Category Archives: Q&As

Interview With Mark Andrew, Cmp, Cha

As the new Chairman of MPI—with 20,000 members worldwide, the largest association in the industry—Mark Andrew is well positioned to lead the organization. A 13-year member, he has been one of the architects of MPI Member Solutions. This program is the global meetings industry’s first initiative to define meetings management as a recognized, respected profession…

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Interview with Robert Marx

What do you think a CVB should do for a meeting professional? We should facilitate their event planning so it is as simple for them as possible. The process should be customer-centric, so the planner can book San Jose easily, without crawling out of a bunker, without 45 shells flying over their head. When it’s…

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Interview With Leslie Zeck, Cmp, Manager, Events And Conferences, American Red Cross National Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

The last year has been very demanding on the Red Cross. What are you planning for the annual meeting this month? This is our 125th anniversary. We’ll be meeting here in Washington, D.C., where we were founded. We are pretty big; we take up a 50,000-square-foot exhibit hall. About 5,000 come to the national convention….

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Interview with Gigi Gleason

What new technologies do you expect to see a demand for in the coming year? The first are radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. When used at trade shows, they’re able to tell you who goes into a hall, what session they attend, what booths they visit and how long they spent there. The tags can…

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Interview with Reina Herschdorfer

You’re working in one of the most competitive meeting venues in the world. What can planners do to establish a good relationship with you? It’s important for meeting planners to come in with the mindset that this is going to be a partnership. The most successful meetings are the ones where they become part of…

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Interview with Rick Wakida Global Travel Manager, Gilead Sciences, Inc., Foster City, California

Gilead is a growing biopharmaceutical company, having produced Tamiflu and Viread, among other infectious-disease-fighting therapies. What is the scope of your responsibility there? Before I arrived at the end of last year, the company's larger meetings were outsourced, but the rest were handled internally. There was never a travel program or a travel manager here…

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