Any meeting organizer can tell you: Success in the hospitality industry is about networking, meeting people face to face, and establishing lasting relationships for mutual benefit. Luckily for planners in and around Missouri, a number of organizations exist for the purpose of forging these links. And when they’re brought together for a common purpose, their reach and effectiveness only multiply for the benefit of their members and audiences.
So what could be better than a special event created entirely to bring special event, hotel and restaurant professionals together?
On the evening of April 18, 2013, that was the primary aim of Hospitality SLUnited, a new Saint Louis Universitysponsored networking opportunity for industry professionals from St. Louis and surrounding areas.
The event was hosted by SLU’s Hospitality Industry Advisory Board, which provides support to both a for-credit minor and certificate in Hospitality Management and the Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate offered through SLU’s new Center for Workforce and Organizational Development http://www.slu.edu/center-for-workforce-and-organizational-development
Hospitality SLUnited attendees from meeting, hotel, restaurant, and fundraising organizations gathered at Il Monastero, a SLU event venue in midtown St. Louis. Networking was the sole order of the day, with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to sweeten the deal, and inspiring speakers to remind attendees of the strength of their numbers. Guests enjoyed remarks from Jennifer Giancola, dean of SLU’s School of Professional Studies; and Pat Schaumann, CMP, CSEP, DMCP, president of Meeting IQ, managing director of China Connect, and founder of the International Medical Meeting Professionals Association. Each guest table included a representative from one of ten Hospitality SLUnited association partners, and they facilitated introductions and discussion about individual attendees’ businesses and needs.
This year’s event has come and gone, but the business relationships formed by attendees promise to be lasting ones. And there are still many opportunities to connect even if you were unable to attend on April 18. Hospitality SLUnited is intended to be an annual gathering, so be on the lookout for next year’s date. And visit http://alumni.slu.edu/hospitalitySLUnited or e-mail sgranda@slu. edu to find out how you can participate in the future.
Continuing on the theme of making introductions, MM&E acquaints you here with some key Hospitality SLUnited partners, to show how their services may fit the needs of your business. Visit their websites and connect with their representatives to build your own set of vital industry links.
Association of Fundraising Professionals
4300 Wilson Blvd.,
Arlington VA 22203
AFP is a global association dedicated to advancing philanthropy by helping people and organizations adhere to ethical and effective fund-raising practices. AFP promotes civic betterment by offering education, training, mentoring, research, credentialing and advocacy activities that help fund-raising professionals advance the causes of their organizations.
Event Planners Association
Lake Forest CA 92630
EPA is a full-service association offering a support system for professionals in the event and amusement communities. It helps them learn about professional standards and efficient, cost-effective operation. EPA offers its members access to inhouse legal and insurance advice, marketing specialists, continuing education, safety training, networking and other services.
Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International
1760 Old Meadow Rd.,
McLean VA 22102
HSMAI works to help hotel and hospitality organizations increase business and revenue. It provides members with resources, insights and expertise to help them market themselves successfully and drive sales growth. HSMAI’s online Knowledge Center provides articles, presentations, templates, multimedia materials, and other offerings to help professionals educate themselves.
International Medical Meeting Professionals Association
5822 Delor St.,
St. Louis MO 63109
IMMPA provides medical and health-care meeting professionals with advocacy, certification, research, career development and networking services. Its aim is to promote professionalism and provide consistency in the education and certification of medical and life-science meeting professionals. IMMPA strives to ensure that health-care meeting planners understand and abide by the complex rules and regulations governing their industry.
International Special Events Society – St. Louis
P.O. Box 9452,
St. Louis MO 63117
ISES-St. Louis is the local chapter of the International Special Events Society. It is devoted to educating event planners and promoting the growth of the profession. Members benefit from industry discounts, monthly educational programs and speakers, networking, venue tours, award programs and brand promotion opportunities.
Meeting Professionals International
3030 Lyndon B.
Dallas TX 75234
MPI strives to promote member success through networking and education. It offers professional development, industry certification opportunities, career information, research, events and publications to help members connect with each other and advance their organizations.
Missouri Restaurant Association
1810 Craig Road,
St. Louis MO 63146
MRA offers its members networking and social opportunities; education and training services; access to product and service discounts; property/casualty and health insurance programs; industry news and information; and a voice in legislative efforts related to Missouri food service and hospitality.
Professional Convention Management Association
35 E. Wacker Drive,
Chicago IL 60601
PCMA represents convention and meeting industry members around the globe. It promotes the value of professional convention management, and offers members ongoing educational opportunities, industry news, publications, and networking opportunities. Its Education Foundation encourages professional development via grants for scholarships, educational programming and industry research.
St. Louis Area Hotel Association
6590-B Scanlan Ave.,
St. Louis MO 63139
SLAHA fosters networking among member hotel properties in the greater St. Louis area. Its membership includes allied companies offering products and services in support of hotels and their guests. The association fosters communication, education and legislative action among members. It provides legislative representation on issues important to the tourism and lodging industries, and promotes visitor and convention business in St. Louis.
St. Louis Institute for Association Leadership
STIAL aims to strengthen association leaders through education and collaboration. Members benefit from events, networking, career information, professional development, member forums, job referrals, certification preparation, research, shared expertise and other resources to help them better serve their clients.
Thank you to Hospitality SLUnited’s restaurant partners who showcased their food and beverages at the April 18 event:
Best Steak House, 516 N. Grand, http://beststeakstl.com
Dooley’s Beef ‘n Brew House, 601 N. Grand,
Field House Pub & Grill, 510 Theresa Ave., http://fieldhousestl.com
Fountain on Locust, 3037 Locust, www.fountainonlocust.com
Nadoz Café, 3701 Lindell Blvd., www.nadozcafe.com
Pappy’s Smoke House, 3106 Olive St., http://pappyssmokehouse.com
Triumph Grill, 3419 Olive St., http://triumphgrill.com
Urban Chestnut Brewing Co., 3229 Washington Ave.,
Vito’s Sicilian Pizzeria & Ristorante, 3515 Lindell, www.vitosstl.com
Don’t forget to connect with other hospitality-related associations offering key member services:
ASAE/Center for Association Leadership, www.asaecenter.org
Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis,
Club Managers Association of America, www.cmaa.org
Destination Marketing Association International,
Missouri Hotel and Lodging Association, www.lodgingmissouri.com
National Association of Catering Executives, www.nace.net
Society of Government Meeting Professionals, www.sgmp.org
St. Louis Attractions Association, www.stlattractions.org