As it approaches its 75th anniversary on September 25, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International has a lot to celebrate. It held its 14th annual Affordable Meetings National show, September 3 to 4, for the first time at the new Washington Convention Center, which opened earlier this year. In addition, HSMAI officials announced it will launch two new shows in 2004, including an airline symposium and an international summit. In addition to Affordable Meetings National, West Coast and Midwest editions are held each year.
The airline symposium, slated for February, is designed to bring together airline and hotel and lodging companies looking for a piece of the estimated $41 billion spent annually on lodging for airline crews and distressed passengers. Robert Gilbert, president and CEO of HSMAI, says this event would be the first of its kind. Twenty major airlines have signed on for the conference, says Gilbert. The date and location have yet to be announced.
The international show, called WorldQuest, will be held in three U.S. cities--New York, Chicago, and Washington--and will be for domestic meeting planners taking their meetings overseas. Twelve international hotel companies have already confirmed their place as exhibitors, says Gilbert. Dates and venues have not yet been determined for the WorldQuest shows.
HSMAI also announced that the 2004 Affordable Meetings West Coast show, slated for June 9 to 10, will be held in Long Beach, Calif. The 2003 show was held in San Jose.