MAY 2013

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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meeting EVENT SAFETY TIPS: Security Expert Shares Her Insight On Event Safety In The Wake Of Boston Marathon Bombings The deplorable bombings at the Boston Marathon stay S.A.F.E.: Smart, Aware, Focused and are a tragic reminder that, as meeting planners, Equipped. "We've become a reactionary sociwe must always remain aware, alert and shouldn't come down to the honorable gent during our events, said Security Expert and excellent first responders responding to inPhrantceena Halres, founder, chairman and cidents, it should be about understanding how CEO of Charlotte, N.C.-based proactive security training—for "We need to teach both individuals and industry Total Protection Services International. Halres explained that event people to recognize professionals—helps prevent a organizers must "hone a sixth crime from being committed in and sound the sense" that helps detect, anticiproverbial alarm the first place." "We must colpate and plan for danger in She continued, when something lectively focus on preparedness advance of it happening. "People innately know when doesn't feel right so and prevention. We need to teach something is wrong, dangerous or they feel empowered people to recognize and sound just off, and in those situations, it's the proverbial alarm when someto act on it." imperative to take action rather than thing doesn't feel right so they just brushing it off," Halres said, adding that event feel empowered to act on it. Let's use this opattendees—including public event participants and portunity to raise awareness about safety and spectators—should also be diligent at reporting security measures at the individual level. Or, suspicious activity if noticed. sadly, we will see this kind of crime happen She suggests educating attendees about how to again and again." ■ Walgreens, American Express Exec Hired To Lead MPI After a comprehensive search for a new leader, the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Board of Directors has appointed Paul Van Deventer as President and CEO. So who is Paul? Most recently, he served as a VP in the Health & Wellness Division at Walgreens drugstore where he was responsible for duties such as revenue generation and client retention. Earlier in his career, Van Deventer spent 22 years with American Express as Senior Director of Paul Van Deventer w w w. c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m Multinational Sales and Operations. "Having led business groups for blue chip Fortune 100 companies, Paul is a seasoned senior executive with both international and travel industry experience and a proven track record for driving growth, creating brand value and developing highperforming, engaged teams from the inside out," said Kevin Hinton, MPI Chairman and Executive VP of Associated Luxury Hotels International. "We looked at a broad array of candidates within and outside the industry," said MGM Resort's Michael Dominguez, who led the MPI CEO Search Committee. "Our primary focus was to find a high-caliber, globally-minded leader with exceptional communications skills, brand building experience and the ability to drive incremental growth and engagement. Paul was that person." ■ ▲ headlines Find News Updates@ We're Impressed! Hyatt Spruces Up Their Website Hyatt asked more than 22,000 survey respondents questions about their overall experience and as a result of that feedback, Hyatt officials say theyʼve built a new, "more engaging and immersive" hotel booking experience. "We had the necessary functionality that allowed guests to do what they needed to do, but our research showed us that we could repurpose that information to allow consumers a more seamless experience," said Hyattʼs Bill Bernahl. Here's what you'll find that's better than their old website: ■ You can now experience galleries with 360-degree tours, photography and videos of each hotel and its guest rooms. ■ You can search and book in more than 10 languages. ■ You can "like" or "share" a Hyatt-branded hotel or resort on social media. ■ You can more clearly find rate details, terms and conditions, and full-rate disclosure with different currencies. ■ You can easily book using Hyatt Gold Passport points Visit to see the changes. ■ MAY 2013 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ 7

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