Ted Davis, Vice

The booking window for corporate meetings remains very

President of Sales and Marketing at Benchmark Hospitality Inter-

short term, from 30 to 45 days, and is basically in the month for

national, who explained more about the trends that are shaping

the month. Trending shows planners are worrisome when com-

the hospitality industry.

mitting too far out, as they risk cancellation and other penalties,

Trend #1 - Cautiously Optimistic for 2010, with Strong Pacing for 2011

Demand for corporate meetings is up in 2010 over last year’s results and it is steadily increasing. Although early, meeting providers are cautiously optimistic for the year and are experiencing

given the economic times. Fortunately, it seems the cancellation of meetings, experienced by so many providers throughout 2009, is a thing of the past.

Trend #3 - Extreme Price Sensitivity Coupled with Aggressive Package Pricing

a booking pace that is ahead of 2009. Those that came into the

The recession and the AIG effect caused many traditional

year with solid planner-provider relationships in place are real-

hotels to turn to midsized corporate meetings to fill their rooms.

izing once again their importance.

Although not an uncommon strategy for hotels in a recession,

“We’ve seen double-digit growth in the last year and a big part

the severe business climate of 2009 helped re-educate traditional

of that is a pent-up demand for meetings. In this difficult economy

hotels on the merits of aggressive meeting package pricing with its

you can hold off with meetings for a certain period of time and

high perceived value. The lingering legacy of this is extreme price

then things like company culture and lack of strategic communi-

sensitivity in 2010.

cation that move the company forward start to suffer,” said Davis.

Davis explained why aggressive package pricing is so impor-

“Over time, cultural intensity will begin to wane if they are not

tant. “The meetings industry is extremely focused on return on

having meetings.”

investment with purse-strings being very tight. Ability to provide

A highly positive signal is that the overall pace is up

8

significantly for advance bookings in 2011.

products and services to meet the [meeting’s] strategic needs is

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


“In this difficult economy you can hold off with meetings for a certain period of time and then things like company culture and lack of strategic communication that move the company forward start to suffer.” - Ted Davis, Benchmark Hospitality International

becoming paramount.” He continued by saying, “We take the approach that anything is on the table and creativity wins at the end of the day.”

Trend #7 - Maximum Internet Bandwidth is the Expectation for Planners This Year

Conference center providers that have stayed steady,

In 2010, planners are not investing all of their interest in the

maintained quality service levels and nurtured strong customer

most-advanced, cutting-edge meeting technology. Conversely,

relationships in spite of wrenching times are emerging as strong

they are coming to negotiations with the expectation that a hotel,

leaders.

resort or conference center will have current meeting technology

Trend #4 - Meeting Groups are Smaller in 2010 and Carving a Day Off Their Stay

Meeting groups are considerably smaller than previously, in some cases down by 50%. Meetings in 2010 tend to be regional versus national, have become much more serious in tone and are trimmed by at least a day to reduce pressure on budgets.

Trend #5 - Being Green is Now Generally Assumed

For corporate groups, meeting providers are generally expected to have green programs in place, although this is not yet

installed. What they are demanding from providers, however, is the ability to provide maximum connectivity to support online content and applications during the meeting. This is of critical importance universally.

Trend #8 - Today’s Planner is a Fierce Price Negotiator

The aftermath of 2009 is that planners come to pricing discussions today armed with negotiation skills carefully honed over the last 12 to 18 months. Their expectation is for properties to extend significant concessions across the board to pump up value for the meetings budget.

universally required by Corporate America. For federal and state

“We work very hard to be a strategic partner beyond rates,

government business as well as the education segment, however,

dates and space,” said Davis. “Planners are extremely busy and

properties must meet basic green hospitality requirements to even

don’t typically have the extra time to focus on doing the sourcing

be considered for a meeting or event this year.

to align the strategic issues with what the hotel provides. We un-

Being responsible with resources is of utmost importance explains Davis, “Being green is a shared responsibility. Green initiatives are cost neutral… there are significant savings in the long run when we look at it from a responsibility standpoint.”

Trend #6 - No Frills Meetings are ROI Driven

There is no room for bells and whistles in the 2010 meetings climate of tight and highly scrutinized budgets. “In today’s economic environment, budgets are tight,” ex-

derstand what the actual purpose of the meeting is so we can align and customize our purpose and products with value in mind.” The silver lining to this is the renewed appreciation planners are expressing for the value and importance of the complete meeting package, the traditional product of conference centers internationally.

Trend #9 - Planners Scrutinize Menus and Buffets Like Never Before

plained Davis. “In the short term, some of the formalities won’t be

Part of maximizing a meeting budget is ensuring conferees

there. The overt luxury items and activities will take a significant

remain strategically focused on the meeting content. A proper,

amount of time to come back. Meeting hotels are aligning prod-

healthy and protein-rich diet can significantly aid in keeping

ucts and services to be more conservative to meet those needs.”

meeting participants attentive and their energy levels maximized.

Meeting spending is seriously conservative, highly image conscious and focused on the basics. Teambuilding is integrated into the body of a meeting as there is little time to set aside.

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

For the first time, healthy buffets are seen as perfectly acceptable for all executives - even those from Fortune 500 companies. A variety of health food options is essential. “We work with

9


The aftermath of 2009 is that planners come to pricing discussions today armed with negotiation skills carefully honed over the last 12 to 18 months.

the planner to develop a customized menu in a buffet-style envi-

they seek information and customer feedback on properties they

ronment to appeal to a wider range of appetites. It is cost-effective

are considering.

for the meeting planner and creates more options for attendees,” said Davis.

Additionally, an increasing number of planners are using Facebook® to “friend” sales executives from provider properties with

Out of the dining room, conferees are hitting the fitness cen-

whom they have developed a relationship. This networking ca-

ters, walking trails and pools like never before. A healthy body

pability offers another channel of friendly and casual contact to

is clearly perceived to be important for a sharp and productive

solidify a business exchange. In 2010, relationships actively nur-

mind.

tured in old and new media are a reliable pillar of success.

Trend #10 - Social Media and the Meetings Industry

Benchmark Hospitality International is a leader in the manage-

Properties are increasingly turning to Facebook and Twitter™

ment and marketing of resorts, conference centers, hotels and Personal

for their leisure and consumer business; however, the corporate

Luxury Hotels™. Benchmark Hospitality is a worldwide organization

meetings segment is still reliant on face-to-face contact. Linke-

operating properties in major metropolitan and resort destinations. For

dIn and TripAdvisor are growing in importance to planners as

additional information, visit www.BenchmarkHospitality.com.

®

®

®

Fort Wayne, IN

Meet in the Midwest!

Grand Wayne Convention Center Michael Coffeen 120 W Jefferson Blvd Fort Wayne, IN 46802 260-426-4100 • Fax: 260-420-9080 www.grandwayne.com michaelc@grandwayne.com • 250-room attached, full-service, Hilton Ft. Wayne Hotel • 250-room connecting, full-service, Courtyard by Marriott opening Fall 2010 • 18 meeting rooms • 80,000 sq. ft. of meeting space • 50,000 sq. ft. largest meeting room • Reception capacity: 7,000 • Onsite and nearby restaurants • Golf courses nearby With 225,000 sq. ft. of flexible space, Grand Wayne Convention Center offers a 50,000 sq. ft. carpeted, multi-purpose exhibit hall, two elegant ballrooms, 18 meeting rooms, 30,000 sq. ft. of public areas, a 12,000 sq. ft. kitchen with the capacity to serve 3,000 guests in a single banquet setting and the power and expertise to connect, coordinate and create any event. Other features include individually climatecontrolled meeting rooms; automated, remote, dimmable lighting; theater-quality sound system; drop screens with remote operation; data and telecommunications in every room; and wireless and wired options throughout.

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Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


The Patriot Center, North Central Wisconsin’s Largest Event and Conference Center, Opens - Rothschild | WI Rothschild’s new Patriot Center proudly opened its doors to the Wisconsin public this spring and now offers one of the state’s largest, most-accomodating events facilities. With over 60,000 sq. ft. of space and more than 17 different event spaces, this dynamic new facility is capable of entertaining a wide variety of events, ranging from small professional gatherings to massive trade expositions. Named in honor of the men and women of the US Armed Forces, The Patriot Center is located in the heart of North Central Wisconsin near Wausau and offers a unique combination of American nostalgia, Northwoods charm and modern amenities as well as a perfect meet-in-the middle location for any professional gathering. www.thepatriotwausau.coM

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

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Crowne Plaza® O’Hare Hotel and Conference Center Renovates Ballroom - Chicago | IL The Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare recently remodeled its 23,500 sq. ft. ballroom, adding more than 4,000 sq. ft. of prefunction space. The pre-function space and ballroom have been equipped with a 60-speaker sound system as well as a new, energy-efficient Lutron® lighting system, both of which are controlled by advanced digital technology. The new, expanded meeting space can be divided into five separate spaces, offering a variety of flexible configurations for corporate events, tradeshows, receptions and weddings of all sizes. Located just 1.5 miles from the O’Hare International Airport, the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare offers a convenient, one-stop location for any meeting or event in the greater Chicago area. www.crowneplazaohare.coM

Hyatt® Regency At The Arch Completes Spring Renovations - St. Louis | MO St. Louis’ Hyatt Regency at the Arch recently completed a complete spring makeover, including the addition of a new Gateway Room, which is located on the 18th floor. The luxurious new meeting space, which features two ballrooms complete with an outdoor terrace, offers meeting planners a variety of flexible accommodations for any event, along with a breathtaking view of the Mississippi River and Gateway Arch through floor-to-ceiling windows. Additional renovations included: new accent lighting, soundproof air walls, energy-efficient heating and air conditioning, comfortable new banquet chairs and new carpet in the hotel’s ballrooms, foyers and smaller conference spaces. Guests can also enjoy facility-wide wi-fi access, 24-hour onsite audiovisual support and an inhouse Enterprise Rent-A-Car® office. www.stlouisarch.hyatt.coM

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Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


New River City Casino Offers Engaging, High-Energy Meeting Options - St. Louis | MO Recently opened in south St. Louis County, the River City Casino offers a combination of high-energy gaming action, gourmet dining and engaging nightlife to create a unique, one-of-a-kind meeting destination. With 90,000 sq. ft. of gaming space, the new casino boasts 2,100 slot machines and 55 gaming tables as well as a variety of flexible meeting accommodations to provide for the ultimate combination of business and pleasure. Additionally, the casino has added more than 3,000 jobs to the St. Louis community, making it a proud addition to the greater St. Louis area. www.rivercity.coM

Doubletree® Opens Tenth Chicagoland Location - Mundelein | IL The Village of Mundelein recently received a sparkling new meeting destination as the Doubletree Libertyville-Mundelein officially opened its doors to the public. Conveniently situated within an hour of both Chicago and Milwaukee, the 183-room hotel is just minutes away from a number of lucrative destinations, including Lake Michigan, majestic state parks, quaint historic villages and first-class shopping and entertainment centers. As the only full-service hotel in the area, the Doubletree Libertyville-Mundelein is a prime gathering place for both corporate and social occasions with approximately 12,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting and banquet facilities. The hotel’s 8,350 sq. ft. Grand Ballroom has the capacity to hold events for up to 500 people reception-style and 700 people theatre-style, while advanced audiovisual technology and a professional banquet and catering staff provide for an ideal, one-stop meeting destination. libertyvilleMundelein.doubletree.coM

New Hotel Palomar Adds Modern Flair To Chicago’s North Neighborhood - Chicago | IL With brilliant, art-themed decor, a scenic view of the Chicago river and 261 guestrooms, North Chicago’s new Hotel Palomar is a stunning new addition to Kimpton’s Windy City hotel collection. The luxurious 17-story hotel boasts countless unique amenities, including beautifully crafted event spaces, an indoor rooftop pool and a one-of-a-kind ‘green’ roof design that features grass and vegetation to improve air quality, clean and retain rainwater and add beauty to Chicago’s breathtaking skyline. With 5,800 sq. ft. of total event space, including a lavish 2,400 sq. ft. ballroom complete with a pre-function area, Hotel Palomar offers a cutting-edge meeting destination for events of all types. Additional wireless internet access, in-house audiovisual support and pet-friendly accommodations make for an experience that is convenient, unique and memorable. www.hotelpaloMar-chicago.coM

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

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Mankato City Center Hotel Completes Remodeling and Rebranding Efforts - Mankato | MN The Mankato City Center Hotel recently completed a massive rebranding and remodeling effort to usher in the 2010 events season. The project featured an extensive overhaul of the hotel’s facilities while implementing a distinct new ‘blue swirl’ logo throughout to represent Mankato’s location along the scenic Minnesota River. With a convenient location in the heart of downtown Mankato, the newly revamped hotel features one of the area’s largest banquet and meeting facilities with 10,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting and exhibit space and seating for up to 500 guests. The facilities also offer a variety of flexible configurations, with the ability to accommodate up to six separate meeting rooms at once. www.MankatoMnhotel.coM

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Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


Downtown Madison Receives Luxurious Addition With New Hyatt Place™ Hotel Madison | WI Downtown Madison recently received its very first Hyatt Place Hotel complex, which is now conveniently located within walking distance to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, State Capitol Square, The Overture Center for the Arts and the Monona Terrace Convention Center. The new hotel’s amenities include: • 151 spacious guestrooms, all of which feature a 42-inch HDTV, a plush Hyatt Grand Bed® and an eight-foot sectional sofasleeper. • Complimentary wi-fi access throughout the hotel. • Complimentary continental breakfast featuring a variety of fresh fruits, hot and cold cereal, yogurt, breads, premium coffee and an assortment of juices. • Nearly 2,500 sq. ft. of meeting space. Madisondowntown.place.hyatt.coM

Upcoming JW Marriott® Indianapolis Reaches Two Major Milestones - Indianapolis | IN The JW Marriott Indianapolis, which is scheduled to become the world’s largest JW Marriott hotel in February 2011, recently reached two major milestones. In addition to the recent completion of the buiding’s landmark blue glass facade, bookings for the up-and-coming hotel have now surpassed 275,000 room nights for a total of close to 400,000 room nights booked in the entire Marriott Place Indianapolis complex. The facility’s striking blue glass facade is comprised of 7,300 blue-colored glass panels, which form a curtain wall around the facility’s stunning main tower. Each panel measures approximately four ft. by ten ft., weighing in at a whopping 800 pounds each. If laid end-to-end, the facade’s glass panels would collectively stretch nearly 14 miles. www.Jwindy.coM/indianapolis

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

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Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


Person of the Decade • Josh Schamberger, President of the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau, wins prestigious award for hardwork and determination • Spearheading projects to make life better for citizens in Iowa City and the Coralville area “If there is one thing I have tried to do is get people to work together... We accomplish some pretty incredible things because of it.” - Josh Schamberger

C

onvention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) constantly

ating the many programs executed in the area. His enthusiasm

attract people to their respective areas through a

and leadership are qualities that allow him to be successful

variety of promotional activities - sometimes with

in his numerous capacities and continue to inspire all those

success and other times with unscalable hurdles. Josh Schamberger, President of the Iowa City/Coralville CVB, is one of the outstanding success stories.

around him. Strategic partnerships have also been essential for the CVB’s success. For example, Schamberger reached out to the Johnson

At just 31 years old, Schamberger has achieved a consider-

County Cultural Alliance and University of Iowa Athletics to

able amount of success for his CVB. In 2001, he became Presi-

work together on various projects, which in turn added value to

dent of the Iowa City/Coralville area CVB. From then to now,

both organizations as well as the CVB.

he has managed to grow the CVB’s budget from $330,000 to

Collaboration has been the name of the game for Scham-

$1.2 million. His collaborations within the community and

berger. He told the Iowa City Press-Citizen, “If there is one thing

strategic partnerships have allowed him to make Iowa City and

I have tried to do is get people to work together… We accom-

the Coralville area a better place to live. His accomplishments

plish some pretty incredible things because of it.”

and enthusiasm are only part of the reason he was selected as the Iowa City Press-Citizen Person of the Decade.

Promoting the community and increasing the welfare of its citizens is paramount. “He knows that his job is to promote the

Wendy Ford, former President of the Iowa City/Coralville

community in a way that people will want either to visit here

Bureau, told the Iowa City Press-Citizen, “Josh has done a su-

or live here… He has the ability to project how great this place

perb job… Partly because of his youth, experience and drive to

is - whether it’s for a few days or for a lifetime,” said Patti Fields,

make something happen.”

President of the Iowa City School Board and Director of Com-

Using his abundant creativity, he turned to his community to find and utilize the best talents and resources to make the CVB more capable of attracting visitors and helping residents in the area. The work would not be done without solid support by

munity Impact for the United Way of Johnson County, in an interview with the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Any way you look at it, there’s no question that the future of the Iowa City/Coralville Area CVB looks bright with Schamberger at the forefront of the action.

Schamberger’s community. The CVB board, staff and volunteers are instrumental in producing, implementing and evalu-

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

Information compiled from the Iowa City Press-Citizen

17


Sail to new meeting horizons Relax aboard a Midwest cruise

S

it back, relax and enjoy the deep blue waters with your

Take for instance, Free Spirit Cruises of Chicago, IL. Meeting

meeting attendees, business clients or fellow employ-

planners can utilize this cruise option to see the world-famous

ees. Don’t fret - there’s no need to go coastal to reap the benefits

Chicago skyline, featuring brilliant architecture and a bustling

of a cruise getaway. Cruises in the Midwest can be a beneficial

city. While aboard the ship, passengers can enjoy a portion of

addition to your next meeting or event.

their meeting agenda, celebrate an awards ceremony, participate

Imagine sitting through a long day of monotonous meetings entrapped by the same four walls. It can be draining and less-

an unusual location.

than-stimulating for most. Do you need an idea to get your at-

In addition, most Midwestern cruises are very cost-effective.

tendees moving, to liven them up for teambuilding or to simply

According to Angela Motola-Donofrio of Free Spirit Cruises, “A

get them away for a few hours? A cruise in the serene Midwest

cruise can be less costly than renting a conference room in a

may be a great investment for your meeting.

hotel … We offer a variety of catering and bar packages for most

Throughout the Midwest, cruises are a great pastime for many

18

in teambuilding activities or simply enjoy a tour of the city from

price points.”

looking to break away from the ordinary. Cruises generally don’t

If you’re looking to get out of the conference room entirely,

require specific skills or attire - which is a major plus for meeting

a small meeting of 10-200 might benefit from a different type

planners. They simply provide a place for people to get together

of location. Many cruise vessels offer state-of-the-art sound

and enjoy themselves and those around them and the unique

systems, microphone capabilities and audiovisual equipment.

scenery only visible by boat. Not to mention, this atmosphere

Hold your meeting while docked and then enjoy the rest of

can be great for networking among colleagues, clients and em-

the day taking in the sights and sounds around you. Plus,

ployees.

your meeting or event message may resonate better with your

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


“A cruise can be less costly than renting a conference room in a hotel… We offer a variety of catering and bar packages for most price points.” - Angela MotolaDonofrio of Free Spirit Cruises

Angela Motola-Donofrio of Free Spirit Cruises, Chicago, IL

audience by holding a meeting aboard a moving meeting venue. Whatever your itinerary involves, a Midwestern cruise will keep your meeting interesting and your attendees lively. “Our cruises are very meeting and event friendly,” said David Lawrance of Twin Cities Cruises. These cruises are ideal for small meetings and they are costeffective. With five vessels to choose from, a meeting planner has access to numerous cruise options that feature an experience on either the Mis-

Free Spirit Cruises, Chicago, IL

sissippi River or on Lake Minnetonka. Passengers can enjoy the Minneapolis skyline, the St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam system, the Stone Arch bridge, the new 35 W bridge or shorelines, bays, channels and islands unique to Minnesota, all while partaking in teambuilding activities, musical performances or sightseeing. Obviously, by cruising through your meeting or event, you can gain valueadded amenities that are truly unique to a meeting vessel. Most importantly, most Midwestern cruises can accommodate varying schedules and work with a meeting planner to accomplish a successful meeting in the most

Showboat Branson Belle, Branson, MO

flexible manner possible. Whether your meeting calls for brunch, lunch, dinner, happy hour or an evening excursion, cruises are unique in that each time frame offers guests a totally unique feel. Finally, if you’re looking to entertain your guests in new and exciting ways, look no further than a jaunt down Table Rock Lake on the Showboat Branson Belle in Branson, MO. This massive paddlewheel boat is a one-of-a-kind entertainment vessel that will stimulate meeting attendees. Whether they take in a dinner theatre, a shopping excursion or a teambuilding

Twin Cities Cruises, Excelsior, MN

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

activity, your participants are sure to remember their time aboard this boat. For meetings, a

19


“Many cruise vessels offer state-of-theart sound systems, microphone capabilities and audiovisual equipment. Hold your meeting while docked and then enjoy the rest of the day taking in the sights and sounds around you.”

planner can open up the attendees’ eyes by booking a private room

distinctive opportunities with cruise staff to accomplish meeting

that overlooks the ship’s paddlewheels. Private charters, exclusive

or event goals. “We can hire a tour guide to talk about history or

to your group, are available for mid-sized meetings of up to 680

architecture,” said Motola-Donofrio. “Multi-level decks allow for a

people.

variety of different activities to be going on at the same time. One

“With private charter cruises, we can customize your event… The Paddle Wheel Club Room offers a more private dining area

group might be working on teambuilding activities while another is working on creative brainstorming.”

for small groups… The Showboat allows visitors to get out on the

Obviously, this unique locale can benefit your next event in nu-

lake, view the scenery of the Ozark Mountains and be entertained

merous ways, from cost-savings advantages to distinctive entertain-

during the two-hour excursion,” said Teina Woodburn of Showboat

ment options. For your next meeting or event, set sail to a new

Branson Belle.

horizon aboard a Midwestern cruise. No matter where you are in

To create a truly unique meeting, meeting planners can develop

20

the Midwest, a new meeting perspective is only a dock away.

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


Illinois- Free Spirit Cruises, Chicago www.freespiritcruises.com/default.html Iowa- American Lady Cruises, Dubuque www.americanladycruises.com/ Minnesota- Twin Cities Cruises, Excelsior www.twincitiescruises.com/ Missouri- Showboat Branson Belle, Branson www.showboatbransonbelle.com/ Illinois- Shoreline Charters and Group Tours, Chicago www.shorelinechartersandevents.com

Nebraska- River City Star, Omaha www.rivercitystar.com/ North Dakota- Lewis and Clark Riverboat, Bismarck www.lewisandclarkriverboat.com/ South Dakota- Capital City Queen Riverboat, Pierre www.pierre.org/capitalqueen.htm Wisconsin- Island Girl, La Crosse www.islandgirlcruises.com/index.html

This list is compiled from various sources by Midwest Meetings速

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

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W

Meetings can be augmented or saved, but not replaced by social networking technology Lessons learned from hybrid meetings

hen winter storms shut down Washington, DC last winter, association meeting planners were not pleased. Over 1,000 speakers and vendors had already gathered in the city for the Technology Conference and Expo of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). The event was soon cancelled. But social meeting consultant Tony Veroeven thought he saw a way to salvage part of the effort that had gone into planning the gathering.

“The meeting was scheduled from Wednesday, for some pre-conference stuff, through Friday. As of Tuesday afternoon, it was can-

celled, even though there were already between 1,200 and 1,800 people here,” said Veroeven, Account Manager and Social Meeting Manager for Omnipress®. “So we were going to try to save the conference by launching a Conference 2.0 site, which was open to anybody who wanted to take part. There were already a lot of vendors, speakers and attendees onsite,” he said. While the downturn in the economy has affected meeting attendance, the numbers show that social networking technology has not

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Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


“Social media does not replace face-toface meetings, but it does enhance the experience.” - Jessica Levin, CMP, MBA and Principal at Seven Degrees Communications been used to replace meetings and conferences, but to add value

on Skype, because if they drop off, they can’t call back in. Skype is

by allowing others to participate in meetings without actually at-

very subject to the whims of peoples’ individual internet connec-

tending them, consultants say. “According to the Las Vegas Con-

tions, and if it drops you off for a second, it drops you off the call,”

vention and Visitors Bureau, the number of meetings scheduled

Collins explained.

is actually up for 2010, from 22,000 last year to 25,000 this year,

WebEx is another powerful tool for social networking, according

although the cumulative head count is down,” said Brook Smith,

to Jeffrey Cesari, Creative Director for Shimmer Events in Phila-

CEO and President of Digital Media Partners.

delphia. “WebEx can broadcast the audiovisual content as well as

“People may not be able to travel, but they still want to go to a

the Powerpoint®, by which you can share your desktop,” explained

conference,” said Lisa McNorton, an Account Executive at Digital

Cesari, who has also planned medical conferences in Midwestern

Media Partners. “Their attendance may change if you give people

cities like Chicago. “You get everybody on a telephone line and

another way to participate. If instead of coming back from the con-

website, and everybody sees and hears the same thing at the same

ference with PDF handouts and droning about them over and over

time.” While Cesari has only used WebEx with about 15 people,

again with your staff, you have them participate virtually. The mes-

the technology has the capability to go up to 10,000.

sage will be so much more clear, intact and vibrant,” she explained. Which Technologies Will Stand the Test of Time?

“Pathable is another technology used in the meetings industry,” said Tony Veroeven. “Meetings Planners International (MPI®) uses

While the 21st century has brought meeting planners an abun-

our partner Pathable. MPI has used Pathable for the last three con-

dant choice of technologies to use in planning meetings, confer-

ferences, such as the World Education Conference last July in Salt

ence organizers should use care and thought in selecting them.

Lake City and a meeting last week in Cancun,” he added.

“I don’t think technology is going to be used to replace con-

Followers, Leaders and Crowd-Pleasers

ferences,” said Steve Collins, Principal at Resort Meeting Source,

“Social media does not replace face-to-face meetings, but it

LLC. “I don’t think anything can replace the value of meeting face-

can enhance the experience,” said Jessica Levin, CMP, MBA and

to-face, because there’s a level of bonding you just can’t get on the

Principal at Seven Degrees Communications. As a strategic social

phone, when after a meeting you go out to have dinner and get

media and marketing firm, Leven’s organization recently planned a

to know them on a personal level. Still, technology such as web-

meeting called Event Camp in New York, which concentrated on

casting has helped by making meeting content available for those

social media and drew attendees from CA, TX, WI and Switzer-

unable to attend.”

land. “About 70 people attended the event in person, and about 25

As a moderator for the Meetings Community (MeCo), however,

followed the webcast,” Levin added.

Collins has regularly used technology like Skype to make smaller

Twitter™ was the main technology used to promote attendance

meetings more accessible. “We use Skype for our quarterly confer-

at Event Camp. Based on the idea that people follow each other,

ence calls and also have used it on a couple of occasions when we

all communication on Twitter is done in 140 characters. However,

meet face-to-face, because when we’re traveling on our own nickel,

it can also be used throughout, prior to and after the event to have

not everybody can make it all the time. About eight people at-

meaningful conversations about the content of things discussed.

tended the last conference,” said Collins. “Another six sat in on

TweetDeck is a free download that can sync with multiple social

the meeting via Skype.”

networking accounts, including Twitter, Facebook® and LinkedIn®,

“We met for three days and used Skype for two full days, but

to transform your desktop into a fully integrated social hub. “The

we also had a person using the instant messenger system to type

application [TweetDeck] allows you to post comments, respond

out notes so people could read along in case they couldn’t hear

to friends, send private messages and deliver posts to multiple ac-

something. You also have to have one person keep an eye on who’s

counts all from one application,” Levin explained.

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

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“I don’t think technology is going to be used to replace conferences.” - Steve Collins, Principal at Resort Meeting Source, LLC “While the techniques of Twitter take a moment to learn, the technology is a highly integrated piece of software,” she added.

she explained. It may help some recover from the ASAE cancellation.

“Most of the things people put out are links to other sites, event

“These communities provide a central house for attendees to

registration, blog posts or comments. You’re able to follow topics of

communicate with each other, create a profile and a blog, as well as

interest on certain criteria, to follow people who are like-minded,”

customize schedules and discussions,” said Levin.

she said.

“Some refunds were in order because the conference was can-

Technology can be used to augment conferences, but also

celled,” said Veroeven. “All the exhibitors and people who reg-

to avert financial disasters like the meetings in DC this winter.

istered are getting their money back, but as for the convention

“There’s been a huge spike in using technology to investigate vir-

center, The Renaissance® hotel, I don’t know what their policy is,”

tual meetings,” said Stephanie Smith, Director of Operations for

he added.

MeetingTrader. “What we’ve seen has not been so much canceling

All things considered, the “unmeeting” in Washington was a

meetings and having virtual meetings, but strategic meeting plan-

mitigating success. “We were not ASAE, but we were going to

ning practices. People want to be a little bit smarter about it rather

make the best of it,” said Veroeven. “It sure beat sitting in a hotel

than just scrapping them,” she added.

room,” he said.

For instance, if the planners of DC’s technology expo had some-

About 75 people attended the unconference in person, with ap-

how used a crystal ball to learn that it would be cancelled, they may

proximately 450 watching virtually, thanks to sponsors who came

have made use of MeetingTrader’s marketplace. “We’re a global

through with webcasting and audiovisual equipment. Perhaps ten

clearing house for the resale of cancelled meetings contracts and

speakers presented at the conference or took part in panel discus-

unused prepaid hotel credits,” Smith explained. “Hotels can log

sions, while another eight or ten put on webinars on Friday.

on to the website and list cancellations. You can use unused hotel credits to gain value as well.” MeetingTrader has also integrated technology from proprietary

One or two ASAE management and leadership staff also sat in on the ‘unmeeting’, which was organized by Veroeven. “This came in addition to another half dozen people,” he said.

technology GoToMeeting®. “Customers can use GoToMeeting on

Unconferences are not necessarily ideal for all meetings and

the MeetingTrader website to view a spreadsheet of how cost sav-

events and obviously some glitches still need to be worked out.

ings break down, for the evaluation and budgeting part of recover-

Furthermore, unconferences differ from traditional conferences in

ing from a cancelled meeting,” she explained.

a number of ways, including lack of real face time, a heavy depen-

Technological Back-Up Plans

dence on internet connectivity and markedly different after-hours

While the ASAE cancelled their Technology Expo meeting,

networking.

those already onsite used technology to salvage what they could

These events are quickly being called “hybrid events” and do

from the failed extravaganza. “The ASAE emailed me and said

provide many benefits to meeting planners and attendees. By send-

they couldn’t do anything official for insurance reasons but they

ing some staff to the actual location and instructing those who stay

were psyched that we’re putting together what we call an unconfer-

at home to attend online, you keep everyone on the same page and

ence,” said Veroeven, who was also involved in the Meeting Camp

easily allow attendees to have shared experiences wherever they

the previous weekend.

are.

“We had five people on the planning committee, including one

Although meeting face-to-face is best, an unconference has its

freelance planner, an association planner, a production person and

own benefits when the unforeseeable happens. This trend is gain-

an account executive,” said Levin, who organized the Meeting

ing popularity, and hybrid events have the potential to help every-

Camp. Virtual meeting technology was the main topic at the camp,

one stay on the same page regardless of the circumstances.

24

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


( Transportation to keep your event moving ( Out-of-the-box travel options

Jeannine Sherman, Public

Meghan Risch, Director of

Relations Manager,

Public Relations, Chicago

VISIT Milwaukee

Convention & Tourism Bureau

W

hen it comes down to it, transportation is one

ness travel in the US for the past three years. It offers nonstop

of the least exciting parts of meeting and event

service to 40 cities and connections worldwide.

planning. Basically, you want to spend the least

GO Airport Connection provides transportation linking Mil-

amount of time and money getting people from

waukee’s General Mitchell Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare and

point A to point B, with maybe a few jaunts to points C and D,

Midway. They offer services to and from anywhere from Northern

then back to point A, right? Maybe not. Dare I suggest that maybe

Illinois to Door County, WI and from Lake Michigan to Madison,

there are some unique and even fun ways that can be incorporated

WI. They even offer ride shares for travelers on a budget.

into the usual logistics of transportation? In the Midwest, the answer is - absolutely!

Flying In

“GO Airport Express offers vehicles for any size group, including limos, 10-passenger vans, mini-buses and 55-passenger motor coaches. The company provides custom signage, VIP transporta-

There are several reasons the Midwest is such a popular choice

tion services and more. They are also the official provider of door-

for meetings and conventions. It’s “meeting in the middle” for

to-door shared ride services between all downtown and suburban

people traveling from around the US, it has reasonable airfare and

hotels, businesses and residences to/from both major airports.

availability of flights and it offers easy access for people driving in.

[They offer] staffed airport counters, exclusive inner-lane loading

Branson, MO is one such city.

with shuttles departing and arriving at the airports every five to

“Getting to Branson is easy, whether you drive or arrive by air.

ten minutes. Services are convenient, economical and eco-friendly

Branson is less than a day’s drive for one-third of America and with

and group discounts are available,” said Meghan Risch, Director of

low-cost flights to the new Branson Airport, as well as Springfield-

Public Relations, Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau.

Branson National Airport, it’s never been easier for your group

All Aboard

to get to Branson,” said Lynn Berry, Director of Public Relations,

Today’s train rides may not be an exact replica of elegant train

Branson/Lakes Area C of C and CVB. General Mitchell International airport in Milwaukee, WI has been ranked by Conde Nast as one of the top five airports for busiwww.MidwestMeetings.coM

travel in the past, but it’s a safe, popular and inexpensive method for travel. Amtrak® offers a wide variety of inexpensive travel from around

25


“We have several hotels within walking distance of our convention center, and many major attractions are located very close to the heart of downtown. It’s definitely one of the advantages to hosting a meeting here - budget friendly and healthy,” - Jeannine Sherman, Visit Milwaukee

the US. It may take a bit longer than a plane, but for people

passing local traffic on a two-lane, 2.5 mile road, decreasing travel

on a budget or looking for a new experience, trains are a good

times and busing costs.

alternative.

Pedal Power

Chicago-based Amtrak spokesman, Marc Magliari, points out

In Madison, WI, one of the best ways to explore the state capi-

the many benefits for travelers, “For many business travelers, Am-

tol and surrounding communities is on two wheels! Home to Ford

trak makes the most sense. To and from Chicago, St. Louis and

Ironman®, Wisconsin Triathlon and Centurion Cycling, Madison

downstate Illinois, Milwaukee and Detroit, we offer multiple daily

has been heralded as one of the nation’s best biking cities by a

trains offering same-day travel. Rather than being stuck behind

number of media outlets including Bicycling® and Outside® maga-

the wheel and paying expensive parking fees and airport parking,

zines. This bustling town offers over 120 miles of shared use paths

Amtrak offers business travelers the opportunity to meet, work,

and trails within the city and over 148 miles in the county.

rest or socialize, all in a reclining Amtrak seat.”

Whether they are making their way to and from their hotel and

Ride Share Programs

a convention center or checking out a city’s sights, communities

It’s more common than ever for event planners to post ride

are offering more than the usual fare. Weather permitting, attend-

shares to their members, whether traveling to in-state meetings

ees can put their cab money to better use and hit the trails. Ask

or heading on longer treks. In addition to offering people another

your hotels and venues what green programs they offer. Check to

networking opportunity, sharing rides is an easy way to help green

see if they can offer green travel logistics, such as local maps of

your event.

walking and biking trails.

In addition to the more informally planned ride share options,

“Starting this summer, we’ll have Nice Ride Minnesota public

Wisconsin’s state capitol in Madison offers a formalized ride share

bicycles available to rent throughout downtown. Bicycling is quite

program called Community Car. It is a car-sharing organiza-

popular here as a commuting option. Walking is another great op-

tion that provides cars by the hour for individuals, families and

tion and Minneapolis is a very walkable city. Nicollet Mall is a

businesses. Customers share access to a fleet of hybrid-electric

bike/walk/bus only street through downtown,” said Kristen Mon-

and high-gas-mileage vehicles located in reserved parking spots

tag, Marketing Communication Manager at Meet Minneapolis.

throughout Madison.

“We also have the skyway system between buildings that connects

Shuttles, Bikes and Walking, Oh My When the convention center isn’t within walking distance,

planners have the task of finding inexpensive alternatives for at-

80 city blocks and makes it simple to walk between destinations downtown. Attendees staying at the main hotels downtown are steps away from the Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC).”

tendees. Chicago’s McCormick Place offers a dedicated busway to

They have also just started a free-ride bus service, Metro Tran-

transport meeting attendees from downtown hotels to the conven-

sit, that runs from the MCC to the Nicollet Mall. Convention

tion center and back. Also, charter buses have exclusive access by-

attendees can ride the bus from the MCC through downtown and

26

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


“GO Airport Express offers vehicles for any size group, including limos, 10-passenger vans, mini-buses and 55-passenger motor coaches. The company provides custom signage, VIP transportation services and more. Services are convenient, economical and eco-friendly and group discounts are available.” - Meghan Risch, Chicago CTB

be close to most of the hotels or hop on the light rail line to the

multiple ziplines and skywalks on a breathtaking tour of the Ozark

airport and the Mall of America®. This free ride service runs daily

Mountains,” said Berry.

and can save attendees transportation costs or even save a meeting planner from having to schedule shuttles.

Not So Ordinary

Planners don’t need to break the budget to offer fun and unique transportation. When working with a city’s CVB, find out about

For a few unusual ways to get around the city, Milwaukee offers a free trolley route during the summer months. Visitors can also hop on the Cream City Rickshaw, an urban pedicab. Guests can also enjoy the old-fashioned charm of a horse and carriage ride aboard Milwaukee Coach and Carriage.

all of the options available. Ask about any unique modes of trans-

Guests staying at Hotel Metro, an art-deco-style boutique hotel

portation. Many cities offer trolleys, pedicabs, special shuttles and

in the heart of Milwaukee’s bustling Milwaukee Street entertain-

more.

ment district, have the option of green travel on a classic Hampton

Kansas City launched a trolley system called the KC Strip.

Malibu Cruiser.

While most cities have a trolley system that connects their muse-

“I think it’s important to mention that above all, Milwaukee

ums, Kansas City is also using it to connect its different nightlife

is an extremely walkable and easy-to-navigate city. We have sev-

districts on Friday and Saturday evenings. This is a great amenity

eral hotels within walking distance of our convention center, and

for planners to offer their attendees who are looking to experience

many major attractions such as the Milwaukee Public Museum,

a city after hours without the expense of taxis.

Milwaukee Art Museum, Discovery World, the Historic Third

“Rather than drive from each pocket of town, night owls and

Ward, Old World Third Street, the Henry Maier Festival Park and

revelers can pay a small price and enjoy several different districts

both theater districts are located very close to the heart of down-

via trolley. The cost is $15 for a single night, which is a big sav-

town. It’s definitely one of the advantages of hosting a meeting

ings when you consider how much you would pay for taxi fare to

here - budget friendly and healthy,” said Jeannine Sherman, Public

each location. The trolley bracelets also give them a deal at each

Relations Manager, VISIT Milwaukee.

participating bar/nightclub,” said Derek Klaus, Communications Manager at the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association.

No matter where your next Midwest meeting is held, rest assured, the city will be able to offer more than just the traditional methods

In addition to the traditional means of transport, Branson’s Ride

of transportation. As people begin to experience new means of

the Ducks is a “quacktastic” fun alternative for group shuttle or

getting from place to place, whether it be walking or enjoying a

tours of the Branson/Lakes Area. In addition to the ducks, there is

leisurely ride on a trolley, they’ll begin to see transportation as

something even more exciting available for adventure seekers - the

more than just a means to an end and begin to enjoy the journey

zipline.

and event that much more. No, it’s not always the most fun part

“With three new ziplines at nearly every corner of town, the canopy tours have people of all ages soaring through the trees over

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

of your spending, but with a little creativity and flexibility it may become a bit less mundane!

27


• Different routes for your career • Reaching out to mentors to discover what path is best for you

urrently, there is a debate whether or not meeting

to sit for the CMP exam [this summer] was just recently approved.

planners should be required to obtain their Cer-

I am currently ‘in transition’ and have noticed that many ads for

tified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation.

meeting managers now state ‘CMP Preferred’. I certainly think it

Some in the industry have it and others choose

will help my job search and my career in the long run. Plus, just

not to pursue it. Regardless, it’s a hot topic that de-

from all the reading, I am learning a lot, and I have been in the

serves careful thought. This being said, it’s easy to delve into the

industry for a long time,” said Lawrence Naiman.

possibilities and find out what’s best for you. Your first step is completing an extensive application that will The foremost certification of the meetings, conventions and ex-

review your experience, education and qualifications. Even if you

hibitions industry, the CMP program recognizes individuals who

are not at the level needed to apply, the application will give you

have achieved the industry’s highest standard of professionalism.

an overview of where you need to be. This can help you plan for the

Established in 1985, the CMP credential has elevated meeting pro-

future. You will gain knowledge and know which life experiences

fessionalism by:

are required. There is a $225 processing fee.

:

• Identifying a body of knowledge • Establishing a level of knowledge and performance necessary for certification • Stimulating the advancement of the art and science of meeting management

Three years of work experience in the industry is required. Applicants with a degree in meeting, event, exhibition or hospitality/ tourism management may apply after two years of work experience. Full-time instructors who have taught for three years in a meet-

• Increasing the value of practitioners to their employers

ing/hospitality university program and have completed 25 hours

• Recognizing and raising industry standards, practices and ethics

of continuing education or completed an approved internship/ap-

• Maximizing the value received from the products and services

prenticeship in the industry may also apply.

provided by Certified Meeting Professionals *Courtesy of the Convention Industry Council (www.conventionindustry.org) In today’s competitive marketplace, the more you can bring to the table, the more valuable you will be. Businesses and organiza-

Applications are reviewed twice a year. All upcoming application deadlines and exam dates are listed at: ConventionIndustry. org. The CMP examination is held twice a year. After your application is accepted, you must complete the exam within two years.

tions are more cost-conscious and value-focused than ever. Return on investment (ROI) is constantly being analyzed and measured

If you are already a member of Meeting Professionals Interna-

for each and every meeting or event. In a strategic effort to be more

tional® (MPI) or a local chapter, check to see if study groups are

efficient and effective, a CMP designation offers you tools to be

available. There are also plenty of members that already have their

more valuable to your clients and/or employer.

CMP; they are great resources for mentoring. The CIC website also

“I started thinking about getting my CMP designation and start-

offers recommended reading, sample questions and other online

ed to speak with other CMPs. I quickly learned that it was one of

study tools and recommendations. The items that CIC deems nec-

the best decisions they ever made. I applied, and my application

essary to study for the exam include:

28

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


• CIC Manual 8th Edition • CIC International Manual

mum of three years experience. The Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) designation, conferred

• APEX Glossary

by the Institute of Certified Travel Agents, requires at least five

• Professional Meeting Management 5th Edition and

years of travel industry experience.

• IAEE Guidelines

:

Other industry members have elected to pursue a more traditional education path, seeking their Master’s degree to further their

There are also many people who have chosen not to pursue a

personal and professional growth. As more people continue to gain

CMP. Some people have chosen to get other industry certifications

their CMP, some people feel that a Master’s degree is more unique,

based on their specialty. All of the follwoing designations men-

diverse and beneficial, offering them a different skill set and more

tioned require applications, testing and experience.

to offer.

The Certification in Meeting Management (CMM), created and regulated by Meeting Professionals International, focuses on

Some other common objections to those who have gone other routes are lack of time and resources.

the educational component of meetings, strategic skills and de-

If you’re undecided as to which path to pursue, speak to some

cision-making. This requires ten plus years of experience among

peers who have experience. Find out what the different certifica-

other qualifications.

tions and degrees have meant to them and what has influenced

The Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP), created by the International Special Events Society (ISES), requires a mini-

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

their careers. In learning about all of the different options available, you will find out what is the best fit for you.

29


• Six ways to keep attendees alert current events and ask for personal responses.”

3. Make a Change Another one of Hamburger’s tricks is to change the environment. “Take people out of the ordinary routine. Have them sit on the floor for a session instead of chairs…” or create a related eye catching theme in the room – like a massive sports mural if you want to emphasize competition.

4. Pop Quiz In her more than 15 years as a meeting planner, Michele Santee Tupps of Safety Harbor, FL has found that quizzing attendees after a presentation helps to keep them on their toes. hether your attendees are serious medical professionals

“They stay more involved if they know they are going to be

determined to learn something about the latest treat-

quizzed later,” she said. “As an incentive, I [sometimes] give prizes

ment options for lung cancer or a sales team on an incen-

to the highest score…”

W

tive meeting with just a few learning sessions mixed in, the need is

5. Keep Them Busy

the same. Periodically, an event needs a wake-up call, even if the

Even attendees at an event as grand as the Olympics need to

technique is as simple as distributing fragrant washcloths, much in

be kept occupied and amused. Heather Puglisi, president of Plaint

the way flight attendants do on lengthy trips.

Strategies Inc, a New York based company that arranged hospital-

Here are some techniques we learned from meeting planners to keep their events lively, surprising and interactive:

ity tents for a major soft drink company at the Sydney Olympics said, “It’s important to continuously be creative and offer them an

1. Be Punctual

array of choices during their free time to ensure they have a great

“Stick to your schedule,” suggest Anfrea Leskovar, who owns the

experience.”

Leskovar Group in Oak Park, IL. “If the meeting runs over schedule, the moral sinks!” Likewise, she recommends that you keep the meeting interactive by using a setup that makes the group feel that they are part of the meeting, not just passive audience members.

2. Keep it Current Linda Hamburger, an adjunct marketing professor at Florida Metropolitan University in Pompano Beach, FL agrees with the

Her team arranged for things like 24-hour internet cafes and screens with live feed throughout the hospitality areas as well as applications that could email pictures and videos to family and friends at home.

6. Coffee Achievers Nothing like stating the obvious, but these days coffee is being supplemented with healthier options like herbal energy drinks and fruit smoothies.

interactive approach. “When I teach marketing, it can be tough to keep a roomful of students interested for each four-hour session. I tie concepts into

30

This article is reprinted with permission from MeetingSource.com.

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


Jon Siegel, Executive Director, TisBestTM Philanthropy

Paul Ellul, Vice President of Operations, SpeakerMatchSM

Robert Rogers, CSEP, Experience Creator, Special Event Designer and President of ISES HK

K

•Trend Alert

“[People are] substituting or augmenting meeting tchotchkes with something more meaningful.” - Jon Siegel

eeping up-to-date with industry trends is a must. In

Jon Siegel, Executive Director at TisBestTM Philanthropy

a changing economic climate, trend watching is of

sees this trend happening more, “[People are] substituting or

the upmost importance, but how you respond to the

augmenting meeting tchotchkes with something more mean-

issues will ultimately determine success or failure.

ingful… We are selling an increasing number of charity gift

Getting Real It only makes sense that people are getting back to the ba-

cards to meeting planners for that purpose.”

Last-Minute Planning

sics in the meetings industry. Gone are the days of flash and

People have been reporting shorter lead times on getting

in its place is something a bit more tangible, a warmer envi-

approval or notice to hold and plan meetings. As a result,

ronment focusing on people, relationships, trust, transparency

they have had challenges in securing the right venue, re-

and partnerships.

sources and speakers. Paul Ellul, Vice President of Operations

As the world continues to heal itself and adjust to the new

at SpeakerMatchSM, is used to working with such time con-

normal, people are searching for events to meet their needs,

straints. “In our business (booking speakers) we have seen the

both personally and professionally. Robert Rogers, CSEP, Ex-

lead time for RFPs shrink to as little as 48 hours. Meeting and

perience Creator, Special Event Designer and President of

event planners seem to put the task of finding a speaker last

ISES HK has found this firsthand from his clients, “From a

on their list, and they give speakers very little time to respond

design perspective in the ‘new economy’... I see people want-

to their call for speakers. On average, speakers have about a

ing realness, more value in an event, less about wow and more

two week window to respond to the meeting planner with a

about how, more learning and inspirational event aspects

proposal,” he said.

rather than drinking and dancing, less champagne and caviar and more wine appreciation,” said Rogers.

Credit Crunch The credit crunch experienced by so many individuals and

In light of increased need across the country and the world,

businesses has trickled down into the policies of many organi-

people are also seeking something more meaningful in terms

zations. Many suppliers, such as hotels and event venues are

of gifts and other related marketing gear that flowed freely in

enforcing stricter credit policies. Hotels that may not have

the past. Gone are the days of spending a fortune on fancy

required deposits are now requiring them.

pens, USB drives and other gizmos; in its place are contribu-

The industry and surrounding factors are continuously

tions to charities. In addition to offering groups an opportuni-

changing. How planners and suppliers react to them makes

ty to donate time or money to a local charity, event planners

all the difference. Keep up with event industry trends with

are also finding unique ways to give back.

Midwest Meetings®.

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

31


Associations

Going Digital L

with most corporate email services can make it easy for planners to

trying to keep up with the latest trends in digital marketing. This

When it comes to seeking out new association members, a variety

particularly holds true for association planners, who oftentimes

of online email marketing services are also available. Services like

face the challenge of reaching older membership bases that are not

iContact™, Benchmark Email and MailChimp® have won awards

always fluent with the latest technology.

for their powerful marketing tools, and with just a few clicks, users

et’s face it… with technology changing on an almost daily basis, it’s easy for event planners to become discouraged when

get an estimated headcount for any upcoming event.

“When you consider the fact that many associations have been around before personal computers were even available, trying to unify an entire membership base using that technology can be

can gain access to comprehensive online demographic databases to help zero in on an appropriate target audience for their campaign.

RSS Feeds

both challenging and frustrating,” explained Ed Rigsbee, Certified

Short for “really simple syndication”, RSS feeds can deliver re-

Speaking Professional (CSP) and President of Rigsbee Research.

al-time alerts to member email accounts and mobile devices each

“Nevertheless, when used properly, digital marketing campaigns

time important news and information is added to an association’s

can help associations bolster membership and provide a valuable

website. From news releases to important schedule and itinerary

return on investment for members by offering value-added content

changes, these subscription-based news feeds can keep association

and stimulating discussion.”

members constantly informed about crucial association updates.

When it comes to marketing, there’s no question that the mem-

Blogs & Messageboards

bership-based structure of associations puts them at a distinct ad-

What started out as a personal tool for sharing thoughts and

vantage when it comes to getting in touch with the masses. The

opinions has now blossomed into a quick, efficient avenue for on-

trick is knowing just what marketing technologies can take ad-

line marketing. Many associations feature regularly updated blogs

vantage of an association’s membership structure to create synergy

within their own websites, while others choose to post regularly

amongst members. “While some older association executives view

in trade forums and industry blogs to share membership informa-

digital marketing technology as a passing trend, the powerful com-

tion, events schedules and other helpful content with prospective

munication tools of these new services are bringing people together

members.

in ways that were previously impossible,” said Rigsbee. “Such tech-

Social Networking

nology cannot be overlooked.”

An essential ingredient to any modern marketing mix, inter-

While the options for digital marketing are nearly endless, a

net social networking services offer a trendy avenue for reaching

good place to begin any digital campaign is by taking a good look

hundreds of potential followers. Popular social networking services,

at the basic technologies that form the core of an event planner’s

such as LinkedIn®, Twitter™ and Facebook®, feature an arsenal of

toolbox. The following are just a few of the many tools that associa-

scheduling, messaging and contacts tools that can help keep new

tion planners can use to help spur discussion, activate sponsorships

and prospective association members up-to-speed with any organi-

and keep everyone in-the-know about crucial association develop-

zation’s events agenda.

ments.

Email Marketing

Mobile Marketing The latest trend in digital marketing, mobile marketing services

As one of the most basic digital marketing tools, email offers

allow associations to instantly deliver breaking news, schedules

a quick, simple way to get in touch with hundreds of followers by

and other important updates to any smart phone or mobile device.

synching with association contact lists to send out mass newsletters

Messages can be delivered by batch texting existing contacts or by

and digital event invites. Powerful RSVP tools that come standard

working with an online mobile marketing service to deliver more-

32

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


“Digital marketing technology can help drive attendance at association events, stream streamline communication amongst members and ultimately save loads of time and money for everyone… and that’s something that we can all agree on, regardless of our age.” - Ed Rigsby, CSP , Rigsbee Research Consulting Group and the Executive Director of the Cigar PEG, Inc. detailed messages and advertise-

we can all agree on, regardless of our age.”

ments. In addition to these tools, other,

As an internationally recognized speaker on partnering, Ed Rigsbee

becommore-advanced digital marketing options are becom

is the Chief Member Evangelist at Rigsbee Research Consulting Group

ing readily available online. As Rigsbee stated, “Online event plan-

and the Executive Director of the Cigar PEG, Inc. (US Internal Rev-

ning software, like Certain Software’s Certain Registration, now

enue Service recognized public charity). He has authored three books

offers meeting and event management professionals a proven tech-

and over 1,500 articles on business and organizational collaborations.

nology solution for delivering event RSVPs, managing hotel blocks

He travels internationally delivering keynote presentations and multi-day

and creating online discussion forums all from a single interface.”

workshops on collaboration, partnering and strategic alliances to corpo-

®

With more options now than ever, there’s no question that

rate and Association/society audiences. Rigsbee is frequently engaged by

digital marketing has opened the door to a whole new world of

associations and societies to facilitate various boards of director meetings

possibilities for association event planners. “Will digital market-

and his proprietary, Member Value Process™.

ing ever completely replace traditional marketing… probably not,”

Ed has received the coveted Certified Speaking Professional designa-

said Rigsbee. “Nevertheless, when used properly, digital market-

tion from the National Speakers Association, one that is enjoyed by only

ing technology can help drive attendance at association events,

about 10% of the membership in the International Federation for Profes-

streamline communication amongst members and ultimately save

sional Speakers. Rigsbee may be contacted through the Rigsbee Research

loads of time and money for everyone… and that’s something that

Consulting Group, www.rigsbee.com or Ed@Rigsbee.com.

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

33


Uncovering the complex, evolving relationship between meeting and event planners and suppliers Discovering what planners want and the subsequent offers made by suppliers

34

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


E

very meeting or event has two sides - the meeting planner and the supplier. At the end of the day, both want to pull off a successful event that will ultimately please the client and attendees. With budgetary concerns arising on both sides, both meeting planners

and suppliers are looking to cut costs while maintaining event quality. Midwest Meetings® explored the breadth of the unique relationship between suppliers and planners, delving into the deals and incentives offered by suppliers and the wants and needs presented by planners in our rebounding economy.

The Meeting Planner’s s Perspective

Ruth Ann Scott, Executive Director of the South Dakota

Rennette Grace, Freelance TD

Advertising Federation

Lacey Spallitta, CMP,

Katherine Bodoh, CMP, Corporate

Meeting Planner at MAC Meetings

Events Manager at Jewelers

and Events

Mutual Insurance Company

Carol Galle, CMP, President of Special D Events, Inc.

N

down to the last detail. The dream would rarely exist without help

conference center or golf course, meeting planners constantly

from a venue and/or contracted supplier. The budget, however,

adjust to the needs of their clients by wheeling and dealing with

may not allow for an overtly luxurious red carpet event. Currently,

numerous facilities, vendors, suppliers and venues. This job can be

meeting planners can put their thrifty skills to use while still plan-

extremely daunting to say the least, but with tighter budgets and an

ning and executing an event that will awe and inspire their attend-

explosion of return on investment-based (ROI) meetings, planners

ees by simply negotiating strategically with their suppliers.

o matter if a meeting is big or small, corporate or private,

must spend every penny wisely.

First of all, don’t run the risk of asking for too many concessions.

Strategic partnerships and strong negotiation skills are essen-

Remember, negotiation is a two-way street; if it wasn’t, it would

tial tools that meeting planners need in this economic climate. By

be based on empty demands. “Over the last couple of years, the

creating lasting and strategic relationships, planners and suppliers

vendors that I work with across the country are willing to provide

both win in the end. Planners can look to suppliers to be a partner

a few more concessions, along with lower rates; however, I am will-

in their meeting endeavors and may possibly score discounts and

ing to be flexible with dates or use alternative meeting space to

extras by working in conjunction with these partners.

keep meeting rooms open for other groups,” said Katherine Bodoh,

Negotiate strategically

CMP, Corporate Events Manager at Jewelers Mutual Insurance

Meeting planners - simply dream up an event that is perfect

Company.

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

35


Meeting planners can put their thrifty skills to use while still planning and executing an event that will awe and inspire their attendees by simply negotiating strategically with their suppliers.

Next, save yourself some green by working in collaboration with supplier sales teams. Let them know what you want and be prepared to offer something of value in return.

by the abrupt cycles that have brought us to where we are today. “Vendors have been very flexible over the past year… They have enabled our clients to live large on a low budget. You can be sure

Maintain worthwhile and collaborative relationships

that we will keep those vendors on our list for future business,” said

The best way to adjust to change is to head through untested

Carol Galle, CMP, President of Special D Events, Inc.

waters with someone you can trust. In the recent past, change has

Customer care will out-value any discount

been a mainstay for many in the hospitality and meetings industries.

Deals are out there and negotiation is truly important today;

Some relationships have crumbled and others have been cultivated

however, if customer care is lacking, your dream meeting will fail to exist. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, the client and subsequent attendees of the meeting should be happy with what they received in exchange for their time and resources. “Truly, having a supplier that understands my attendee is a win-win situation,” noted Bodoh. Start keeping track. Maintain a list of venues and suppliers that kept your clients a number one priority. Then, remember to use them in the future. “Of course we look at who has the lowest prices and the most incentives… [but] we are big on customer service as well. If we have worked with a company that has gone above and beyond, we will always go back to them first,” said Lacey Spallitta, CMP, MAC Meetings and Events. This lays the foundation for great working relationships that may yield discounts and promotions in the future coupled with invaluable customer care. Mix up your relationships Many meeting planners would like to change a few things about their relationships with the supply end of their meetings. If you want or need something specific, speak up. It never hurts to ask. The worst outcome - you will hear the dreaded word “no” and then continue your search for better deals elsewhere. “I think the top thing I would change [with our supplier relationships] is that my contact

36

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


be available before [the meeting] and onsite. I have had some

Since the meetings are monthly, she noted that the ability to have

wonderful contacts that are very available for anything my client

the same space every time reduces confusion for guests.

and I may need, but I have also had some that I very rarely talk to

What next?

before or hardly saw while onsite,” noted Spallitta.

Trending shows the meetings industry is picking up and those

In addition, flexibility is a must. Bodoh adds, “If I could change

with strong planner-supplier relationships are coming back stron-

anything, it would be a request to be more flexible. Sometimes ven-

ger during the recovery. (See the article, An In Depth Look at Meet-

ues do not look at the overall money spent in their facilities and so

ing Trends, on page 8 for more information.)

smaller groups get neglected based on the number of room nights.”

Consider your options, negotiate, build and maintain relation-

The basics of service are still important to meeting providers.

ships that cultivate customer care and finally look for the best deals

“When I’m the onsite manager, I want honesty, timeliness and ex-

that suit your pursuits. Keep an eye out for the many deals that

cellent service from vendors and facility management,” said Ren-

are currently available to meeting planners. (See the article, Deals,

nette Grace, Freelance TD.

Deals and More Deals on page 43 for more information.)

Ruth Ann Scott, Executive Director of the South Dakota Ad-

Regardless of budgetary constraints, make your meeting sparkle.

vertising Federation said audiovisual components are essential for

By ensuring quality care of attendees, your meeting will be a suc-

their monthly luncheon meetings that typically feature a guest

cess. The equity and perceived value of your meeting should always

speaker. She also added that keeping costs down is a must. “The

be your top priority no matter what. Keep all of this in mind when

make or break item for us is the cost-per-person for each lunch.”

planning your next event and you will be sure to find success.

The Meeting Supplier’s s Perspective

Sue Bowman, General Manager

Marc Anderson, Director of

Laure Swanson, Director of Sales

Katie Schwint, Director of Sales at

Jeff Larson, Director of Marketing

of the Coates Plaza Hotel,

Marketing at the Peninsula

at the Ramada® Convention

King’s Pointe Resort,

and Sales at the Landmark Resort,

Virginia, MN

Chicago, Chicago IL

Center, Aberdeen, SD

Storm Lake, IA

Egg Harbor, WI

hether nestled deep in the heart of the rural Midwest or

W

options that fall within budgets. Regardless, all have found that

centrally located in more large-scale urban areas, businesses

by setting the pace in their communities, they remain on the

that provide lodging and venues for the meeting and event industry

forefront of changing economic times. Midwestern suppliers are

are all continuing to develop deals that give planners creative

finding that through inventive marketing, cooperative networking

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

37


“It all starts with building rapport and loyalty. We have to continually prove ourselves through excellent service.” - Laure Swanson, Ramada Convention Center

and resourceful negotiation, they can offer top-quality, full-service

rentals on our meeting spaces and offer free wi-fi in all of our guest-

events to meeting planners and their clientele.

rooms and meetings spaces.”

More than ever, suppliers are sweetening deals by offering spe-

Service options are also negotiable and are a real selling point

cial incentive and/or reward programs for event bookings. Midwest

for meeting planners. The Ramada Plaza offers planners an op-

Meetings reached out to suppliers, both big and small, to see what

portunity to pick and choose incentives as part of their plan. The

programs they are offering.

choices include continental breakfast integrated in the guestroom

®

Expect to have a choice of options

rate, $100 vouchers for audiovisual support, a weekend stay certifi-

Tammy Grainger, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Ra-

cate or a $50 onsite restaurant certificate.

mada® Plaza Minneapolis, MN, said that by offering solid, value-

Currently the incentives are receiving rave reviews from plan-

based product incentives, the Ramada Plaza is making it possible

ners. In fact, the incentive programs have been so successful that

for planners to make their budget goals.

the Ramada Plaza plans to offer this special through 2010.

“We are new to the Wyndham family, so we are offering a spe-

The Peninsula Chicago created a Meeting Your Needs package

cial 1,000 point bonus of Wyndham Rewards points for new and

for meeting planners, which may include but is not limited to a:

returning members,” she said. “We also have reduced our room

5% master account credit, specially created catering menus, com-

®

®

plimentary meeting room rental, complimentary VIP welcome reception prior to a group dinner at the hotel, complimentary morning or afternoon coffee break (daily) and two complimentary suite upgrades. “The success of these programs is contingent on the value they add to the overall customer package or experience... The Peninsula Chicago is offering incentives that the competitors are not, while continuing to offer unparalleled customer service,” said Marc Anderson, Director of Marketing at the Peninsula Chicago. The Meeting Your Needs package adds significant value to the meeting planner’s bottom line and allows meeting planners to pick and choose what is of greatest value to them. Plan ahead and negotiate When striking deals with suppliers, plan ahead and remember to negotiate an incentive plan that works best for you. Jeff Larson, Director of Marketing and Sales at the Landmark Resort in Egg Harbor, WI, said flexibility is the key to successful supplier/planner relationships. “We do not have specific [planner] incentives, [but] we try to keep costs down.” By keeping costs within a price point that is achievable for various types of meetings and events, The Landmark Resort has been able to retain and gain business. “We have not

38

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


Suppliers can take some work out of the planner’s job by offering inclusive packages that save both budgeting time and dollars.

increased our rates in three years and we give our salespeople

camping facilities, King’s Pointe offers a multitude of activities that

considerable latitude with their clients. We do, however, offer a

will bring meeting guests and their families back for repeat visits.

complimentary room for every 50 rooms booked.”

Offering terrific experiences that don’t cost the meeting planner

Larson also noted that listening to clients and working with

extra creates a win-win situation. “For some families, this may be

their unique requests is an important part of the business. By work-

their vacation and we want to be a part of their family memories.

ing with budgetary expenses, such as audiovisual costs and food

We want to make the guest experience a fun one, and we often

and beverage costs, clients are able to negotiate costs on a person-

have conference guests stay an extra day to continue their family

alized basis.

fun,” she said.

“I think that by having open communication, planners begin to trust their suppliers to help them come up with the best solutions to their budget concerns,” he said.

Build relationships - value on loyalty and service Suppliers have an opportunity to create repeat business simply by building strong foundations of trust and reliability with meeting

Larson also offered other suggestions that make meetings more

planners. The Ramada® Convention Center in Aberdeen, SD

affordable; planning ahead and working with a supplier is key.

and the Coates Plaza Hotel in Virginia, MN, are two venues that

“One way we can reduce prices is to move an event from one sea-

rely on local meeting trade and utilize a combination of service-

son to another. If a group can move an event up even ten days

orientated strategies to keep meeting planners coming back.

earlier, they may qualify for a different seasonal rate, which could amount to as much as $10/room in discounts.”

Laure Swanson, Director of Sales at the Ramada Convention Center, said there is always room for budgeting negotiation with

Another tip is to book entertainment locally. “If we know what

planners who are trying to get a good deal, especially when dealing

a group is looking for in entertainment, we can book acts that fit

with room rates. She focuses on service and maintaining positive

that group or look for happenings within the community. For in-

relationships with new and existing meeting planners.

stance, a planner can save perhaps $2,000 by not having to pay for

“It all starts with building a rapport and loyalty. We have to con-

live music in-house.” Suppliers and hoteliers can recommend the

tinually prove ourselves through excellent service,” Swanson said.

best aspects of the community in which they live and work. All it

Sue Bowman, General Manager of the Coates Plaza Hotel , Vir-

takes is a little planning ahead and a contributive effort from all

ginia, MN, makes it a priority to keep planners happy by providing

parties involved.

a quality atmosphere. “An individual who attends an event at our

Take advantage of inclusive programming

facilities may be enticed to come back,” said Bowman. Relation-

Suppliers can take some work out of the planner’s job by offering

ship building is key to successful business operations.

inclusive packages that save both budgeting time and dollars. Katie

Suppliers with strong ties to the community can offer discounts

Schwint, Director of Sales at King’s Pointe Resort in Storm Lake,

at local establishments, creating value-added incentives that help

IA, reiterated the importance of catering to a group’s needs and

the meeting planner and local businesses. A variety of leisure ac-

added that clients often want inclusive entertainment packages be-

tivities, including golf package discounts and coupons for gaming

cause many people are combining family vacations with meetings.

establishments, are designed to pass on savings and to introduce

King’s Pointe specializes in inclusive planning and packages.

attendees to the area.

By specializing in amenities that include indoor and outdoor

Collectively, all of these supplier efforts help keep meeting plan-

waterparks, a state-of-the-art playground, green space for concerts,

ners and participants coming back for more - a trend that is mutu-

a lighthouse and boat slips, in addition to quality golf courses and

ally beneficial for everyone involved.

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

39


Back to the Basics

I

n working with an exist-

a component? These are important when considering the market-

ing budget, it’s important to

ing portion of your budget, how you’ll get the message across, the

consider the factors that were involved in creating it. The worst-case scenario is if someone else created it with little thought,

frequency, the method and amount you’ll need to spend.

other than, “you have $10,000 to use and it needs to happen,” with

The How Factor What’s the best way to deliver this event? Maybe your budget

little consideration for the purpose, goals and return on investment

can be stretched if you explore different meeting options. Does this

(ROI). In being involved in the initial planning and development

event require everyone to meet in person? Decide if there are other

of your budget, you can sometimes have the luxury of a more stra-

more effective means to relay the information, such as a confer-

tegic, needs-based budget.

ence call, webinar, virtual training/meeting or key staff traveling

First Steps Sit down with your budget and use or create a template that

to meet with small groups to their city or office. Perhaps holding

offers a line item for every expense (preferably in a spreadsheet for-

or times will be a better format. Is there an industry conference that

mula so you can easily track the totals). For planning purposes cre-

your attendees are already going to be at? Maybe it makes sense to

ate a column that lists the budget number and then a column where

schedule an event there, such as a dinner on an open night or a day

you can plug numbers in as you plan, along with a third column

pre or post conference that they can make it to. Deciding this will

noting differences in budget versus estimate. Even if you’re work-

determine how and where to put your money.

ing with someone else’s budget, break it down into a spreadsheet format to help you see where the dollars will go.

roundtables or smaller, more-intimate events in multiple cities and/

Location Depending on where your attendees are coming from, determine

The Why Factor Don’t forget what the budget is for and why it’s in place. Un-

the best cities that fit your needs in regards to the setting/tone of

derstand the event(s) goals: Find out why this event is taking

jority of people fly or drive in? If your budget is covering travel costs

place, what’s the purpose? Is it to unveil a new product or service?

this is especially vital. Perhaps instead of having one large event, it

Is it training? Motivational? Informational? What is the outcome

makes more sense to hold several events in different regions, elimi-

you’re working towards? Decide how you’ll be able to measure its

nating greater travel expenses.

the event as well as the cost in getting people there. Will the ma-

success. Is it through sales, new orders or new customers? Ask as

After you gain an understanding of what your goals are and who

many questions as possible in the initial stages. Through this care-

will be attending the event, you can begin to find out what type of

ful evaluation you’ll be better able to align your goals with where

venue best fits your needs. Is it more casual or formal? In alignment

the majority of your budget needs to go.

with your event’s goals, relate it to the setting; for example, deter-

The Who Factor Who is your audience? How do they prefer to learn, celebrate

mine if your primary goal is educational, motivational, incentive,

and/or network? Where are they located? Is this meeting required?

help reach your goal? Is it a resort or a retreat-type facility, a confer-

Are they or their company paying to attend? What’s in it for them?

ence center, an airport hotel or a non-traditional venue, such as a

Do you need to encourage them to attend? Is continuing education

museum, park or university?

40

or other. Based on these factors, what type of facility is going to

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


Supplement your budget from outside sources

Check and see if they offer volume discounts. Perhaps you can

Does your event already include exhibitors? If not, can you add

use them for other events and by contracting for a certain dollar

this component to bring in additional dollars? If it does make sense

amount for the year, you can gain more buying power. Depending

to add exhibitors, determine the value and how much you need to

on the size of your event and the number of items you need, see if

meet or offset your budgets to determine the booth costs. Perhaps

discount stores and rental companies are a viable option (be sure

you can add more value for exhibitors by offering more sponsor-

to ask about discounts there too). Be upfront about the image you

ships, sponsored meals, breaks, newsletters, websites, signage or ac-

want to project and the budget you have to work with.

cess to attendee lists.

Budgets are manageable with the right amount of prep work,

Develop partnerships with your vendors in terms of getting

understanding, creativity and follow through. When in doubt, ask.

products donated or monetary contributions that you can use to-

Never be afraid to share with your business partners what you have

ward a budget line.

to work with in creating your event. People are grateful to have the

CVB's Work with the local Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) and

whole picture so they can help you execute a successful event and

find out if they have any services and money to contribute. Do they

For those new to the industry, new to working with budgets or

have partners that can offer value or sponsorship to your meeting?

those looking for a refresher and new approaches, a great place

Maybe they can arrange for discounts based on the overall eco-

to start is at www.MidwestMeetings.com. You’ll find the current

nomic impact you’ll bring to their city and businesses.

Midwest Meetings® Guide Book 2010 that contains a budget check-

ensure that you keep within your budget.

Hotels Be upfront with hotels in terms of your budget; see what they

list. The meeting budget guidelines include everything you’ll need

can offer based on your range. Often hotels can work with you on

hotel accommodations, food and beverage, equipment and au-

rates depending on their availability. You can also select hotels that

diovisual rental, travel expenses, transportation, services, onsite

not only meet your budget, but also correspond with the message

staff, miscellaneous items, as well as a space for special consid-

you are sending to attendees. With that in mind, don’t count out a

erations and additional notes. You can access the website at:

hotel that is typically out of your price range, even they have low

www.MidwestMeetings.com

to track your budget, such as general info items, meeting space,

demand times or need a “filler group.” Ask if you can you get a rebate on your master bill ($1 per every room) or a certain amount back in credit toward your food and beverage bill or overall bill. This can be a major supplement to your budget. Looking beyond the normal When you’re looking to stretch your budget, you can sometimes get more bang for your buck by using unique and multi-faceted venues where things are all under one roof. It pays to check out hotels with adjacent meeting facilities, casinos, waterparks, entertainment options and are within walking distance to a vibrant downtown area offering these amenities. This can alleviate some planned, company-sponsored events if there is a wide variety for people to choose from. The Wow Factor When putting together your budget for décor, mementos and linens, begin by talking with your venue to see what they offer complimentary and for additional charge. You can also shop around and find other suppliers to get comparisons. www.MidwestMeetings.coM

41


42

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


Uncover cost-savings through venue offers Pick the rewards that work best for your next meeting or event

T

range from 10-30% off standard seasonal group rates.

exchange for event business. Check out this compilation and keep

Marriott Rewarding Events™ - Choose your reward. For every

your eye out for deals that will aid in the budgetary aspects of your

$1 US in total charges, you can choose to earn either three points

next meeting or event.

per $1 US for a maximum of 50,000 points or one mile per $1 US

oday, a good deal can be hard to spot. Midwest Meetings® has

compiled the latest deals being offered to meeting planners in

Marriott® - www.marriott.com

Take a look at the deals we’ve compiled.

for a maximum of 15,000. With Marriott’s Meetings Matter promo-

Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants - www.kimptonhotels.com

tion, running through December 31, 2010, earn double points on

Hot Dates, Great Rates - If you can be flexible with your meeting

your meetings and events or triple points if you pay with your Visa®

®

dates, the Kimpton has deals that will work for you. Kimpton offers special rates during certain times of the year and week. Starwood Meetings and Events - www.starwoodhotels.com

card. Best Western® - www.bestwesternmidwest.com/mwmtgs Join Best Western Rewards®, and now through December 31,

Preferred Planner Rewards - Earn Starwood Starpoints and use

2010, you can earn 2,000 bonus points for every qualified night you

them toward a credit on your next master bill, free hotel stays, gift

stay at a participating Best Western hotel in Minnesota, Missouri

certificates and more.

or Wisconsin for up to four nights.

Hyatt - www.hyatt.com ®

Every dollar spent at any of the 4,000 Best Western hotels

Hyatt Gold Passport Planner Rewards™ - Earn one bonus point

worldwide will earn you points. Points can be redeemed for free

for every eligible US dollar spent on your event up to 50,000 bonus

room nights - with no blackout dates, airline rewards, merchandise,

points. Bonus points can be spent on guestrooms, meeting rooms,

dining, retail and gift cards.

banquets and in-house catering. Split your earned bonus points up

Wyndham - www.wyndham.com

to three ways to reward co-workers and colleagues who helped you

Wyndham Event Rewards® - For each $1 USD spent you earn

plan your qualifying event or earn bonus points for your company.

ten points - up to a million points per program or event.

Hilton - www.hilton.com ®

Group Value Dates - Special rates offered by Hilton hotels for multiple rooms booked for a group or event. Discounts typically

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

All deals may be subject to change due to dates and properties. Contact your preferred hotel or resort for more information.

43


Meeting icebreaker ideas Building cohesion and rapport among participants

M

eetings are built upon numerous activities, yet many times

Activities

icebreakers are overlooked and undervalued. By building a

Telephone: Play this infamous childhood game by having one

foundation of cohesion among participants, meeting planners can

person start a message that pertains to the meeting. The message

aid in the success of their meeting or event and make it much more

will be whispered from one participant to another until everyone

meaningful for everyone involved.

has heard the message. The last person will then reveal the mes-

Begin the meeting with an icebreaker. Icebreakers are like a good warm-up before strenuous activity. They will open up the

sage, letting everyone know if it was lost in translation. Lead-ins

minds of participants and allow them to get ready for the tasks of

Burning Questions: Allow attendees to address their most impor-

the meeting. Most importantly, they will allow them to meet oth-

tant questions about the meeting/event. This opening will surely

ers in attendance and build rapport with those around them. Not

allow the hosting organization and meeting planner to address the

to mention, the overall goal should inspire trust and understanding

questions thoroughly.

among participants. For starters, an icebreaker can make or break the atmosphere of the meeting. Keep it short and simple. Pick your desired out-

Many more icebreakers are out there. Challenge yourself to find one that is relevant to your meeting and that truly warms up your attendees.

come based on your meeting type. Do you want the icebreaker to be

Two things:

humorous, silly, out-of-the-ordinary, insightful, amusing, thoughtprovoking or surprising? By knowing what you want out of this activity, you will invariably be able to set a tone that is appropriate and well-planned. Keep it creative. Whether you like icebreakers or not, attendees will not be impressed or eager to participate if you attempt to include the same old icebreaker; it’s boring and ineffective. Keep it fresh and mix it up. Games Compatibility Test: Give each person ten traits that they must find that they have in common with other participants. Some examples include, “Find someone that drives the same model of car”, “… someone that lives in the same state” or “…someone born in the same month”. Award prizes for the most compatible pair of participants. Fact or Fiction: Have each participant reveal three things about themselves. Two revelations must be true and the other false. In small groups, have the other participants decide what is fact and what is fiction.

44

1. Give one non-professional trait about themselves 2. Briefly describe their funniest travel moment (professional or personal) See if you can locate two fun promo gifts - maybe a certificate for coffee at the closest Starbucks® and a massage in your spa (or one very close by who may provide an in-room massage). Have the group select the most brave and honest person answering the first question and the funniest story for the second. It’s quick, fun and there is a reward at the end. For the donations - you will be pointing the group where to go for their Starbucks® fix and the massage therapist will likely get additional business. I like win-win. Good luck! Pam Williams, CTA, Convention Sales, Mesa CVB Part of my tasks as a member of AzMPI’s Membership Committee is to assist with our icebreakers for our monthly education meetings. This one in particular worked very well.

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


New ideas to save money Maintain productivity on a tighter budget Keeping your costs down

planned for this year? Can a teambuilding session be incorporated

Teambuilding doesn’t need to be a high-priced option. Costly

into it? Or try it the other way around. Perhaps your teambuilding

residential workplace outings, while undoubtedly good fun, are not the only way to bring your department together and motivate

day could be used for something else at the same time. By incorporating conferences, meetings or debriefing sessions as part of your teambuilding event, or the other way around, you

workers. Today there are many budget options avail-

will undoubtedly be keeping costs down. An added incentive will

able which can still incorporate valuable

be that your workers will find the activity even more entertaining

teambuilding exercises. There is also no

because of the diversity provided. Hopefully this will be reflected in

shortage of scope to keep costs down by dis-

the increased productivity following the event.

covering cheaper options with food, beverage, venue and location, depending on what you feel

Fit the teambuilding to the event A teambuilding event can be used for many different corporations and might include exercises, demonstrations, social exercises or

you can realistically spend. Combine teambuilding with an event

role playing scenarios.

One of the more imagi-

The format of the teambuilding event you employ will be deter-

native ways to organize

mined by what else is going on. A conference might be best suited

a teambuilding day on a

to a motivational talk for instance, or the greatest format for a

budget is to take a close

meeting might be workshops composed of small groups.

look at the company cal-

Whether you consider a competitive quiz, role playing or

endar. What other exer-

exercises, you will find the teambuilding element of the daytime

cises are

will go a long way in informing workers, building team spirit and keeping the activity entertaining. This article is reprinted with permission from ArticleSnatch.com. It was written by Brian Middle.

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

45


Find cost-savings in unlikely pockets of your budget Develop strategies to increase your bottom line Use Helpful Resources Work with a local Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) to

agreeing to anything

find local discounts

them in your contract

Research the competition in the market to uncover cost-lever-

Keep your room block conservative to reduce wasted budget

aging opportunities

dollars

Build your best price offers by negotiating with vendors that

Know the value your meeting brings to the area and communi-

have received your business in the past

cate it in your request for proposal (RFP)

Choose local speakers when possible

In your hotel contract, request a detailed post-meeting evalua-

Consult references before settling into an agreement for any

tion from the property before a final payment is made

component of the meeting

Make sure your cancellation clauses are mutually acceptable

Work with Your Supplier

Be familiar with tax laws in the meeting area to gain addi-

Negotiate the best rates

tional tax breaks

Make prompt onsite payments for possible discounts

Continually confirm event details, rates and dates stated in

Ask for free printing to save on package and shipping fees

your contract

Schedule your meeting/event during the supplier’s low season

Negotiate an interest-bearing account for your meeting deposit

Ask the supplier for their expertise – they know what has

Budget, Budget, Budget

worked for other meetings and may be able to offer one-of-a-

Look for sponsorship opportunities

kind advice that will help your meeting/event tremendously

Keep a detailed history of your past events and use databases

Contracts

46

Ask for requested bonuses and incentives upfront and include

to estimate costs more efficiently

Negotiate volume costs when buying in bulk

Apply for local, state and federal grants for your meeting/event

Understand the contract in its entirety before signing or

Consider public or discounted modes of transportation

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


Develop long-term relationships with suppliers to receive

negotiate pay based on references

incentives and discounts where available

Work with an audiovisual person to deter-

Create and reuse simple signage

mine actual audiovisual necessities

Use outside suppliers when applicable to avoid middleman

Cut out seemingly non-useful components

costs

of the meeting that won’t excite attendees and

Don’t rent/buy unnecessary equipment

that will deter them from absorbing meeting material

Keep the meeting simple and clean by avoiding frivolously

Food and Beverages

spending on unnecessary décor, food or setups

To save on beverage costs, avoid overly salty foods

Maintain the same room setup throughout the meeting to

Buy all beverages in bulk when possible

avoid expensive setup costs Meeting Considerations

Utilize a continental breakfast with limited hot foods and extended health food options

A flexible budget needs to include a 10% contingency fund

Watch portion sizes

Use local sales representatives that can uncover local savings

Utilize dead stock when available

and incentives for your meeting

Consider limiting salads, soups and desserts when possible

Cooperate and split costs with another event/meeting with

Keep track of food and beverage preferences and usage from

similar requirements, décor, keynote speakers and meeting

year-to-year to reduce costs

locale

In advance, lock in menu prices to avoid a sliding price scale

Use your own electrical supplies (surge protectors and exten-

Avoid including delicacies at the buffet

sion cords)

Instead of a sitdown lunch, consider a box lunch option

For future meetings, lock in this year’s rate Ask if complimentary audiovisual equipment is available Hire local talent for musical or entertainment needs and

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

Finally, negotiate smarter, not harder to improve your meeting’s bottom line.

47


North Star State St. Paul - CaPital

Find them here...

Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center......................50 Best Western® Hotels ................................................IFC, 1 Burnsville CVB...............................................................52 Jackpot Junction® Casino Hotel .......................................53 The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes & Waterpark.......................53 Mall of America® Meeting Space ....................................55 Maple Grove Community Center ....................................49 The Northland Inn .........................................................53 Owatonna Area C of C & Tourism ..................................54 Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort ...........................................50 Red Wing VCB..............................................................54 Saint Paul Meeting Center ........................................56, 57 Visit Bemidji ..................................................................51 Willmar Lakes Area CVB ...............................................54

48

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


O

pen your eyes and gaze at the stars in

Previous page top - Red Wing Ski

Minnesota. Whether you indulge in the

Show, Courtesy of Red Wing

serenity of star gazing on the rolling plains in

Marina

Minnesota or keep up with sports stars in the

Previous page bottom - Valleyfair®, Steel Venom - Shakopee, Courtesy of Valleyfair

cities, you’ll come to love Minnesota for its grand variety of adventure. The Minnesota Twins™, Minnesota Wild™,

Left - Mississippi River Bridge at Lake Bemidji Inlet, Courtesy of Larry Young

Minnesota Timberwolves™, Minnesota Thunder and Minnesota Vikings are sure to impress ™

all who behold them. With five professional

Below - Mount Kato Ski Area Mankato, Courtesy Mount Kato

clubs in the state, Minnesota is always bustling with activity, sports fans and state pride. The state of Minnesota boasts a long history of diversity, bringing together both rural and urban lifestyles. Widespread agriculture in rural areas coupled with a strong manufacturing sector in urban areas offers residents many choices. Of the top 1,000 publically traded companies in the US, thirty-three are headquartered in Minnesota. These include General Mills, Target®, Land

AJ MIDWEST MTG SUMMER ISSUE 2010 05.04.10.pdf

1

5/21/10

12:17 PM

O’Lakes and Best Buy . Cargill , the largest ®

®

®

privately owned company in the US, is located in Minnesota as well. Explore the great variety Minnesota has to offer. Travel to the SPAM® Museum in Austin. Swing over to the edge of St. Paul and visit Como Park; it’s a great place to relax and to take in the wonderment that Minnesota has to offer. Dive into the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth; you’re sure to leave impressed by the variety of species that call this aquarium home. Awaken the child within yourself by visiting LEGOLAND® in Bloomington. Thrill your inner dare-devil by riding the Steel Venum roller coaster at Valleyfair® in Shakopee as it twists, turns and drops you in a flash. Catch your breath and relax at one of the 10,000 lakes in this water-rich state. If you’d rather get some exercise, partake in some high-speed watersports like jet skiing, water skiing, tubing, fishing and boating. Take a hike. Minnesota is one of the healthiest states nationwide. The North Star State has 72 scenic and refreshing state parks that are used by outdoor enthusiasts for hiking, biking or camping. Plus, Minnesota has more miles of biking trails than any other state in the US. Bring your next meeting or event to a state that offers the best of both worlds. Whether you’re looking for a metropolitan locale, a cozy suburb or a truly agricultural setting, look no further. Minnesota offers visitors all of this and more. Follow the North Star to Minnesota and you will find the key to your next successful C

meeting or event.

M

Y

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

CM

MY

CY

49


Minnesota

arrwwood reSort and ConferenCe Center Your Choice for Minnesota Meetings or Minnesota Conference Facilities… Amy Parod 2100 Arrowwood Lane NW Alexandria, MN 56308 www.arrowwoodresort.com resort@arrowwoodresort.com 763-559-6272 Fax: 320-762-0133 Rooms/suites: 200 plus 16 townhomes Meeting space sq. ft.: 28,000 Meeting rooms: 12 Reception capacity: 700 Largest room sq. ft.: 14,000 Golf course onsite: Yes Onsite restaurants: Lake Café, Deck Bar & Grill, Rafter’s, Banana Cabana Snack Bar

50

D

esigned to provide a unique combination of vacation getaways and productive meetings and conferences, Arrowwood has succeeded in both categories, becoming one of Minnesota’s premier locations for business and pleasure. Arrowwood offers the Big Splash Indoor Waterpark, Darling Reflections Spa and the Atikwa Golf Course, with a recent $2.2 million renovation upgrading it to a championship level course. From social gatherings to spectacular tradeshows, Arrowwood has hosted an exceptional variety of events amid the north woods and blue skies of Minnesota’s vacation country. No matter what the occasion, visitors have found that Arrowwood, located just two hours from Minneapolis and St. Paul, is a perfect destination any time of year. More than 28,000 sq. ft. of meeting space features 12 function rooms, including the Lake Darling Ballroom and Lower Conference Center. Each can be divided into three separate rooms. Complete audiovisual support is available, and on-staff meeting planners have been trained to creatively meet your every need. Secluded and natural, Arrowwood’s setting assures that your business gets done, and done well.

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


www.MidwestMeetings.coM

51


Minnesota

Minnesota

Minnesota

BurnSville CvB BurnSville

Accommodations and Meetings Made Effortless. Amie Burrill 101 W Burnsville Pkwy, Ste 150B Burnsville, MN 55337 952-898-5646 • Fax: 952-487-1777 www.burnsvillemn.com amie@burnsvillemn.com Area hotel rooms: 968 Entertainment nearby: Burnsville Center Buck Hill Ski Area CineMagicTM Atlantis Theatre Minnesota Zoo Mall of America® Meeting facilities: Burnsville Performing Arts Center Chateau LaMothe Wine & Event Center Whittier Room at Buck Hill and Burnsville hotels

52

W

hether you’re planning business, leisure or somewhere in between, Burnsville, Minnesota is always ready to accommodate almost any agenda in the Twin Cities most-convenient rendezvous place. Burnsville is just south of the Minnesota River and only 20 minutes from both downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul for the best of all worlds. Start with a small-town welcome in a perfectly sized metropolis. Comfortable, clean and affordable hotels with amenities that bring you closer to home. Meeting spaces that cover almost any size group with everything you need to make your

event a success. Nearby dining and shopping venues that are anything but ordinary - and yearround local activities and celebrations that create lasting memories. Some of Burnsville’s unique venues include the new 1,014-seat Burnsville Performing Arts Center located in Burnsville’s Heart of the City, and indoor racing at ProKART Indoor Racing. For assistance with planning your next meeting or event, or to request your FREE Experience Burnsville Meeting & Event Guide, call 800.521.6055 or visit www.burnsvillemn.com

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


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JaCkPot JunCtion CaSino Hotel It’s time to hit the Jackpot! Colleen Marcus PO Box 420, 39375 County Hwy 24 Morton, MN 56270 www.jackpotjunction.com colleen.marcus@jackpotjunction.com 800-946-2274 Fax: 507-697-8017 Rooms/suites: 378 Meeting space sq. ft.: Over 45,000 Meeting rooms: 9 Largest room sq. ft.: 21,400 Reception capacity: 1,400 Golf course nearby: Yes Onsite restaurants: 4

J

ackpot Junction Casino Hotel offers over 45, 000 sq. ft. of flexible space, accommodating groups of ten to 1,400. Receive attractive group rates, full-service catering and the Meeting Planner’s Reward Program. 440,000 sq. ft. of gaming action is available 24-hours-a-day, 365-daysa-year. 1,250 video slot machines, blackjack, poker, specialty games, 375seat bingo hall, pulltabs and lottery. Four restaurants to choose from: The Dacotah Restaurant, a fullservice; the Season Buffet; Wabasha Creek at Dacotah Ridge; and the Full Deck Grill for a quick bite. Enjoy live entertainment three nights a week; national acts perform regularly in the Dacotah Exposition Center and Amphitheater. Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel is located in southwestern Minnesota, approximately 110 miles from Minneapolis/St. Paul and 150 miles from Sioux Falls. An enterprise of the Lower Sioux Indian Community and is Minnesota’s First and Friendliest Casino.

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

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Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


Minnesota

Minnesota

Minnesota ™

tHe PlaCe for fun Mall of aMeriCa®

BlooMington

Mall of America Group Sales Information

Contact Information: 5000 Center Court Bloomington, MN 55425 www.mallofamerica.com catering@mallofamerica.com 952-883-8809 Fax: 952-883-8683 Meeting space sq. ft.: 8,000 Meeting rooms: 6

M

all of America is the nation’s largest retail and entertainment complex. The 4.2 million sq. ft. destination is home to: • Over 520 world-class shops • Six event and meeting spaces to accommodate groups of all interests and sizes • Nickelodeon Universe®, the country’s largest indoor family theme park Unique and private meeting facilities are located throughout Mall of America, accommodating groups of 15 to 7,000. Located on Level 4, the Executive Center is a 2,800+ sq. ft. facility with four meeting spaces,

perfect for conducting meetings, conferences and parties. The Great Room features 4,000 sq. ft. of privately enclosed space, complete with a proscenium style stage and lighting capabilities; great for large group receptions, meetings, tradeshows or galas. Break away from Nickelodeon Universe in one of our Private Suites - ideal for smaller meetings or corporate picnics. Mall of America offers full-service catering, group ticket discounts and teambuilding enhancements - sure to make your next event one to remember.

Reception capacity: 725 Largest room sq. ft.: 4,000 Onsite catering

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

55


Minnesota

Minnesota

Minnesota

Saint Paul Meeting Center St. Paul

Exceptional Saint Paul Conference Venue

Saint Paul Meeting Center, Minnesota’s premier venue for events, conferences, conventions and tradeshows, is located on the Mississippi River in downtown St. Paul.

W

the Mississippi River and St. Paul skyline.

savvy corporate meeting or a high-

In addition to the multi-purpose space,

traffic exhibit, the Saint Paul Meeting

the Saint Paul Meeting Center also offers

Center delivers affordability and flex-

onsite event technology services ranging

ibility in an easy-to-navigate Midwest

from basic audiovisual needs to elaborate

location. But the real pleasure comes

theatrical and stage design. Two 24-hour

from St. Paul itself. As the smaller of

business centers make sure you stay con-

the Twin Citites and Minnesota’s state

nected on the road.

hether you’re planning a tech-

Jean Makowski, Director of Sales 11 E Kellogg Blvd St. Paul, MN 55101 www.stpaulmeetingcenter.com info@stpaulmeetingcenter.com 651-925-8697

Rooms/suites: 721 Meeting space sq. ft.: 70,000

capitol, The Saint Paul Meeting Center

Once you’re here, the weather never

positively flows with small-city charm

gets in the way of getting around, thanks

and mighty Mississippi views.

to St. Paul’s ingenious enclosed skyway

Featuring 70,000 sq. ft. of flexible

system. With the climate-controlled

Meeting rooms: 30

meeting and exhibit space and over 700

Saint Paul Skyway, your meeting partici-

Reception capacity: 2,000

guestrooms & suites, the Saint Paul Meet-

pants can walk with ease, comfort and se-

ing Center is perfect for a sales training

curity from all guest accommodations to

session for 50 or an association conven-

the Saint Paul Meeting Center. What’s

tion for 1,000. The center’s highlights in-

more, you can enhance your Minnesota

clude: 30 individual meeting rooms, three

meeting with easy access to Saint Paul’s

ballrooms and some of the most unique

museums, restaurants, attractions, parks

special event venues anywhere in the

and various concert and theatrical ven-

Midwest. Some rooms even offer views of

ues.

Largest room sq. ft.: 14,300 Golf course nearby: Yes Onsite restaurants: Yes

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Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


GO WITH THE

flow

Move freely and think big on the river. As a meeting planner, you’ll appreciate our affordable, easy-to-navigate Midwest location. But the real pleasure comes from Saint Paul itself. Get out of the mainstream and into the flow of small city charm and mighty Mississippi views.

• 70,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space • 30 meeting rooms with high-speed Internet • 700+ guest rooms/suites with free wireless Internet • Spectacular event venues overlooking river • Close to airport, downtown Minneapolis & Mall of America • Connected to Saint Paul Skyway

651.925.8697 STPAULMEETINGCENTER @ CHRCO . COM

www.StPaulMeetingCenter.com 11 East Kellogg Boulevard Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101

Where Meetings & the Mississippi Connect


Show-Me State JefferSon City - CaPital

Find them here...

Amtrak® ........................................................................60 Best Western® Branson Inn & Conference Center ..............61 Best Western® Hotels ................................................. IFC, 1 Branson Convention Center .......................................62, 63 Branson Lakes Area CVB ................................................61 City of Independence ......................................................64 Columbia CVB .........................................................66, 67 Greater Saint Charles, MO CVB ................................68, 69 Lumière PlaceSM ........................................................70, 71 Hyatt® Regency St. Louis at the Arch ..........................72, 73 Meeting & Conference Services University of Central Missouri ........................................75 Rolla CVB - Havener Center, University of Rolla ................61 Silver Rails Event Center..................................................65 Springfield, MO CVB......................................................74 The Stratford Inn ............................................................65 Tan-Tar-A Resort, Golf Club, Marina & Indoor Waterpark .....................................................65 Trout Lodge....................................................................75

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Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


M

idwestern charm and excitement will greet you throughout the state of Missouri. In the Show-Me State, you’ll find plenty to see, do and eat.

For your next meeting or event, head to Kansas City. The Crown Center of-

fers three levels of shopping and dining surrounded by hotels, office buildings, a residential community and entertainment. Don’t forget about their fingerlicking-good barbecue. It’s a way of life in Kansas City and and you’re sure to find the opportunity with nearly 100 barbecue options. Columbia is located right in the center of the state. They have a calendar full of events and festivals, so there is never a shortage of things to do. Positioned between three colleges, the “District” is a continually evolving and is a vibrant hot spot for live performances, one-of-a-kind specialty shops and owner-operated retail stores. If the sun shining on your face is more alluring, there are plenty of options to pick from. Columbia has several parks, trails, gardens and recreation areas. Find your unique getaway in St. Louis. Visit the Gateway Arch and gaze from your birds-eye view at the landscape from its peak. On ground, visit the St. Louis Art Museum, where the extensive artwork will leave you in awe and entrance is always free. This eye-catching city will keep you coming back for more. Branson is known as the “Live Music Show Capital of the World”, with more than 50 live performance theaters. Morning, afternoon and night, Branson offers a variety of entertainment options for all visitors. You can also travel on land and in water aboard the WWII replica DUKW vehicle and see the Ozarks up close and personal. Ride The Ducks is also the premier splashdown attraction in the area. Start your day in Independence at The Big Biscuit. Be sure to bring your appetite to this restaurant since the name tells it like it is. After you’re fueled up, take a stroll through Harry S. Truman’s neighborhood; stop in the soda fountain where he had his first job, and enjoy many other Truman sites. Take a mule-drawn, covered-wagon ride to learn even more about the history of Independence. The capitol, Jefferson City, is rich with historical traditions, beautiful landscapes, fine cuisine and attractive shopping centers just waiting for your arrival. Begin with a capitol tour and finish out on the blufftop. Overlooking Highway 54, the Missouri River and Jefferson City sits the Summit Lake Winery. Grab a bite to eat, a glass of wine and unwind in their garden terrace. When you want to explore caves, be sure to spend plenty of time in Springfield. Include Fantastic Caverns in your journey and experience America’s only ride-through cave. After the tours, sit back and enjoy a meal at one of Springfield’s more than 800 restaurants. Or, if it’s a sweet-tooth you have, stop at one of the two locations of Candy House Gourmet Chocolates. Take a little extra time there and see how their candy is made. Traveling the Mother Road? Lebanon’s five miles of Route 66 will take you back in time. Visit the Route 66 Museum, take in trout fishing, canoeing, enjoy scenic beauty or shop for antiques or outlet mall bargains. You are sure to find the perfect attraction. Don’t forget Missouri for your next meeting or event; Missourians will surely show you a good time. www.MidwestMeetings.coM

Previous page top -Branson Landing Fountain and Fire Show, Branson - Photo Credit: SwiftShots for Branson Landing Previous page bottom - Pony Express Statue, St. Joseph Top - Missouri State Capitol building, Jefferson City Center - Fantastic Caverns, Springfield Bottom - St. Louis Arch

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Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

aMtrak® America Is Beautiful, See For Yourself on Amtrak® For general information call 1-800-USA-RAIL or visit Amtrak.com For group rates and/or convention fare information call 1-800-USA-1GRP. • Reservations are required on most Amtrak trains. • Book early for the best pricing. • Special convention fare pricing is available. • 20 or more passengers may qualify for group rates. • Convenient Downtown Station locations.

Enjoy the journey!

T

he Amtrak network of over 500 stations takes the “where to go” out of planning a trip. Amtrak travels to great American cities and through some of the most-scenic areas of the USA. Even the middle of nowhere is amazing. Throughout this beautiful country of ours are miles of beautiful terrain that can only be seen by train. Imagine passing through snow-capped mountains and towering forests and crossing rivers that stretch as far as the eye can see. There’s so much unforgettable travel scenery out there and riding the train is simply the best way to discover it all. Ride the Missouri River Runner between St. Louis and Kansas City. Schedule a stop at a charming town. Festivals and events take place year-round. Wineries and historical sites abound across the state. A special 20% discount is available for coach service on the Missouri River Runner. Use Discount Code V328 and book at least three days in advance - restrictions apply. Consider upgrading to Business Class to make your next trip more comfortable and productive. Business class is located in the Café Car in a moreprivate area. Save money and gas, travel green on Amtrak.

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61


Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

BranSon Convention Center BranSon

Where Water Meets Spectacle

Branson, Missouri, nestled deep in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks, has long been one of the most exciting and fun-filled family vacation destinations in the country, and is now fast becoming a favorite meeting destination for small and mid-sized groups.

William Tirone, CMP, Assistant General Manager 200 Sycamore St Branson, MO 65616 Group Sales Telephone: 417-336-5401 Group Sales Fax: 417-336-5413 William.Tirone@hilton.com www.bransonconvention.com # of Convention/Guest Hotel Rooms: 294 Meeting space sq. ft.: 220,000 Total capacity: 4,500 # of meeting/break out rooms: 5 meeting rooms ranging in size from 1,200 to 5,500 sq. ft. The larger rooms can be divided to provide additional space. Largest ballroom sq. ft.: 23,000 Main exhibit hall sq. ft.: 47,000 Theater: 4,500 when using the exhibit halls. Technological features: Internet and wireless throughout, video conferencing, sound proof rooms and complete audiovisual services including Wi-Fi and Webcasting Nearby Attractions: Branson Landing, Historic Downtown Branson Destination features: The Branson Convention Center is within easy driving distance of several championship golf courses, lakes, museums, theme parks and 49 live entertainment theatres. Distance to nearest airport: 8 miles

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he Branson Convention Center and Hilton® Branson Convention Center Hotel - managed by Hilton Worldwide for the City of Branson - are an exciting and powerful addition to an area that already attracts more than eight million visitors a year. Situated on the shores of picturesque Lake Taneycomo, the Branson Convention Center can accommodate up to 4,500 attendees at a time. The center’s unique design makes it an ideal location for a diverse range of events and gatherings - from national and regional tradeshows and conventions, to religious symposiums, corporate meetings, public expos and large-scale entertainment events. The Branson Convention Center opened in September 2007, and just one year later distinguished its first anniversary by winning the 2008 Planners’ Choice Award from Meeting News® magazine. The Branson Convention Center was selected as one of 25 convention centers by 4,000 meeting planners to earn this prestigious award. This year, the Branson Convention Center has been “Certified Green” by the Missouri Hotel and Lodging Association. The program is designed to recognize those lodging businesses that are going beyond existing state and federal environmental regulations to insure that their operation has a much smaller environmental impact on their local communities. Also earning “green” certification are the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel and

nearby Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing hotel. The Branson Convention Center offers guests 220,000 gross sq. ft. of flexible, high-tech meeting space. The first level consists of a 47,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall that can be divided into two sections, as well as a 23,000 sq. ft. ballroom. The second level features five meeting rooms, ranging in size from 1,200 to 5,500 sq. ft. The larger meeting rooms can also be divided to provide additional space options. The Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel is the perfect extension of the Branson Convention Center. Together, they offer guests an exceptional level of comfort and convenience. The towering Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel rises 12 stories above the adjacent Branson Convention Center. The hotel features 294 rooms, many offering scenic views of beautiful Lake Taneycomo and Branson Landing. The Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel is also an award winner, having been designated as a “Four Diamond” lodging establishment by the AAA (American Automobile Association). Another factor that will certainly have a positive impact on meeting and convention business, and the local economy is the new Branson Airport, which opened May 11, 2009. It’s the first privately developed and operated commercial service airport in the country. The airport is expected to open up new markets and dramatically increase the number of visitors - tourists and meeting guests - to the Branson area.

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Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

City of indePendenCe indePendenCe

“An American Original” Stephanie Roush 111 E Maple Ave Independence, MO 64050 www.independencemeetings.com sroush@indepmo.org 1-866-657-MEET Fax: 816-325-7932 Area hotel rooms: 1,400 Entertainment nearby: Independence Events Center, historical homes, Truman sites, pioneer sites, historic Square, Missouri Mormon heritage sites, golf, KC ChiefsTM and KC Royals, immediately adjacent to Kansas City. Meeting facilities: Independence Events Center, Truman Memorial Building, Hartman Conference Center, Harry S. Truman Library & Museum, Community of Christ World Headquarters, Bass Pro Shops and more.

A

s the hometown of President Harry Truman, Independence is the perfect setting for your next important meeting. The fourth largest city in the state, Independence is rich in history and Midwestern hospitality with a choice of historic or contemporary meeting facilities. Take time to enjoy 20 heritage attractions, including the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum, Truman Home, Victorian mansions, 1850’s jail, the National Frontier Trails Museum, nationally known religious sites and more. Minutes from Kansas City, we provide planning assistance, tour discounts and access to great shopping, restaurants, golf and a variety of lodging choices. Home to CHL Hockey, the new state-of-the-art Independence Events Center offers a 131,972 sq. ft. multi-purpose facility. The $60 million center is located in the southeast quadrant of interstates 70 and 470 and features a 75,000 sq. ft. area bowl with 5,800 fixed

seats and two ice sheets or a covered floor. The Hilton® Garden Inn and Hartman Conference Center provides more than 200 guestrooms, plus over 11,000 sq. ft. of function space to accommodate up to 1,300 guests. It offers complete audiovisual and teleconferencing services, onsite restaurants and lounge, indoor heated pool and whirlpool, fitness center and a 24-hour business center. The Harry S. Truman Library & Museum provides over seven unusual spaces for corporate events, meetings, private parties and more. In addition, The Truman Memorial Building, located in historic downtown Independence, offers a unique space to hold meetings or events. Built in 1926, this historic building was dramatically renovated and rededicated in 2002. It houses a variety of meeting rooms and one-of-a-kind spaces, from a boardroom for 20 people to an auditorium with a 1,200-seat capacity.

There’s so much to see and do in Independence, from unique shops to 20 heritage sites that paved the future of our country. It’s all here in a great hometown atmosphere.

as the hometown of President Harry Truman, independence is the perfect setting for your next important meeting. The new state-of-the-art Independence Events Center offers flexible space for trade shows and conventions. With history-filled facilities such as Truman Library & Museum and the Truman Memorial Building and the modern conveniences of the Hartman Conference Center at the Hilton Garden Inn we can easily accommodate groups from 7 to 7,000. For more info call (866) 657-MEET or visit www.independencemeetings.com

an american original

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Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


Missouri

tan-tar-a reSort A Refreshing Change of Pace Ann Walters PO Box 188TT State Rd KK Osage Beach, MO 65065 www.tan-tar-a.com ttasales@columbiasussex. com 573-348-8550 Rooms/suites: 694/156 Meeting rooms: 28 Meeting space sq. ft.: 93,000 Reception capacity: 3,500 Onsite restaurants: 6 Golf course onsite: 27 holes

T

an-Tar-A Resort, Golf Club, Marina and Indoor Waterpark is nestled in the foothills of the Ozarks, just three hours from Kansas City and St. Louis. This wilderness resort, spanning 420 acres along the banks of the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks, has the largest meeting facilities in the region. Over 93,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor function space will accommodate groups of any size. With 28 flexible meeting rooms, our meeting space allows your group room to grow, with a 23,160 sq. ft. Grand Ballroom, 30,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space one floor below and plenty of breakout rooms in close proximity. Our knowledgeable and professional staff will guide you to a successful and memorable event. From the initial contact through the final detail, your event will flow seamlessly. Groups return to our award-winning facilities year after year for consistent, “down to earth� service, Tan-Tar-A style.

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

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Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

ColuMBia CvB ColuMBia

The smart, innovative, artsy, eclectic, clever, savvy, vibrant, too-dynamic-to-fit-into-a-short-tagline city. Missouri’s largest city between Kansas City and St. Louis on I-70. A great meeting destination with numerous group-friendly restaurants and hotels. Vibrant university town with festivals throughout the year, new attractions, performing arts and special events. FAM tours, site visits, online RFP, online planning tools, welcome services.

Lorah Steiner 300 S Providence Rd Columbia, MO 65203 www.visitcolumbiamo.com las@gocolumbiamo.com 800-652-0987 Fax: 573-443-3986 Area rooms: 3,521 Airport: Columbia Regional 9 miles Meeting facilities: 10 hotels with meeting facilities - largest, 20,000 sq. ft. Attractions: Youzeum Shelter Gardens Rock Bridge State Park Museum of Art and Archaeology

T

Visitors Bureau provides a full range

are ever-changing. Take a stroll

of services for conventions, meetings

through The District in downtown

and events. When planning yours, be

Columbia and find yourself entranced

sure to check out our online request

by 110 unique shops, more than 70 res-

for proposal at www.visitcolumbiamo.

taurants, art galleries, live music ven-

com. Our commitment is to ensure that

ues, bookstores and coffee shops. And

all meetings, big and small, receive our

speaking of restaurants - Columbia is

undivided attention and service excel-

known as one of the best restaurant

lence.

he sights and sounds of Columbia

towns in the Midwest.

coming in for your meeting, be sure

country’s best comedy clubs, kick back

to check out the Columbia Regional

with some great jazz or rock out to live

Airport. Flights in and out of Colum-

music at the Blue Note. Columbia is

bia connect through the international

fast becoming Missouri’s “music center.”

hub in Memphis, providing convenient

With a nationally recognized Jazz Se-

travel from across the country. Now

ries, Mizzou Arena Concerts, Hearnes

with 50-seat jet service on every flight,

Center concerts and much more, visi-

there’s never been a better time to fly

tors have a host of entertainment op-

the Columbia Regional Airport! To

tions.

check out flight schedules and ticket

The Columbia Convention and

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Next time you have a speaker or VIP

After your meeting, enjoy one of the

prices, visit www.FlyMidMO.com.

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


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Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

greater Saint CHarleS CvB Saint CHarle HarleSS H

Saint Charles, Missouri offers first-class facilities and historic backdrop

Saint Charles is known for its warm welcome and historic backdrop. Located right along the Missouri River, this charming community offers shopping, dining and museums.

Martha Little, CMP 230 S Main St Saint Charles, MO 63301 www.historicstcharles.com gsccvb@historicstcharles.com 800-366-2427 Fax: 636-949-3217 Number of hotel rooms: 3,000 Major area attractions: Ameristar Casino, First Missouri State Capitol Historic Site, Missouri’s largest historic shopping district, Foundry Art Centre, Lewis & Clark Boat House & Nature Center, Frenchtown Historic District & Heritage Museum, Katy Trail, and Adrenaline Zone/Demolition Ball Meeting facilities: Saint Charles Convention Center, Ameristar Casino Conference Center, National Equestrian Center, Family Arena, Embassy Suites®, Quality Inn®, Heart of St. Charles Banquet Center, Banquet Center of the Little Hills, The Columns Banquet Center, Hampton Inn®, Stegton Regency Banquet Center

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W

ith the same high-style and high-tech amenities you find in bigger cities, Saint Charles is a smaller city just outside of St. Louis that offers four-star hotels and award-winning meeting facilities. It is a prime destination for meetings and conventions of all sizes because it’s centrally located and easily accessible - located just ten minutes from the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and convenient from major area Interstates. The award-winning Saint Charles Convention Center offers 154,000 sq. ft. of meeting space with state-of-the-art amenities. This facility showcases a beautiful grand ballroom, junior ballroom, exhibit hall, board room, and additional breakout options. Directly attached to the Convention Center is the award-winning Embassy Suites® Hotel offering 296 guest suites and 6,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Both of these facilities are located a short distance from the St. Charles Historic District. The Ameristar Conference Center offers 19,200 sq. ft. of high-end meeting and banquet space set within a premium entertainment facility and luxury resort - the Ameristar Casino Resort Spa with 400 luxury suites. The Saint Charles Family Arena offers 10,000 fixed arena seats and 40,000 sq. ft. of interchangeable exhibit/banquet space and 3,500 parking spaces.

Saint Charles also offers traditional banquet space and specialty venues to accommodate groups of any size and activity. Some interesting meeting spots include the 60-acre National Equestrian Center, Missouri Wing Commemorative Air Force Airplane Hanger, Boone’s Colonial Inn and Market, Mid-1800’s Train Station, the Foundry Art Centre and the Lewis & Clark Boat House. Looking for a traditional hall with full-service catering services? Saint Charles has plenty to offer including The Heart of St. Charles, The Columns Banquet Center, Stegton Regency Banquet and Conference Center, All Occasion Banquet Center, Banquet Center of the Little Hills and more. Because we’re a smaller city, we pay special attention to safety, comfort and convenience. Saint Charles offers comfortable lodging for groups up to 3,000 including several bed and breakfasts throughout the city and historic districts. Use our full-service CVB offering extensive convention services - for the experience and contacts to make your meeting plans come together perfectly. For assistance with planning your next meeting or convention or for a free copy of the Saint Charles Meeting Planners Guide, call 1-800-3662427 or visit www.historicstcharles.com for online resources.

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Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

luMière PlaCeSM/Belterra® St. louiS

Lumière Place or Belterra: the choice is yours. (Good luck with that, by the way.) Lumière PlaceSM Casino & Hotels Joe Bryson 999 North Second Street St. Louis, MO 63102 www.lumiereplace.com Joe.Bryson@lumiereplace.com 314-881-7800 Fax: 314-881-7807 Rooms/suites: 294 Meeting space sq. ft.: 8,000 Largest room sq. ft.: 5,400 Meetings rooms: 6 Reception capacity: 450 Onsite restaurants: 7

Belterra® Casino Resort & Spa Andrew Fersch 777 Belterra Drive Florence, IN 47020 www.belterracasino.com Andrew.Fersch@belterracasino.com 812-427-7884 Fax: 812-427-7833 Rooms/Suites: 608 Meeting space sq. ft.: 50,000+ Meetings rooms: 13 Largest room sq. ft.: 16,704 Reception: 1,200 Golf course: Onsite Onsite Restaurants: 5

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I

t isn’t easy. Both destinations offer a unique

Indiana. Located midway between Cincin-

blend of signature dining, first-class accom-

nati and Louisville, the luxurious 608-room

modations and, of course, non-stop casino ac-

resort

tion. And while they’re a draw by themselves, it’s

Midwest

our highly-trained and attentive staff of planners

irresistible dining and impeccable service.

and caterers that make PinnacleSM Entertain-

And with over 50,000 sq. ft. of meeting space,

ment’s properties ideal for planning your next

it’s perfect for any gathering, large or small.

group meeting or event.

attracts with

guests its

from

across

unforgettable

the

gaming,

From the casual to the refined, the five restau-

Rising nearly 300 ft. into the skyline,

rants of Belterra are sure to thrill every palate.

Lumière Place brings a new level of excitement

Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse offers succulent prime

to downtown St. Louis. The accommodations

beef cooked to perfection on a wood-burning

are unparalleled in the region. Lumière Place

grill. Or, when the only thing you want is every-

has 294 all-suite guestrooms, and the adjacent

thing, try the Ultimate Buffet.

AAA Five Diamond award-winning Four

The gaming is legendary: almost a full acre of

Seasons Hotel offers 200 luxury guestrooms.

adrenaline awaits your luck. Looking for leisure?

Lumière Place is ideal for any gathering, with

Don’t miss the Tom Fazio-designed golf course

8,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, plus a 10,000

or the Beleza Spa and Salon. They’re the sort of

sq. ft. atrium with a four-story waterfall.

amenities that make Belterra EASY TO LOVE.

Seven restaurants tempt each and every taste

HARD TO LEAVE.®

bud - including SLeeK, a steakhouse by celebrity

Go on a winning streak or for a high-energy

chef Hubert Keller. And at the heart of Lumière

night on the town just steps from the St. Louis

Place? Gaming at its best: 75,000 sq. ft. of casino

Arch at Lumière Place. Or take on the Tom

energy paired with amenities like a secluded

Fazio-designed golf course and action-packed

VIP Lounge and The Shops of Lumière Place.

casino at Belterra. Both offer top-tier gaming,

It’s everything you could want - and more.

mouthwatering restaurants, boutique shopping

Belterra Casino Resort & Spa brings a touch of elegance to the beauty of Southern

and luxurious accommodations - all at a reasonable price.

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


IA OH INDIANA IL

KY MISSOURI

TN

AR

MS

AL GA

LA

www.MidwestMeetings.coM

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Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

Hyatt® regenCy St. louiS at tHe arCH CH St. louiS

Hyatt. You’re More Than Welcome.

Whether planning a casual business meeting, a convention for 1,000, a gala or society banquet, Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch is the perfect meeting partner.

T

Brian Morris 315 Chestnut Street St. Louis, MO 63102 www.stlouisarch.hyatt.com salesstlrs@hyatt.com 800-233-1234 Fax:314-241-9839

Rooms/suites: 910/60 Meeting Rooms: 35 Meeting space sq. ft.: 83,000 Reception Capacity: 2,200 Onsite restaurants: Ruth’s Chris Steak House®, Red Kitchen & Bar, Brewhouse Historical Sports Bar (and Starbucks®)

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he Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch is conveniently located downtown, adjacent to the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse. The hotel offers three incredible restaurants including a world-famous Ruth’s Chris Steak House®. Red Kitchen & Bar serves a delectable breakfast buffet, farmer’s market lunch buffet and an Italian dinner menu that focuses on fresh dishes with an emphasis on seasonality and features artisan pizzas, pastas, entree favorites and an extensive selection of wines. Brewhouse Historical Sports Bar features 18 plasma televisions, over 40 beers, a beer-centric food menu as well as a private owner’s box complete with a Nintendo® Wii and Karaoke. The comforts of home are nearby with an onsite Starbucks® and a 24-hour Hyatt Stay Fit Gym. All 910 guestrooms feature a stylish, contemporary design with luxurious amenities including Hyatt’s signature Grand Bed™, 37-inch flat screen TVs, iHome™ clock radios featuring an iPod® docking station, an oversized desk, wi-fi and highspeed Internet access as well as a marble bathroom. Offering 83,000 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor function space, the hotel’s venues include boardrooms,

conference suites, the Grand Ballroom with 20,000 sq. ft. of interior space and the 16,800 sq. ft. Regency Ballroom. For smaller events, the Parkview Ballroom offers more than 3,300 sq. ft. of space, elegant chandeliers and arched windows looking onto the famous Gateway Arch. Located on the 18th floor, Gateway West Ballroom features nearly 2,000 sq. ft. of space. Separated from Gateway West is the Gateway East Ballroom, featuring nearly 2,500 sq. ft. of interior space paired with floor-to-ceiling doors that open onto Gateway Terrace showcasing an illuminated deck and unmatched views of the Arch. Hyatt is the only hotel in St. Louis to offer Personal Preference Dining, which allows attendees to order at the table from a menu of four-course meals, featuring a choice of four entrees chosen by the meeting planner. As the premier corporate and convention hotel in the downtown area, we pride ourselves on delivering authentic hospitality. Whether planning a casual business meeting, a convention for 1,000, a gala or society banquet, Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch is the perfect meeting partner.

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Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

Missouri

SPringfield, MiSSouri CvB SPringfield

Where your mind, heart and budget all agree. Dana Maugans 815 E St. Louis St Springfield, MO 65806 www.SelectSpringfield.com dmaugans@springfieldmo.org 800-678-8767 Area hotel rooms: 6,000 Meeting facilities: The Springfield Exposition Center, located in the Jordan Valley Park development near the dining and entertainment district, provides more than 112,000 sq. ft. of contiguous space with 39,000 sq. ft. of convention space across the street. The E*Plex at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds features 70,000 gross sq. ft. of clear-span exhibition space in addition to small breakout rooms. A variety of other facilities, including a range of hotel meeting space, is available throughout the city. Attractions: Cardinals Double-A Baseball, the original and largest Bass Pro Shops® Outdoor World, Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, Fantastic Caverns, Discovery Center, Dickerson Park Zoo, Route 66, Mizumoto Stroll Garden, Lasers World TeamTennis, 800 dining options, about 50 miles of greenway trails, a variety of arts and shopping and a quick highway drive to Branson.

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ith typical city amenities without typical city hassles, Springfield, MO is a welcoming, bend-over-backwards-for-you city. Teamed with a central location, affordability and service and attractions that are appealing to a variety of groups, this is the convention destination where your mind, heart and budget will all agree. Of course, the first criterion when selecting a host city is choice of facilities. University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, the Springfield Expo Center, Ramada® Oasis Convention Center, Clarion® Hotel & Conference Center and the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds are just five potential locations for your next event in Springfield, MO. Springfield is also home to the brand-new JQH

Arena on the Missouri State University Campus. The $67 million, 12,000-seat arena is named after primary benefactor, alumnus and Springfieldbased hotel developer John Q. Hammons. With the many improvements occurring throughout Springfield, MO, this is the ideal time to discuss your group’s needs with the staff of the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau. Before, during and after your event, enjoy the benefits of the highly experienced, serviceintensive staff of the bureau. The CVB offers free expanded and customized convention services that help make your job easier and you look as if you have a staff much larger than you do. Experience Springfield, MO, the city where your mind, heart and budget all agree.

Convention and meeting space for groups of ten to 10,000, Springfield has the facilities, attractions and service you’re looking for.

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Live Like You Mean It MadiSon - CaP aPital ital

Find them here...

Best Western® Hotels ..............................................................IFC, 1 City of Sheboygan.......................................................................92 Country Springs Hotel ..................................................................97 Devils Head Resort & Convention Center .......................................87 Fox Cities CVB ......................................................................78, 79 The Geneva Inn ...........................................................................91 Glacier Canyon Lodge® at the WildernessSM ........................102, 103 Hilton® Garden Inns of Wisconsin.................................................94 Holiday Inn Neenah Riverwalk .....................................................80 Janesville Area CVB ....................................................................83 Jefferson Street Inn ......................................................................99 Kalahari® Resort................................................................100, 101 Lake Lawn Resort™ .....................................................................81 Lambeau Field™ ...................................................................84, 85 Landmark Resort .........................................................................82 Marcus Center for the Performing Arts ..........................................89 Marriott Milwaukee West .............................................................97 Menominee Casino Resort............................................................86 Monona Terrace® Convention Center ........................................5, 88 Oshkosh CVB..............................................................................90 Overture Center for the Arts .........................................................87 Radisson® Hotel LaCrosse.............................................................87 Radisson® Paper Valley Hotel and Conference Center ....................80 Real Racine.................................................................................91 Stevens Point Area CVB ...............................................................93 Stoney Creek Hospitality Corporation ...........................................99 Tomah CVB ................................................................................94 Waukesha County Expo Center ....................................................97 Waukesha & Pewaukee CVB..................................................96, 97 Wausau/Central Wisconsin CVB..................................................98 Wisconsin Dells VCB ...................................................................95

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pice up your next meeting or event and show your attendees how to live like they mean it in

Wisconsin. Head toward Wisconsin for a one-of-akind adventure. Better yet, ride your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle to its birthplace in Milwaukee. Slide on over to catch a glimpse of the infamous Rock Aqua Jays in Janesville; this water ski club uses more than eight miles of tow rope per show as they thrill and astound viewers every week during the summer. Stroll down State Street in Madison for your pick of dining, entertainment or shopping. This pedestrian mall connects the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the state’s capitol building. It’s bustling abundance of activities will surely provide hours of entertainment for your next meeting or event. Jump on one of Racine’s Lakefront Trolleys to experience a unique tour of the downtown area. Event and meeting attendees needing a break from their regular routine will enjoy a trolley-escorted night on the town participating in a “pub and grub” tour. Make a splash in Wisconsin Dells. Event attendees can treat themselves to an exciting shopping getaway or try their luck in the various gaming facilities. In the summer, bask in the sun or take on some twisted water slides at Noah’s Ark Waterpark, America’s largest waterpark. Unleash the artist within by visiting the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton. This unique facility was opened in 2002 and hosts numerous concerts and musicals among other events and meetings. Its sheer design and magnitude are sure to impress your meeting guests and attendees. Punt, pass or kick your way to Lambeau Field® in Green Bay to experience a game-day like no other. Ranked the number one stadium experience of any professional sport in the US by ESPN®, Lambeau Field offers visitors an unrivaled experience. This newly remodeled field and stadium recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and is a major part of the Wisconsin landscape and even closer to Packers™ fans’ hearts. Finally, hit up Milwaukee for a tour of the Miller

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Brewery, the nation’s second largest brewery. The Milwaukee campus rests on 82 acres of land and resides in 76 buildings. No matter what you do or how you get there, live like you mean it in Wisconsin. www.MidwestMeetings.coM

Previous page top - Wisconsin River, Wisconsin Dells Photo Credit: Wisconsin Dells CVB Previous page bottom - Miller Park™, Milwaukee Photo Credit: Wisconsin Department of Tourism Top - Rotary Botanical Gardens, Janesville Center - Big Falls County Park, Altoona Bottom - Rolling Meadows Golf Course, Fond du Lac

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Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

fox CitieS CvB aPP PPleton leton

Shopping for a Great Meeting Place?

Fox Cities, WI offer a unique mix of urban style and small-town warmth. You’ll find excellent service at top-notch facilities with affordable rates, plus a great variety of shopping, restaurants and attractions.

Mae Ibe, CMP 3433 W College Ave Appleton, WI 54914 www.foxcities.org mibe@foxcities.org 800-236-MEET Fax: 920-734-1080

Area rooms: 3,100+ Airport: ATW (Outagamie County Regional Airport) - 2 miles Major meeting facilities: Radisson® Paper Valley Hotel & Conference Center, Best Western® Bridgewood Resort, Holiday Inn® Appleton, Holiday Inn Neenah Riverwalk, Hilton® Garden Inn Attractions: Fox River Mall, Fox Cities PAC, Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, History Museum at the Castle, Paper Discovery Center

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afe, affordable and convenient, the Fox Cities of East Central Wisconsin are a great find! Groups of ten to 2,000 will get exceptional service at more than 17 facilities with meeting space. This variety ensures a perfect fit for your next meeting or convention. The Fox Cities CVB has a seasoned staff to serve your meeting planning needs. All Bureau services are FREE and may include site selection assistance, visitor packets, name badges, service provider referrals, volunteers to assist with registration and more. Your attendees will appreciate our location: We’re less than a two-hour drive for 80% of Wisconsin’s population. Located in the heart of Wisconsin’s “paper valley” and home to a number of Fortune® 100 manufacturers, the Fox Cities are a three-hour drive north of Chicago. Outagamie County Regional Airport (ATW) is served by Delta/ Northwest®, United®, Midwest AirlinesSM, and Allegiant™ airlines. The city of Appleton is home to a large

downtown convention hotel and entertainment district. Meeting planners and attendees enjoy the “walkability” downtown Appleton offers during a convention. Nightlife abounds in the area with live music and dancing at many clubs and a variety of other nightlife options. Along with great shopping, the Fox Cities offer diverse cultural opportunities and excellent restaurants. The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center features top-notch Broadway shows and many local and regional performers. Fox Cities Stadium fills the summer with Minor League Baseball and a spectacular children’s museum, planetarium and earth science museum to provide hours of entertainment and education. Many of our attractions are available for meetings, dinners and receptions. Please call 800-236-MEET to request a Meeting Planner’s Guide or visit the Meeting Planner’s section of our website: www.foxcities.org.

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Wisconsin

Wisconsin ®

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

radiSSon PaPer vally Hotel and ConferenCe Center

aPP PPleton leton/neena eenaH

Meetings Made Easy Sales Department 333 W College Ave, Appleton, WI 54911 www.radissonpapervalley.com • www.montclairhotels.com 800-242-3499 • Fax: 920-733-2828

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he Radisson Paper Valley Hotel offers the perfect setting for conventions, business meetings and social events. We can accommodate groups from 20 to 2,000 people with state-of-the-art conference and meeting amenities. Our superb food and beverage reputation is second to none. Our professional, experienced staff provides you with customized planning services for programs catered at the hotel, as well as for offsite catered events. The Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, located in vibrant downtown Appleton, continues to be recognized as one of the Midwest’s finest hotels. With the adjacent Fox Cities Performing Arts Center and the creation of a downtown Entertainment District, the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel is at the center of all downtown activity. The Radisson Paper Valley Hotel is centrally located between the major metro areas of Wisconsin. It is a prime destination for any type of business meeting, convention or leisure activity. The hotel offers: • 390 completely renovated guestrooms, including an exclusive concierge plaza • 40,000 sq. ft. of meeting space • High-speed wireless internet access available in all of our meeting rooms • Reception capacity for up to 2,000 • 28 flexible meeting rooms • 24-hour indoor pool, whirlpool • Sauna and recreation center • State-of-the-art fitness center • Renowned Vince Lombardi’s Steakhouse • 5 restaurants • Concierge/bell staff services • Attached covered parking for up to 1,600 vehicles • Walking distance from restaurants, clubs, shopping and historical sites • Complimentary wireless internet access in our guestrooms, lobby and outlets.

Holiday inn® neenaH riverwalk Vince Daugharty 123 E Wisconsin Ave Neenah, WI 54956 www.hineenah.com sales@hineenah.com 920.725.8441 or 1.800.725.6348 - toll free

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njoy this charming downtown setting across from Shattuck Park, the Fox River and the Neenah Riverwalk. For large events or small, simple or elegant, we have the experience to ensure your success. Accommodating groups up to 500, our staff delivers service and value. We make offsite catering easy too. High-speed wireless internet is accessible in every area of the hotel -- guestrooms, meeting rooms (totaling 13,000 sq. ft.) and all public spaces! Stay in one of our over 100 business-class guestrooms with new bathroom and bedding packages. Indoor pool, whirlpool and fitness center open 24 hours. You work hard, so treat yourself. Enjoy award-winning dining in Remington’s and a refreshing cocktail in the Fan Club Bar.

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Wisconsin

lake lawn reSort™ delavan

A perfect environment to promote creative thinking. Peter Zellmer 2400 E Geneva St Delavan, WI 53115 www.lakelawnresort.com sales@lakelawnresort.com 262-725-9100 Fax: 262-728-7976

Rooms/suites: 281 Meeting space sq. ft.: 32,000 Meeting rooms: 22 Reception capacity: 600 Golf course onsite: Yes Onsite restaurants: 3

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ith over 120 years of hospitality experience, Lake Lawn Resort is located on 250 acres of Delavan Lake shoreline with huge oaks and maples shading the sweeping lawns for which it is named. The luxury lodge guestrooms offer flat-screen televisions, luxurious linens and premium bath products, truly worldclass accommodations. The resort has 32,000 sq. ft. of meeting space accommodating events of up to 600 people. The 22 completely renovated meeting rooms and beautiful grounds make indoor and outdoor events truly out of the ordinary. The professional banquet, kitchen and conference services staff make every event a successful one.

The sprawling property is home to an 18hole golf course re-designed by Dick Nugent and is challenging to golfers of all skill levels. Other resort amenities include: driving range, spa and fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, co-ed whirlpool, softball diamond, sand volleyball court, basketball and tennis courts, beach area, mini-golf course, children’s playground and acres of trails for biking or walking, and did we mention we’re located on two miles of Delavan Lake shoreline? The Frontier Restaurant and Lounge, Manny’s Deli and the Lookout Bar & Eatery offer a variety of food and beverage options ideal for individuals and small groups.

No matter what the occasion - no matter what time of year - our expert staff will help you plan the perfect event, from start to finish!

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Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

landMark reSort egg HarBor

Experience the ambience and charm of Door County. Sales Manager 4929 Landmark Dr Egg Harbor, WI 54209 www.thelandmarkresort.com stay@thelandmarkresort.com 800-273-7877 • Fax: 920-868-2569 Rooms/suites: 294 Meeting space sq. ft.: 10,500 Meeting rooms: 11

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hether you’re interested in a quiet retreat or an elaborate gala, the Landmark Resort can accommodate your needs with a beautiful setting, 294 suites, 11 meeting rooms, an attentive staff and a wide array of amenities. They specialize in creating exceptional meetings and memorable events. Their experienced staff will help you successfully plan and execute your event… with your budget in mind. The largest resort in Door County, the Landmark Resort’s banquet and meeting facilities will easily provide for conferences, weddings or special events for groups up to 230 people. Comfortable and casual, the

accommodations reflect Door County’s relaxed attitude. The Landmark team will respond to your needs from simple administrative support to the most advanced technical equipment and services. Every group will have an onsite liaison to ensure your stay is exceptional. Whether it’s customizing the menu, coordinating visits to other Door County activities or helping to schedule special events, the staff at the Landmark Resort can create an event you will not forget. To book the Landmark Resort’s Door County facilities, please contact the Sales Department for immediate assistance.

Reception capacity: 230 Golf course nearby: Yes Onsite restaurant: 1 Entertainment: Golf, fishing, 5 state parks

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Whether it’s five or 230 people, you’ll have the space you need and the privacy you require for a casual get-together or business function.

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overture Center for tHe artS Stage Your Event at Overture

The Overture Events Team 201 State St Madison, WI 53703 overturecenter.com events@overturecenter.com 608-258-4163 Fax: 608-258-4971

•14 unique venues •Capacities from 15 to 1,500 •Exclusive onsite catering •Wi-Fi enabled •Expert theatrical technicians

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eddings, meetings, banquets and parties find the perfect stage in one of our 14 venues ranging from intimate settings for 15 to grand spaces for 1,500. With lighting and sound capabilities worthy of a Broadway show, exclusive catering and a facility designed by internationally acclaimed architect Cesar Pelli, each event at Overture is artful, exquisite and unique.

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Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Monona terraCe® Convention Center MadiSon

Where business and inspiration meet. If you want out-of-the-box thinking, why meet in a box? Imagine instead a 250,000 sq. ft., multi-level convention center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Curving, geometric forms converge with the breathtaking beauty of the natural environment. Spectacular glass vistas offer an exquisite lake view, which accents flexible meeting and exhibition space.

Kristi Thering-Tuschen 1 John Nolen Dr Madison, WI 53703 www.mononaterrace.com thering@visitmadison.com 800-373-6376 Ext 3942 608-441-3942

Rooms/suites: 240-room attached Hilton Madison Monona Terrace® Reception capacity: 3,300 Meeting space sq. ft.: 28,000 Meeting rooms: 23 Largest room sq. ft.: 37,200 Onsite restaurants: Onsite caterer Golf course nearby: Yes, multiple courses nearby

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esigned by Wisconsin native and visionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Monona Terrace is located on the shore of Lake Monona in the heart of Madison’s downtown. The spectacular multi-level structure features a 40,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall, 14,000 sq. ft. ballroom, 320-seat lecture hall and 28,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Gracing the rooftop of Monona Terrace are 68,000 sq. ft. of gardens that are perfect for outdoor events. Connected to the facility by a climate-controlled skywalk is the convention headquarters 240-room Hilton® hotel. Monona Terrace has a well-earned reputation among convention and meeting professionals as one of the best venues in the US. The staff of Monona Terrace recognizes the importance of having an environment that not only encourages a sense of well-being among attendees, but also promotes the exchange of ideas and retention of information. An exceptional atmosphere combined with leading-edge technology,

outstanding client service and award-winning food make Monona Terrace a winner with attendees and planners alike! The success of your meeting is our highest priority. Our professional sales and event services staff is committed to assisting you with your every need. Our comprehensive list of services includes: • Complete event coordination - from pre-planning to onsite execution • Promotional tools and items • Publicity materials • Local hotel information • Audiovisual equipment and technical support • Liaison with local suppliers and services • Registration/information booth personnel • Gift and amenity suggestions and guidance • Fully equipped business center Whether you are planning a gathering for 30 or 3,300, Monona Terrace in Madison, WI is the place where business and inspiration meet.

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Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

MarCuS Center for tHe PerforMing artS

Milwaukee

Guarantee a Standing Ovation for Your Next Event.

Jerold Fox 929 N Water St Milwaukee, WI 53202-3122 www.marcuscenter.org jfox@marcuscenter.org 414-273-7121 Ext 220 Reception capacity: 10-2,300 Meeting space sq. ft.: 16,122 Meeting rooms: 10 Largest room sq. ft.: 6,875 Catering: Sazama’s Fine Catering

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tage your premier event in one of downtown Milwaukee’s most beautiful locations on the river with elegant and comfortable rooms for groups of 25 to 2,300. Our professional theaters are great for holding sophisticated presentations for your attendees. State-of-the-art meeting technology, experienced and professional staff, onsite and covered parking with skywalk access and in-house catering provide all the pieces for a turnkey event. Sazama’s Fine Catering, our exclusive catering partner, has extensive experience catering weddings, corporate events and social affairs and is know for their exceptional service, attention to detail and impressive cuisine. They have over 30

years of experience in providing catering expertise for intimate parties and corporate events for thousands of attendees. In addition to great meeting space, the Marcus Center has “built in” entertainment options. Broadway and Off Broadway’s best shows find their way to downtown Milwaukee to entertain and inspire you in our theaters. Milwaukee’s premiere fine arts groups, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Ballet also call the Marcus Center their home. Plan your seminar, lecture, lunch meeting, sales presentation or reception at the Marcus Center and you are sure to receive a standing ovation.

A gorgeous location on the Milwaukee River with elegant theaters and flexible meeting space - the Marcus Center can accommodate meetings, receptions, banquets, weddings, luncheons, lectures and fundraisers from 10 to 2,300.

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Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

oSHkoSH CvB oSHkoSH

Oshkosh - Wisconsin’s Event City Dana Ecker 2401 W Waukau Ave Oshkosh, WI 54904 www.visitoshkosh.com dana@visitoshkosh.com 877-303-9200 • Fax: 920-303-9294 Largest meeting space: 25,000 sq. ft. Largest exhibit facility: 35,000 sq. ft. Entertainment nearby: • EAA AirVenture Museum • Grand Opera House • Leach Amphitheater • Menominee Park/Zoo • Morgan House • Oshkosh Community Playground • Oshkosh Public Museum • Outlet Shoppes at Oshkosh • Paine Art Center and Gardens

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hen looking for the perfect meeting destination, Oshkosh is Wisconsin’s Event City. Centrally located between Milwaukee and Green Bay, Oshkosh is equipped with unique, affordable and flexible meeting space, including the new $2.8 million renovated Oshkosh Convention Center. There is more to be impressed with than just gathering spots; there is an array of area attractions and entertainment waiting to be discovered. Oshkosh is the perfect atmosphere for after the meeting as well, located on Lake Winnebago, Lake Butte des Morts and the Fox River; Oshkosh has an abundance of beauty and recreational activities to indulge in.

When planning your next meeting or convention, let the Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau make your planning as easy possible. We take great pride in our exceptional customer service no matter the size of the event. Take advantage of our knowledge and resources; we are here to help and will customize our programs and services to meet the needs of your group specifically. Oshkosh is the ideal meeting destination, you will find yourself enjoying more than the meeting you came for. Oshkosh is the place to hold any meeting or conference. Oshkosh truly is, Wisconsin’s Event City.

The Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau is eager to assist you in making your event a most successful one.

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tHe geneva inn Lakeside Retreat Directly On The Shores of Geneva Lake

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ooking for a cost-effective way to introduce your facili-

ties and services to thousands of meeting planners through-

Teresa D’Amato N2009 S Lake Shore Dr Lake Geneva, WI 53147 www.genevainn.com luxury@genevainn.com 800-441-5881 Fax: 262-248-5685

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he Geneva Inn is the ideal setting for small meetings, special company functions, corporate board meetings or group outings. Experience exceptional luxury, well-appointed conference rooms, unobtrusive service and a truly relaxed style of comfort. We offer wireless internet service and our staff will provide state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment to make your meetings run smoothly. The Grandview Restaurant will artfully cater your coffee breaks, luncheons, cocktail parties and formal banquets. Enjoy our private pier, exercise facility, or mingle with colleagues by the fire in our three-story atrium. Take in a spectacular sunset on our landscaped terrace and patio. Complete attention to detail makes The Geneva Inn a wonderful retreat.

out the Midwest? Talk to one of our sales representatives today about

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opportuni-

ties on the Midwest Meetings® website and reap the rewards of daily exposure on one of the industry’s hottest online meeting places! Call or visit us today:

(800) 288-8510 www.MidwestMeetings.com

Wisconsin

real raCine

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Eileen Arnold 14015 Washington Ave Sturtevant, WI 53177 262-884-6407 Fax: 262-884-6404 www.aboutracine.com eileen@racine.org Area hotel rooms: 1,063 Nearest airport/distance: General Mitchell International Milwaukee 20 miles Major meeting facilities: Racine Marriott® and Festival Hall Attractions: Downtown Racine, Frank Lloyd Wright sites, North Beach, charter fishing and boating, Racine Art Museum

ocated on the shores of Lake Michigan and situated nicely in the Midwest between Chicago and Milwaukee, Racine County is convenient for you and your attendees. Real Racine will provide outstanding services to accommodate your event’s needs. See a vibrant community that is ready to excite and wow your attendees without hurting your budget. Witness the art of pampering with our full-service lodging properties. Explore the great Frank Lloyd Wright treasures in the area. Because Racine County is between two large markets, Racine offers affordable rates but with the amenities of a large city. Smart planners have enjoyed planning events in Racine County. Attendees have enjoyed their stay. Call us today for your free meeting planner.

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Wisconsin

StevenS Point CvB StevenS Point

Convention Central Sara Brish, DOSM 340 Division St N Stevens Point, WI 54481 www.conventioncentral.org sara@stevenspointarea.com 800-236-4636 Ext 12 Fax: 715-344-5818 Area hotel rooms: 1,525 Entertainment nearby: 3 golf courses, an abundance of green space and waterways for outdoor recreationalists to bike, hike, canoe, fish, bird watch and cross-country ski. Shop historic downtown Stevens Point, take a tour of the Stevens Point Brewery, enjoy family time at the Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum and explore museums and art galleries Meeting facilities: Ramada® Hotel and Convention Center, nearly 35,000 sq. ft., 295 guestrooms; Holiday Inn® Hotel and Convention Center, nearly 30,000 sq. ft., 147 guestrooms; SentryWorld® Sports Center, over 55,000 sq. ft., no guestrooms onsite (nearly 700 within 1 mile)

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tevens Point/Plover is located smack dab in the middle of Wisconsin so you don’t have to drive hours and hours to get to one of the best meeting, convention and retreat destinations in the Midwest. Our area now offers new and revitalized first-class meeting and convention facilities. These big-city facilities are complimented with award-winning hospitality. We can now accommodate a meeting for five people to receptions for 1,500 people and everything in between. The Stevens Point Area Convention and Visitors Bureau staff is ready to assist convention planners and delegates with convention services and leisure activities. We fulfill all your meeting and convention needs, whether it be providing facility information and availability of dates or a formal presentation inviting your organization to the area. We are happy to assist with pre-convention

planning assistance, public relations assistance, name badges, special event activities, entertainment, tours, a community representative to welcome your attendees and welcome bags. Let us assist you in planning a tour of the Stevens Point Brewery or the warehouse at Herrschners Needlecraft. Enjoy the picturesque beauty of the challenging worldclass SentryWorld® golf course or stroll the 30.5-mile Green Circle Trail. Explore historic Main Street, its antique stores, beautiful art galleries and plenty of unique shopping. The Stevens Point Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is ready to assist you in planning your next event in the area. Call for your Convention Central Meeting Planning Kit! We now have streaming video of our meeting facilities online. 800-236-4636 or visit www.conventioncentral.org.

Centrally located in the state of Wisconsin, making driving easy for all attendees! First-class, state-of-the-art facilities!

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toMaH CvB Crossroads for West-Central Wisconsin

M 901 Kilbourn Ave Tomah, WI 54660 www.tomahwisconsin.com kmurray@tomahwisconsin.com 608-372-2166 Area rooms: 600 Meeting space sq. ft.: 14,000 Meeting rooms: 12 Reception capacity: 500 Entertainment nearby: Tomah boasts small town charm with plenty of shopping, including antiques, Amish & cranberry goods, three golf courses, numerous restaurants and attractions to explore throughout the area Onsite restaurant: 1

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eeting in the middle gets you halfway to success! Tomah, Wisconsin’s central location is midway between the Twin Cities, MN and Milwaukee, WI where the state’s interstate system (I-90 & I-94) divides. Make your next meeting or event convenient for all those who attend. Getting to us is no problem! Call for a copy of our Convention & Meeting Facilities Planner brochure at 800-9486624.

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wiSConSin dellS vCB wiiSConSin SConSin dell ellS

Wisconsin Dells - “The Waterpark Capital of the World!®” Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau

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isconsin Dells is known as “The Waterpark Capital of the World!”, but its track record of entrepreneurialism is what holds great appeal to companies and organizations scouting it for business opportunities. Nearly all the community’s ingenious

waterpark resorts and lodging properties, wholesome attractions, retail shops and original restaurants were built by locals who still own and operate the properties. The work ethic and creative spirit of those business owners is inspiration for businesspeople looking for a place to get work done. The value message here is well earned too, with a reputation for delivering a solid experience at a fair price. That’s evidenced by free parking at most resorts, free waterpark passes with an overnight stay at our waterparks, high-tech facilities and standard and reasonably priced meals. Of course, no profile of the Dells would be complete without a word on the waterparks. There are more waterparks here than anywhere else in the nation. Should attendees have the opportunity to bring along their families, it’s a way for them to do some “bonding on a budget” without being away from the office for too long. Feedback from business groups is that they find it easy to move through their agendas thanks to newer conference facilities at many of the area’s waterpark resorts and convention centers. And high-tech expectations don’t seem too challenging among on-staff meeting planners either. The Wisconsin Dells area’s world-class facilities come in all shapes and sizes, from a 250 sq. ft. board room to sprawling 100,000 sq. ft. tradeshow floor spaces. It’s also worth mentioning the community has over 8,000 lodging rooms, offering planners the ability to provide rooms all under one roof. In fact, the area’s largest properties have more than 700 rooms onsite. In all, Wisconsin Dells has waterpark resorts, of course, but also hotels, motels, cabins, cottages, condominiums, villas, lake homes, B&Bs and a casino resort; not to mention world-class golf and spas for added value.

Tifani Jones 701 Superior St • Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965 MeetInTheDells.com • sales@wisdells.com 888-339-3822 Ext 345 • Fax: 608-254-4293 Area rooms: 8,000+ Major meeting facilities: Chula Vista Resort (200,000 sq. ft.) Kalahari Waterpark Resort Convention Center (100,000 sq. ft.) Wilderness Territory (40,000 sq. ft.) Ho-Chunk Hotel & Convention Center (32,000 sq. ft) Attractions: Indoor & Outdoor Waterparks, Boat Tours, Golf Courses, Spas, Live Entertainment, Museums & Hands-On Interactive Attractions

Nothing means more to us than making your event or outing a total success. In fact, we don’t just consider it our job, but our pleasure as well. We pride ourselves in accommodating groups of all sizes and interests - and we look forward to making your visit a memorable one. www.MidwestMeetings.coM

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Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

waukeSHa & Pewaukee CvB wauke aukeSHa SHa SHa

Meetings So Good… Waukesha & Pewaukee! Left: Country Springs Water Park Conference Center Right: Milwaukee Marriott® West

Victoria Anderson, Group Sales Manager N14 W 23755 Stone Ridge Dr, Ste 225 Waukesha, WI 53188 www.visitwaukesha.org Victoria@visitwaukesha.org 800-366-8474

Area hotel rooms: 1,000 Entertainment nearby: Dozens of clubs, pubs and restaurants within the city and a 15-mile radius, museums, attractions, dinner cruises and events for every season Meeting facilities: Country Springs Hotel Water Park Conference Center, 40,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space, 187 guestrooms Milwaukee Marriott® West, 14,000 sq. ft. of meeting and banquet space, 281 guestrooms Radisson® Milwaukee Pewaukee, 5,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, 119 guestrooms Waukesha County Exposition Center, 40,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor meeting space

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aukesha & Pewaukee are conveniently located in the southeast corner of Wisconsin, between Madison and Milwaukee and easily accessible from I-94 and I-43. Personalized service, quality and affordability are what we offer in our suburban location. Offering 100,000 sq. ft. of affordable meeting space including a Grand Ballroom with the flexibility to segment into six 650 sq. ft. breakout rooms & two 1,700 sq. ft. meeting spaces, Executive Learning Center suites tailored for state-of-the-art training sessions seating 36, tradeshow exhibit space for thousands, luxuriously intimate meeting rooms set in the historic downtown and warm, inviting Frank Lloyd Wright inspired spaces. In addition, select from over 1,000 sleeping rooms from budget, luxury and waterpark! Parking is complimentary at all facilities. Within minutes of our meeting facili-

ties are a lively arts community, renowned antique malls, walkable historic downtown specialty shopping, challenging golf courses, nationally recognized historic attractions, lakeside dining from fine dining to pizzerias and nightlife options for all. Many of our attractions are available for receptions and dinners. Let our experienced staff assist with your planning needs. We offer a variety of complimentary services tailored to meet your group’s own specific needs. From preevent planning to spousal trips to media assistance and everything in between, the professional staff will do what it takes to make your “Meetings So Good!” Log onto www.visitwaukesha.org or call Victoria at 800-366-8474 to receive a complimentary DVD and comprehensive meeting planner’s guide to learn more about Waukesha & Pewaukee meeting facilities.

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Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

wauSau/Central wiSConSin CvB wau auSau Sau

New Patriot Center Exposition Hall Now Open! Regan Pourchot 10204 Park Plaza, Ste B Rothschild, WI 54474 www.visitwausau.com meetings@visitwausau.com 888-WI-VISIT • Fax: 715-359-2306 Area hotel rooms: 2,220 Nearest airport: Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA) - 6 miles Meeting facilities: Best Western®-Midway, Fairfield Inn® & Suites, Holiday Inn®, Howard Johnson® Inn, Jefferson Street Inn, Patriot Center, Mountain Bay Conference Center, Plaza Hotel & Suites, Stoney Creek Inn, Westwood Center

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hen it comes to finding a meeting location in the center of the state, you can count on the Wausau area to provide convenient access, quality accommodations and affordable facilities to help you “Draw a Crowd” to your next function. Located at the crossroads of I-39/Hwy 51 and Hwy 29, the Wausau area offers planners a meeting destination that combines the breathtaking beauty of the Northwoods with the amenities and services of a large city. Ideal for reaching customers or membership from the northern part of the state, the seven communities that make up the Wausau Area create a meeting destination suitable for statewide functions as well as a middle point between Minneapolis and Chicago. North Central Wisconsin’s largest event and conference center, newly constructed and comprised of over 17 different event spaces, The Patriot Center boasts more than 60,000 sq. ft. of space versatile enough for any occasion. Named to honor the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, The Patriot Center offers a unique

Entertainment nearby: Grand Theater on ArtsBlock, Woodson Art Museum, The River District, Shopping, Granite Peak Ski Area, Sylvan Tubing Hill, Nine Mile Forest (Nordic WausauCVB_MidwestMeetings_Summer08.qxp Skiing), and Dale’s Weston Lanes.

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combination of American nostalgia, Northwoods charm, and modern amenities to meet all your planning needs. “You’re invited to see why the Wausau area is becoming a popular meeting destination,” says Darien Schaefer, Executive Director of the Wausau/Central Wisconsin CVB. “We encourage meeting planners to see firsthand the quality and variety of our hotel meeting facilities, offsite venues and recreational opportunities.” One call to the CVB and you can arrange for a personal market tour, receive a copy of the comprehensive meeting planner or send your RFP to meeting facilities and suppliers. “Our dedicated staff can make short work of planning a meeting,” adds Schaefer. “We can recommend a variety of indoor and outdoor opportunities including team building experiences like executive fishing and guided canoe/kayak trips. Even more important during the current economy, when your budget requires you to sharpen the pencil, you’ll find that your dollar goes farther in Wausau/ Central Wisconsin.”

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Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

kalaHari® reSort wiiSConSin SConSin dell ellS

Kalahari Resort: Beyond Conventions Kalahari Resort has invested heavily in authentic African décor, furnishings and artwork by appointing a team to visit Africa each year to handpick items and continue to enhance the resort’s extensive offerings. Items that adorn Kalahari Resort include: indigenous carvings, exotic masks, artistic glass pieces and handcrafted furnishings.

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Group Sales 1305 Kalahari Drive Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965 KalahariResorts.com WIGroups@KalahariResorts.com 608-254-3314 Onsite amenities: 752 guestrooms and suites, spa, dining, shopping, indoor/ outdoor waterparks Meeting space: 100,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space including 21,000 and 17,200 sq. ft. ballrooms, two junior ballrooms, 15 breakout meeting rooms and four board rooms with built-in audiovisual

alahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, offers convention and leisure travel guests “under-one-roof” convenience, which includes meeting space, onsite dining, shopping, a full-service spa and salon, indoor and outdoor waterparks and a 110,000 sq. ft. Indoor Theme Park. For event planners encouraging a family getaway as part of the meeting experience, the African-themed Kalahari Resort offers an experience attendees will not find anywhere else. Meeting Space Kalahari Resort is home to the largest independently owned convention centers in Wisconsin and features state-of-the-art meeting space. Voted “best hotel for a business meeting” by Corporate Report Wisconsin in 2005, 2006 and 2007, Kalahari Resort-Wisconsin features 42 meeting rooms including: 21,000 and 17,200-sq. ft. ballrooms which are both divisible by eight, two junior ballrooms, 15 breakout meeting rooms and four board rooms. Accommodations Kalahari Resort-Wisconsin features 740 guestrooms, which include one to three bedroom suites. All suites include a fireplace, living and dining area and one to three bedroom hospitality, kitchen and whirlpool options. In addition, Kalahari features 12 five-bedroom luxury suites, which sleep up to 22. Amenities The Indoor Theme Park at Kalahari Resort features over 100,000 sq. ft. of family fun and excite-

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ment with an array of indoor attractions and activities, including a six-story Ferris wheel, multi-level go-cart track, laser tag, high ropes course, mini golf, 24 lanes of bowling, sports bar and much more. Waterparks and Family Entertainment Experience ideal weather conditions all year round and family fun in Wisconsin’s largest indoor waterpark. During the summer months, Kalahari Resort also features an outdoor waterpark and activities. Spa Kalahari The soothing earth tones of Africa create a relaxing experience reminiscent of a safari retreat allowing guests to relax and rejuvenate while enjoying massage, body and facial treatments, manicures and pedicures in Spa Kalahari. Dining Kalahari features an extensive variety of dining choices. From casual dining and snacks to exciting night club entertainment - Kalahari offers an option for every palate. Golf Trappers Turn Golf Club is one of Wisconsin’s top-ranked golf courses. The club features three challenging courses and a practice facility, as well as The Kalahari Golf Academy lead by PGA® Professional, Jason Manke. In addition, Trappers Turn’s luxurious clubhouse can accommodate groups of up to 250.

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Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

glaCier Canyon lodge® wiiSConSin SConSin dell ellS

America’s Premier Waterpark and Condominium Resort When you host a meeting at Glacier Canyon Lodge, part of the Wilderness TerritorySM in Wisconsin Dells, your guests will thank you. In addition to beautiful meeting space and outstanding food, the resort is home to Wild Rock, an award-winning new golf course, a top-rated spa, a new zipline tour and over 12 football fields of indoor and outdoor waterpark fun, including an indoor waterpark with a see-through roof where you can tan year-round. Shannon Timmerman, CMP Senior Sales Manager 45 Hillman Rd Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965 www.glaciercanyonlodge.com www.wildernessterritory.com 800.867.WILD (9453) stimmerman@wildernessresort.com Rooms/Suites: 1,151 rooms/condos/cabins/ vacation villas Meetings space sq. ft.: 55,661 Meeting Rooms: 30 Reception Capacity: 1,200 Golf Course onsite: Wild Rock Champsionship Course - 18 holes The Woods Family Course – 9 holes Onsite restaurants: 7

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ooking for a perfect destination for your next meeting or event? How about one that is conveniently located halfway between Milwaukee and Minneapolis? One with a golf course ranked as “One of the Best New Public Courses 2010” by Golf Digest®? And, one that has more fun options for family entertainment, including a zipline and eight waterparks, than any other property in Wisconsin? If you answered yes to any of the questions above, look no further than Glacier Canyon Lodge, an upscale condominium resort and conference center located on over 600 acres of pristine pineland which make up the Wilderness Territory in Wisconsin Dells. The Wilderness Territory is also home to Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, America’s largest waterpark resort and Wilderness on the Lake. Meeting Space Glacier Canyon Lodge is home to a beautiful, rustic-themed, 55,661 sq. ft. conference center. In addition, an outdoor patio overlooking a mature forest can be used for memorable pre-function events. The wi-fi facility can be broken up into many different configurations and can seat up to 1,200 guests for a fullycatered event. A professional and courteous staff, delicious menu and scenic view add to the inviting atmosphere of this truly one-of-a-kind facility. Accommodations Glacier Canyon Lodge has 448 fully-furnished units and the connected Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort has 444 rustic-themed guestrooms, each with a micro-

wave and refrigerator. The Wilderness Territory also has a variety of freestanding, fully-furnished vacation villas, condominiums and cabins which accommodate up to 20 guests. Wilderness on the Lake, a quick shuttle ride away, has 108 luxurious, fully-furnished two- and three-bedroom condominiums. Recreation & Amenities One of the reasons why Glacier Canyon Lodge is such a perfect destination for meetings is because of what your guests can do after their meetings are completed. In 2008, the resort opened its Wild Rock championship golf course. Since then it has received many accolades, including being chosen number 5 on the 2008 Top 10 New Courses You Can Play by Golf Magazine® and being named the fourth best New Public Golf Course of 2008 by Links® Magazine. The course, which is designed by world-renowned golf course architects, Hurdzan & Fry, features three distinct terrains, breathtaking views and five sets of tees making it a challenge for the golfing novice and pro alike. Also a quick Towne Car ride away is Sundara Inn & Spa, one of the Top 5 Spas in America, according to Good Morning America. Plus, don’t forget about the resort’s new zipline tour and the 12+ football fields of indoor and outdoor waterparks, including one indoor waterpark with a see-through room that you can tan in year-round, all located at the Wilderness Territory. Endless fun awaits your guests when you host a meeting at Glacier Canyon Lodge.

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Destination Index For additional FREE information on any of these destinations, indicate your choice on the reader reply card. Direct links to destination websites are available at:

www.MidwestMeetings.com. Illinois Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa ...........33 Starwood® Hotels & Resorts.....IBC Williamson County Tourism/Pavilion ......................12

Indiana Belterra® Casino Resort & Spa ..................................70, 71 Blue Chip® Casino Hotel & Spa ..16 Grand Wayne Convention Center .................................10, 47

Iowa Grand River Center ....................42

Kansas Go Wichita .................................29

Michigan Amway Grand Plaza Hotel......... BC Greater Lansing CVB ..................20

Minnesota Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center ...................50 Best Western® Hotels ........... IFC, 1 Burnsville CVB............................52 Jackpot Junction® Casino Hotel .............................53 The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes & Waterpark .............................53 Mall of America® Meeting Space ..........................55 Maple Grove Community Center ...................49 The Northland Inn......................53 Owatonna Area C of C & Tourism.................................54 Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort .......50 Red Wing VCB ............................54 Saint Paul Meeting Center ....56, 57

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Visit Bemidji ...............................51 Willmar Lakes Area CVB .............54

Missouri Amtrak® ......................................60 Best Western® Branson Inn & Conference Center ...................61 Best Western® Hotels ........... IFC, 1 Branson Convention Center .62, 63 Branson Lakes Area CVB ............61 City of Independence .................64 Columbia CVB ......................66, 67 Greater Saint Charles, MO CVB ..............................68, 69 Lumière PlaceSM ....................70, 71 Hyatt® Regency St. Louis at the Arch ...........72, 73 Meeting & Conference Services University of Central Missouri ..75 Rolla CVB - Havener Center, University of Rolla ....................61 Silver Rails Event Center ............65 Springfield, MO CVB ..................74 The Stratford Inn ........................65 Tan-Tar-A Resort, Golf Club, Marina & Indoor Waterpark .....65 Trout Lodge ................................75

Nebraska Scotts Bluff County Tourism ......14

North Dakota Grand International ....................36 Minot CVB ..................................41

South Dakota Aberdeen CVB ............................38 The Best Western® Ramkota Hotels ........................21

Wisconsin Best Western® Hotels ........... IFC, 1 City of Sheboygan ......................92 Country Springs Hotel ................97 Devils Head Resort & Convention Center ...................87 Fox Cities CVB......................78, 79 The Geneva Inn ..........................91 Glacier Canyon Lodge® at the WildernessSM .........102, 103 Hilton® Garden Inns of Wisconsin .............................94 Holiday Inn Neenah Riverwalk ..80 Janesville Area CVB ....................83 Jefferson Street Inn.....................99 Kalahari® Resort ...............100, 101 Lake Lawn Resort™ ...................81 Lambeau Field™...................84, 85 Landmark Resort ........................82 Marcus Center for the Performing Arts ........................89 Marriott Milwaukee West ...........97 Menominee Casino Resort .........86 Monona Terrace® Convention Center ...............5, 88 Oshkosh CVB .............................90 Overture Center for the Arts ......87 Radisson® Hotel LaCrosse...........87 Radisson® Paper Valley Hotel and Conference Center ...................80 Real Racine .................................91 Stevens Point Area CVB ..............93 Stoney Creek Hospitality Corporation ..............................99 Tomah CVB ................................94 Waukesha County Expo Center .97 Waukesha & Pewaukee CVB ...................96, 97 Wausau/Central Wisconsin CVB .........................98 Wisconsin Dells VCB ..................95

Midwest Meetings suMMer 2010


Profile for Midwest Meetings

Midwest Meetings Summer 2010  

Midwest Meetings is the quarterly magazine for those who plan meetings and events in the Midwest.

Midwest Meetings Summer 2010  

Midwest Meetings is the quarterly magazine for those who plan meetings and events in the Midwest.

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