Some 75 people attended the first Beyond Borders Conference, an educational forum for planners and suppliers of international meetings, incentives, and events, held at the New York Hilton in March.

Co-sponsored by Adams/Laux Publishing Company, publisher of Association Meetings and four other meetings magazines; and PGI, a global events, entertainment, exhibitions, and business communications company headquartered in Arlington, VA, the conference was a spin-off of Adams/Laux's popular Beyond Borders annual magazine supplement on how to plan international meetings and incentive travel, published annually in June.

Meeting planners, who represented at least 50 percent of the attendance, came from as far as Michigan and Ontario, Canada and from a cross-section of Adams/Laux's readership, including the American Payroll Association and the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals. Virginia Lofft, vice president/publishing director of Adams/Laux, and C.B. Weismar, senior vice president, corporate marketing and communications, PGI, opened the conference with congratulations for attendees on their forethought in entering the international meetings arena.

A dozen topics were covered in the day-and-a-half seminar, presented by experts in the field, including Anne Boehme, CMP, president of Meetings & Management Plus and conference chair, who spoke on preparing yourself and your attendees; Jonathan Howe, Howe & Hutton Ltd., who spoke on currency management and negotiations overseas; and Kathleen Papadimitriou, president, Safaris/PGI, who spoke on coordinating transportation overseas.

Another conference sponsor, Shangri-La Hotels, with deluxe properties throughout Asia, provided registration materials, including a bound workbook and a copy of Axtell's Gestures: The Do's and Taboos of Body Language Around the World.

Based on attendee reaction and comprehensive evaluations, Adams/Laux plans to hold the Beyond Borders Conference annually. --Betsy Bair