According to Tom Bolman, CAE, executive vice president of the International Association of Conference Centers, safety and security is front and center for IACC’s 22nd Annual Conference, which is scheduled March 29 to April 2 in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

He recently reassured members of the IACC listserve that the Banff Center, where the meeting will be held, "has highly trained and experienced security personnel who have provided security for many high-level guests and events, including the Prime Ministers of Canada and Czechoslovakia. In addition, they assisted with security for the very high-profile G8 Summit held last year." He added that the remote location may increase safety: "The likelihood of something adverse happening is probably as remote as the location itself," he said.

"Since the beginning of the War in Iraq, we've received calls from maybe a dozen conferees asking whether we would cancel the conference. We told them all that we were monitoring the situation very closely but we believed that cancellation was an extremely remote possibility. We still believe this today. In fact, changes to registrations over the past couple weeks have been extremely minimal: four cancellations and two additions.

"We're all anxious. We're all wondering what we should do, or not do, during these extremely stressful times," he said. "Based on what's happening with the registration for our conference, it's clear that IACC conferees have decided to go ahead with their plans." In related news, the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International says that, despite the war in Iraq, HSMAI's Affordable Meetings Mid-America will take place as scheduled next week, April 2-3 at Chicago's Navy Pier.

"We are mindful that the health of our nation is dependent on the continued success of our economy, and we must forge forward at our end to maintain business as usual," the group explained in a press release.