Motivation Show week began with a Monday evening celebration for the CMI 25, the kickoff for this magazine's list of the 25 most influential meeting and incentive companies. Top brass from all 25 organizations, along with magazine readers, were on hand for the ultra-luxe event, held at Fulton's on the River. The CMI 25 will be an annual listing; for the complete article and list of the winners, which ran in the September issue, go to http://meetingsnet.com.

In Green Power: Green Meetings Strategies and Solutions, a seminar moderated by CMI Editor Barbara Scofidio, a panel of experts shared hands-on tips for planning green meetings. Kim Boriin, CMP, senior events marketing specialist, Guardian Investor Services LLC, said that his hotel contracts have a clause “saying that we are concerned with sustainable business practices and want to know that you are, too.” He also incorporates the Environmental Protection Agency's green sourcing guidelines into his requests for proposals. Panelist Marge Anderson, associate director, Energy Center of Wisconsin, gave a big-picture update, noting that there are very few best practices and no standards for green meetings, but “big enthusiasm from the meetings industry. A mind-set shift is happening, where hoteliers are starting to ask about green meetings, and that's a really powerful fact.”

The session was part of a new and improved educational focus for the show, which was held September 25 — 27 at Chicago's McCormick Place and attracted 13,500 attendees. According to Donna Oldenburg, conference director, more than two-thirds of the conference registrants were first-time attendees, which she views as an indication that the new education attracted them to the show.

Also new was Motivation Connect, a Web-based tool for connecting buyers and products. According to Peter Erickson, managing director of The Motivation Show, more than 3,600 registrants used the online portal an average of 2.6 times to plan their show participation, conducting almost 14,000 searches.