National Business Travel Association International Convention and Exposition, which opened Sunday in Houston.has been a recurring theme at the
In a ceremony on Sunday afternoon, Groups and Meetings Committee Co-Chair Linda McNairy passed the leadership torch to Lynda Garvey, subject matter expert, meetings, American Express, who will co-chair the SMM-pioneering committee for the next two years. Garvey has served with the committee in various capacities since 2003.
Education sessions on strategic meetings management included a class on SMM basics, led by Corporate Meetings & Incentives columnist Betsy Bondurant of Bondurant Consulting, and an introduction to NBTA’s upcoming SMM toolkit, led by Garvey and including CMI Editor Barbara Scofidio.
On Wednesday, the first graduates of NBTA’s strategic meetings management certification, or SMMC, will be on stage to receive their diplomas. The certification program, the only one focused on SMM, was developed at the convention two years ago and beta-tested at last year’s meeting. Also new is the SMM Maturity Model, a project of Philadelphia-based StarCite and the NBTA Foundation that will develop a common language and framework for SMM at various stages.
GBTA: A New Name
In other news at the show, NBTA announced that it will change the association's name to the Global Business Travel Association starting in 2011 to convey its new global direction. In January, NBTA announced the creation of NBTA Europe, a combination of partnerships with several European meetings associations, including the Institute of Travel and Meetings in the U.K. and Ireland, representing 2,000 members.
As of Monday, 5,500 attendees had registered for the convention. Hundreds arrived early to join in a community service project, refurbishing the facilities at Star of Hope, a local charity that gives support to homeless people in Houston. Between that project and individual donations, NBTA raised an estimated $30,000 for the charity.
The convention runs through August 11 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.