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.

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.

Sales Tips: The Importance of Adding Value During the COVID-19 crisis.

Sales Tips: The Importance of Adding Value During the COVID-19 crisis.

In the wake of COVID-19, traditional face-to-face sales meetings have quickly given way to more frequent virtual interactions.

Video conferencing requires a more focused and detail-oriented approach than a typical conference call. Dressing appropriately, avoiding distractions and proper connectivity is essential, and it’s critical for you to have a backup plan should your computer crash or internet connection fail.

Most importantly – turn on your video!  If you have not been utilizing your camera on Sales calls, and recording your video conference calls to review, start today and see what a dramatic difference it will make on your sales productivity.

Another helpful tip for improving video conferencing performance – close all open browser tabs, emails, and any other programs that consume large amounts of bandwidth.

There is no single approach that serves B2B sales and marketing teams across the board. In a report about navigating the COVID-19 crisis

  1. Take a through-cycle view of customer relationships.
  2. Reinforce trust by tracking key customers’ evolving needs and standing by and defending them during their toughest times.
  3. Tailor offerings and contracts to new situations and strengthen value-proposition communication.

Research from the 2007-2008 recession shows that companies that spend carefully and strategically into a downturn grow faster once economies rebound. Industries most likely to reduce spending are the global energy and materials sector and the travel, transportation and logistics industries. The good news, is that the industries identified as most likely to increase spend are the pharmaceutical and medical device industry and technology, media and telecommunications – laser focus your attention on selling into these markets to ensure success. (Source: McKinsey Research)

Finally, adding as much value as possible is critically important – when it comes to pricing sensitivity during the COVID-19 Pandemic, remember it’s more important than ever to add value instead of cutting costs!

American Meetings Network Prime Member: Soliman Productions

American Meetings Network Prime Member: Soliman Productions

Meet our Prime Supplier: Soliman Productions

Our Prime Supplier Member, Soliman Productions joined The American Meetings Network as Prime Supplier in 2018 and they are already seeing the benefits of becoming a Prime Member Supplier in The American Meetings Network by meeting 1:1 with AMI’s Meeting Planners and Sourcing Managers at Global Procurement Day.

About Soliman Productions: Video with a vision

Your event is a year-round opportunity to capture and create cohesive marketing material that include video and photography. From script writing, show flow, pre-produced content, on-site video and photography, content capture, live streaming and much more, Soliman Productions is your one-stop shop for strong visuals that tell your association’s story.

We have the technology, the experience and the expertise to help your organization craft video content that tells your story and builds a platform for organizational growth.

The power of video stems from its ability to build connection and trust. From our social media video expertise, to our content curation at events, Soliman Productions is the trusted partner for the age of digital video.