Remember when MPI changed its name? When music licensing hit the headlines? The SARS scare? Take a trip through time to recall the most significant moments in meetings.
The Society of& Travel Executives (founded in 1973) launches its CERTIFIED INCENTIVE TRAVEL EXECUTIVE designation, which incentive industry professionals can earn for demonstrating knowledge and experience in the field. Since 1980, 58 CITE designations have been awarded. In 2005, the CITE program opened up to non-SITE members.
SITE establishes the Incentive Travel Awards Competition to recognize creative and effective incentive travel programs. The competition becomes known as the CRYSTAL AWARDS in 1987.
A devastating HOTEL FIRE at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas kills 85 people and sends more than 650 to the hospital.
Charles Williams, general manager of Sterling Forest Conference Center in Tuxedo, N.Y. (no longer in existence), launches the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CONFERENCE CENTERS, with 22 member conference centers in the United States and one in Canada. The association sets standards for membership that become recognized as an indicator of quality learning environments. IACC inaugurates its European membership in 1984, with 18 centers in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. It currently has 235 conference center members in North America and 70 in other parts of the world.
American Airlines introduces the first FREQUENT-FLYER PROGRAM, AAdvantage.
LANDRY & KLING is founded. The company is the first to sell the idea of incentive travel cruises and meetings at sea to the corporate market. At the time, no cruise line had a corporate incentive department.
Holiday Inn starts the hotel industry's first FREQUENT-STAY PROGRAM. Called Priority Club, Holiday Inn based it on the airlines' frequent-flyer clubs. Other chains soon followed suit.
The NATIONAL COALITION OF BLACK MEETING PLANNERS, known until 1984 as the National Black Meeting Planners Association, is launched.
Meeting Professionals International (then known as Meeting Planners International and based in Middletown, Ohio) launches its research and educational arm. Since then, the MPI FOUNDATION has invested more than $10 million in programs and studies.
The Convention Industry Council (known as the Convention Liaison Council until 2000), a meeting and convention industry umbrella organization founded in 1949, launches the CERTIFIED MEETING PROFESSIONAL program. The first CMP examination is conducted June 6 at the MPI annual meeting in Chicago. A group of 46 sits for the exam, and 23 are certified. The program expanded internationally in 1993, now certifying an average of 1,000 new CMPs annually. CIC estimates that in 2005, the number of people with the CMP credential will top 10,000 in 26 countries worldwide.
The CIC also initiates its biannual HALL OF LEADERS awards to recognize the meeting and convention industry's outstanding leaders and innovators. Today there are 86 honorees, including the six inducted in 2004: George A. Aguel, Roger J. Dow, Joan L. Eisenstodt, Bruce W. Harris, James E. Jones, and Peter W. Nathan.
Lawyer JONATHAN HOWE establishes Howe & Hutton Ltd. in Chicago to specialize in meetings, travel, incentive, hotel, andindustry law. Howe goes on to become a regular at industry events, a contributor to industry magazines, and general counsel to MPI and the International Special Events Society, among other work in the field.
SITE'S CHAPTER SYSTEM is established for members based outside the United States. In 1997, the structure changes to allow U.S. chapters. Today, SITE has 28 chapters, plus two in formation.
The first MEETING INDUSTRY LADIES OPEN, a golffor women in the meeting industry, is held in Atlanta. Fifty-five women participate. The annual tournament has grown to almost 300 women golfers, with more than 200 organizations providing sponsorships.
The INTERNATIONAL SPECIAL EVENTS SOCIETY forms when a couple dozen individuals pledge $200 to start the organization. Joe Jeff Goldblatt is the founding president. Today, ISES boasts 3,000 members.
SITE establishes its not-for-profit research arm, THE SITE FOUNDATION, to fund research related to the incentive industry. The Foundation has underwritten 20 research projects to date, such as the 1990 Master Measurement Model of Employee Performance, which provided performance measurement criteria to expand incentives to the nonsales arena.
Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham rescinds his predecessor's executive order to create a paid state holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. The meeting and event industry reacts, with an estimated 166 groups CANCELING MEETINGS and conventions before the state approved the holiday in 1992.
Digital Equipment Corp. charters the Queen Elizabeth II and the Oceanic to provide the FIRST DOCKSIDE CHARTER to supplement overbooked hotels in Boston during its DECWORLD'87 conference.
MPI reaches its 10,000-MEMBER MILESTONE. The association, which was formed in 1972 with 159 members, today has more than 19,000 members, with 66 chapters worldwide.
Broadcast Music Inc. and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers begin enforcing MUSIC LICENSING copyright law on the meeting industry.
Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts open as the first major convention properties at DISNEY WORLD, the same year that International Gateway opens at Epcot, giving convention delegates direct access to the theme park, and George Aguel takes the helm of meeting and convention sales. The Mouse's push into the convention market continues the following year with the opening of the 90,000-square-foot convention center at Disney's Contemporary Resort and the 40,000-square-foot convention center at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT goes into effect, prohibiting discrimination against disabled persons. Meeting professionals and facility operators must assume responsibility for accessibility at meetings and events.
Meeting Planners International changes its name to MEETING PROFESSIONALS INTERNATIONAL.
THE BUSINESS TRAVEL CONTRACTORS CORP., a strategic buying group composed of U.S. corporations that annually purchase $1 billion in travel services, is formed by Kevin Mitchell. In 1996, BTCC evolved into the Business Travel Coalition. No longer a buying group, BTC's mission is advocacy for air transportation issues, the biggest being competition.
MPI initiates the CERTIFICATION IN MEETING MANAGEMENT program, an advanced-level designation for meeting professionals focused on executive decision-making. Today there are more than 300 CMMs worldwide.
The ASSOCIATION OF DESTINATION MANAGEMENT EXECUTIVES is formed with the goal of increasing the professionalism of that industry through education and awareness. The association has 180 members today.
Nearly 1,700 travel industry leaders join forces in Washington, D.C., for the first WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE ON TRAVEL & TOURISM. The goal of the conference, in President Bill Clinton's words, was to “develop a shared vision both of the industry's future and the role of travel in our nation's future.”
The SOCIETY OF CORPORATE MEETING PROFESSIONALS meets at Walt Disney World to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
MPI reaches A MILESTONE OF 14,000 MEMBERS. It launches its Web site (www.mpiweb.org) in September.
The INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HISPANIC MEETING PLANNERS is formed to promote career opportunities for Latinos in the meeting planning, hospitality, and travel industries.
CMI's Web site, MEETINGSNET.COM, is named one of the 200 most popular sites by PC Computing magazine.
The MEETING CONSOLIDATION MOVEMENT gains steam. AT&T mandates that all off-site meetings with 20 or more participants be registered with a central meeting department. Planners are required to use an AT&T-approved contracting process and book travel through the company's group travel agency. The change saves the company $8 million that year.
THE MIMLIST, a listserv for the meetings professionals, goes live.
The Convention Industry Council launches APEX, the Accepted Practice Exchange, the first voluntary standards initiative for the meeting industry.
After the terrorist events of 9/11, organizations curtail nonessential meetings, giving new emphasis to videoconferencing and webconferencing. The meeting and travel industries intensify their SECURITY focus.
In a show of support for NEW YORK CITY, the American Society of Travel Agents and the American Society of Association Executives move fall meetings to the city.
On January 1, the long-awaited switch to the EURO takes place in 12 European countries. At that time, the exchange rate is 87 cents to one euro. As of press time, it was $1.28.
SITE HIRES SMITH-BUCKLIN to manage the association, and moves the headquarters to Chicago. Not long after, the new leadership decides to permanently cut its summer conference, SITE University, as part of a plan to return the association to profitability.
CMI's former Associate Publisher VIRGINIA LOFFT is awarded the Moises Shuster Award, from the International Congress and Convention Association, for her 30 years of service to the meeting industry.
IMEX, the Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Worldwide Meetings and Events, is launched in May in Frankfurt, Germany, by Ray Bloom, founder of EIBTM, the European Incentive & Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition, which he had sold several years before.
APEX DELIVERS ITS FIRST PRODUCT — an online glossary. Many more products, including recommended voluntary standards for meeting history, site profile, requests for proposal, housing/registration, and, are to come from the Convention Industry Council's standards initiative.
Outbreaks of SARS in parts of Asia and Toronto, followed by a World Health Organization advisory against nonessential travel to Toronto, create a wave of canceled meetings and force many companies to re-think their meeting contracts.
Travelers flock to ONLINE TRAVEL BOOKING SITES, such as Orbitz, Travelocity, and Expedia, for discount hotel rooms, compoundingproblems from attendees “booking outside the block.”
The GREEN MEETING INDUSTRY COUNCIL is launched to promote environmentally responsible meeting management practices. The council will provide education and resources for meeting planners to make their events environmentally responsible.
THE FIRST PAN-EUROPEAN CMP EXAM is conducted in Frankfurt, Germany, and the CMP AMBASSADOR PROGRAM is launched to raise awareness about the program throughout the world.
The only meeting industry magazine for corporate meeting professionals,& INCENTIVES, celebrates its 25th anniversary. Congratulations, CMI!
LUXOR Hotel opens 2,526 rooms; TREASURE ISLAND Hotel opens with 2,900 rooms; and MGM GRAND Hotel and Theme Park opens with 5,005 rooms and a 171,500-square-foot casino, taking over the position of largest hotel in the world from another Las Vegas property, the 3-year-old, 4,032-room EXCALIBER.
The city's $25 million MONORAIL begins running between MGM Grand and Bally's hotel-casinos in June, and the $70 million FREMONT STREET EXPERIENCE opens in December.
NEW YORK-NEW YORK Hotel Casino opens with 2,035 rooms in 12 adjoining towers that re-create the New York skyline.
BELLAGIO opens with 3,000 rooms and the reputation as the most expensive hotel in the world ($1.7 billion). LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER expansion comes online, boosting total space to 1.9 million square feet.
Four new properties open: MANDALAY BAY RESORT (3,300 rooms), Phase I of the VENETIAN RESORT-HOTEL-CASINO (3,036), PARIS LAS VEGAS CASINO RESORT (2,900), and FOUR SEASONS HOTEL (424).
As diligent as we tried to be in compiling this timeline, we can almost bet that we left out something. Send your meeting-industry milestones to email@example.com, and we'll publish them in future issues.