Extraordinary Logistics Facilitates Cross-Border Events
The United States brings over 3,000 events per year to destinations within Mexico, according to Craig Howard, vice president of international development for Extraordinary Logistics, a new service designed to help U.S. meeting planners organize and produce events south of the border. Contrary to popular belief, Howard says, the free trade agreement between Mexico and the United States does not cover actual event production Mexico, it only covers the solicitation of work.
In order to help facilitate U.S.-produced events in Mexico, Extraordinary Logistics, a Stafford, Texas division of Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Extraordinary Events, serves as the intermediary between the Mexican government and U.S. event planners in getting necessary work visas and customs clearance. "We navigate the customs clearance by packing and shipping your goods and at the other end getting them cleared through customs and delivering them to your hotel or meeting site," Howard says.
Extraordinary Logistics also helps event producers bring event entertainment to Mexico. According to Howard, because Mexican music and actors unions are so prominent in the country, American event producers must pay fees when bringing performers from the United States or hiring local acts. Howard says that Extraordinary Logistics' affiliations with Mexican labor organizations allow his company to negotiate discounts for American clients and help them "cut through the red tape."
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Task Force to Deal with Las Vegas Labor Concerns
In a move applauded by the Major American Trade Show Organizers, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority met to discuss the impact of the city's rapidly growing convention and meeting space on local labor. Attendees at the LVCVA meeting included representatives from MATSO member organizations, as well as unions, show management companies and exhibition service contractors. With Las Vegas meeting space expected to grow to 9.3 million square feet by 2002, discussion focused on the need for additional qualified laborers, and flexible, well-defined work rules.
At the May 4 meeting, LVCVA introduced the idea of a task force that would design a plan for handling increased labor demands associated with the growth of meeting space. Mike Smoyer, MATSO chairman, congratulated LVCVA on its proactive efforts. "We are extremely pleased that LVCVA is taking the initiative to coordinate the task force," he said, and went on to praise the organization for "thinking strategically and acting ahead of the curve."
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NEWS & NOTES
Marina del Rey, Calif.-based Event411, has been selected by Summit Events, a HoHoKus, N.J.-based outsource event planner, to manage its key blue-chip accounts, beginning with Volvo's Annual Retailers Conference in November. Event411 is the developer of PremierPlanner, a Web-based software used to plan and manage events. Event411, 13160 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292, 310/574-9000, http://www.event411.com. Summit Events, 217 First St., HoHoKus, NJ 07423, 201/689-1310 ext.21, www.seonthenet.com.
Caterpro Software based out of Lincoln, Calif., has announced the release of Caterpro for Windows Version 7, an upgraded version of the company's catering management software. New data fields, reports and functions, as well as many usability enhancements, are part of the new Caterpro package. Caterpro Software, 1174 Stone Pine Lane, Lincoln, CA 95648, 800/606-1597, http://www.caterprosoftware.com.