Membership in the fledgling American Society of Gay & Lesbian Meeting Planners (ASGLMP) grew from 24 to 200 in its first eight weeks, reports Jim Luce, national coordinator for ASCLMP and executive director of the New York City- based American Academy of Psychoanalysis. Most members are association planners, others are suppliers. Luce is encouraged by the positive response-the Canadian government circulated infor- mation to all its CVBs, and one Mid-western CVB in the U.S. even volunteered assistance.
The purpose of ASGLMP is to provide a networking forum for gay and lesbian planners and suppliers. Toward that end, Luce produces a monthly e-mail newsletter. The second goal is to publish a directory of gay-friendly destinations, set for release this fall.
While Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has an informal gay caucus, it is "somewhat closeted," says Luce. "We are very different. I am putting my name on the line."
Luce says ASGLMP is not competitive with industry organizations-members belong to other organizations, such as MPI and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Rather, he hopes to have a voice in those groups. "I'm assuming, perhaps arrogantly, that I will be invited to address different professional organizations about the needs of gay and lesbian planners," he says. "I would love to hear formally from MPI and ASAE, and I look forward to building a stronger relationship with them."
Membership is not restricted to lesbians or gays. For more information, contact Jim Luce by e-mail at ASGLMP@ aol.com, or by mail at ASGLMP, c/o Jim Luce, AAP, 47 East 19th Street, New York, NY 10003.