Thank you to the United States Marines Honor Guard for presenting at our 2011 St. Louis Missouri Meetings & Events Expo, “Boot Camp.” It was a very powerful reminder that the sacrifice our servicemen and women make allows for our freedom. I also want to thank the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel for being our HQ, and helping exhibitors, speakers, planners, sponsors, volunteers and staff come together for education, networking and Boot Camp. It was a great networking experience for all who attended. As one planner said, “I can’t believe the selection of vendors. It’s a great event.”
At this Expo we introduced the industry to the MEET Business Exchange™, where planners and suppliers meet face-to-face for six-minute appointments with each other. Other than a few last-minute changes to appointments, this session was well received by both planners and suppliers, and we’re sure to continue this at future Expos. Another first for Missouri Meetings & Events and the industry was the cake decorating contest at the Expo. Congratulations to the winners, Le Cordon Bleu St. Louis Team B, headed by Chef Nancy Bosch. I’m pleased to say the competition was close and our designers had great fun presenting their designs based on the Boot Camp theme. If your business or school would like to participate in future contests, please e-mail me and ask to be included on contest notification lists. MM&E writer Julie Johnson (page 26) has all the details for you in her Expo review. With recent tragedies in Joplin, Missouri, we only need to remember that even with the best planning, things do occur outside our control. Thank you to all the attendees at the Expo luncheon who passed the hat and collected $425, which was sent to the Joplin CVB. Please continue to keep the Joplin community in your prayers and charitable plans as it begins rebuilding.
In 2011, Missouri Meetings & Events celebrates 10 years of producing helpful and relevant editorial for the meeting and event industry. For me, it’s hard to believe that milestone of 10 years is upon us. We hope you find part one of the story, “MM&E Looks Back,” as eyeopening as we did. See page 19 for Heather McNeill’s article.
As Susan Gray, DMCP, said, “(The industry) is getting better by the day. Corporations, medium and small businesses, and associations are all coming to the same conclusion. It’s time to get back to doing business and having meetings to solidify the goals and objectives of their businesses.”
Let’s get planning and meeting! Enjoy the issue.
Joseph W. Clote