Planners Of Technical Meetings Seeing Showcase Of Miami
By Marilyn Bowden
Nearly 600 meeting planners responsible collectively for $1 billion in annual meetings and conventions are convening this week at Loews Miami Beach Hotel, giving the community a chance to showcase itself to lure those meeting here.
The Council for Engineering & Scientific Society Executives, known as CESSE, is holding its 2004 annual conference through Friday, said Mavie McHale, vice president of convention services at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.
"This society is made up of the executives of 129 different associations," she said. "Having them here is an incredible opportunity to showcase our city for their own individual meetings. They will be introduced not only to our convention center and hotel product but will also get a chance to see some of the off-site venues and restaurants in the Miami Beach area."
While the group’s directors met in Miami this past year to familiarize themselves with the venue, Ms. McHale said the society has not met here in many years and this convention constitutes a first exposure to the city for most members.
Based in St. Paul, MN, the council lists a combined membership of approximately 3.3 million. It’s a not-for-profit organization whose objective, according to its website, is "to advance, in the public interest, the arts and sciences of the management of engineering and scientific societies."
In addition to offering workshops and seminars to address the impact of changing law, trends and conditions within the professions, annual meetings are structured to give members exposure to the facilities and services available in host cities throughout the country.
The convention & visitors bureau will be making the most of the opportunity, Ms. McHale said.
"We’re most certainly targeting the key decision-makers who we think have potential for us," she said. "We’ve prequalified the entire registration list and will be having people solicit them individually."
Ms. McHale spoke at a luncheon hosted by the bureau this week, and said the bureau will also co-host the closing banquet Friday with Loews.
The society’s next three annual meetings are scheduled for Portland, OR, Salt Lake City and Halifax.