Current News

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Current News

July 11, 2019

The International Live Events Association (ILEA) proudly recognizes the following event professionals who recently earned the Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation in the April 2019 testing window.

Liz Bakunovich, CSEP, Epicurean Catering & Events, Detroit, Michigan*

Rachel Cullari, CSEP, HP Inc., Palmyra, Pennsylvania

Chloe Hice, CSEP, Hillcrest Country Club, Indianapolis, Indiana*

Nela Kovacovic, CSEP, Timewise Event Management, Edmonton, Alberta*

Carrie Lauck, CSEP, The Happy Hour Hostess, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Chelsea Lawrie, CSEP, River City Events, Edmonton, Alberta*

Dana Macaulay, CSEP, Sonoma County Vintners, Santa Rosa, California*

Larisa Morales, CSEP, San Antonio Detours, San Antonio, Texas*

*indicates ILEA member

ILEA endorses and manages the voluntary CSEP program for those who meet established standards. The CSEP continues a remarkable progression as worldwide recognition of the live events industry continues to evolve. Now more than ever, professionals within the industry recognize the CSEP as an influential designation for the education and the promotion of professional ethics and standards. Earning the CSEP designation demonstrates a continuous dedication to enhance individual and professional performance, and ILEA is honored to recognize each of these new recipients on earning this distinguished credential.

“These eight individuals have demonstrated the knowledge, skills and ability essential to perform all components of a special event,” said Sara Grauf, CSEP, ILEA President. “They have raised the bar of professionalism and expertise in the live events industry and I am proud to welcome them into the global CSEP community.”

To remain relevant in an ever-changing live event landscape that includes a growing demand for qualified live event professionals, the ILEA Board of Governors, in collaboration with the CSEP Certification Committee, are embarking on a year-long journey to review and enhance the CSEP exam, beginning January 2020. The next and final exam window in 2019 is 15-30 October. Applications and payment are due 1 September at

The enhanced CSEP exam will address:

                          Modernized system for test taking, including offering remote proctoring 

                          Simplified system for grading that offers a faster return of scoring for candidates 

                          Enhanced data collection for analysis 

                          Annual exam development that includes writing new questions and reviewing the current performance of 
the exam 

                          Increased access to the exam worldwide 

More information about CSEP program enhancements is forthcoming.

About the Certified Special Events Professional Credential

The Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation recognizes event professionals who have successfully demonstrated the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform all components of a special event. The International Live Events Association (ILEA) endorses and manages the voluntary CSEP program for those who meet established standards. Learn more about the CSEP at

About the International Live Events Association (ILEA)

The International Live Events Association (ILEA) is a global community of thousands of creative event professionals whose skills, expertise and experience power some of the most recognized and respected live events around the world. For creative events professionals who seek deeper connections with like-minded individuals, ILEA provides the education and collaborative networking opportunities that achieve creative experiences. For more information, visit



Ande Leslie
Marketing and Communications Sr. Manager t: +1.312.673.5534


July 10, 2019
Kimpton Saint George Appoints New Director of Sales and Marketing

Toronto’s first and Canada’s only Kimpton Brand Hotel Welcomes Frank Campo to the Saint George Team

Toronto, ON—Kimpton Saint George is thrilled to announce Frank Campo as its new Director of Sales and Marketing. Campo brings his 15 years of expertise in the hospitality industry to Kimpton Saint George, managing all sales and marketing initiatives brought forth by the hotel, as well as assisting with day-to-day hotel management.

“We are thrilled to welcome Frank to the team as our new Director of Sales and Marketing. His exemplary career in the hospitality industry is an ideal fit for Kimpton’s commitment to the guest experience,” said Bertrand Mangeot, General Manager at Kimpton Saint George. “In the short time that Frank has been here, he has demonstrated excellent initiative and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings to Kimpton Saint George.”

After earning a Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University in Hotel Operations, Campo went on to occupy various hospitality managerial positions, overseeing a range of responsibilities as both Resort Assistant Manager and Housekeeping Manager. Upon demonstrating excellent leadership and customer service, Campo moved into a Director role, overseeing the front office at Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach in June 2004. Subsequently, Campo worked in various director and managerial roles for The Sutton Place Hotel Toronto, Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto, and until recently, Thompson Hotel Toronto.

Throughout his career in the hospitality industry, Campo also occupied a position as Hospitality and Customer Service Course Instructor at George Brown College from 2007 to 2012, further demonstrating his ability to lead and oversee a team. Campo has proven effectiveness in managing large-scale budgets and strategic planning, making him an excellent match for Kimpton Saint George’s Director of Sales and Marketing role.

To learn more about Kimpton Saint George, book a stay or see the hotel’s local package offerings, visit or call reservations at 1-888-563-2004. Follow the hotel on Facebook and Instagram for an inside look.

Debuting June 2018 at 280 Bloor Street West, Kimpton Saint George is a 14-story, 188-key, artfully designed hotel, including 20 suites, a Presidential Suite and approximately 1,500 square feet of ground level meeting space. Distinguished for its residentially-inspired design, local touches, dynamic gastropub dining, and genuine service, Kimpton Saint George is located in the vibrant Annex neighborhood, walking distance to world class museums, attractions, and independent shops, cafes and galleries. For more information, visit and follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is the acknowledged industry pioneer that introduced the boutique hotel concept to the United States in 1981. Anchored in one-of-a-kind experiences, Kimpton operates more than 60 hotels and 70 restaurants, bars and lounges across urban locations, resort destinations and up and coming markets in the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. Time and again, Kimpton has demonstrated its commitment to creating spaces and experiences that are centered on its guests. From inspiring design that evokes curiosity to forward-thinking flavors that feed the soul, every detail is thoughtfully curated and artfully delivered. The Kimpton experience is always meaningful, unscripted and ridiculously personal.

Kimpton is highly regarded for its workplace culture and has been consistently recognized on the FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. Empowered employees bring to life the heartfelt guest experience that has come to define Kimpton. In January 2015, Kimpton became part of the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) family of hotel brands. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:
Aerial Communications Group
Lindsay Silverberg / Rachel Mulligan
416.787.6577 /

July 09, 2019
Global DMC Partners Expands in the Caribbean and Central America

Sunlinc and Panama Journeys are selected by this leading global network to serve the West Indies and Panama

Washington, D.C.—Global DMC Partners, the largest global network of destination management companies (DMCs), is pleased to announce the addition of Sunlinc and Panama Journeys to their elite partnership of nearly 70 independently-owned DMCs.

Established in 1983, Sunlinc features full-service DMC operations in the West Indies’ most sought-after destinations, including Barbados, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Grenada, Anguilla and Canouan, and maintains an international marketing office in Florida. The company, which has built its reputation for understanding the needs of even the most demanding international clientele, prides itself on offering spectacularly innovative events while incorporating some of the most fascinating and unique venues in the Caribbean.

Robyn Parris, Director of Group Sales & Special Projects at Sunlinc said, “After a number of years of working with the GDP team, we are delighted to make it official and join the GDP family.”

“We are confident that Sunlinc’s unmatched expertise in the Caribbean, as well as the company’s established relationships with hotels and suppliers in the region, will be a great asset to our clients,” said Global DMC Partners President Catherine Chaulet. “Like Global DMC Partners, Sunlinc is known as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for meeting planners seeking the very best in the West Indies.”

Panama Journeys is a full-service DMC for upscale FIT and MICE groups. A sister company of Global DMC Partners’ current member, Colombian Journeys, Panama Journeys has deliberately remained a small, almost entirely family-run DMC, with an increased focused on what clients need in terms of personal attention, service and value.

“With some of the region’s best infrastructure as well as easy access to major airports in the U.S. and beyond, it should come as no surprise that Panama has become one of the most sought-after destinations for meetings and incentives,” said Chaulet. “We are thrilled to have solidified this relationship and look forward to offering our clients a range of new experiences, from discovering virgin rainforest to marveling in the splendor of the Panama Canal.”

Each new partner in the Global DMC Partners network is handpicked for its extensive local knowledge, creative ideas, established experience and performance and advocacy of the industry’s highest standards. Members are committed to working together to drive excellence and to guarantee that each client receives the same level of quality service regardless of the destination.

About Global DMC Partners: Global DMC Partners is the largest global network of independent destination management companies (DMCs) and sales advisors offering meeting professionals one worldwide solution for total event success. The network has exclusive partnerships with more than 65 DMCs that represent over 500 destinations around the globe. Each DMC provides an unparalleled level of creativity and commitment to clients by promising to deliver one-of-a-kind programs under a singular standard of excellence. Thanks to a global team with decades of experience and a passion for the industry, clients can centralize everything from DMC communication to DMC spend through one dedicated Global DMC Sales Advisor. For more information, including a complete listing of destinations in the Global DMC Partners network, please visit us online at

Media contact:
Claire Kunzman

July 03, 2019
2019 PCMA EduCon hits all the right notes

Almost 1,000 business events professionals from more than 15 countries gathered for 2019 PCMA EduCon in Los Angeles, setting a record for the organization’s event. Hundreds more from around the world also joined the live stream of the June 25-28 at the JW Marriott Los Angeles LA LIVE.

EduCon’s energetic and provocative program, featuring experiential learning formats and learning “studios,” created enhanced engagement and offered practical solutions while supporting PCMA’s vision of driving global economic and social transformation through business events. This year’s event, hosted by Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, began with reception at The Novo and featured R&B group En Vogue. It ended with a workshop where Rock and Roll Team Building founder and former INXS lead singer Ciaran Gribbin led EduCon participants in a collaborative song-writing exercise.

“We carried the ‘Disrupt + Deliver’ theme introduced in January at Convening Leaders to EduCon as business events participants continue to seek unique experiences and innovations to help them with their respective audiences and sectors,” said Sherrif Karamat, PCMA president and CEO. “PCMA continues to challenge the status quo in our event design, research and engagement platforms so our community can learn, challenge and gain greater insights, and we received a positive response in the largest turnout ever for EduCon. Our focus is relentless on the value our audience seeks and at the same time raise the profile of the critical role business events organizers have in driving organizational success and economic good.”

John Ondrasik, a Grammy-nominated songwriter asked EduCon participants to consider “What kind of world do you want?” WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association) champion and Olympic gold medallist Tamika Catchings challenged attendees to “Shift Your Mindset.” Leadership strategist Sara Ross encouraged the audience to stay “emotionally curious.”

Making a difference
EduCon attendees participated in a “Hackathon” competition to help the business events industry develop a solution for unsheltered homeless individuals. The “Hospitality Roundup” team won for their proposal to prevent homelessness in the hospitality community by raising awareness about housing insecurity within the industry, and providing services including child care, job training and medical-care assistance. Funds supporting those efforts would be raised by asking hotel guests and restaurant patrons to round their bills to the nearest dollar.

Other social impact events included assembling toiletry kits for local homeless women, a 5K Fun Run with the Skid Row Running Club of Los Angeles, Namaste with PCMA Yoga and the Give Back Bash. Proceeds from EduCon social impact events supported Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles, Skid Row Running Club and PCMA Foundation’s initiatives for the business events industry.

Different approach to learning
The 2019 EduCon program organized education content into four studios designed to suit different learning styles: Collaboration, Deep Dive, Fresh Look and True Stories. After-chat sessions allowed participants to continue conversations with select speakers and outdoor education provided a different learning environment. The “F-Stage” boxing ring showcased personal experiences of turning failure into success.

“We do not share and celebrate failure enough,” said moderator Juliano Lissoni, managing director of the MCI Group Canada. “It cannot be separated from innovation.” Annette Suriani, CMP, chief marketing strategist for AMS Meetings Solutions, said EduCon’s design and content helps “me with my relationships with colleagues, clients and suppliers. It offers me the opportunity to engage more actively in the sessions I attend.”

Select sessions and interviews will be rebroadcast on July 24.

2020 PCMA EduCon
PCMA’s mission to drive social and economic progress through business events continues as the association prepares to deliver more personalized education, actionable outcomes, fresh approaches to solving industry issues and networking opportunities during its 2020 EduCon from June 28-July 1 in Montreal, Canada.

Photos are available for download at

For media enquiries, additional comment and request for interviews, please contact Andra Miclaus at davies tanner:
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, networking and market intelligence for the global business events industry. Our mission is to drive social and economic progress through business events. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 40 countries. Visit us and

June 30, 2019
The 7th Annual Hosts Global Forum Inspires Meeting and Event Disruption

Hosts Global (Hosts), a strategic partner for destination management services worldwide, hosted over 200 clients and hospitality industry professionals for their seventh annual Hosts Global Forum. This invitation-only event occurred at the Paradisus Palma Real in the Dominican Republic from June 27 – 30, 2019 where attendees participated in on-trend industry discussions, educational sessions, networking events and memorable destination-specific activities. 

“The Hosts Global Forum is our annual opportunity to bring together our 60+ Destination Management Company (DMC) members, clients and colleagues from around the globe”, said Marty MacKay, DMCP, president of Hosts Global’s alliance of DMCs. “Attendees travel to one of our key destinations for a first-hand experience, while also participating in professional growth opportunities and one-on-one business meetings with our DMC members.” Hosts’ 2019 conference highlighted the wide variety of hospitable offerings, venues and activities that are available for group programs, meetings and events in Punta Cana. 

Hosts partnered with Connect DMC, our local experts in the Dominican Republic to craft and coordinate this exclusive event from start to finish. The experience began right at the airport, as clients were met with VIP expedited arrivals thanks to Grupo Puntacana, who also hosted a site tour of their property and a VIP spa experience. Playa Hotels & Resorts also invited guests for an exclusive site tour, along with a spa experience. Clients were treated to three spectacular evening receptions held at the Paradisus Palma Real, Melia Punta Cana Beach Resort and the Hard Rock Resort & Casino Punta Cana. Brainstorm Décor Studio delivered stunning design and décor throughout the program. 

The 2019 Hosts Global Forum wouldn’t have been possible without the Dominican Republic Tourism BoardLenos Event Marketing CloudSpecialty ImagingXplor, Inc., SpeakInc., Amusement MastersCoco Bongo Punta CanaWet Paint Group, and The Perfume & Cologne Bar.

End-to-End Sustainability
The three-day conference was the launchpad for Hosts to implement the Sustainable Meeting Planning Program (SMPP), an event sustainability management system built to guide planning teams to embed sustainability throughout their entire event in accordance with international industry standards. 

Hosts partnered with the Events Industry Council (EIC) to offer their sustainability course in the days leading up to the Hosts Global Forum. After completing the program, only offered by the EIC a few times a year, attendees received their Sustainable Event Professional Certificate.

Hosts also reduced paper and instead heavily leveraged their event app created by Lenos, which featured new security elements including a one-touch emergency button and a mark safe feature. By using the conference as its official sustainability case study and delivering resources that showcased best practices, guests learned firsthand how to initiate sustainable measures in their own event planning activities.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Give Back to Local Resort Workers
During the opening session, Hosts introduced the Forum’s exciting CSR program Boomerang! delivered by the Above and Beyond Foundation. The program was created to acknowledge and award hard-working, frontline hospitality employees who continually go above and beyond in their guest service. Using the event app, attendees had a chance to vote for which five employees of the Paradisus Palma Real, the Forum’s host resort, would receive a $2,000 cash award during an end-of-program recognition night. 

The winning employees hailed from various resort departments, including housekeeping, bell desk, kitchen and bar services.  

Industry Disruption
Once underway, managing disruption in the event industry was at the forefront of the conference. Experts addressed disruption as a positive, narrowing in on what’s disrupting our industry today and tomorrow, and outlined solutions to evolve with the changes across the hospitality community. Disruption pillars and keynote speakers included: 

Leadership: Steve O’Malley, Maritz Travel and Meeting Professionals International

Professional GrowthSimon T. Bailey, Breakthrough Strategist, Innovator, Author

TechnologyCrystal Washington, Futurist, Technology Strategist, Author

Sustainability: Dr. Aurora Dawn Benton, Astrapto & Suzanne Burke, SMPP, CGMP, Certify Sustainability

DataPrivacy: Bruce Smith, Tenax AnalyticsCorinne Clinch, Disruptive Solutions & Paul Miller, Spectra DMC

Prevent Human Trafficking: Michelle Guelbart, ECPAT USA

Award Winners
During the conference, Hosts proudly announced the winners of their annual Hosts H Factor awards acknowledging DMC members who exceeded expectations in the following categories:

HIP: Client’s Choice for Most Innovative Event Design & Décor – Hosts Washington DC

HOSPITALITY: Client’s Choice for Best Overall Hosts Program – E2 Meetings & Events and Passion for Events

HEROES: Outstanding Leadership & Commitment – Katelyn Hill, NXTevent Inc.

HEART:  Exemplifies that Hosts Has Heart – McKenzie Portelance, Maple Ridge Events and Connect DMC

HAPPINESS: The President’s Award – Deidre Everdij, Cream of the Crop Events & Logistics

HONORS: DMC of the Year - Cream of the Crop Events & Logistics 

Destination DiscoveriesThroughout the conference, attendees discovered the Dominican Republic’s spirited landscapes and Latin-Caribbean culture. From exploring mountains, rain forests and crystal-blue waters, to meeting local families and shopping local markets, to an electrifying welcome with a Coco Bongo performance. 

At the close, Hosts unveiled the location of their 2020 Hosts Global Forum occurring July 10 – 13, 2020 in Seville, Spain. Nanoek Events, a Hosts Global member has eagerly begun planning the 2020 conference. Interested in more

information? Email us at to submit your interest in attending this international event.  

About Hosts Global: Hosts Global is a strategic partner for meeting and event planners worldwide. We offer full-service destination management solutions in over 300 locations through our global alliance of select DMCs. Our clients receive streamlined global planning, dedicated account management and superior execution of group programs including meetings, conventions, incentive programs and special events. Contact a Hosts global liaison at to learn more about our services and locations. 

Global Reach. Local Experts.

June 27, 2019
Montréal top international convention destination in the Americas for second year running

Montréal—According to the prestigious ranking of the Union of International Associations (UIA) for 2018, Montréal is the number one international convention destination in the Americas for the second year in a row. Montréal’s drawing power brought 108 events to the city, ahead of the likes of New York, Buenos Aires, Washington and Toronto.

2018 Americas Ranking – Union of International Associations



Number of Events








New York






Buenos Aires


The report also shows that Montréal hosted 50% of all international events held in large Canadian cities—a phenomenal tally that shows how much the convention market is driving economic growth and tourism in the city.

“The outstanding teamwork and collaboration of our partners in the Montréal ecosystem continue to generate exceptional results, such as this first place ranking in the UIA’s Americas list,” said Yves Lalumière, president and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. “Montréal is a highly attractive city where it’s easy to do business. The city is known for its supportive partners, great service by expert local suppliers, opportunities for connecting with opinion leaders in a variety of sectors, and an expanded range of air connections that make it easier than ever to get to.”

“Thanks to cooperation between the business tourism sector, Québec universities, and the city’s main economic clusters, as well as the involvement of leading figures such as our Ambassadors, Montréal hosts many major events that generate significant economic and intellectual benefits for the city and Québec as a whole,” said Robert Mercure, president and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. “The Palais is becoming a vector of Montréal creativity, and we intend to generate ever greater benefits for Montréal and Québec by promoting local people and know-how.”

This report takes over 450,000 meetings into account, organized in more than 12,500 cities, by nearly 30,000 international organizations. Founded in 1907 by Nobel laureate Henri La Fontaine and Paul Otlet, the UIA holds a database of more than 70,000 organizations in 300 countries and territories.

Montréal dominates another major international ranking
According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Montréal is also one of the world’s most popular destinations for international events. The UIA list, which places Montréal 1st in North America for a third consecutive year and 2nd in the Americas, just behind Buenos Aires, draws on a database of more than 12,000 events whose conventions alternate between at least three countries.

Satisfied convention-goers
Once conventions have been confirmed, Tourisme Montréal and the Palais successfully meet the expectations and requirements of convention organizers and their delegates. A survey by research firm Ipsos on behalf of Tourisme Montréal shows that 95% of business tourists were satisfied with their stay in 2018 and 98% were satisfied with the conference facilities in Montréal. Notably, 84% of these business tourists said they would return to Montréal for a vacation—a testament to the city’s outstanding reputation.

About Tourisme Montréal
Established in 1919, Tourisme Montréal is a private, non-profit organization that works to position Montréal as an international-calibre leisure and business travel destination. The organization leads innovative tourist welcome strategies with a twofold objective: ensuring that visitors enjoy a quality experience and maximizing the economic benefits of tourism. Uniting more than 900 tourism professionals, Tourisme Montréal plays a leading role in the management and development of Montréal’s tourism business, and makes recommendations on issues surrounding the city’s economic, urban and cultural development. This year, Tourisme Montréal is celebrating its 100th anniversary. For more information, go to

About the Palais des congrès de Montréal
Recipient of the highest quality standards certification in the industry, the Palais des congrès de Montréal attracts and hosts conventions, exhibitions, conferences, meetings and other events. Buoyed by a team of creative professionals with one of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the world, it generates major tourism revenues and intellectual wealth for Montréal and Québec, while also contributing to the international reputation of Montréal, the top host city in the Americas for international events. To learn more, visit

Andrée-Anne Pelletier
Manager – Corporate Public Relations
Tourisme Montréal
514-844-3344 and 514-248-7844
Renaud Martel-Théorêt
Advisor, Communications and Public Affairs
Palais des congrès de Montréal
Tel.: 514-871-5897

June 25, 2019
Deleagates Explore Meetings of the Future at MPI WEC

IACC welcomed more than 500 delegates to its inaugural Meeting Room of the Future (MROTF) live showcase at last week’s MPI World Education Congress (WEC) in Toronto, with many of its innovative sessions left with standing room only.

Over the three days of the event (15 – 18 June) IACC delivered 14 exploration sessions and panel discussions focused on subject areas including bridging the perceived gaps between restaurant and conference dining qualities, the development of stronger venues and support services and the creation of sustainable meetings. The sessions also included data and trends from the brand-new Meeting Room of the Future report. A variety of guest speakers joined the sessions, including Alan Booth, Vice President at Deloitte University; Susan LoCiero, Event Manager at TD Wealth Management and Gail McCleese, Designer Director at Gensler.

Delegates attending the MROTF showcase were able to taste some exciting ‘foods of the future’, which were prepared by Murray Hall, Executive Chef of Bank of Montreal Conference Center in Toronto. Treats on offer included lemon chia breakfast bread, spirulina goji berry energy bites and adzuki bean brownies.

Mark Cooper, CEO, IACC said: “This project has been 15 months in the making and gave us a chance to accelerate our Meeting Room of the Future report findings into a live setting. The showcase was embraced by delegates in ways we only dreamed of, and all those who attended really immersed themselves in the sessions. We’re looking forward to seeing if this new research sparks new and innovate ideas for meeting experiences over the coming months.” 

Jessie States, Director of the MPI Academy said “The showcase highlighted the amazing work from the IACC team which was deservedly appreciated by our community and attendees. We value the education, knowledge and applicable context IACC brings to live events.”

The showcase was supported by an MPI Foundation grant along with industry partners PSAVHargrove IncSlidoAllSeated,MindMeeting and Events Industry Council.

Images and videos from the IACC Meeting Room of the Future showcase can be found here

PR contacts: davies tanner Tel: +44 (0) 1892 619100
Becca Krug | Hollie Luxford | Andra Miclaus

About IACC:
Founded in 1981, IACC is dedicated to representing the best meeting venues globally and is, by definition, the future of the meetings industry realised. The association brings together the brightest, most innovative minds from around the globe.  IACC elevates the meeting experience by creating a unique point of entry that is inclusive of the best-in-class meeting venues internationally.  IACC membership is a symbol of meeting excellence and exceptional connections amongst the best in the meeting industry.  This exclusiveness makes IACC’s members part of an elite group representing the most innovative, forward-thinking and results-driven meeting venues globally.

All members meet a set of stringent Quality Standards and agree to a Code of Ethics.  IACC includes over 400 member conference venues from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Wales, Canada, Costa Rica and the United States.

The IACC Mission Statement: "To bring together the brightest industry minds to promote the best meeting venues, which deliver exceptional meeting experiences.  There are meetings... And then there are IACC Meetings".

The IACC Vision: “IACC is a global community of passionate people and organizations delivering innovative and exceptional meeting experiences

June 25, 2019
Registration Open for SITE NITE North America: SITE Degrees of Separation September 9, Las Vegas Prior to IMEX North America!

Registration is open for this premier event. 

The most sought after networking event will be SITE Degrees of Separation, the theme for SITE NITE North America, the networking event for SITE members, non-members and top hosted buyers, which takes place the night before IMEX Las Vegas.

SITE NITE North America is a one-time opportunity to connect with incentive travel professionals while supporting SITE Foundation’s commitment to advocacy, research and content generation.

Taking place on Monday, September 9, the night before the opening of IMEX America, SITE NITE North America attracts more than 1,200 incentive travel professionals from all over the world in equal numbers from the buyer and supplier communities.

Hosted at the stunning new KAOS at The Palms, SITE NITE is the perfect place to build brand awareness, host existing and potential customers and to support the important work of the SITE Foundation. 

“SITE NITE North America is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with SITE friends before the frenetic pace of IMEX! Many hosted buyers arrive in Las Vegas on the Monday before IMEX and SITE NITE becomes their first official function,” said SITE Foundation President, John Iannini, CIS, CITP, CTC, Vice President, Business Travel and Meetings & Events America, Melia Hotels International. 

Tickets Available Here

About Incentive Travel & SITE
Incentive Travel, the “I” in MICE, is the fastest growing sector of the Business Events industry with the highest per capita spend and the widest supply chain. Accounting for about 7% of all Business Events activities, the Events Industry Council’s Global Economic Impact study (2018) estimates the incentive travel industry to be worth around $75 billion globally. The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) is the only Business Events association dedicated exclusively to the global incentive travel industry. Founded in 1973, we are a professional association of 2,500 members located in 90 countries, working in corporations, agencies, airlines, cruise companies and across the entire destination supply chain. We bring value to our members at both global and local chapter level by networking, on-line resources, education, certification and advocacy. SITE Foundation was established by SITE to support research, education and advocacy projects on behalf of the incentive travel industry. Monies raised by the SITE Foundation help us make the business case for incentive travel and highlight the transformational potential of travel experiences on individuals, enterprises and communities. The SITE Foundation is a registered charity holding a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization status.

June 25, 2019
MCI Group Canada Inc. announces appointment of Michel Bourdon as director of business development, Montreal

Former vice president of sales from Tourism Montreal adds to MCI Group’s strength in Canada

Montreal, QC—MCI Group Canada Inc., a branch of MCI Group --the global leader in engaging and activating audiences with impactful meetings, incentive travel, events and experiences– is pleased to announce the appointment of Quebec-based special events industry veteran, Michel Bourdon to the new role of director of business development in its Montreal office.

Affectionately known throughout the meetings and convention industry as “Mr. Montreal,” Mr. Bourdon brings his renowned leadership, networking and motivational skills to the MCI office from his seven+ years in the role of vice president of sales and conventions services for Tourism Montreal.  Prior, he travelled extensively through the US and Asia as the director of international market development for Quebec Casinos, with the objective of luring international business to Montreal.  In his new role, Mr. Bourdon will leverage his deep passion for -- and intimate knowledge of -- the city of Montreal to expand MCI Canada’s business on the global stage.

“The addition of Michel to our MCI team is a reaffirmation of our commitment to continue investing in the Canadian market and helping our cites to thrive in the global arena of events," said Juliano Lissoni, managing director, MCI Group Canada Inc.  “His multiple talents, extensive network and expertise will help us to continue to showcase Canada as a prestige destination for international business and events.  With a solid team in place and MCI’s reputation in the local market behind him, we expect MCI Montreal to increase its role as an engine of economic development for Montreal and for our country.”

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to promote Montreal as a premiere destination in global markets, now as part of MCI Group,” continued Mr. Bourdon.  “My eternal love and passion for this extraordinary city, combined with MCI’s brand reputation and professionalism, affords a collaboration like no other.  I look forward to meeting -- and surpassing -- the company’s objectives in the years ahead.”  

This significant announcement underscores MCI’s mission to contribute to the strengthening of the sector as part of its growth plans for North America and follows another recent senior appointment made in Toronto last month.  MCI continues to boost its local market capabilities, keeping innovation at the forefront of building communities, for helping brands and organizations achieve better business results.

About MCI
MCI is the global leader in engaging and activating audiences.  Its business is founded on a simple human insight:  When people come together, magic happens. This magic is called community.  Since 1987 it has been bringing people together through inspiring meetings, events, congresses and association management.  MCI helps organizations harness the power of community by applying our strategic engagement and activation solutions to build unforgettable online and offline experiences that foster change, inspire, educate and enhance business performance. MCI is an independently owned company with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and boasts a global presence with 2,300+ professionals in 60 offices and 31 countries, who work with clients across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, India, the Middle East and Africa.  For more information, visit

For more information, please contact:
Juliano Lissoni
Managing Director
MCI Group Canada/Toronto
+1 416 481-7776

June 24, 2019
Award-Winning Lip Smacking Foodie Tours Sets Precedence with First-Ever Commissionable Dining Experiences For Meeting Planners In Vegas and Beyond

Las Vegas, NV—Innovative Lip-Smacking Foodie Tours has raised the bar again, this time by being the first tour company to offer a 12 percent commission to any meeting planner who books one of its VIP culinary tours in its home base of Vegas or three new cities of San Jose, Seattle or Santa Monica, or any other venue to come.

A preferred partner member of Virtuoso, the global luxury travel agency network, Lip Smacking Foodie Tours now offers its popular culinary walking tours upon request to meeting planners in these three West Coast hot spots, as well as any other city desired. Each tour, tailored to the exact needs of corporate groups from 15 to 100 guests, includes stops at four top restaurants to indulge in as many as four signature dishes at each venue, all the while providing ample time for easy mingling and networking. With the tours now commissionable, they are the go-to group dining experience for meeting planners.

These tours take group dining way beyond just sitting down to a plate of food. Lip Smacking Foodie Tours does all the work, so clients are whisked to the top tables at each restaurant, with absolutely no waiting in line or need for reservations. They can sit next to different people at each stop, and get to know them in the most fun and relaxed way over the finest eats and drinks. Each tour is led by an expert guide who provides guests with insider knowledge and insightful tips along the way. An optional specialty beverage package is also available for those who want an even more indulgent experience.

“We are proud to be the first company to create a fully commissionable dining experience in Las Vegas,’’ says Donald Contursi, founder and president of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours. “We couldn’t be more excited to introduce more cities to our successful tours that turn regular dining into an unforgettable experience that guests can’t stop raving about to friends and colleagues.’’

Each tour is three hours long and priced at $199 per person.

San Jose
The Santana Row Lip Smacking Foodie Tour takes travelers to the heart of Silicon Valley to San Jose’s upscale Santana Row. Located in the innovation capital of the world, this European-style piazza boasts trendy restaurants, hip boutiques, leading tech companies, a boutique hotel, state-of-the-art cinema, and luxurious residences. This must-see development attracts 12 million visitors each year.

This afternoon or evening excursion makes guests privy to Santana Row’s “hidden art,’’ of which few locals are aware. It also includes stops at these four acclaimed restaurants: 

  • LB Steak: The glamorous American steakhouse by James Beard Award-winning chef Roland Passot spotlights Japanese Wagyu, certified prime Angus and sustainable seafood. 
  • Left Bank Brasserie: Passot’s bistro serves classic French dishes. 
  • Ozumo: Founded by Jeremy Umland who played professional baseball in the Japanese Pacific League, this second location of the original San Francisco izakaya specializes in contemporary Japanese small plates. 
  • EMC Seafood & Raw Bar: Bypass the lines at this wildly popular restaurant that takes no reservations, and take a seat immediately to savor an array of Asian-inflected seafood dishes. 

Launching on June 26, this tour gives visitors unique and unprecedented VIP access to some of Seattle’s most celebrated eateries in its buzziest neighborhood, Capitol Hill. Participants will be personally greeted by chefs and business owners at these four stops: 

  • Marmite: Named one of ‘America’s Best New Restaurants’ in 2017 by Bon Appetit magazine, this establishment is renowned for its impeccable French cuisine. 
  • Capitol Cider: The largest independent cider bar in America features hundreds of varieties of cider, as well as potent spirits and luscious house-made apple butter. 
  • Adana: Chef-Owner Shota Nakajima, a competitor on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef Gauntlet’’ and a semi-finalist for a James Beard Award in 2018, takes a contemporary approach to Japanese home cooking. 
  • Osteria La Spiga: At this modern-day temple to authentic Northern Italian cuisine, Executive Chef Sabrina Tinsley and her Italian-born husband, General Manager and Co-Owner Pietro Borghesi, specialize in hand-made pastas.

Santa Monica
This perpetually sunny beachfront city always promises a good time, especially at these four breezy venues: 

  • The Bungalow Santa Monica: The epitome of laid-back Baja beach living, this charming place features an outdoor patio, fire pit and lush foliage adorned with twinkling lights. 
  • Elephante Beach House: This airy space offers a taste of the Southern Mediterranean in the heart of Southern California with light coastal Italian fare, smooth cocktails and an extensive wine list. 
  • Meat On Ocean: This stylish surf-and-turf steakhouse highlights dry-aged beef, house-made charcuterie, and outstanding seafood, all served with a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean. 
  • Herringbone: California Coastal cuisine is the name of the game here with line-caught fish, oysters galore, and seasonal vegetables.

Las Vegas
In 2015, Lip Smacking Foodie Tours debuted in Vegas, and quickly rose to prominence as the city’s premier culinary experience. It now offers eight different tours for up to 250 people at a time. Each tour is typically three hours long, and priced from $125 per person. Each includes stops at up to four restaurants on The Strip or in the city’s exciting revitalized downtown, where guests receive a warm personalized welcome from the chefs, and the opportunity to try three to four signature dishes at each establishment.

The most opulent offering is the “Ultimate Steakhouse Tour” that spotlights American prime and Japanese A5 Wagyu beef at three of Vegas’ most prestigious steakhouses: Jean Georges Steakhouse, Scotch 80 Prime, and Bazaar Meat. The signature dishes are paired with a rare wine especially chosen for this occasion. The ultimate carnivore’s delight, this premium tour is priced at $799 per person.

About Lip Smacking Foodie Tours
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours is the premier culinary tour in Las Vegas, garnering a slew of honors, most notably making TripAdvisor’s “Top 10’’ list of Vegas tours after only a year in business. Additionally, it was named "Best Tour" by Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2016. Most recently, it was named a Preferred Partner member by Virtuoso, the global luxury travel agency network.

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