NETWORK OPPORTUNITY

Destinations Showcase 2005, sponsored by the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, takes place March 3 in Washington, D.C., and June 9 in Chicago. Highlights of the one-day event include a Certified Meeting Planner Breakfast, education sessions sponsored by industry associations, and a three-hour exhibition. Attendees can earn points toward the CMP designation. Admission is free to qualified planners who pre-register at www.destinationsshowcase.com.

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

In an effort to better communicate the mission of convention bureaus, the IACVB board of directors will vote in February on adopting a new name: Destination Marketing Association, Representing Destination Marketing Organizations Worldwide.

PREPARE FOR THE WORST

The National Business Travel Association has published a paper for members on how to prepare for and react when an airline shuts down. The five-page report offers travel managers guidance on developing strategies to lessen the disruption and improve communications. Among the ideas: Establish (or enforce) a policy that says airline tickets must be purchased no more than 60 days before travel with a credit card. This way travelers can take advantage of the Fair Billing Credit Act, which says that credit card customers can refuse to pay for services not rendered within 60 days of receipt of the credit card statement.

S.A. COLLABORATION

The South African Meetings Industry Federation formed late last year with seven charter members: the National Convention Bureau for South African Tourism, the Exhibition Association of South Africa, the South African Association for Conference Industries, the International Special Events Society, the Society for Incentive Travel Executives, the Technical Production Services Association, and the South African Federation of Convention Cities. Rick Taylor, head of the National Convention Bureau, is chairman of the new group.

RAISING EUROS

Meeting Professionals International, which has 1,300 members in its Germany, France, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, and United Kingdom chapters, has launched its first European capital campaign: FOCUS 2006. Through its research and development arm, The MPI Foundation, the organization hopes to raise more than $670,000 (£500,000) for research and programs for the European meeting industry.