On August 6-9 I had the opportunity to attend ASAE's Annual Meeting and Expo in St. Louis, Mo. I was joined by Lynsey Norton, Hotel Murano; Jessica Odd, Courtyard by Marriott and Melanie Schaad, Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center.
We teamed up with Seattle CVB, Spokane CVB, City of Tulalip and Meet in Bellevue to form the ?Meet in Washington, the State? Pavilion. The Washington Pavilion is a strategic partnership that allows our Washington State destinations to leverage resources to better compete on a national level. We joined together in a 36-foot by 36-foot booth with information and interactive exhibits.
This was a very well attended conference, with 2,669 executives! Of these attendees, 79 percent are either the final decision makers or have significant influence on selecting their meeting destination. 284 executives stopped by our booth. For each executive who stopped by, we are planting a tree in their honor. We decided that instead of giving handouts or items that may not be used, we would give back to our community and our environment by planting a tree. On October 26, TRCVB is partnering with Metro Parks to plant these trees in Pierce County.
We also held a Meet in Washington auction that raised more than $2,000 that benefited the ASAE Foundation. The large prize was a seven-day trip around Seattle, Spokane, Bellevue, Tulalip and Tacoma. In collaboration with the other Washington destinations, Tacoma donated a one-night stay at Hotel Murano, dinner at Pacific Grill, a spa package at Club Biella Day Spa and tickets to Museum of Glass and Tacoma Art Museum. The executive director of the American Nurses Association was the grand prize winner!
As an additional part of this conference, I was able to attend an educational session called ?How to Engage With Planners in the New Decade.? This was a panel discussion attended by hoteliers, meeting planners and CVBs. I am looking forward to helping our community grow'not only with the planting of the trees but with the conferences and meetings that will come out of our connections made at the ASAE Annual Meeting!
Spring in the Pacific Northwest means gardens bloom, waterfalls thunder in the mountains, cherry blossoms begin to open, farmers markets kick-off with fresh produce, and... the weather is incredibly unpredictable.