Relationships and Community Service Brings Award to Event Industry Professional

Relationships and Community Service Brings Award to Event Industry Professional


Recently, Chelsea Litos of American Meetings, Inc. (AMI), was recognized as one of the 40 Under 40 Young Professionals of South Florida – as awarded by The Business Journal of South Florida. This honor is awarded to only the top 10 candidates across four industries: business, legal, healthcare, and real estate. Chelsea serves as our Vice President of Account Management at AMI, and has helped our company to be known as a global meeting and event industry leader.

Chelsea started building connections early in her career, sitting on committees and boards, fundraising, and nurturing relationships that allowed her to become a community leader. In 2016, she was selected to Fort Lauderdale’s Finest, a group of young professionals who excel in their respective fields, by the organization’s local Cystic Fibrosis Chapter. Award recipients are honored throughout the state of Florida for their fundraising and business success.

As the VP of Account Management at AMI, Chelsea has the role of supporting Fortune 500 clients like Bristol Myers Squibb, Pfizer, as well as other pharmaceutical companies, educational associations, and financial organizations. While meeting planners and project managers focus on the event details, Chelsea is responsible for maintaining the great relationships she has cultivated and is happy to boast a retention rate of over 85% over the last six years she’s been with the company – a sure sign of satisfied clientele.

Her award gives credence the AMI organization as well, allowing their vendors and planners the opportunity to work with enterprise-level companies and expose themselves globally through The American Meetings Network. In addition, AMI clients benefit by being connected to a wide diversity of suppliers because of the recognition and integrity these types of awards attract.

Bridging Fortune 500 companies with diverse suppliers is another way AMI brings value to both, which is the true goal of networking, and something Chelsea has helped champion. When asked what advice she’d give to other young professionals, she said simply, Put yourself out there and make those connections, and don’t let anyone discourage your ambitious attitude.”

AMI Provides Talented Certified Suppliers Through Its Industry Leading Tier 2 Supplier Program

AMI Provides Talented Certified Suppliers Through Its Industry Leading Tier 2 Supplier Program

Learn more in this Out Entrepreneur interview with CEO and Founder of AMI Andy McNeill on his advice for the next generation of Out Bosses.

For over 25 years, Andy and his husband and business partner Todd have witnessed a number of ups and downs in the travel and event industry but believe the recent pandemic has changed the industry for good. Andy said the pandemic had driven the “largest, most jarring shift” they’ve experienced, and forced what AMI did to GROW during this challenging time.

In this interview, Andy also shares the philosophy of AMI’s Supplier Diversity Program and how it is successfully positioning minority businesses to pitch to large corporations and win bids. He gives tips on how to be more effective, as just being able to pitch doesn’t simply seal the deal. (Even though AMI’s suppliers have received millions of dollars in contracts because of the program.)

And finally, Andy shares how his LGBTQ life experience and the experiences of others in the community have allowed him to be MORE successful. He advises the next generation of Out Bosses to use their platform to offer themselves as beacons of safe space, education, and connection.

“If you aren’t your whole self at work, people can feel the un-authenticity. And when people aren’t comfortable with who I am or our philosophies, we are fine not working together because it won’t be successful for either party.”

Check out the podcast, The Out Entrepreneur here (@outentrepreneur), and be inspired today!

Virtual Global Procurement Day 2020

Virtual Global Procurement Day 2020

The American Meetings Network recently held its Virtual Global Procurement Day Conference.  A special thank you to sponsors, Intrado, and edgefactory for helping make AMI’s Global Procurement look so amazing.  Hosted on Intrado’s world-class platform, with a variety of creative enhancements and video production elements, provided by The American Meetings Network, prime supplier member, edgefactory, Virtual Global Procurement Day showcased some of the latest and greatest technology and creative offerings – demonstrating some of the innovative new possibilities that AMI’s clients can take advantage when bringing their virtual meetings and events to life.








A general session webcast featured a welcome and introduction by AMI’s Founder and CEO, Andy McNeill, followed by a client focus session fireside chat with Charlie Alverez, CEO, Stratus who spoke with AMI’s SVP of sales, Aurelio DeMendoza about his experience holding hybrid meetings in the COVID-19 era, how Stratus has been navigating the new normal, while still having critical national sales meetings, safely and effectively.  The guests were treated to a supplier focus session with Wasif Bhatti, President of Limo Corp. Worldwide, a Chicago-based global provider of ground transportation for meetings and events.  Wasif spoke with Paul Steinmetz, Director of The American Meetings Network about his experience working with AMI and the success Limo Corp. Worldwide has had to leverage the power of The American Meetings Network Directory.


With topics ranging from hybrid meetings to ways suppliers should best prepare for 2021, Virtual Global Procurement Day provided suppliers, planners, and clients who attended a chance to hear directly from AMI’s clients and prime suppliers about the future of meetings and events and what Suppliers should be doing to position themselves for success in 2021. Prime suppliers then spent the afternoon having 1:1 matchmaker appointments with meeting planners and sourcing managers to strengthen relationships and plan for 2021.

To learn more about how AMI and The American Meetings Network can help drive sales for your organization, please contact Paul Steinmetz, Director, The American Meetings Network at (954) 440-1274 or

Affinity Inc. Magazine Cover Story Featuring AMI’s CEO, Andy McNeill.

Affinity Inc. Magazine Cover Story Featuring AMI’s CEO, Andy McNeill.

In the Face of a Global Pandemic, AMI is Innovating a Path for Clients Worldwide

AMI’s CEO Andy McNeill talked to Affinity Inc Magazine about how AMI was among one of countless organizations forced to reevaluate its offerings in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic by increasing their virtual offerings, while still offering world class live meeting services.

Changing with the times
Right from the onset of COVID-19, AMI has demonstrated a willingness to rethink their client offerings in a way that highlights community focus onto socially relevant initiatives. For McNeill, flexibility in business has meant working with industry leaders to help develop comprehensive education programs and promote public awareness of COVID-19 when live meetings return. It has also shown up in its work with clients.

Click here to read the full article

Click here to download the digital version

Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Continuing Medical Education

Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Continuing Medical Education

We recently sat down to interview Marc Viens, MS, CMM and Co-Founder of AXIS Medical Education in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to determine the impact the recent pandemic has had on medical continuing education.

Impacted by the COVID – 19 pandemic, as many industries were, AXIS found themselves in a prime position to get a quick pulse on what was happening on a national basis by creating a survey to gauge interest, accessibility, and need for live event continuing education.

While he primarily focused on the area of medical education trends in Oncology, the information is incredibly helpful to know as the trends are likely wider reaching.

AMI: What is your overall consensus about the survey findings?

Marc Viens: As we looked at previous surveys we conducted, there were similar response patterns: learners like live meeting formats; online education has taken its place to complement live meetings; and there is still a desire for print based education.

What is apparent is the overwhelming willingness for learners to embrace technology for their education during this pandemic.

Another important data point that emerged was that 73% of healthcare professions were under some form of travel restrictions; and that 41% stated they would avoid live meetings for 4 -6 months at their own institutions, and 28% stated they would avoid international travel for 7-12 months. This data was really important to have for a live meeting company and helped shape our business decisions. (AXIS Medical Education, 2020).

“This data was really important to have for a live meeting company and helped shape our business decisions.”

AMI: In your opinion, what areas of a live educational program cannot be transferred to a virtual platform?

MV: Live education offers the opportunity for robust interaction. This includes the interaction with the speaker and stimulates discussion within the institution’s care teams. Many speakers are quite talented and pulling out compelling clinical discussions during a presentation. While I believe this can occur in an online format, the live, in-person format, (AXIS prefers to call this live “place of practice” education), is a time-tested format for the healthcare team.

AMI: Are there certain areas of the globe you believe will turn back to live meetings first?

MV: I am not really able to speak to timing, but my inference is we will likely see live meetings more-or-less opening up at the same time. As geographic areas report fewer reported cases, we may see live meetings within local and regional areas return sooner than international ones. The larger format conferences tend to have global attendees, so there will need to be a world-wide lift on travel bans, hotel closures, and evidence that large gatherings are safe to conduct, before anything can occur.

AMI: Are you seeing any softening on restrictions of travel by institutions yet?

MV: So far, not really. We are hopeful toward the end of the year, perhaps the fourth quarter, we will be able to resume our live, in person meetings. This will be dependent on the continued decline of reported [COVID-19] cases and the ability for the travel industry to manage the safety of travellers and those who support the travel industry. Additionally, due to the pandemic, there will be substitutional fallout of travel providers. We may see a reduction in travel options and pricing changes (Business Travel News, 2020).

However, what is really important to grasp is that healthcare professionals are uniquely vulnerable during this pandemic. First, as most everyone can assess, is that most institutions treat patients who are infected with the COVID – 19 virus. As such, it is quite risky to have a speaker from another institution, who has traveled through an airport then on the plane, come in to speak, and then return to their institution, having once again traveled to return to their home institution.

One can see that there is a lot of opportunity for exposure to infection. Further, within institutions themselves, we have been told there are restriction on the size of gatherings. So, this quite limits the opportunity to have any sized meeting beyond a handful of learners.

AMI: Within the medical community, what are you seeing from a live meeting standpoint? Are they being rescheduled?

MV: What we are seeing a tremendous effort to move some of the largest global meetings to online web streaming formats. For example, the American Society of Clinical Oncology last year had an attendance over 42,000 – thirty-five percent of those were international.

This year the entire annual conference has been moved to a virtual environment, including sessions, educational symposia, poster presentation and exhibits (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2020).

The same is true for the Oncology Nursing Society. This congress was scheduled for April and was entirely cancelled. Think of that! A conference of 4,000 just cancelled weeks before the event. As meeting planners, your stomach just drops thinking about that! This entire congress is now going virtual and will be conducted later this year (Oncology Nursing Society, 2020).

Most of our live meetings have been moved to live streaming webcasts though October. Our recruitment team has quite a list of institutions that want us to touch base in the late fall to see about scheduling live meetings again.

Healthcare professionals are always seeking education. This is the primary way they stay up to date with current care guidelines. So, we are seeing meeting organizers stepping up to ensure that the educational needs of healthcare professionals are being met, even during this pandemic.

AMI: Do medical professionals prefer on-demand or live streaming content?

MV: Historically, our data show that overall, the interprofessional care team prefer live, in person meetings, specifically, live meetings within their institutions, then followed by live meeting at conferences such as symposia.

When it comes to both synchronous (live web streaming) and asynchronous (on-demand,) the preferences are close. Our data show that 81% are extremely or very likely to participate in an Internet live streaming activity; and 79% would engage an on-demand activity.

AMI: Do you find because of the increase of telehealth, medical professionals are more, or less, receptive to online formats?

MV: I do not believe telehealth and online education are tied together that closely per se. Telehealth has been a growing tool for provider-patient interactions. What I see is that technology offers greater expansion for both clinical practice and education.

AMI: In your opinion, what does the educational landscape look like in 2021?

MV: It will change. Likely there will substantive reduced travel leading to more virtual meetings. As the effects of the pandemic wane, and the disease is brought under more control, it seems inevitable that the pent-up demand for live interaction will drive the return of live meetings. Certainly, the meetings and gatherings will be smaller and likely more controlled, but they will return.

Editor notes: references were provided by Marc Viens regarding information he cited during the interview. See below.


AMI Deploys PandaDoc to Streamline Sales and Business Operations as Customers Pivot from In-person to Virtual Events

AMI Deploys PandaDoc to Streamline Sales and Business Operations as Customers Pivot from In-person to Virtual Events

With increased interest in virtual meetings due to pandemic, AMI sales teams accelerate deals on PandaDoc.

American Meetings, Inc.

Founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Andy McNeill, American Meetings, Inc (AMI) is one of the fastest-growing meeting services organizations. AMI helps clients achieve their business goals, amplify their brand, and stand out through live and virtual meeting strategies.

Reduced document create-to-send time from 3 days to 30 minutes

The Problem

With the sudden need to either cancel or reschedule in-person business events around the globe due to COVID-19, AMI experienced a surge in demand for its virtual meeting services. Their usual volume of incoming leads increased tenfold practically overnight, and they quickly realized that their existing sales document creation and management process would not be able to accommodate the influx of business, especially while working from home (WFH).

The process of sending a customized proposal alone involved multiple rounds of edits between sales reps, a creative designer, and management. AMI was also still handling their own transition to working from home which only further delayed the creation of sales collateral.

The Solution

PandaDoc proved to be the perfect remote, deal-acceleration solution for the AMI sales team. With its streamlined workflows, custom templates, and budgeting modules PandaDoc enabled AMI sales reps to successfully bypass the red tape and send tailored proposals to prospects in less than 30 minutes.

PandaDoc’s document tracking analytics and its ability to integrate with tools like HubSpot and simplified the process of managing AMI’s sales pipeline for sales reps. The intuitive workflows, lightning-fast speed of document creation, deep analytical insights, and world-class customer experience made the adjustment to remote work much easier for the AMI sales team and helped them handle their increased workload. AMI plans to extend the benefits of PandaDoc to its entire organization, specifically its human resources and marketing departments.

“During these times, document automation has been key to maintaining business continuity. We’re proud that PandaDoc has become a vital resource for companies as they continue to adapt to the effects of the pandemic,” a PandaDoc team member commented. “We look forward to supporting AMI’s continued success by helping them improve the consistency and execution of business documents across their operations.”

The Result

With PandaDoc, the AMI sales team was able to decrease their document create-to-send time from 3 days to just 30 minutes. They created workflows that synergistically connected remote project stakeholders and accelerated their sales cycle. PandaDoc enabled AMI to efficiently serve its customer base and help them navigate the new normal of remote business meetings.

“PandaDoc will allow us to work quickly through our high volume of incoming leads. And, with a 100% remote workforce, the ability to create, edit and manage documents virtually will allow us to maintain business continuity throughout our operations,” said Andy McNeill, founder and CEO of American Meetings Inc. “We’re finding a lot of benefits to using PandaDoc and we know it’s going to be a strong asset for AMI. We’ve all had to adapt to a new normal but PandaDoc is going to make my team’s job easier now and well into the future when things settle down. It’s a game-changer and I look forward to finding new ways to use it throughout the company.”

Click here to read case study.