PGI and Design Group set agreement… Washington-based event producer/DMC PGI will partner with Design Group, an event design and decor company headquartered in Minneapolis. "The immediate benefit to our client base is that the premiere brand in the decor business is working alongside the premiere brand in the destination management and logistics business,” said Matthew Sheppard, Destinator by PGI COO.
MPI seeking sites … Meetings Professionals International is seeking competitive bids for future destinations for its 2008-2010 World Education Congress and the 2007–2010 Professional Education Conference - North America. For criteria and to request an RFP, visit www.mpiweb.org. Proposals will be due Nov. 12.
Meet our Ambassadors … The Special Event 2005 will celebrate its 20th anniversary by introducing its “Ambassador” program, which designates top event professionals to act as liaison between The Special Event, attendees and the city of Miami Beach, site of the 2005 show. Ambassadors Mona Meretsky, CSEP, of COMCOR Event & Meeting Production and Kelly Murphy of Panache Party Rentals will welcome attendees and offer an “Ambassador Selection” list of what’s hot, from dining to shopping to touring in the Miami area. The show Ambassadors will also assist the show’s management team with advice to make the show in Miami Beach a success from every angle. For more on the show, visit www.thespecialeventshow.com.
U.S. hotel outlook brightens … After two consecutive years of losses, the U.S. lodging industry has begun a return to profitability in 2003, based on the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Lodging Industry Profile, a statistical analysis of the lodging industry for year-end 2003. According to the LIP, the lodging industry grossed $105.3 billion in total sales in 2003, compared with $102.6 billion in 2002. However, pretax profits dropped from $14.2 billion in 2002 to $12.8 billion in 2003. The report blames factors including the industry’s inability to raise room rates and a rise in an assortment of expenses, including energy costs and third-party Internet providers. However, the LIP’s other indicators — promotional spending, average occupancy rate, and revenue per available room — all point to a stronger lodging industry performance ahead. A complimentary copy of the profile is available on the AH&LA Web site, www.ahla.com. Figures for year-end 2004 will be available mid-2005.