According to the Convention Industry Council shortly after the attacks of September 11, here’s how some of the industry associations responded:
o Meeting Professionals International was providing "crisis care and support" to its members at its web site, www.mpiweb.org. Immediately following the attacks, MPI mobilized the 48 U.S.-based chapters to assist with local American Red Cross chapters. Twenty-two MPI members had principal offices in the World Trade Center Towers.
o The American Hotel & Lodging Association (www.ahma.com) was encouraging its member properties to carefully evaluate existing security policies and practices as a precautionary measure.
oThe Air Transport Association (www.air-transport.org), whose members include leading U.S. airlines, said that ensuring the safety and security of the nation’s air transportation system would continue to be its top priority. "In the interest of identifying those responsible for the attacks and taking appropriate action, all carriers have been cooperating and supporting the federal investigation with every available resource," says Carol Hallett, ATA president and CEO.
oMichael Gehrisch, president and CEO of The International Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (www.iacvb.org), said that the Washington, D.C., and New York City bureaus were open and functioning in the days following the attacks. It is expected that IACVB member organizations will be working to find ways to reassure the traveling public of the safety and security of their cities as meeting destinations.
oThe Professional Convention Management Association (www.pcma.org) was offering advice on the appropriate way to conduct business during the weeks and months following the crisis. In addition, PCMA’s Network for the Needy and the PCMA Foundation each pledged to contribute $5,000 to a scholarship fund for the children of people killed during the bombing of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
In addition, Joe Sebestyen, president, International Association of Conference Centers North America (www.iacconline.com), sent the following e-mail to IACC members: "In response to the incidents in New York and Washington, D.C., you may want to consider some of the following: Assistance Centers for friends or family members who were impacted and in need of counseling, bringing guests to Red Cross Centers for donating blood, restocking ATM machines for stranded guests who need money, providing more laundry services for stranded guests, flying flags at half-mast, and refueling transportation vehicles."
Michael S. Olson, CAE, president and CEO of the American Society of Association Executives (www.asaenet.org), released a statement shortly after the attacks, indicating that his organization’s members were ready to help in any way they could the efforts underway in Washington, D.C., and New York City. "Times of tragedy bring America’s communities together, and associations--with their strong member networks and ability to quickly mobilize—are often among the first to respond with assistance in the event of disaster." ASAE had no information at press time about the nine associations headquartered in the World Trade Center Towers that came under attack.