Hospitality industry professionals gathered in South Florida for the 4th Annual HGA Global Forum this week. The H Factor was in full effect throughout the Global Forum which brings attendees together for industry focused educational sessions and local offsite activities.
Hosted by Platinum sponsor Turnberry Isle Miami, Hosts Global Alliance (HGA) held its 4th Annual HGA Global Forum in South Florida July 21st to 24th with great support from local Destination Management member Cream of the Crop Events, A Hosts Global Alliance Member, as well as the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. The 230 top industry professionals attending the Hosts Global Forum included both HGA clients and members representing more than 300 destinations worldwide.
Participants traveled from North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Europe to collaborate on industry challenges and trends, learn about new destinations, meet one-on-one about business opportunities, and to enjoy the local offerings of South Florida. Cream of the Crop Events, a Hosts Global Alliance Member, worked hand in hand with the HGA team to organize a full range of activities highlighting the history, arts, and culture that South Florida offers incentive, leisure, and corporate groups. The venues, activities, and locations showcased the vibrant hospitality of this iconic beach and golf paradise.
Educational content began with a topic that has been in the forefront lately, emergency preparedness, where the session focused on the special issues facing the hospitality industry. Other sessions presented attendees with subjects such as the latest trends in the hotel industry and how issues like room piracy, cyber security, meetings advocacy, and health and wellness can affect meetings and incentives business while another session focused on the use of alternative accommodations such as Airbnb and their integration into the hospitality industry. Additionally, members from the event management team of South by Southwest (SXSW) and Austin city officials joined for a panel discussion on the design and execution of “mega events”. Sessions offered met the requirements for attendees to receive continuing education (CE) credit for the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential.
The Global Forum kicked off with a CSR activity in which attendees packed healthy meals for families in need and partnered with Feeding Children Everywhere to distribute the meals to crises food pantries in the South Florida area and the African country of Burundi. There was entertainment throughout the HGA Global Forum with a variety of receptions and performances starting with host hotel, Turnberry Isle Miami, showcasing their delicious offerings welcoming attendees with a Taste of Turnberry reception. Friday included a session demonstrating how to repurposed centerpieces which were brought to life when clients delivered dozens of recycled centerpieces to the local Ronald McDonald House. “What a wonderful idea to take something so beautiful as flowers and give them a second life. Reincarnation,” commented Michael Fried, owner of Michael J. Fried Travel Services, on his experience delivering the bouquets.
Oceanfront landmark Nikki Beach played host to Friday evening’s Miami Nights White Party where guests sporting chic white attire were treated to the food and flair that Miami is known for. Festivities continued on Saturday evening, when HGA took over the patio at the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort for a Jimmy Buffett themed evening of food, fun, and entertainment overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
“I have attended this event for the past 3 years. I am so impressed that each year the content of this conference gets more relevant and more robust. HGA listens to the marketplace, their DMC members, and their clients to design a program around the needs of their stakeholders and they surpassed what I anticipated. I look forward to seeing how they continue to exceed my expectations in future years”
Just before closing the meeting the next Forum location was revealed with a Mardi Gras Parade to signify that New Orleans would play hosts to next year’s Global Forum, and HGA proudly announced the winners of the annual Hosts Honors Awards given to those DMC members who exceed expectations in specific categories. This year’s recipients include:
Critic’s Choice Hosts Honors Award: Hosts New Orleans, A Hosts Global Alliance Member
Branding Hosts Honors Award: Hadler DMC Scandinavia, A Hosts Global Alliance Member
H Factor Leadership Hosts Honors Award: Stephen Lazar, Key Events, A Hosts Global Alliance Member
DMC Of The Year 2015-2016 Hosts Honors Award: Maple Ridge Events, A Hosts Global Alliance Member
Hosts Global Alliance President, Marty MacKay stated, “Our HGA members incorporate the H Factor into everything we do; it’s that extra something special we bring to the table. This year’s Global Forum is no exception. We put our Heart into creating a memorable experience for all attendees with engaging educational sessions and Hip activities, honoring those HGA DMC members that truly exemplify our principles of excellence, and showcased our Hospitality in this tropical paradise of South Florida.”
Hosts Global Alliance (HGA), is a worldwide consortium of select Destination Management Companies. We believe that every destination holds the promise of an inspiring experience. Hosts Global Alliance delivers on that promise with unparalleled service, fresh thinking, and a global network of local experts. HGA currently represents over 50 Destination Management Companies, servicing over 300 locations. Hosts Global Alliance provides a full service approach for customers planning group programs in the meetings, convention, and incentive industry for corporations, associations, meeting management, and incentive travel companies. There is always a Hosts solution. Every time. Everywhere.
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