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Lodging Industry Thanks House of Representatives for Passage of Patent Troll Bill
Goodlatte “Innovation Act” important to ending $80 billion annual economic hit
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry, issued the following statement regarding today’s passage of The Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) by the U.S. House of Representatives on a strong bipartisan vote of 325-91:
“Passage of The Innovation Act is an important step towards protecting the hotel industry from ‘patent trolls’ and the ever-increasing number of frivolous, predatory lawsuits filed by these entities,” said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president/CEO. “We commend Chairman Goodlatte for his leadership of this legislation and thank all members of the House of Representatives who voted for the bill. Many hoteliers are small ‘mom and pop’-sized businesses that cannot afford to wage costly legal battles brought about simply because they, like many other small businesses, want to offer wireless Internet access for guests, safety communications between employees, and online ordering services.”
“Our industry also thanks Congressmen Jared Polis (D-CO) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) for their willingness to introduce an amendment to The Innovation Act, based on The Demand Letter Transparency Act (H.R. 3540) sponsored together with Congressmen Tom Marino (R-PA) and Ted Deutch (D-FL),” continued Lugar. The Polis-Chaffetz amendment, passed by voice vote, strengthens the demand letter transparency language already included in The Innovation Act and will help ensure that patent trolls cannot hide behind shell companies to conceal their true identities from demand letter recipients.
“The $80 billion annual hit to our national economy caused by 'patent trolls' cannot be allowed to continue, and while we recognize there is more work to be done, we believe the Innovation Act makes important progress on efforts to rein in this abusive litigation and also protect the rights of legitimate patent holders,” Lugar said. “As action moves to the Senate, the lodging industry looks forward to working with Chairman Leahy and Senate leadership to reinforce the importance of this issue to hoteliers everywhere.”
Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom-line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.
GenieConnet Showcases Award-Winning Event Technology at Expo! Expo!
GenieConnect, the event participation solutions provider for the events industry, is set to showcase their Award-Winning MarketingConnect, the intelligent marketing automation system for events, at this year’s Expo! Expo! taking place 11-12 December 2013 at George R. Brown Convention Center, Texas, USA.
MarketingConnect, won the EIBTM Technology Watch Award this year for innovation within the events industry. As an integrated marketing automation solution, MarketingConnect has been designed to utilize event and attendee behavior information gathered from other GenieConnect tools to generate relevant and personalized content, which is then channeled through attendee communications channels such as emails, and mobile push messages. This allows event organizers to send highly targeted and relevant information to attendees to maximize engagement throughout the entire event life cycle.
Giles Welch, CEO of GenieConnect comments, “We are excited to showcase MarketingConnect to Event Organizers in North America. Our team will be holding live demonstrations of MarketingConnect as well as our mobile event apps and attendee web portals, throughout Expo! Expo! to show event organizers how they can improve engagement throughout the event lifecycle and ultimately increase returns for their events.”
GenieConnect are inviting all Expo! Expo! attendees to visit booth 556 to discuss the benefits of personalization for event attendees, as well as the benefits of email marketing for increasing event app uptake and attendee engagement, and maximizing event communications throughout the year.
The Event Participation Solutions provider has also confirmed that they will be participating in the IAEE Treasure Hunt. This competition will provide one lucky winner with a Holiday to Hawaii for two people. The prize will include two round-trip American Airline flights and accommodation at the Hilton Hotel Resort in Honolulu. To enter the competition, visit the GenieConnect booth (556) at Expo! Expo!
If you would like to make an appointment with GenieConnect, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact via www.genie-connect.com/about/contact. For more information about Expo! Expo! and how to register, please visit www.iaee.com/events--education/expo-expo-annual-meeting.
Established in 2010, GenieConnect is a leading provider of event participation solutions, offering unique insight and business intelligence to organisers and enhanced event experiences for their attendees.
The mobile apps and web portals created are best of breed solutions for event organisers, corporations and associations to deploy under their own brand to deliver more for participants at their events.
Dow: Advisory Committee Will Further Aid Security Policy
The U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on House passage of the Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act (H.R. 1204):
"The formal establishment of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee is indicative of the federal government's commitment to building aviation security policy upon the best and most thorough information available. Ultimately, every American is a stakeholder in aviation security, whether they travel frequently or not. I have every expectation that the recommendations this committee produces will be innovative, effective and actionable, because the panel will be comprised of informed contributors working toward a common goal.
"The Transportation Security Administration deserves tremendous credit for the work it has done already to base its policies on input from an abundance of good sources in both the public and private sectors. The passage of this bill is recognition by Congress of the importance of that, and as always, the travel community looks forward to contributing in any way we can."
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.0 trillion in economic output and supports 14.6 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit www.ustravel.org.
AH&LA Women in Lodging Membership Campaign Highlights Lodging Professionals in a Variety of Operational Areas
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) Women in Lodging Connect, which has more than 2,000 members across the country, is recognizing two state chapters for welcoming the most new members – the Wisconsin Lodging Association and the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association.
Two new WIL members – Amy Simchak, regional director of operations for North Central Group; and Cynthia Hollowood, general manager of the Holiday Inn in Saratoga Springs – have been selected to have lunch or dinner with WIL Founder Nancy Johnson, chief development officer, the Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group; and Brooke Barrett, co-chief executive officer, Denihan Hospitality Group.
AH&LA launched its WIL Connect membership drive in March in celebration of National Women’s Month. In addition, top female leaders in a broad range of areas were profiled each month, including CEOs, general managers, food/beverage, and sustainability.
WIL Connect was launched in 2003 as the first industry-wide forum exclusively for female hospitality professionals, providing them with opportunities to connect with top professionals nationwide and gain career momentum. In recent years, the charter has changed to also include engaging women in the political process to ensure a favorable business climate for the lodging industry. Strategic plans for 2013 include increasing legislative involvement and education via driving HotelPAC participation, increasing the number of women on state lodging association board of directors and the AH&LA membership councils, and collaborating more closely with other women’s groups.
The WIL Executive Council is led by Thea Sargent, general manager of Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Florida, and Terri Haack, executive vice president and managing director of the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
Membership is free to all women and men employed at AH&LA member organizations. In addition, state WIL chapters provide additional benefits. To get involved in WIL, click here.
Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom-line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.
IACC-Americas Elects New Board Members
TJ Fimmano, President IACC-Americas and General Manager at Dolce Hotels and Resorts/GE Crotonville in Ossining, NY, announced the election of new directors for a two-year term from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2015.
Joseph Blake, Director of Sales & Marketing for Rizzo Conference Center in Chapel Hill, NC. Joe is been active in the conference center segment for eight years and has participated in the IACC University Conference Center group. Joe is an active member of MPI since 1996 and was Vice President of Education for the Carolinas Chapter, Vice President of Finance, Leadership Development Committee, Scholarship Committee, International Membership Committee, International Brand Marketing Committee and many other committee roles. He has also been active with the Association Executives of North Carolina since 1996.
Cedric Fasbender, Vice President of Operations for Benchmark Hospitality International. Cedric has been active in the conference center industry for more than 20 years and has served as General Manager and Regional General Manager at successful conference centers including Lansdowne Resort, Tarrytown House Estate and Conference Center, Hayes Mansion, PGA National Resort & Spa and others.
Meghan Bean, Sales Associate for Cvent has been involved in conference centers for two years. Meghan works with Event Management and Web Survey solutions at Cvent to send 3RFPs through the Supplier Network to conference centers, hotels, and unique venues around the world. Earlier this year, IACC announced a partnership with Cvent to raise awareness of conference centers on a worldwide basis.
Jeff Loether, President of Electro-Media Design, Ltd was re-elected to the board of directors. With more than 30 years in the conference center industry, Jeff has actively participated in 15 annual conferences and is a part of the Membership and Quality Committee. In the recent past, he has served on the Technology Committee and the Annual Conference Planning Committee. He is a recipient of the prestigious IACC Award for Excellence and the IACC Pyramid Award for education and achievement. Jeff is recognized as a thought leader in conference center technology and has developed and taught many workshops, seminars, and classes for the design and facility management industries.
Dan Techman, Director of Sales & Marketing at Doubletree Suites by Hilton Hotel & Conference Center Chicago-Downers Grove was re-elected to the board of directors. With 26 years in hospitality, including seven years in the conference center industry, Dan has served IACC in several capacities including the Annual Conference Planning Committee in Recreation, Production, and Education. Dan currently serves on the Member to Member, and Leadership Committees.
Derek Grimaldi, General Manager of the Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre, located in London, Ontario was re-elected to the board of directors. Derek has been actively involved in the affairs of “IACC Canada” as host of SPIN (Small Property Information Network), the Canadian SIG (Special Interest Group) and the Canadian Copper Skillet Competition. During his first term on the board, Derek continued to grow the Co-operative marketing efforts of the Canadian properties through collaborative advertising campaigns, trade-show participation and Canadian Copper Skillet Competitions that have included participation as part of targeted industry audiences.
The IACC-Americas Board of Directors is comprised of elected members who represent Full, Associate, and Corporate Headquarters members in good standing.
According to Fimmano, “the election of these hospitality experts brings a wide range of skills and experience to the Board of Directors at a critical time when IACC is moving forward with dynamic initiatives that assist members in providing exceptional meeting experiences.
The IACC Mission Statement: The International Association of Conference Centres is the thought leader on the meeting experience. IACC represents its members by defining and promoting the IACC Meeting Concept and providing learning opportunities.
The IACC Vision: “IACC is a community of passionate people and organisations delivering innovative and exceptional meeting experiences.”
Founded in 1981, the International Association of Conference Centres is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting understanding and awareness of the conference centre industry and to giving member properties the tools necessary to provide an exceptional IACC meeting experience. Active members meet a set of stringent Quality Standards and agree to a Code of Ethics. Currently, the association includes approximately 400 members from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, France, Spain, England, Scotland, The Netherlands, Germany, South Africa, and the Philippines. For more information, visit the website at www.iacconline.org. “There are meetings and then there are IACC meetings.”
New Promotions Hub by Cvent Lists Thousands of Hotel Meeting Promotions for Planners
Cvent (NYSE : CVT), a leading cloud-based enterprise event management platform, unveiled the Promotions Hub, a new section of the Cvent Supplier Network (CSN) that centralizes thousands of promotions from hotels and special event venues, making it easier for event and meeting planners to find and take advantage of special offers. Accompanying the Promotions Hub is the release of a survey that lists the most valuable hotel amenities and promotions as ranked by almost 800 planners in the U.S.
Promotions Hub Brings Sophisticated Deal-Shopping to PlannersCvent’s new Promotions Hub gives planners an efficient tool to search for specific offers among the 200,000 venues in CSN. Planners can use it to:
"Consumers these days are used to searching online for special deals and last-minute discounts, so it made perfect sense to create a similar place for the meetings and events industry," said Bharet Malhotra, senior vice president of sales for the Cvent Supplier Network. "The Promotions Hub makes finding special offers more efficient and laser-focused. We’ve made it easier for planners looking for deals—and venues with deals to offer—to find each other."
The Most Negotiated Amenities: Room Discounts, Wi-FiIn a research study into the meetings promotions market to develop the Promotions Hub, Cvent identified the top items that influence planners’ decision-making when booking meetings. The survey also revealed the most important amenities that attract attendees. Following are the Top 10 most valuable amenities that planners negotiate when booking a venue, along with their rankings of what amenities are most valuable to attendees:
Top Amenities for Planners:
Top Amenities for Attendees:
"We spend a lot of time researching and trying to understand what motivates planners to book group business at our property during low demand periods" said Chandra Allison, Vice President of sales at the Venetian and Palazzo Hotels. "And even when we think we’ve come up with just the right offer, there hasn’t been an ideal way for us to target the planners we’re most interested in reaching. With the Promotions Hub and insight from Cvent’s survey results, it will be easier for us to match the right special offers with the right planners."
Cvent’s research also found that planners are often looking for promotions early in the process of identifying venues and destinations, making the creation of a promotion shopping capability an obvious addition to the company’s online meetings booking marketplace. The survey was conducted by reaching out to planners that were active in CSN and third party lists from Oct. 7 through Oct. 20, 2013.
About CventCvent, Inc. (NYSE: CVT) is a leading cloud-based enterprise event management platform, with more than 1,400 employees and over 10,900 customers worldwide. Cvent offers software solutions to event planners for online event registration, venue selection, event management, mobile apps for events, e-mail marketing and web surveys. Cvent provides hotels with a targeted advertising platform designed to reach event planners looking for suitable venues. Cvent solutions optimize the entire event management value chain and have enabled clients around the world to manage hundreds of thousands of meetings and events. For more information, please visit www.cvent.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.