OCT 2017

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 4 ConventionSouth (ISSN 1074-0627) is published monthly by Covey Communications Corp., P.O. Box 2267, Gulf Shores, AL 36547. It is mailed under Standard mail rates. POSTMASTER: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED TO ConventionSouth Subscription Office, PO Box 16868 North Hollywood, CA 91615. Editorial and advertising offices are located at 2001 West First St., Gulf Shores, AL 36542. Editorial ideas, photographs and content suggestions are welcomed; however, the publisher and editorial team retains the right to edit all content in print and online. Photos are typically obtained from direct sources and credits are given at the discretion of the editorial team. Copyright 2017 by Covey Communications Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express written permission of the publisher or editor is strictly forbidden. Convention South EXECUTIVE OFFICES 2001 West First Street Gulf Shores, AL 36542 MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 2267 Gulf Shores, AL 36547 TELEPHONE (251) 968-5300 (800) 968-0712 E-MAIL FAX (251) 968-2033 WEBSITE PUBLISHER J. Talty O'Connor ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Ashleigh Osborne (251) 968-5313 SENIOR EDITOR Marcia Bradford DESTINATION EDITORS D. Fran Morley T. Wayne Waters CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Adrianne Bowen Selena Chavis MARKETING SERVICES MANAGER Elizabeth Galloway MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Kayla Head MANAGER DESIGN SERVICES MANAGER Kelly Williams DESIGN ASSISTANT Tanya Hughes MANAGER, TRAFFIC Dorothy P. Miller AND PROMOTIONS CIRCULATION MANAGER Ashley Brokowsky FINANCE MANAGER Mandi Morrison EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Jenny Anderson, CMP National Association of College & University Business Officers David Bruce, MMP, HTS CMP Meeting Services Jeff Hurt Velvet Chainsaw Consulting Robert Mandelbaum PKF Consulting Meg Slentz, CMP Meetings To Order Sue Walton May & Williams Ltd. James Hobbs Meeting Expectations Loriann White, CMM, CMP American Express Meetings & Events Addressing Change & Accepting Challenges Innovative. Adaptable. Resilient.These attributes of meeting professionals have been in the forefront lately as the industry copes with everything from extreme weather events to cybersecurity threats. But these same characteristics are also evident in the ways that meeting professionals address the larger picture of change at the same time that they are dealing with everyday challenges. Innovation is one of the most necessary skills needed to deal with change, whether it is economic, technical or behavioral. For the meetings industry, innovation is essential to the process of designing and renovating facilities to reflect the needs and desires of meeting participants. As I have visited various sites in the South over the past year, I have seen many great examples of new properties which are integrating all of the latest technologies and creating interesting spaces that encourage people to interact. At the same time, existing properties are being reimagined and reoriented to use more natural lighting and provide access to outdoor spaces, to expand data capabilities, become more energy efficient and offer more dining options. Both new and existing properties are focused on developing unique spaces, designed to incorporate local culture and provide a sense of place. Adaptability is a term that often refers to the ways that event spaces can be trans- formed to accommodate everything from black tie events to sports competitions, but it also applies to individuals in this industry who find a way to meet even the most difficult demands. Whether they are planners or on-site meeting managers, these professionals have to continually adapt to trends and developments affecting the events they organize. This includes staying current with an array of technical tools and communication apps as well as being able to adjust to factors out of their control, such as weather and politics. Resilience is possibly the most essential skill for meeting professionals and in the South we have seen a great deal of resilience in the past couple of months, as meeting industry professionals have coped with some of the most devastating storms ever experi- enced in the region. We are proud that many facilities provided shelter and we are happy to hear that many areas affected have been able to resume operations. For those continu- ing to deal with the impact of extreme weather, we wish a speedy recovery. perspective putting it in Senior Editor

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