Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

March 24 2014

2013 State of Industry

Maria Arnone

An interesting and unexpected evening unfolded for attendees on Thursday, November 7, 2013’s 13th Annual State of the Hospitality Industry at the Overland Park Convention Center.

Greg Edwards, Immediate Past Chair of DMAI (Destination Marketing Association International) and President & CEO of the Greater Des Moines CVB, shared compelling and relevant stats on growth of the industry. He related this to how CVB’s are reinventing themselves as well as being upfront about their strengths and weaknesses with planners. He also emphasized creative ways to work with third parties to sell their destination.


JB  Moreland, Director of Production at Vista Productions, Inc., then AV took it to the tactical side for a discussion of current issues and trends in AV. Planners in the room definitely understood the scenarios all too well of the need for more wireless bandwidth, presenter’s backups, and correct video specs for flawless presentation. JB also touched on the world of mics and how wireless frequencies affect them, as well as emphasizing hi def being not in the future, but here to stay. 


Brett Mitchell, General Manager of Overland Park Convention Center (OPCC) rounded out the business portion of the meeting with a current peek into convention center management and costing trends. He surprised the room with the fact that the average mid-size center loses $1.7M per year. Yet the client experience continuously demands “more for less”. Ideas to re-invigorate your convention center relationships: Hybrid meetings where a shared risk is also a shared reward for the planner; letting your center get creative with new production options for lighting, staging and room build-outs. These can accommodate more sizes and kinds of events than ever before. In fact, the room we met in was an interesting ambience: sofas, chairs, various seating arrangements, dramatic lighting and wonderful food and drink show that the OPCC can entertain with flair.


The State of the Industry event was capped off with a performance by Jimmy Wayne, author, singer, songwriter, and national advocate for CASA.  Jimmy entertained and pulled at our heart strings, while he communicated his life story through song. 


The evening’s performance helped raise awareness for area youth who are aging out of the Foster System, and in particular the children assisted by the Midwest Foster Care & Adoption Association (www.mfcaa.org) here in Kansas City.


Our Chapter raised $350, we had two members volunteer to be Mentors in their C.A.R.E.S. program and one volunteer to visit a child during the holidays. To learn more about Jimmy Wayne, see his album selection at http://www.jimmywayne.com/music.html. And thanks to Stephanie Deel for helping to bring him to our event.


If you would like to join the Community Service Committee or have ideas for new service programming, please contact Community Service Committee Chair Priscilla Noland at pnoland@STFM.org

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