HSMAI's MEET Series Heads to Midwest

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) will take its new "MEET" series of events to the Midwest for the first time this spring, it announced this month.

A re-imagined, re-named and re-branded version of HSMAI's signature series of "Affordable Meetings" conferences and exhibitions, the MEET series — which stands for Meetings, Events, Education, Technology — debuted in September 2011 with MEET National. Key components include an educational program known as MEET University, which replaces traditional classroom-style learning with hands-on workshops that include case studies, peer-to-peer roundtables and "Top 10" stations; a "reverse trade show" buyer appointment expo known as TEEM Up, where exhibitors visit and meet with planners, instead of the other way around; a MEET Exhibitor Concierge, which assists exhibitors before, during and after the show with appointment setting, sales and marketing; and a virtual extension of the two-day conference called MEET On, the purpose of which is delivering MEET educational content to a wider audience and connecting exhibitors with planners "365 days a year."

MEET Mid-America, which replaces Affordable Meetings Mid-America, is scheduled for April 3-4 in Chicago. The keynote speaker — for the Mid-America show, as well as the entire 2012 series of MEET events, including MEET West in Anaheim, Calif., in May and MEET National in Washington, D.C., in September — will be body language expert Janine Driver, who'll discuss how to build better relationships by reading non-verbal communication cues.

"I'm thrilled to be able to speak to and engage with some of the brightest minds in the meetings industry at each of HSMAI's MEET shows this year," Driver said. "I believe my sessions will help equip attendees with the edge they need to be more successful in their businesses and their daily lives."

Among the hotels and brands exhibiting at HSMAI's MEET Mid-America are Hyatt Hotels & Resort, IHG, Hilton Hotels Worldwide and Marriott International, as well as destinations such as Las Vegas, Chicago, Detroit, Denver and Long Beach. Among the attendees, meanwhile, will be top-level planners from Ernst & Young, Maxvantage Meetings, the American Bar Association, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Microsoft and Smithbucklin.

For more information, visit www.hsmaimeet.com.