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DMAI, IAAM Forge Closer Ties


Dallas, TX  – The two leading organizations representing convention centers and convention bureaus  have formally joined forces to increase intra-industry communication and establish best practices. The DMAI-IAAM Liaison Group, a committee formed by the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) and the International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM), held its first meeting on June 13th in Dallas.  The 15-member group discussed issues such as funding and finance sources, joint advocacy, joint accountability  and best practices for  destination promotions to show organizers and meeting planners.

“The objective is to establish a closer and more formal dialogue that will allow us to broach common issues under the umbrella of the DMAI and IAAM,” said Steve Moore, who is president of the Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau and a co-chairman of the new liaison committee along with Baltimore Convention Center Executive Director Peggy Daidakis.

Moore said that although convention centers and CVBs have traditionally worked closely to attract trade shows and other high-value visitors to their towns, the need for a formal relationship between the IAAM and DMAI has grown as new venues such as sprawling resorts and Native American casinos begin vying for events. “They weren’t around 10 years ago and they are now delivering a private, one-stop service to clients, so we need to sharpen our own experiences as best we can,” Moore said. “The client obviously now has more choices.”

Other members of the 15-member liaison group include IAAM  member representatives Jeff Blosser of the Oregon Convention Center, Dittie Guise of the Philadelphia Convention Center Authority, Barbara Maple of the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre, Jessie Allen of the Orange County Convention Center and John Christison, CFE of the Washington State Convention and Trade Center.   DMAI member representatives are  Richard Scharf of the Denver Metro CVB, Rick Hughes of the Kansas City CVA, Dan Fenton of the San Jose CVB, Linda Howell DiMario of the Arlington CVB, Jordy Tollet of the Greater Houston CVB and Bob Bedell of the Indianapolis CVA. The staff liaison for DMAI is President & CEO Michael D. Gehrisch.  Representing IAAM is Executive Director Dexter King, CFE.

Jeff Blosser of the Oregon Convention Center in Portland noted that every city has different organizational and funding arrangements for their CVBs and convention centers. “However,  I expect   this group to generate ideas for convention center and bureau staffs that can be adapted for use in their own communities  — a laundry list of things that make sense locally and can  be use to tell their own story,” Blosser said.

Reach  DMAI President Michael Gehrisch  at (202) 835-4219 or; IAAM Executive Director Dexter King at (972) 906-7441 or; Steve Moore at (602) 452-6203 or; Jeff Blosser at (503) 235-7573 or

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