Black Meetings and Tourism

JAN/FEB 2012

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IN THE NEWS SISTER CITIES INTERNATIONAL TO MEET IN CINCINNATI USA Cincinnati USA will host Sister Cities International's 2012 Regional Conference and Leadership Meeting October 5-6, 2012.The conference will bring more than 200 key decision mak- ers from the Midwest's international community to Cincinnati USA, including elected officials, business leaders, community leaders and academics who are major international relations con- tributors. The announcement took place at Cincinnati's signature sym- bol of multiculturalism, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The conference will come on the heels of the largest inter- national event in the history of the region – the 2012 World Choir Games that will take place July 4-14 – ramping up the momentum of high-profile international events in Cincinnati USA. Pictured (from left) are Kim Robinson, president & CEO, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center; Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory; Carla Walker, Cincinnati USA Sister City Association Board; Dan Lincoln, president & CEO, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Bob Stevie, president, Cincinnati USA Sister City Association. MEETING PLANNERS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY RECEIVE PROFESSIONAL TRAINING AT PALM BEACH COUNTY'S FIRST-EVER INDUSTRY BOOTCAMP More than 30 meeting planners from across the U.S. spent three days at the PGA National Resort & Spa in The Palm Beaches recently for in-depth industry training sessions led by industry experts with CONTACT Planning, the PalmBeach County Convention andVisitors Bureau (CVB) and the county's top hotel and tourism representatives. The group, which comprised of senior meeting planners and event managers, member service directors, executive assis- tants, and agency management group CEOs, to name only a few, received the most current industry insight on destina- tion and accommodation selection, con- tract negotiations, food and beverage planning and more. Topics discussed in each sessions, led byCONTACTPlanning President Tom Pasha, included: under- standing the selling process from the hotels perspective, providing planners with best practice tips for working with hotel management and creating a clear and detailed proposal worth competing for; an in-depth look on contract negotia- tions and overview of critical clauses and options; and a review of top five negotia- tion techniques in planning a successful, "on-budget" event. "This two day training programprovid- ed an educational and open format for planners to brush up on important skill sets, exchange ideas, and gain insights into the hotels operation and probe key seasoned industry experts on questions they can't always ask on Site Inspections," saidDoug McLain, senior vice president ofGlobal Sales for the PalmBeach CVB. Although the focuswas on the business of planning, several PalmBeachCounty hotels also had the opportunity to provide 8 Black Meetings & Tourism January/February 2012: HERMAN "SKIP"

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