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Convention Industry Council

CIC highlights meeting industry issues technology, data and diversity drive industry insights

Speakers from Brand USA, Social Tables, Smith Travel Research and ASAE, among others, were welcomed to the CIC stage to inform, instruct and inspire CIC members on industry issues and trends.

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Convention Industry Council (CIC) welcomed the leadership of 33 member organizations and industry partners for their November 3-4th Council and Board Meeting where they shared industry insights with short education sessions. Following the popularized Ted Talks format, speakers from Brand USA, Social Tables, Smith Travel Research and ASAE, among others, were welcomed to the CIC stage to inform, instruct and inspire CIC members on industry issues and trends.

“CIC’s role is to be the place where collectively, the latest breakthroughs and challenges from every facet of the industry are brought to the forefront and discussed,” said Karen Kotowski, CEO of the Convention Industry Council. “Convening with thought leaders from outside CIC’s membership helps drive important conversations regarding the meetings industry, its issues and the coordination of efforts to ensure quality meeting experiences to all those invested.”

The two-day meeting facilitated endless conversation on the meetings industry. Several highlights include:

  • Carroll Rheem, VP of Research and Analytics for Brand USA, shared plans for the Great Outdoors – a brand campaign focused around U.S. outdoor landmarks that are easily accessible to major cities where meetings are held.
  • The U.S. is experiencing a seller’s market which is benefiting the meetings industry. Jan Freitag, Senior Vice President of Smith Travel Research, shared hotel industry data and trends that point to continuing increases in rates and occupancy as fewer buildings with meeting space are being built, and current occupancy rates at 66% (2 out of 3 nights sold out) in the upscale market and 75% in the luxury market (3 out of 4 nights sold out).  
  • Social Tables shared insights on the growth of technology for the meetings industry through the use of mobile apps, hybrid meetings and automation. Dan Berger, CEO, said “software is eating the world…and the unconnected population is shrinking.”
  • Diversity and inclusion remain an important part of the meetings industry. ASAE Foundation’s Susan Robertson, Executive Vice President, shared ASAE’s events accessibility policies so that all individuals needs are met whether its visual, mobile, hearing, food sensitivity, nursing mothers or religious practices.
  • Exiting Board Chair Bob Gilbert, President & CEO of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) talked about pursuing a global presence and how to plan and grow on a global scale.
  • Vicki Hawarden, President & CEO of International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) talked about the importance of diversifying membership and the introduction of a new group rate model that has seen instantaneous success at her organization.
Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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