American Meetings Network Prime Supplier Spotlight: Tempe Tourism Office

American Meetings Network Prime Supplier Spotlight: Tempe Tourism Office

Toni Smith (Director of Communications) and James Tevault (Director of Sales) of the Tempe Tourism Office recently spoke with AMI about becoming Prime Supplier Members of The American Meetings Network.

AMI: What are some of the challenges you are facing in the “New Normal”?

James: For us, it’s not so much a challenge but rather our choice to be forward-thinking and proactive. We want to help others in the meeting industries and build strong relationships. We know that business is going to look different going forward, and we want and need partners. Joining The American Meetings Network creates an opportunity for us to develop relationships we can build on.

Toni: The Prime Supplier Membership also provided us with an opportunity to educate more meeting and event planners on the value of Tempe – especially when they are already looking at the Greater Phoenix area. We often hear, “We had no idea” when we tell planners about Tempe, and we are looking to change that.

Toni: The Prime Supplier Membership also provided us with an opportunity to educate more meeting and event planners on the value of Tempe – especially when they are already looking at the Greater Phoenix area. We often hear, “We had no idea” when I tell planners about Tempe, and we are looking to change that.

“You can try to be everywhere – to have your name everywhere – but if you don’t have time to follow up and build those quality relationships, you are just wasting money.”

– James Tevault, Director of Sales, Tempe Tourism Office

AMI: What’s the one main thing Tempe Tourism Office is looking to gain from joining The American Meetings Network?

James: We are really interested in reaching more of the group market. Our sweet spot is corporate, association, and sports-related meetings in the small to mid-size. This network will give our sales team more opportunities to build prospects and relationships.

AMI is committed to helping our Network of trusted Prime Supplier Members to help drive revenue, especially as the face of the events industry continues to change in these times. To learn how your company fits into AMI’s innovative MICE Supplier Procurement strategy, please join Paul Steinmetz, Director of The American Meetings Network, Wednesdays at 10:00 AM ET, for a live webinar.

The American Meetings Network combines a robust meeting planner directory, strategic 1:1 matchmaker conference(s), and early RFP access to successfully drive revenue for your business. Join us to discover how American Meetings Network is uniquely positioned to be your partner on the road to recovery by signing up using the link below.

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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

Finding Unicorns — How to Uncover Your Next Fortune 500 Client!

Finding Unicorns — How to Uncover Your Next Fortune 500 Client!

Meetings and events industry partners all face the same tough challenge: landing the holy grail of sales, the unicorn — a Fortune 500 client. The American Meetings Network was developed specifically to solve just that problem. With a global community of meeting professionals — including corporate, healthcare, and financial services meeting professionals — Fortune 500 meeting planners and procurement professionals rely on AMI and The AMI Network when sourcing live and virtual meetings and events.

Network “Prime” suppliers have full access to AMI’s curated collection of high-value planners who utilize the Network’s Prime Suppliers Directory to find just the right venue, technology, and services suppliers they need for their meetings and events. Prime Suppliers also have access to AMI client’s events through RFP opportunities on The American Meetings Network. Suppliers receive early RFP notifications for tens of millions of dollars in annual meeting spend, before it is sourced to the general public.

Global Procurement Day, which is being held virtually on December 15, is another way MICE suppliers can connect and develop strong relationships with meeting planners, sourcing managers, and procurement professionals.

“These are the people that spend our clients’ money all around the world. So, to get in front of them in a very personal, private one-on-one session makes all the difference,” said Andy McNeil, AMI President, and CEO.

Prime Supplier Members are also invited to participate in AMI’s annual matchmaker conference, ENGAGE! 2021, where they have the opportunity to meet 1:1 with planners and sourcing managers, including those from Fortune 500 companies, in a fun, social, and educational environment.

The American Meetings Network, combined with AMI’s supplier-focused procurement strategy, provides an innovative and highly effective to get in front of the key decision-makers for AMI’s Fortune 500 clients.

For more information on joining The American Meetings Network and expanding your access to Fortune 500 Companies, contact Paul Steinmetz, Director of The American Meetings Network at or (954) 440-1274.

Cities Reopen Inviting Commerce Safely Back

Cities Reopen Inviting Commerce Safely Back

As the meetings and live events industry slowly begin to open, corporations are creating protocols to maintain safety among staff, clients, and vendors. We spoke with several American Meetings Network, Prime Supplier Members – organizations at the forefront of the Meetings and Events Industry – about the steps that they are taking to welcome business back.

Caesars Forum, Las Vegas, Nevada

Ceasars Entertainment is known for some of the most prestigious gaming brands including Caesars Palace® and Harrah’s®. With over 55 resorts across the US, the 80-year-old brand is young at heart, continually innovating its luxury accommodations.

Caesars Entertainment has created a saftey protocol for their multiple properties, although they can vary based on local authorities. This protocol includes:

  • Health Screening for employees returning to work
  • Employee training on new guest interaction protocol
  • Employee training on how to prevent the spread of disease
  • Employee training on proper use of PPE and mandatory hygiene and sanitation guidelines
  • Implementation of hand sanitizer and/or hand washing stations in the convention centers, meeting spaces, and meal areas
  • Frequent cleaning procedures in public areas, especially in high touch areas
  • Beverage stations will be staffed rather than self-serve
  • Food service will be plated or boxed and pre-packaged food offerings are available
  • Entry doors are opened to prevent guest contact with surface
  • Registration and seating will be set up to allow for social distancing
  • Longer break and meal periods will be in place to allow for additional sanitization
  • CDC guideline signage will be prominent in all appropriate areas including restrooms
  • Vendors must also comply with all Caesars’ protocols for health and safety

Atlanta Airport District, Atlanta, Georgia

Ten miles from Downtown Atlanta, the Atlanta Airport District is keeping their website up-to-date with the constantly changing information for residents, visitors, businesses, and hospitality partners. Their COVID Resource page lists important information on restaurant offerings, business openings and health and safety guidelines including:

  • Airport guidelines
  • Public transit safety
  • Event safety at the Georgia International Convention Center
  • Area hotel safety guidelines
  • Travel guidelines from the Georgia Department of Health
  • And more

The ATL Airport District has also been building marketing collateral showing guests wearing masks, checking in, and participating in activities. This helps create expectations that normalize safety procedures while allowing business to resume. Marketing has shifted from making sales to communicating safety.

“Everyone wants to re-open and everyone is proceeding with caution because safety is the biggest priority.”

Kristin Schneider, ATL Airport District Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Director of Sales

San Mateo County / Silicon Valley, Palo Alto, California

The San Francisco Bay Area has long been known as a popular tourist destination and has pledged to be “Reopened & Ready” for visitors and residents alike. Moving through reopening means staying informed and in compliance with local authorities in order to prevent the spread of disease.

San Mateo County and Palo Alto hotels, businesses, restaurants and attractions are following safety and sanitation standards that include:

  • Making hand sanitizer readily available
  • Using face coverings
  • Practicing social distancing
  • Proving staff with COVID related training
  • Reducing high touch practices
  • Using CDC cleaning and sanitation protocols

Businesses and individuals alike are asked to take the pledge to following these guidelines to keep each other safe to allow for continual reopening of the city. A dedicated web page has been designed for housing updated information on changes, including openings, reclosures and county information and guidelines.

Brazilian Court, Palm Beach, Florida

Staying on top of CDC and local guidance is part of every plan, and Brazilian Court is no exception. Increased frequency of cleaning and sanitization is also another best practice adopted by the historic Spanish Colonial luxury property.

Training associates in following CDC guidelines has been paramount. Focusing on COVID-19 awareness, proper hygiene, and personal protective equipment, and giving guidance to stay home if sick has been prioritized.

In addition, the following guidelines are in place to meeting local laws and guidelines:

  • No social groups larger than 10 people is being monitored and enforced
  • Masks must be worn in public areas
  • A Palm Beach curfew is in effect from 10PM – 6AM, meaning residents and visitors are to stay inside during those times
  • Indoor dining is open for 50% capacity and distanced seating
  • Hotel restaurant reservations are required for lunch and dinner and no contact delivery is offered upon request
  • Retail shopping is open and allowing 50% capacity
  • Appointments are required for hair and nail salons and barber shops
  • The hotel pool and fitness room are open for guest use, with social distancing in place
  • Guests are asked to not ride elevators with other guests, who are not in their party

Each city is truly dedicated to re-open as quickly as safely possible to restore tourism, fun and economy back to the places they love. We remain cautiously optimistic and are pleased to see so many suppliers preparing to return to live, in-person interactions and establish a new normal for health and safety.

Customer Experience Post COVID: How Meeting Industry Suppliers are Making it Work

Customer Experience Post COVID: How Meeting Industry Suppliers are Making it Work


As Meetings Industry suppliers are slowly beginning to re-open their doors across the United States and around the globe, we are seeing a variety of new health and safety protocols and innovative strategies that create a safe environment for attendees and guests, while still providing exceptional customer service experience.

We spoke with some of The American Meetings Network, Prime Supplier members about what they are doing in the face of the current challenges.

Limo Corp Worldwide

Image Courtesy of Limo Corp Worldwide

Wasif Bhatti, President of Limo Corp Worldwide, is working on keeping the same feel of a luxury service, but adding in some critical additional safety guidelines. Those include educating the chauffeurs on the new protocols, so they understand what to look for in themselves as well as passengers. They also communicate to passengers about the safety standards they have in place, educating guests who are likely traveling to the area about the local mandates and recommendations.

  • Staff or passengers who are showing signs of illness, or who have travelled to a “hot spot” region are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days before reporting to work or hiring their services.
  • Chauffeurs are wearing masks and gloves and take temperature checks before and after every trip.
  • Vehicles are sanitized between rides and hand sanitizer and wipes are provided for both guests and drivers.
  • Electrostatic sprayers are used to disinfect the vehicles twice per day, allowing deeper sanitation even in hard to reach areas.

Social distancing is also in place, including in the office. Vehicles have a limited seat capacity, and passengers are no longer allowed to ride beside the chauffeurs.

“We are still opening and closing doors for clients, but are asking a lot more questions to gauge customer boundaries. For example, rather than simply grabbing the luggage, they ask if the client prefers to carry it themselves, and then maintains distance,” said Bhatti.

Finally, all water, mints, magazines and extras have been removed. If a guest would like water, the drivers are offering bottled water before the ride begins and offers it protected by a disinfectant wipe.

Image Courtesy of Limo Corp Worldwide

Thread LLC., Atlanta, GA

Thread LLC, a promotional products provider, is also reflecting on how events will look post-COVID. Co-founder Michael Lumpkin said everything now is about taking greater precautions.

Providing corporate gifts have taken a back burner putting safety first, for good reason. However, as live events come back, and virtual event popularity grows, event organizers will want to get creative to bring back the huge value that corporate gifting provides.

Live events pre-COVID often had a check-in table to have guests register and be handed a name badge and swag bags. This was a standard that allowed for sponsors to connect with participants, while also inviting them into the experience of the event.

Without live events, hosts will now need to get creative. Virtual event sponsorship is very different, yet the importance still exists. Rather than spending money on travel, companies will need to explain to shareholders how and why they are reinvesting this budget into creating a great participant experience.

Image Courtesy of Thread Logo

Suppliers have already started offering free or reduced shipping, a trend likely to continue. It is expected that organizers will be mailing swag bag type gifts directly to participants to encourage engagement with sponsors and the event itself.

Fundraising events are anticipated to shift from event-based to product- or goods-based. Charities and businesses are already buying promotional products, so it is likely that fundraising will look more like a bake sale than, for example, a walk-a-thon.

Getting participants to feel the value and comradery of the virtual event will also take some creativity. Expect to see registration information and corporate gifts sent via mail prior to the event. This can allow for more customization, such as having participants register with shirt sizes or candy preferences. Asking participants to all wear their provided logo wear on virtual event conferencing may be the way to really pull them into the event.

“Once live and hybrid (live/virtual) events are fully back into play, personalized kits with everything the participant needs, such as stationery and pens, or no- touch tools, will be sent ahead of time or be packaged and delivered in a way that follows safety standards. Safety signage, dividers and hand sanitizer stations seem to be one way that sponsors will be contributing to events,” said Lumpkin.

While the event industry quickly adapts to some fairly large changes, and further adjustments are likely to continue for the ongoing future, organizers and providers are demonstrating both creativity a willingness to go above and beyond across all functions of their services in order to create not only the legendary customer service experiences that your attendees expect – but most importantly, a safe environment for your meetings and events to take place.

AMI’s PPME for Meetings Program

To support the events industry, AMI has created a program to provide high-quality products shipped directly to your live meetings or events. These products are offered at an affordable price by working with our partner suppliers, such as LimoCorp, Thread Logo, and others. AMI continues to innovate by offering this additional support to our Meeting Champions to make it safe to attend live meetings once again through our new PPME for Meetings Program.