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CIC Ad Campaign Stresses Relationship Building through Meetings


Alexandria, VA – The Convention Industry Council (CIC) and a team of industry associations is readying an advertising campaign that will tout the value of the personal relationships built through business meetings.

The campaign, to be launched this Fall, goes beyond the message of meetings as a revenue and jobs producer for the cities that host them. The thrust will be the payoff that companies receive from their investment in sending employees to a trade show or other face-to-face event.

“This will compliment the U.S. Travel Association’s (USTA) message, which was the economic impact of meetings,” said Karen Kotowski, chief operating officer of the CIC. “Our campaign will talk about the value and human connection; the things that happen when we get together, such as relationship building and a generation of new ideas and business solutions.”

Follow-up to Obama Response

The USTA launched its “Meetings Mean Business” campaign in the depths of the recession as a response to criticism of corporate travel that erupted after media reports of executives from troubled companies jetting off to upscale resorts for meetings of dubious value. The flap reached its height when President Obama publicly said companies receiving Federal financial assistance should forget about traveling to Las Vegas and other destinations.

The uproar has since died down, but trade show organizers and the entire business travel industry continue grappling with lower attendance. “While the negative comments from members of Congress and the administration have stopped as a result of the USTA’s efforts, there is still some hesitancy on the part of businesses to fully embrace meetings and events for economic and other reasons,” said Kotowski.

The Orlando advertising and public relations firm Y Partnership, Inc. was selected to develop the campaign on behalf of a CIC task force that includes the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE); the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR); the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE); Meeting Professionals International (MPI); the International Special Events Society (ISES); the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA); and Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI).

Reach Karen Kotowski at  (571) 527-3116  (571) 527-3116 or

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