The Convention Industry Council, an umbrella organization representing the 30 lead national and international associations in the meetings, conventions, exhibitions, and travel and tourism industries, has selected The New York Times to launch its public education campaign promoting the value of face-to-face meetings, conventions, and exhibitions. "Beginning the week of May 20, and over the next six months, 3,200 CEOs and CFOs, representing Fortune 100 companies, will receive certain issues of the NYTimes with an advertising insert including a message from Tom Peters about the importance of meeting face-to-face," says Mary Power, president of CIC. Peters is a well-known author of business books such as Thriving on Excellence and A Passion for Excellence.

Peters' photograph will appear on one side with a message that face-to-face meetings mean good business. The other side will carry the message: "Corporate America is again recognizing the value of meeting face-to-face.
Why? Simply put, onsite meetings are still the most effective-- and often most profitable--way to conduct business. Product launches, trade shows, conventions, sales kickoffs, board meetings, seminars, and incentive trips are proven examples of vital face-to-face business exchanges that drive corporate growth, profitability, and leadership position. Bottom line: You’ll profit from the experience."

Funding for the insert and campaign has come from a coalition of industry partners, including the CIC's own reserve funds, says Power.

CIC and the Times have also made arrangements so that industry suppliers can reinforce their message with announcements of their own products and services for the meeting, convention, and exhibition industry through sponsored copies of the newspaper at conventions. Special reduced rates are available. In a separate announcement, the CIC announced a partnership with The New York Times (see above) and three APEX (Accepted Practices Exchange, for the meeting, convention, and exhibition industry) City Discussion Groups to take place in May. You do not have to be a member of a professional meeting planner association to take part. Any interested industry member can RSVP for these events at www.conventionindustry.org/apex/CDG.htm.

City Discussion Groups (CDGs) are events akin to Town Hall meetings and will be a vital part of the development of accepted practices for the meeting, convention, and exhibition industry.

  • oPhoenix, Arizona - May 8, 2002: Local leaders are Debbie J. Elder, CMP, and Edward E. Scannell, CSP, CMP.
  • oLexington, Kentucky - May 14, 2002: The local organizer, Brian Doty, director - Member & Management Services for Association Management Resources, Inc., has worked closely with the Lexington Convention & Visitors Bureau to plan this event.
  • oAustin, Texas - May 21, 2002: Jackie Jungemann, CMP, senior meeting planner services for the Texas Association of School Boards, has led a local coalition of volunteers to plan the first Austin event.


And, the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF), formerly the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation, recently approved $60,000 in funding over a three-year period to support the development of accepted practices. To date, APEX has received $926,000 in commitments toward its goal of $1.9 million.

The Convention Industry Council (CIC) is composed of 30 leading national and international organizations representing more than 81,000 individuals and 13,000 firms or properties involved in the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and travel and tourism industries.