Current News

Check out the latest news from around the world by the industry's movers and shakers.

Current News

May 23, 2018
IACC’s Meeting Room of the Future Report 2018 Reveals Venue Operator and Supplier Perceptions of the Future of Global Meetings Industry

May 23, 2018: IACC today released the results of its annual ‘Meeting Room of the Future’. The paper reveals that, as the global meetings industry continues to develop at a rapid pace, venues must continue to adapt to meet planners’ and delegates’ expectations on food & beverage and internet infrastructure. A full copy is available for download here.

The report was conducted to gain insights from global venue operators, industry experts and suppliers, with the goal of understanding how they are responding to the changing expectations and needs of meeting planners, as identified in the 2017 survey of buyers. It brings together insights from over 50 venues across four continents, as well as suppliers including global meeting space designers, architects, technology companies, furniture manufacturers and nutrition experts.

“As the industry evolves and expands, just as meeting planners must continually evaluate all elements of the meeting experience, operators and suppliers must also ensure they are meeting and anticipating the changing needs of planners,” said IACC’s CEO, Mark Cooper. “The survey was designed to highlight these growing needs; we looked specifically at experience creation, meeting room space and design, technology and internet capabilities as well as culinary trends.”

Mark continues: “The report shows that high quality internet will be the most important meeting element in the coming years, and that the success of meetings today depends on the quality of a meeting venue’s internet infrastructure. Some of those surveyed reported to have created ‘internet disaster recovery plans’ in the event of internet outages mid-event, a sure sign that venues and planners understand the important role that internet plays in meeting collaboration and connectivity.”

Discussing the role that breaks play in meetings, Mark adds: “More operators are offering continuous refreshment breaks this year than previous years, however the report’s findings suggest that, while meeting planners agree that the format of breaks and meal times needs to evolve in the future, planners were divided on whether the trend should move towards short, more frequent breaks or longer breaks and meal times to allow in-depth networking”

Ellen Sinclair of Benchmark, a Global Hospitality Company, and chair of the project group comments: “Our industry experts provide compelling insight into meeting trends.  Their insights will help us understand the elements that shape collaborative and productive face to face meetings.”

Alex Cabañas, CEO of Benchmark, A Global Hospitality Company and IACC President comments; “Venue operators and suppliers are critical to the delivery of a meaningful and memorable meeting experience.  They are the true partner to the planner, focused on the goals of the meeting.  Hearing their voice in this research has been enlightening.”

The IACC Meeting Room of the Future™ is an initiative led by IACC, with the goal of sharing the association’s vision on what meeting spaces will look and function like in the future. The initiative brings together research, trends and innovations with the single goal of predicting, creating and shaping the future of meeting environments. The full report ‘A Survey of Meeting Venue Operators and Suppliers’ is here.

May 16, 2018
New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau rebrands itself as New Orleans & Company

New Orleans & Company will continue to drive the economy, create thousands of jobs for everyone, be the city’s largest revenue generator and most important partner, and will expand its focus on cultural and human stewardship for all citizens

NEW ORLEANS – (May 16, 2018) – The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOCVB) has been rebranded and is now officially known as New Orleans & Company. The NOCVB has for 58 years been one of the largest drivers of the New Orleans economy, and over those six decades has produced millions of jobs, billions of dollars of city revenue, and sustained the creation of thousands of small businesses. The former CVB superbly served thousands of member and industry companies and a gigantic workforce, and led the development of the city’s multi-billion dollar convention and meetings business, grew the visitation of leisure visitors to unprecedented levels and played a key role in New Orleans’ ascendance as the world’s greatest sports championship destination. New Orleans & Company will focus in its new iteration not only on growing our cultural economy and hospitality enterprises, driving dynamic, sustainable business growth and career-oriented job creation, but will also focus on continuing its evolution as a thought leader, collaborative convener, and partner to our workforce, our local government and all of our citizens.

“We believe that our culture is our greatest strength and that the people of New Orleans create that culture. As New Orleans & Company, we are committed to our core mission of ensuring that we are a catalytic force for our industry and drive business growth for thousands of small business owners and significant business enterprises. But, we also have a new mission of connecting with the broader economy, partnering with government on finding solutions to move our city forward, and improving the lives of all of our workforce and all residents in every neighborhood of our city. We are committed to nourishing and sustaining the culture that attracts millions of visitors each year and in doing so improving the quality of life for all of us who call New Orleans home,” said Stephen Perry, president & CEO of New Orleans & Company.

“Our new name embodies the inclusiveness we value, with Company representing our many members and partners, the more than 100,000 employees directly employed in the tourism industry in New Orleans, the culture-bearers and creators who shape and carry on our traditions, and, of course, the visitors we welcome as our guests. The culture of hospitality, organic in every neighborhood, shapes who we are and how the world sees us” Perry continued.

Our company continually works to build and sustain networks and connections with our external partners that benefit our city’s residents and our industry’s stakeholders. We hold monthly job fairs in venues across the city to connect those seeking employment with career opportunities. We also seek out and foster workforce development initiatives, and countless other school-based programs. These are just a few examples of our outreach efforts that will continue, among other initiatives, to help provide more paths to prosperity within our community.

Our goal is to cultivate and maintain what we call a “virtuous cycle” between the businesses and attractions that make up the tourism industry, the visitors who invest in those business and attractions, and the city’s residents, all of whom benefit from tourism and our proudly large contributions to city revenue.

Tourism revenues generate 43% of the city’s operating budget though sales tax and property tax, not even counting the taxes paid by our tens of thousands of employees as their indirect spending ripples through every facet of the community. The ultimate result of this cycle is a quality of life for New Orleans’ residents funded by millions of visitors from around the globe who come to spend billions of dollars as they love, enjoy and share our culture. The money they spend is reinvested in the cultural ecology of our city, completing the cycle. Because of our 17 million visitors and their billions of dollars brought in each year, this small city of 375,000 people has the cultural assets, restaurants, museums, nightlife and overall quality of life of a city many, many times our size.

As we promote New Orleans to the world and the city’s offerings evolve, we will continue to support New Orleans’ culture by providing more good jobs and career opportunities than any other industry in the region and by generating revenues to fuel a vibrant economy in which all residents can find a path to prosperity.


“New Orleans is the most authentic city in the world because of our unique culture. That’s the reason why millions visit each year. It is our responsibility to make sure that our industry continues to attract visitors and their spending continues to add to our economy. Preserving and nourishing our culture is critical to our economy’s growth and our quality of life as New Orleanians. At New Orleans & Company, we are dedicated to ensuring that our local culture-bearers remain an essential part of the hospitality and tourism industry, because without these residents, the city loses its soul,” said Gregory Rusovich, CEO Transoceanic Development, 2018 Chairman of the Board, New Orleans & Company.

The launch of New Orleans & Company also includes the recent launch of a new New Orleans cultural economy and tourism website, , although we are hopeful it will also become a go-to resource for all locals as well. Our organization and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation recently combined resources to collapse both of their respective websites into one vastly improved website. This new site provides a better user experience and more comprehensive and visually compelling display of the city’s offerings. This is but one example of how New Orleans’ tourism industry is working more closely together than ever before to continue to evolve and maintain the promotion of New Orleans and fuel our economy.


New Orleans & Company is a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. New Orleans & Company and its members and partners influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding, visitor services and local advocacy initiatives at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Chicago, Columbia, SC, Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Brazil and China. Consistently recognized as one of the top five destination marketing organizations in the country, New Orleans & Company celebrates its 58th anniversary in 2018. For more information, please visit:, and

May 16, 2018
IMEX Policy Forum brings the political world and meetings industry closer together

Globalisation, localisation, city resilience, sustainability and legacy were some of the biggest challenges facing the industry that were discussed at the IMEX Policy Forum, where ministers and political representatives from South Africa, the Netherlands, Argentina, Sweden and South Korea were among 30 national and regional politicians and government officials who engaged with 80 meetings industry leaders. 

‘The Legacy of Positive Policy Making’ was the theme of the event, formerly known as the IMEX Politicians Forum, when it took place at the InterContinental Hotel Frankfurt on Tuesday 15 May, the first day of IMEX in Frankfurt 2018. The theme is closely allied to the IMEX 2018 Talking Point of Legacy, with Political Legacy one of the five ‘lenses’ through which the Talking Point is being explored.

The Agenda had been specifically designed to explore how to bridge the ‘partnership gap’ that exists between governments, national and local, and the meetings industry. 

After a visit to the IMEX exhibition in the morning, the afternoon began with a private national government discussion in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) chaired by Nina Freysen-Pretorius, President of the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA).

Professor Greg Clark CBE, the world-renowned advisor on cities shared engaging insights and aroused keen discussions when he led a workshop specifically designed for local, municipal and regional policy makers and destination representatives. 

Exploring ’the evolution of cities in the meetings industry,’ Greg highlighted how every city went through a number of different cycles in the development of meetings business. These cycles were well illustrated by six engaging case studies from Sydney, Singapore, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Cape Town and Barcelona which showed how these cycles were initiated by various factors such as airline and airport development, supportive mayors, building convention centres and hosting major international events.

Open debate on key issues at Open Forum
At the Open Forum, moderated by Michael Hirst OBE, Gloria Guevara Manzo, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) delivered the opening keynote address. She expressed clear views when examining the challenges facing all areas of the travel and tourism sector in fulfilling outstanding growth potential. Based on research among WTTC members, she said the top three challenges were security, crisis preparedness and management and sustainability and she highlighted the importance of wide ranging collaboration and partnerships between travel industry organisations. In particular, collaboration is important in engaging with governments on issues such as visa facilitation and reciprocity, and in progressing biometrics as a facilitator for security and efficiency.

Discussing sustainability, Gloria said “We must no longer think about PPP (Public Private Partnerships) but about PPC – Public, Private and Community,” because the industry needed to have the support of communities, and she highlighted the future of work as an important new consideration alongside destination and social responsibility, global climate action and tourism for tomorrow.

This keynote prefaced the Open Forum where the views of a panel of industry leaders along with Professor Greg Clark prompted debate on the key issues with the political and industry representatives contributing their valuable views.

Taking part in the day of activities and discussions provided revealing insights for the delegates. Elizabeth Thabethe, Deputy Minister of Tourism for South Africa, a first-time visitor said that the discussion in the Policy Forum had been good and helpful in learning what more South Africa can do to bring major events to the country. Her thought on Gloria Guevara Manzo’s speech was; “Wow!”

Justice Thomas Mihayo, Chairman of the Tanzania Tourist Board felt that “the discussions on many heavy topics were very good. I wish there had been more time to go further into them.” He thought the IMEX exhibition was “fantastic.”

Ray Bloom, Chairman of the IMEX Group commented; “The discussions were fascinating and showed the increasing engagement and understanding between the political world and the meetings industry. IMEX has been bringing the meetings world and public policy makers together for many years and has helped to develop real appreciation of how together they can drive economic growth. Over the years we have seen genuine progress and I’m confident that today’s IMEX Policy Forum took this collaboration further forward. That is our Political Legacy.” 

The IMEX Policy Forum’s advocacy partners are Association Internationale des Palais de Congres (AIPC), European Cities Marketing (ECM), ICCA, the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), The Iceberg and UNWTO. The Forum is sponsored by Business Events Australia, Business Events Sydney, German Convention Bureau, Geneva Convention Bureau, Saudi Exhibition & Convention Bureau, Messe Frankfurt and the Meetings Mean Business Coalition.  

For more details about the IMEX Policy Forum, please visit the website.

May 08, 2018
Metro Toronto Convention Centre Boosts Toronto's Economy in Record Year

Toronto/CNW/ - The Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) announced today that it gave Toronto's economy a boost by generating a record-breaking $594 million in direct spending economic impact during its 2017/18 fiscal year. This is the biggest contribution to Toronto in the facility's history.

Direct spending economic impact is created when conference, trade and public show attendees spend on dining, hotel nights, shopping, transportation and more in Toronto. Based on the Ontario Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model (TREIM), the MTCC also sustained a record-breaking 7,622 jobs in the community and generated $155 million in federal, provincial and municipal taxes.

Fiscal 2017/18 was an outstanding year for the MTCC, with additional records broken in many categories including gross revenue, net income and citywide bid wins. The MTCC generated approximately $81 million in gross revenue, a new facility record which represents a 24% increase from the year prior. As a result, the Centre's dividend to the Province of Ontario was also the best ever on record at $9 million, 29% larger than last year.

The MTCC set yet another significant facility record by securing 21 citywide conventions for future years last fiscal, 19 from outside of Canada. This speaks to the positive business sentiment surrounding Toronto on an international level and to the city's thriving health sciences and technology sectors.

"The excellent financial results of fiscal year 2017/18 stand as an incredible achievement for our Centre. We are certainly proud of our success and how it translates to a significant positive impact on the economies of Toronto and the Province of Ontario," said Harald Thiel, Chair of the Board of Directors at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

"I am extremely proud of our team and of our record-breaking contribution to Toronto in fiscal year 2017/18", said Barry Smith, President and CEO at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. "These results reflect our commitment to our city and province. We look forward to another successful year."

About the Metro Toronto Convention Centre
The Metro Toronto Convention Centre is Canada's number one convention and trade show facility. Over the past 33 years, the Centre has hosted over 20,000 events and has added $5.8 billion in direct spending economic impact to the community. For further information, please visit

SOURCE Metro Toronto Convention Centre 

May 03, 2018
Cantrav Services Inc. is proud to announce the acquisition of Altima Concept

Cantrav Services Inc. is proud to announce the acquisition of Altima Concept, a full range Destination Management Company with a boutique DMC feel, located in the French jewel of North America – Montreal, Quebec.

Started by Filipe Nepomuceno in 1996 and then headed by his sister, Filomena, Altima Concept has provided unique Quebecois experiences to international conferences, groups and incentive trips with authentic French-Canadian flair. Cantrav's purchase of Altima Concept was ideal because “...they [Cantrav] are well represented in other parts of the country; I felt that Montreal would be a good fit for them as to close that gap in Quebec”, according to Filomena.

When asked why people love Montreal and why clients should choose the city as an incentive destination, Filomena said “Montreal has a different vibe from any other city in North America which makes it a very attractive city to live in and visit. Montreal is a cosmopolitan city with a small city feel and a safe city to travel to. I love this city because of the bilingualism and rich old French Quebecois culture as well as history. I always say it is like traveling to Europe without the jetlag!”

Over the years, Cantrav has expanded their services across the country with offices located in Vancouver, Whistler, the Canadian Rockies, Toronto and most recently, the Okanagan Valley. “Montreal was identified as a desired destination for our roster as we promote ourselves as Canada’s DMC”, says Cantrav’s COO & Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Matthew Coyne. “Montreal is such a unique city with its charm spanning from the architecture and history to the local Quebecois and their envious joie de vivre.”

The Montreal DMC office will operate under the reputable name of Altima Concept while being supported and owned by Cantrav Services Inc. We are excited to welcome Heather Schidlowsky as Regional Director of Operations for Quebec who will take on the leadership role in the Montreal office. Heather says, “With so many year-round activities, venues, restaurants, and world-renowned festivals, we are thrilled to partner with Cantrav and continue the legacy of operating successful programs in beautiful Montreal.”

Bienvenue Heather - Bienvenue à Montréal!

For more information, please visit our website at

May 03, 2018
Calgary TELUS Convention Centre Names FMAV as Official AV Partner


CALGARY, AB—FMAV is pleased to announce it has been named as the exclusive in-house audio visual partner for the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC).  

“We’re thrilled to formalize our relationship with the CTCC team and look forward to partnering with such a progressive thinking facility,” said Bill Brown, President and CEO, FMAV. “Through this partnership, we look forward to creating exceptional event experiences for clients and their participants through the delivery of innovative event technology services.”

FMAV maintains a two decade long track record in Alberta in event staging and production as well as providing in-house audio visual services in 23 venues across Canada.  

A venue committed to exceptional service, the CTCC facilitates and hosts events that connect people. Clients choose CTCC because they help people converse, learn, grow, celebrate, discover, share and experience what’s important to them.

“We look forward to this new relationship with FMAV as we take an exciting step toward the future of our facility,” said Clark Grue, President and CEO of CTCC. “We are committed to delivering a strong customer experience, and together with FMAV, we’ll invest in better technical support for clients and align technology trends with our vision to provide innovative offerings.”

FMAV will provide audio visual services for meetings, conventions and trade shows over a five-year contract and has committed to deliver best in class meeting and convention services.  

About FMAV
FMAV is the audiovisual and event technology company for people who plan meetings and live events. As the largest independent audiovisual firm in Canada, FMAV has more than 250 staff across seven offices from coast to coast, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax. For more information, visit

About the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre
The Calgary TELUS Convention Centre is focused on enhancing the services that we provide well beyond the venue—to create a place and experience that supports all events for people to convene, connect and converse together. What started as a central location for coming together has grown into a next generation of convention services and experiences.  

Media Contacts:
Alissa Hurley
VP, Marketing

Kaili Cashin
Manager, Marketing + Communications

May 02, 2018
PCMA Education Foundation Visionary Awards Honor 2018 Leaders in Business Events

WASHINGTON, D.C.Tonight the PCMA Education Foundation honored three industry stars with 2018 Lifetime Achievement Awards and revealed winners of the 2018 Professional Excellence Awards.   More than 1,000 leaders in the business events industry attended the premier industry recognition event at the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.

From the red carpet to the awards stage and then on to a swinging after-party featuring the Matchmakers, the evening was a black-tie night to remember.

“Tonight’s honorees and finalist each in his or her own way, has pushed the boundaries of their roles and harnessed innovation to advance their organizations and the business events industry,” said PCMA President & CEO, Sherrif Karamat. “They are the best of the best, and their accomplishments inspire industry veterans and novices alike.”

Those celebrated tonight included:

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees [announced in 2017]

  • Ray Kopcinski, CMP, Owner, Peak Global Consulting – 2018 Meeting Professional Honoree
  • Godwin Charles Ogbeide, PhD, MBA, Associate Professor of Strategy and Hospitality, IUPUI – 2018 Educator Honoree
  • Carrie Freeman Parsons, Vice Chair, Freeman – 2018 Supplier Honoree

2018 Professional Excellence Award Winners [announced live this evening]

Meeting Professional of the Year

This award honors a PCMA professional member who exemplifies professional excellence in their contributions to their organization, PCMA and the business events community.

Wanda Johnson, CMP, CAE, Chief Program Officer with the Endocrine Society. She has significantly contributed to both the meeting management and healthcare industries over a 25-year career. To her peers, she’s an inspiring leader they regularly ask for insights and collaboration. She’s also considered to be level-headed and strategic in her thinking. Through her continual involvement with PCMA, she has used her platform to better the industry.

Event Designer of the Year

This award honors a PCMA member for innovative event design.

Phelps R. Hope, CMP, Senior Vice President, Meetings & Expositions, with Kellen. His  extraordinary experience as an event designer has helped implement fresh ideas and experiential opportunities at meetings. Most recently, in October 2017, he redesigned the Girl Scouts Convention in Columbus, Ohio, resulting in a shorter, more focused event and a 50 percent increase in registrations.

Digital Event Strategist of the Year

This award recognizes a digital event pioneer, the change-maker and trendsetter.

Nicole Armstrong CMP, CMM, Vice President, Worldwide Events with MicroStrategy. She is a true  champion for digital events,  demonstrated in her previous job roles as Senior Events Manager and Director of Stakeholder Relations at InternetSociety. This included overseeing the introduction and expansion of a series of digital event experiences for the company, simultaneously broadcasting their annual event to 15 interactive nodes and 56 celebration nodes across the globe.

Supplier of the Year

This award honors a PCMA supplier member who exemplifies professional excellence in contributions to his or her organization, PCMA, and the business events community.

Chris FJ Lynn, Vice President, North America & Emerging Markets with Business Tourism, London & Partners.  Chris has deep knowledge in the hospitality market and goes the extra mile to ensure that his customers have a great experience. He dedicates time getting to know his customers want and need before presenting a bespoke creative solution. Chris also devotes his energy to helping elevate PCMA’s New York Area chapter. Despite being its past president, he consistently provides support for the chapter, most recently sponsoring 40 meeting professionals for an event.

Community Advocate of the Year

This award honors a PCMA member in the business events industry who has developed and managed a unique and impactful program benefiting the community in which his or her meeting was held.

Jeff Chase, Vice President of Sustainability with Freeman, has more than 30 years of experience in the events and exhibition industry. In 2017, he worked closely with the Consumer Technology Association to advance the organization’s sustainability goals for its annual CES event. Jeff developed and implemented a waste management program to encourage the event’s 3,600 exhibitors to contribute unused supplies, such as tote bags, pens and notepads, as well as reusable building material from the stands, such as furniture and flooring. The Exhibitor Program diverted 19 trailer loads of materials from landfill and donated them to local non-profit organizations, including Teacher Exchange, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity and Opportunity Village.

The program closed with the honorees and finalist joining together on stage, to receive a heartfelt standing ovation. All of tonight’s honorees and finalist can be viewed here.

For all media enquiries, additional comment and request for interview please contact: Tel: +44 (0)1892 619100

About PCMA
PCMA educates, inspires and listens, creating meaningful experiences where passion, purpose and commerce come together. We are the world’s largest community for Business Events Strategists, providing senior-level education and networking for the business events sector. PCMA crafts and shares knowledge and market intelligence, enabling organizations to make informed business decisions while providing a platform for peer-to-peer exchange. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 40 countries. For more information on the PCMA family of brands, visit PCMA at, PCMA Education Foundation at, PCMA Convene magazine at, Digital Experience Institute (DEI) at and the Incentive, Conference & Event Society Asia-Pacific (ICESAP) at

May 02, 2018
Edmonton Selected to Host GO WEST 2019

Highly successful gathering of event professionals will stay in Edmonton for its 2nd year

Edmonton, Alberta—GO WEST will return to Edmonton in 2019. Timewise Event Management has announced the city and date for the 2nd year of its much anticipated event designed for event professionals. They are thrilled to announce GO WEST 2019 will be held in Edmonton, Alberta on January 21-22, 2019.

“We received strong interest from several cities across Western Canada to host 2019,” says Arlene Schilke, Executive Producer of Go West and co-founder of Timewise. “Edmonton got behind us for our inaugural year to help make it a huge success. Moving forward, they really stand out as a partner who is ready to go ALL IN for our program in 2019.”

Edmonton is a thriving city with exciting things happening. The newly developed Ice District is home to Rogers Place and is Canada’s largest sports and entertainment district. Ice District also includes Stantec Tower, which will be Canada’s tallest building west of Toronto, and one of only three J.W. Marriott hotels in Canada. The city boasts two world-class convention centres, including the Shaw Conference Centre which is located in Edmonton’s downtown core, has over 2,000 hotel rooms within walking distance, and provides stunning views of the North Saskatchewan River Valley, North America’s largest urban parkland.

“We are very pleased with GO WEST’s return to Edmonton as the host destination in 2019,” says Maggie Davison, Vice President of Edmonton Tourism. “This is a great event for our local industry, and the program affords meeting planners the opportunity to experience our beautiful city. Edmonton truly is “all in” and supportive of GO WEST’s efforts to grow. I hope and believe this is the beginning of a lasting partnership.”

GO WEST 2019 will be hosted at the Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton’s downtown meeting and event facility and one of Canada’s top performing convention centres. “We’re proud to host Canada’s top meeting and event planners who play a vital role in Edmonton’s success as a meeting and conventions destination,” says Richard Wong, General Manager of the Shaw Conference Centre. “This is a remarkable opportunity for us to show them how the Shaw Conference Centre pushes the limits of providing the very best experience a client or guest has ever had, anywhere.” An attendance of 500 event professionals from across Canada is expected for two days of educational sessions, experiential workshops, social events and an 80 booth exhibition.

The first annual GO WEST 2018 sold out and attracted 380 event professionals, of which more than 200 were meeting and event planners. “We were elated at how well this initiative was received in our meeting and events community. Since the event in February we have received interest in attending and speaking from across Canada and into the USA,” says Schilke. GO WEST drew attention this past February for its innovative thinking which included Edmonton Tourism hosting a summer-themed reception in a 60’ dome tent in -15C outside temperatures.

The GO WEST initiative is an annual event that brings together leaders and innovators in the events industry for two days of sessions, workshops, social events and connection to resources. Produced by Timewise Event Management, it is the largest annual event in Western Canada for meeting and event professionals. Attendees gain access to world-class speakers and industry innovators, providing inspiration and content on industry trends and event creativity and design. Visit for more information.

Edmonton-based Timewise Event Management Inc. has been a leading event management agency since their inception in 1999.  Driven by innovation, they are known for being pioneers in the meeting and event industry. They founded and produce the Edmonton Event Awards and Calgary Events Awards, initiatives to bring the local event communities together. In 2017 they were recognized internationally with an esteemed ILEA Esprit Award for their event awards initiative. Their co-owner Brent Taylor was just recognized as Event Professional of the Year at the 2018 Canadian Event industry Awards. Visit for more information.

Managed by Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, the Shaw Conference Centre has a vision to be one of Canada’s top performing convention centres. Everything they do is dedicated towards pushing the limits of providing the very best experience an event planner or guest has ever had, anywhere. Visit for more information.

Brent Taylor, Managing Partner
Timewise Event Management Inc.
780-444-3773 | 

May 01, 2018
Milestone Index Study on Incentive Travel to be Produced by SITE, IRF and FICP Collaboration

Chicago, IL:  The volunteer and management leadership of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), the Financial and Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP), and the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) are proud to announce the development of the industry's first joint index study: The Incentive Travel Industry Index powered by SITE Index, IRF Outlook and FICP. This collaboration will constitute a landmark for the industry by providing unprecedented, consolidated insight into where the incentive travel industry is headed.

The Incentive Travel Industry Index, produced on an annual basis, will provide a forecast and analysis of business conditions, attitudes and expectations impacting the incentive travel and motivational events industry.  It will explore how the various industry challenges are impacting market growth for both buyers and suppliers and will provide leading indicators of future trends.

This consolidated piece of research, executed by JD Power, will be the definitive annual index of the state of the Incentive Travel Industry and its major trends. Key benefits of the study include:

  • Provides necessary decision-making insights and trends for corporate meeting and incentive planners, third parties and suppliers of the Incentive Travel industry on an annual basis
  • Based on a single unique, all-encompassing questionnaire avoiding cross-industry duplication and consistency
  • Will be released early enough to coincide with the marketing and budgeting cycle of most organizations
  • Promoted by an extensive go-to-market plan and sessions held at the various associations’ events as well as major trade shows

Didier Scaillet, CIS, Melissa Van Dyke and Steve Bova, the respective executive leaders of SITE, IRF and FICP issued a joint statement saying, "Along with our individual organization's esteemed Board of Directors and Trustees, we look forward to continuing to amplify our respective roles as leading voices within the incentive travel industry and to helping our industry grow from this ground-breaking collaboration."

The collaboration hopes to release the survey instrument for response as early as late May with results available in late summer.

About SITE
SITE, the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence is the only global organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting the incentive travel industry. SITE members help companies maximize workforce output by creating and delivering incentive travel programs that inspire people to exceed expectations and transcend their goals. Our research proves the ROI for incentive travel, which is a powerful business tool that strengthens employee retention, improves performance and fosters a culture of thoughtful motivation and sustained success.

About FICP
FICP is a community of financial services and insurance industry meetings and events professionals dedicated to developing members, and advocating the positive impact and value of their work. We elevate the profession by leveraging partnerships and our members’ collective skills and experiences to create purposeful interactions for all stakeholders whose professional success is linked to our members’ work. Learn more at

About IRF
The Incentive Research Foundation ( funds and promotes research to advance the science and enhance the awareness and appropriate application of motivation and incentives in business and industry globally. The goal is to increase the understanding, effective use, and resultant benefits of incentives to businesses that currently use incentives and others interested in improved performance.

April 30, 2018
AlliedPRA and ESA Latin America Form Partnership

AlliedPRA and ESA Latin America Form Strategic Partnership Part of Shared Strategic Market Expansion

Chicago, IL., and Fort Lauderdale, FL.—AlliedPRA, Inc. a leading event management and solutions firm in the business events industry in North America, and ESA Latin America, Corp., a leading destination management company in the business events industry in Latin America, are pleased to announce that AlliedPRA and ESA Latin America have entered into a strategic partnership.

Through this partnership, valued clients will have expanded solutions for business events and related deliverables in each partners’ destinations, further enhancing the global reach of the AlliedPRA and ESA brands.

Founded in 2003, ESA Latin America delivers every aspect of business events across Latin America. ESA’s coverage of Latin America is unrivaled, with 11 offices across Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay. ESA provides services in every territory of these eight countries, offering clients the benefit of ESA’s extensive resources, in-depth local knowledge, and buying power.

AlliedPRA, with its 27 offices across North America, is growing organically and significantly across its system, and through an expanding list of acquisitions in several key markets.

“We are thrilled to partner with AlliedPRA. The destinations that ESA Latin America services are the perfect complement to those of AlliedPRA. ESA’s faithful business customers will be able to receive world-class service from AlliedPRA in North America and AlliedPRA’s valued clients will now be able to experience ESA’s destinations for all their events across Latin America,” shared Leandro Popik, CEO & Co-Founder of ESA Latin America. “Our two companies have a lot in common. Our passion for creating amazing experiences that transform business events, and our consistency in providing excellence over so many years, makes us a great match. The leadership teams of the two companies have built a great relationship, as well as an exciting plan of action to continue bringing our two teams closer and closer together, through education and shared experiences, to provide consistency in our now expanded service offering.”

Tony Lorenz, CEO of AlliedPRA, shared: “AlliedPRA has been hearing an increasingly louder drum beat of client interest in Latin America. In ESA we have found a progressive partner in this important region. We share core values of humility, intensity, and ownership of our outcome, in addition to our high caliber approach to our respective business and services in our markets. ESA is the right partner for our business at the right time in our growth story. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Leandro and his stellar team at ESA.”

AlliedPRA (  Founded in 1981, AlliedPRA is a leading event management and solutions firm in the North America, serving many of the most respected brands in every major industry sector.

AlliedPRA destinations are served by full service teams in Arizona, Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Hawaii, Jackson Hole, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, New England, New Orleans, New York, Northern California, Orange County, Orlando, Palm Springs, San Antonio, San Diego, Santa Barbara, South Florida, Utah, Vail/Beaver Creek, and Washington, D.C.

AlliedPRA also connects clients with global partners who specialize in tailoring destinations needs while adhering to the same quality standards as AlliedPRA. Additional global locations are serviced by our strategic partners in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America through 2B UK, Cantrav, ESA Latin America, DMC Incentive Travel Iceland, KeyCall France and

For information on the complete portfolio of services, please email: or visit Follow AlliedPRA on our blog or any of the following social media sites through the links below.

ESA Latin America ( ESA Latin America is an event and destination management company operating in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay. ESA has full ownership of its operational offices throughout Latin America, and of its Sales & Marketing teams in North America and Europe, to consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. ESA stands for Excellent Service Always. The company’s motto, Challenge Convention, establishes the company’s commitment to creativity, originality, and innovation.