The engaging Marty MacKay, president of Hosts Global Alliance, was a gracious host for the company’s 4th Annual HGA Global Forum. HGA is a consortium of 50 destination management companies working in 300 locations around the world, and the Forum is designed to build relationships among meeting planners—this year, 137 of them attended the event—and the member DMCs. The two-and-a-half day meeting, held at Turnberry Isle Miami, included educational programing, one-on-one scheduled meetings between the planners and the DMCs, teambuilding activities, and networking events.
The 2016 HGA Global Forum started with a two-part event that was half icebreaker and half give-back activity. For part one, participants teamed up to score points in a fast-paced iPad-based challenge game by taking fun photos and videos and answering trivia. The event was skillfully organized by Best Corporate Events and led by Best’s Managing Partner Roy Charette.
During the teambuilding game on day one of the HGA Global Forum, one team takes on the challenge of shooting a group selfie in which everyone has a moustache.
Part-two of the opening networking event at the HGA Global Forum was a give-back event organized by Feeding Children Everywhere. Participants donned hairnets and plastic gloves to package meals of dried vegetables, lentils, and rice, and by the end of one fun, music-filled session, the group had packed more than 25,000 crisis meals for food shelters in the U.S. and overseas.
HGA likes to talk about the “H factor” in its service and relationships, the secret ingredient that stands for heart, happy, hip, hospitality, and more, says company President Marty MacKay. Finding the “H” was incorporated into the mobile app gamification and the letter popped up where you least expected it around the Turnberry Isle Resort and other event venues during the HGA Global Forum.
Scheduled one-on-one meetings at the HGA Global Forum is a chance for planners to get acquainted with their DMS colleagues. Here Caren Bigelow, vice president of travel operations with USMotivation sits down with Michael Argiri of Conceptours, Greece.
A panel discussion about Austin’s South by Southwest megaevent looked at the citywide from all perspectives, including that of city government, DMCs, police, and organizers. Pictured are (from left) moderator Tanya Posavatz, principal, Clink Events; Denise Silverman, principal, Clink Events; Catlin Whitington, senior planner, SXSW; Jarod Neece, producer and film programmer, SXSW; William Manno, special events program manager for the city of Austin; and Lt. James Hoad, special events inspector, Fire Marshal’s Office, Austin
Patrick Botell, manager of business development aftersales for BMW Group Northern Europe (left), meets with Oussama Bou Kamel, general manager of the Dubai-based DMC Gulf Dunes
Nikki Beach, a waterfront Miami Beach venue, was the site of an white-attire party during the 2016 HGA Global Forum.
From left: Victor Ocampo, senior director global accounts, HelmsBrisco; John Graner, DMCP, owner, Experience Houston; and Jamie Alexander, CMP, manager, Travel Concepts Inc., are decked out for the HGA white party.
Jennifer Patino, CEO of Hosts Global Alliance, enjoys the networking evening at Nikki Beach, a waterfront Miami Beach venue, during the 2016 HGA Global Forum.
Kate Hammond, business development manager, Spectra, a London-based DMC, shared her views on the Brexit situation with the HGA crowd. “We actually received more new RFPs from both Europe and North America almost immediately [after the Brexit vote], which may suggest that the U.K. is now much more affordable due to the improvement in the exchange rate,” she said.
Emergency preparedness is a special focus for HGA, which was evident in its choice of Forum speakers, including crisis management specialist Christina Crue, vice president, Witts O’Brien (pictured), and Sean Donahoo, CEO, Disruptive Solutions, which provided cybersecurity for the event. Crue examined circumstances surrounding the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in 2011, and the lessons learned from the tragedy.
Michael Dominguez, senior vice president & chief sales officer for MGM Resorts International, shared his data-driven insights into supply and demand in the hotel market.
Robyn Bass, president of Maple Ridge Events, Nashville, celebrates being named HGA DMC of the Year. “We drink the Kool-Aid,” she said. “I love being part of this.”
Marty MacKay, president of Hosts Global Alliance, gives a warm thank you to her client advisory board (from left): Christina Lofton, CMP, manager, global meeting services, Meeting & Incentives Worldwide; MacKay; Christi Heacox, manager, sales programs & events, FedEx Services; Kara Leodler, manager, conference & travel, Kansas City Life Insurance Co.; Patricia Palacios, president and CEO, GlobauxSource; and Jeffrey Broudy, president, United Incentives Inc.
Smiles all around on the closing night of the HGA Global Forum. The final dinner was held at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort on its 7th floor pool deck overlooking the Atlantic.
Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×