The Convention Industry Council, the Washington, D.C.-based umbrella organization for 31 associations in the meeting and exhibition industry, has made a series of key announcements since the beginning of the year. Here's a roundup:

He's the Man

CIC's board of directors named Colin C. Rorrie Jr., PhD, CAE, interim president and CEO. Rorrie, who served as president and CEO of Meeting Professionals International from September 2003 to March 2006, fills the post left vacant when Mary Power, CAE, resigned in May 2007.

“As we continue the search for a new executive, we recognize the necessity of having an industry professional oversee our organization's growth,” said Brenda Anderson, newly elected chairwoman of the CIC board of directors and CEO of the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives, in a press release.

New APEX Panels

Terri Breining, CMP, CMM, founder and president of Concepts Worldwide, Carlsbad, Calif., and chairwoman of APEX, the Accepted Practices Exchange initiative, announced that APEX will create two panels, one on green meetings, and one on the expositions and events industry, focused narrowly on the transfer of data among show managers, facilities, exhibitors, and contractors.

Breining said the work of the expositions panel would take place over the next 18 months and that the green meetings panel, which will focus on the development of standards to implement more environmentally friendly meetings, hopes to publish its first findings by the end of this year.

Thinking Responsibly

CIC has a new Task Force on Sustainability and Responsibility, separate from the work of APEX, which convened for the first time in January during the Professional Convention Management Association meeting in Seattle. The task force was formed in response to growing demand from industry professionals for timely information and education about issues and opportunities surrounding environmental and social responsibility.

Task force members include leaders from PCMA, MPI, APEX, the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners, the International Association for Exhibitions and Events, and the American Society of Association Executives & The Center for Association Leadership. “Industry collaboration is essential if we are to meet the knowledge and information needs of these professionals, their clients, and attendees, rather than duplicating individual efforts,” said Anderson.

The task force identified three initial-action priorities: compiling a repository of green meetings practices, developing education around industry sustainability, and identifying measurement tools for sustainability practices. Other potential areas of exploration include social responsibility opportunities, regulatory impact, research, and certification.

Additions to the Leadership

In addition to Rorrie's appointment, the 2008 CIC board of directors elected Anderson as chairwoman of the board; Eric Allen, executive director of Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association and vice president of the Kellen Co., as vice chairman; and Deborah Sexton, CMP, CAE, president and CEO of PCMA, as secretary and treasurer.


August 9 to 12
MPI World Education Conference, Las Vegas

August 16 to 19
ASAE and The Center Annual Meeting, San Diego

September 10 to 11
HSMAI Affordable Meeting National, Washington, D.C.

New DOT Battery Rules

Laptops, cellphones, cameras, two-way radios, PDAs, iPods, camcorders: Most of these consumer electronics are powered by lightweight, rechargeable lithium batteries. The batteries are the subject of new U.S. Department of Transportation rules that went into effect January 1.

Briefly, most lithium batteries are allowed on flights when installed in electronic devices. However, spare batteries are no longer allowed in checked baggage but can be placed in carry-on bags if packed properly.

However, it gets complicated, with lithium quantity limits on spare and installed batteries. The DOT Web site,, has a detailed chart explaining the new rules and information on how to safely pack spare batteries.

Further Reading

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