Debra Kaufman, CMP, director of meetings and administration for Professional Insurance Marketing Association in Bethesda, Md., chose the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess for the company's annual conference in January 2000. "Our members like resort destinations," says Kaufman. "Golf is key to the networking and business deals they do, and there are so many courses in the Phoenix area."

Because many conference participants are from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois, Kaufman always picks a warm-weather meeting site. She applauded the ability of the Princess to keep everything running smoothly, even though the Phoenix Open was headquartered at the hotel at that time.

She says the group found Phoenix easy to get in and out of, and attendees were delighted with available activities. Hot-air ballooning, horseback riding, desert jeep trips, and shopping were important to spouses. PIMA attendees include CEOs and chief staff executives of insurance companies, a group that has high expectations regarding levels of service, explains Kaufman. "Pleasing the entire crowd is difficult, but Phoenix always does," she says.