Since 1992, accredited providers of continuing medical education (CME) have complained that the last of the seven Essentials (rules for operating a CME program established by the Accreditation Council for CME (ACCME) was the most burdensome. This rule, which has to do with joint sponsorship of CME activities, has at last been revised (see full text, below). Medical Meetings received the following announcement from the ACCME in early June:

All seven of the ACCME member organizations have officially approved the ACCME's new version of Essential 7, effective June 1, 1997. The revised Essential 7 represents a different way of engaging in joint sponsorship and stipulates that an organization that wishes to engage in joint sponsorship must have a policy in place to guide those types of interactions.

Implementation of the components of the new Essential 7 must be in place by June 1, 1998. This is not to say that a sponsor cannot begin changing its practice of joint sponsorship immediately. It just means that sponsors have one year to develop, adopt, and put into practice their joint sponsorship policy and to ensure that the new statement on joint sponsorship appears on all printed materials and brochures for jointly sponsored activities. Any sponsor coming forward for accreditation on or after that date must be in compliance with all elements of the new Essential.

Please remember that the new Essential 7 still requires that the accredited sponsors be able to document that all jointly sponsored activities are planned, produced, and evaluated in compliance with the ACCME's Essentials and Standards.

Text of the Revised Essential 7 Joint Sponsorship: Activity and Presentation in Partnership with Non-Accredited Sponsors. The accredited sponsor shall accept responsibility that the Essentials and Standards are met when educational activities are planned on and presented in joint sponsorship with non-accredited sponsors.

1. The accredited sponsor must be able to show with written documentation that each such sponsored CME activity was planned and implemented in compliance with the Essentials and Standards of the ACCME.

2. All printed materials for activities created according to the Essentials must carry the following statement: "This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essentials and Standards of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of (insert name of ACCME accredited sponsor)

and (insert name of non-accredited sponsor). The (insert name of accredited sponsor) is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians."

3. The accredited sponsor must utilize specific written policies and operating procedures to govern effectively the planning and implementation of its jointly sponsored activities. The accredited sponsor may require that the non-accredited sponsor meet requirements that are more restrictive than or exceed the minimum requirements of the ACCME.

4. If two or more accredited sponsors are involved in an activity, then one of them must assume responsibility for the activity and this must be clearly indicated on all the printed materials. (ACCME Policy 96-C-7)

Please direct questions to Murray Kopelow, MD, Executive Director & Secretary, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, (312) 464-2500; Fax (312) 464-2586; e-mail: MKOPE Erickson

EIBTM: Ten Years On, Still Going Strong The mood at the opening ceremonies was jubilant as the European Incentive & Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (EIBTM) celebrated its tenth anniversary in Geneva in May. From 3,000 attendees ten years ago to 7,000 today, from 360 exhibitors to 2,250, the growth of EIBTM is nothing less than impressive.

Making news at the show was the kickoff of a marketing alliance of conference centers known as the Historic Conference Centres of Europe. Member conference centers are at least 100 years old, promise state-of-the-art technology, as well as superior service and management standards, and are located in cities known for their rich cultural heritage.

The 11 founding members are Grazer Congress (Graz, Austria); Vienna's Hofburg Congress Center; Beurs von Berlage in Amsterdam; Flanders Congress & Concert Centre in Antwerp (Belgium); Palais des Papes in Avignon (France); Dublin Castle Conference Centre; CCM Congress Centre Rosengarten in Mannheim, Germany; Palazzo del Polpolo in Orvieto (Italy); Palacio da Bolsa in Porto (Por-

tugal); Norra

Latin in Stockholm; and Das Kurhaus in

Wiesbaden, Germany.

Also big news was the newly formed alliance between five major air carriers' United, Air Canada, Lufthansa, SAS, and Thai Airways--known as the Star Alliance. The agreement will allow frequent-flyers mileage awards in each partner's program and qualified passengers privileges at alliance airport lounges around the world.

EIBTM 1998 is scheduled for May 12 to 14 at the Palexpo Exhibition Center in Geneva.--Barbara Scofidio

HCEA Endorses Exhibition Industry Promotion Campaign The Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association (HCEA) in Atlanta has endorsed the Exhibition Industry Promotion Campaign (EIPC) run by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). Aimed at senior level corporate executives, EIPC is a marketing and public relations program designed to promote the importance of exhibitions. HCEA will make an initial contribution of $1,000 and encourage its member companies to support the campaign.

"We believe EIPC will communicate the value of healthcare exhibiting as well as exhibiting in general," says HCEA executive director Robert Gelardi. In addition to financial support, HCEA plans to provide direction for the healthcare side of the campaign. "We want to ensure that there is an understanding about the special nature of healthcare exhibiting," Gelardi says.

CEIR, based in Bethesda, MD, received an enormous boost following HCEA's endorsement when Don Freeman, chairman and CEO, The Freeman Companies in Dallas, and his wife Beverly announced their contribution of $500,000 in a matching grant program.

The funds, which will be allocated over the next three years, must come from individuals, families, or companies and not industry associations, foundations, or tax supported organizations. The donation is from the Freeman family, not from The Freeman Companies. "We are going into the third generation as a family company," says Don Freeman. "We feel strongly about investing in the future of the industry. EIPC is very well done, and needs the funds."

McGettigan Launches Online Version of Meeting Management Software McGettigan Partners, the Philadelphia-based meeting management firm, has expanded its meeting management software program, CORE Discovery(tm). CORE Discovery helps planners track a corporation's meeting costs, sites, and schedules (see "Marrying Your Meeting Vendor," June issue, page 27.) The new version, designed by Microsoft's field consulting group, will run on corporate local area networks (LANS), the Internet, and corporate intranets. A company's employees around the world will be able to access the system, which means that multinational corporations can reap the benefits of meetings consolidation without having to centralize their planning departments.

New features include a database of international meeting sites, enabling planners to search for and select sites based on specific criteria and then send RFPs electronically; a Passenger Management System, which will help planners manage air and ground travel, and a system for handling on-site registration and report generation. CORE Discovery 5.0 is scheduled for release in the fall.

Boston Cheers IAEM The Cheers Bar, where attendees stopped for a cocktail during the "Neighborhoods of Boston" reception at the International Association for Exposition Management (IAEM) Summer Meeting, was a replica, but Boston's warm welcome was the real thing. Held June 10 to 13 at the Hynes Convention Center, IAEM drew 830 attendees, making it the second-largest summer meeting in IAEM's history. Forty-six percent of delegates were exposition managers, including 114 association show managers.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino kicked off the general session, Trade Shows for the New Millennium, announcing that the city was entering the next century with great news--legislative appro-

vals for a new convention center are expected this month, and new hotels are already under construction. "We look for- ward to the imminent groundbreaking," IAEM president Steven Hacker said later at a press conference, referring to the convention center. "I'm available to dig a hole on short notice."

But trade shows in the new millennium will need more than new convention centers to succeed. At the general session, Jason Chudnofsky, president and CEO of Softbank Comdex, in Needham, MA, announced the results of an informal survey of about 80 exhibitors, conducted at Softbank's booth during the 1997 Exhibitor Show in Las Vegas. Forty-four percent of respondents predicted that the Internet will replace trade shows within five years as their most important marketing channel.

Speakers took objection to that view. "I disagree strenuously," declared panelist Sheldon G. Adelson, chairman, Las Vegas Sands, Inc. and the Interface Group, Las Vegas. "There is no such thing as a virtual trade show any more than people can make babies on the Internet. There are certain things for which you need intimate and immediate contact." He stressed that the Internet is an aid, not a replacement, for face-to-face trade shows. To thrive, he said, show managers must understand industry trends, and continually ask customers what they want.

The 1997 IAEM Annual Meeting will be held in Atlanta from December 2 to 5.

DC Bureau Takes Housing Nationwide The Washington, DC Convention and Visitors Association (WCVA) has developed a new--and so far highly successful--solution for groups struggling with the persistent problem of how to get consistent housing service.

WCVA is now providing housing for clients even when they are meeting in other cities. To date, WCVA has handled the housing for the American Academy of Dermatology's (AAD) March meeting in San Francisco and the American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA) June meeting in San Diego. AAD plans to use WCVA's service again for its 1998 Orlando meeting, and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) will be using WCVA housing for its 1998 meeting in San Francisco. All three groups have previously used WCVA to handle housing in DC.

Both AAD and APTA report that WCVA's housing service was superb, and says Rita Pierson, travel manager with APTA, "service is the most important thing to our members."

Adds Pam Dallstream, AAD director of meetings and conventions, "They were familiar with our housing process and reservations patterns, and able to anticipate any questions delegates would have." Geri Swindle, FASEB director, chose WCVA,because "they provide the best housing service I've ever encountered."

In preparation for housing meetings outside of DC, WCVA educated its staff about the other cities, and sent staff members to San Diego and San Francisco to meet with hoteliers. "They were in constant contact with the hotels," says Dallstream. "They made sure they knew what was [available] in the city, and could have come up with alternate hotels if we needed additional rooms." Pierson concurs, saying, "We got a lot of positive comments [about WCVA] from each of the [hotel] reservations offices."

While all three groups are looking for consistency and high-quality service, Swindle is using WCVA for another reason. She plans to have the DC bureau handle housing only in cities whose bureaus do not have an in-house service.

"When a CVB contracts with a housing company, that company is not responsible directly to me, but to the bureau," she says. "If they have two meetings in a city, and they have to compromise one of those meetings, I don't want them to compromise mine because they don't have to answer to me."

Cost is another benefit. WCVA's charges vary depending on how much the association can assist with the staff's travel expenses, says WCVA president Dan Mobley, but are far less than the ten percent commissions charged by some third-party vendors, and in some cases are less than the local CVB's rates.

Pierson wouldn't specify WCVA's charge in San Diego, but says it was less than what the San Diego bureau charges, which is $15 per reservation. WCVA is charging $15 per reservation for FASEB's San Francisco meeting, and charged $13.50 per reservation for AAD's meeting there.

Mobley says WCVA decided to take its service on the road after the failure of the Central Convention Housing Reservation Service (CHRS) last year. "We thought, where was housing going to wind up? Were we all going to throw up our hands and get out of it, or take a more aggressive view?" recalls Mobley. Even before WCVA rolled out the service, Cheryl K. Nordstedt, AAD's associate executive director, management services, broached the idea with Mobley.

Mobley is currently promoting the service to clients "very quietly at this point." He has even been approached by other bureaus asking him to do their housing, but has turned them down. "It is not a second business," he clarifies. "I am only doing this to preserve our housing department and provide excellent service to groups that meet in Washington, DC as part of their rotation pattern."

Another Opening, Another Show The Greater Washington Society of Association Executives (GWSAE) has announced that it will sponsor another trade show and conference for association executives, scheduled for October 6 to 7 at the Washington (DC) Hilton & Towers.

The 15 educational workshops will focus on innovative solutions to challenges and on models of innovation in program delivery. The four hours of exhibits will focus on business services and technology, not on the larger hospitality company exhibitors that are attracted to GWSAE's annual Springtime in the Park event. That trade show attracted more

than 3,200 attendees on May 29, with a record number of exhibiting companies (703) and approximately 2,000 association executives.

In a separate announcement, GWSAE announced the results of a study conducted by Harvard Graduate School of Education and GWSAE, entitled "Adult Learning and its Implications for Associations." The first two sections of the report examine the literature on adult learning theory and how those principles apply to association education programs.

The report contains more than 25 best practices, drawn from colleges and universities, adult education programs, associations, corporations, and independent providers of professional devel-

opment programs. They range from simulations to challenge courses to peer-

driven learning.

GWSAE plans to hold a conference on adult learning at Harvard University in late 1997 or early 1998.

Unity Team to Develop Convention Data Guidelines The Unity Team's new project is to develop guidelines for compiling data that demonstrate the positive effect of convention and leisure travel on cities, says David R. Evans, Unity Team chair, and vice president and general sales manager with Westin Hotels & Resorts.

The decision was made when the Unity Team--composed of representatives from Meeting Professionals International (MPI), American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), International Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (IACVB), and International Association for Exposition Management (IAEM)--reconvened during the Greater Washington (DC) Society of Association Exec-

utives Springtime in the Park on May 29. Unity Team projects are funded by the participating groups' foundations.

The guidelines will enable CVBs and hoteliers to prove to city and state governments the value of the meetings and travel industry. "People say if you bring the Olympics to town, it brings in $190 million--but who knows?" says Evans. "This will be empirical data that a CVB can use to press a point to city council. It is one of the most important things we can do as an industry."

Meetings Technology Standards? At April's Meetings and Exhibitions Technology Conference (METCON), ASAE president R. William Taylor announced that he would raise the crucial issue of meetings technology standards at the Unity Team meeting. The subject was tabled at the May meeting; however, Mickey Schaefer, CAE, director of meetings and conventions division and convention manager with the American Academy of Family Physicians in Kansas City, MO, and board liaison to the PCMA committee for standards and recommended practices, says her committee took on the daunting task of creating a model for industry-wide standardization back in January.

The model, says Schaefer, would need input from "all the different players in the industry, and could perhaps be picked by the Unity Team as a way to implement standardization through the meetings


Committee members have identified seven areas that need standardization: meeting profiles, meeting history, contracts, resumes, banquet event orders, housing, terminology, and RFPs/booking inquiries.

Technology, says Schaefer, is intertwined with all those issues. In fact, the advent of technology has finally pushed the industry to approach the "monumental undertaking" of developing standards, Schaefer says.

"I'm president-elect of PCMA and I'm taking this on as my baby," Schaefer asserts. The knowledge that standardization will probably not occur until long after her term as president is over doesn't diminish her excitement. If it happens, she declares, "I'll feel like I won the lottery."

Holiday Inn Worldwide Signs on to THISCO UltraRes Holiday Inn Worldwide has become the second hotel chain--following Hyatt Hotels--to participate in THISCO UltraRes, the newly launched electronic data transmission system that allows housing vendors to download rooming lists directly into hotels' computer reservations systems.

Endorsed by the International Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (IACVB), UltraRes has the potential to solve the long-standing connectivity problem between hotels and whomever is handling housing for citywide meetings. whether the association, the CVB, or a third-party vendor. (See "IACVB Endorses UltraRes Convention Housing System," March/April issue, page 16.)

New MPI President Aims for Globalism "I want members everywhere to be able to benefit from Meeting Professionals International's (MPI) programs and take part in its governance," says MPI's new president, Anna Lee Chabot, CMP, who officially began her term on July 1.

Currently the head of the meetings and assemblies section for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Ottawa, Chabot is the fifth female and the second Canadian to serve as MPI president. Chabot will preside at MPI's World Education Congress in early August in Baltimore.

Anna Lee Chabot, CMP

Although international in name, MPI is, in fact, mostly a North American organization. Chabot aims to change that.

But she doesn't intend to impose the North American methods of organizing membership on the rest of the world. "I think we're open to the idea that there may be different ways of organizing our membership in other regions of the world," she says. "To go in and create our own bureau and chapter network may not be the most efficient way of bringing MPI's products and services to another region."

Chabot points to the recent alliance with the Meetings Industry Association of Australia as a possible model for MPI's global expansion. The Australian association has been given a corresponding affiliate members status, enabling its members to join MPI. "In this way, MPI can extend its reach and work in partnership with an already existing and very fine industry association," Chabot says. "It is not our intention to reinvent the wheel. If we can extend the reach of our programming by working with existing societies and associations that have the same goals, then we are all further ahead."

Membership recruitment is only one facet of Chabot's global visions. She wants overseas members to take part in MPI's governance. "I'm trying to ensure that all the committees and councils and task forces are made of the very best people we can get who are representative of a global membership and a very diverse membership," she asserts. "I don't think we were intentionally not doing this in the past, but perhaps we didn't have it as priority. I feel it should be a priority at this time in MPI's growth."

Chabot sees her bicultural roots as the foundation for her open-minded perspective. Her mother is from the U.S.; her father is Canadian. Born in Manitoba, she grew up in Vancouver, and attended school in Washington state. Chabot is also bilingual; she learned French when she lived and worked in Montreal for 15 years.

How will her multicultural background help her realize her global vision for MPI? "I think I can help foster an attitude that, when you live and work in a global environment, you need to be sensitive that your way is not always the best or the only way," she reflects. "It may work for you in your setting, but be ready to accept that someone else's business practices and way of looking at things are just as valid in context."

Hilton's Disclosure Policy: The Update Hilton Hotels Corporation's new disclosure policy created a furor among meeting planners when it was announced at January's Professional Convention Management Association meeting.

The policy was designed to inform attendees when a hotel paid any fees or commissions to a third party, such as a housing vendor, or paid a rebate back to the association. When the directive was first announced, planners were told that a stamp informing attendees that such fees had been paid would be placed on guest folios.

In practice, the disclosure is far less prominent. Instead of appearing on attendees' folios, the information is in a paragraph in the guest services directory, informing attendees that Hilton may have paid rebates, commissions, or other payments, and directs attendees to check with their association for complete details.

Is the change in placement a response to planners' negative responses to the disclosure policy? "Not really," says Brian Stevens, vice president of sales and marketing, Hilton Hotels Corporation. The decision was made, he says, because "it slows down the check-in process to have something on the folio."

Hilton contracts also include a clause stating that associations will disclose fees to their members. The policy was designed to protect Hilton from possible legal problems resulting from non-disclosure. *

Sound-off: Never on Saturday? In the buyer's market days, Saturday overnight discount airfares were a happy marriage between airlines and hotels, says Joan L. Eisenstodt, president, Eisenstodt Associates, Washington, DC. But have they outlived their usefulness in today's seller's market? "The hotels and the bureaus are saying that Sunday night is the quiet night, when they need business," Eisenstodt observes. "If the hotels are down, the airlines must be down. Why not have some flexibility, so that Sunday nights become like the Saturday nights of the past?"

And, why not? John Wilusz, vice president of sales, Charlotte (NC) Convention & Visitors Bureau, initiated preliminary discussions with US Airways when attendees for a meeting that started on a Tuesday wanted to arrive Saturday night to take advantage of discounted airfares. Only problem: Charlotte had a NASCAR race in town that weekend. Wilusz says US Airways was receptive to the idea of offering the same discounts on other nights to displace the load.

"I think it's another industry issue to play with," says Eisenstodt.

What do you think? Sound-off about this, or any other issue. Send your comments to Tamar Hosansky, Fax: (508) 466-8961; e-mail