In response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina HSMAI, the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, has spearheaded a series of immediate initiatives in an attempt to reach out to members and the industry-at-large.
"The best thing we can do at this time is be an information provider and deliver timely and pertinent updates to those in need, as well as rally the forces in support of our industry," states Maureen O'Hanlon, chair of HSMAI and senior partner, The Prism Partnership.
"The HSMAI Foundation has already put in place a series of fundraising initiatives to assist with relief efforts," adds Richard Chambers, chair of the HSMAI Foundation and executive vice president, TravelCLICK. "Each and every one of us will be impacted by the ripple effects of this terrible disaster, and we anticipate the hospitality and travel community will come out in great support of our friends and colleagues in need."
Among HSMAI's initiatives are:
· In-Depth Hurricane/Disaster Recovery Resource Center on the HSMAI Foundation eConnect Web site.
This resource center will be updated daily with the latest news related to the impact on the industry, statements from industry companies, disaster-related recovery resources, and perspectives from industry leaders. Access is available to all HSMAI members, as well as non-members who register for a 60-day trial use of eConnect. Go to the resource center via www.hsmai.org
· Creation of the HSMAI Foundation Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.
HSMAI will conduct fundraisers at all 13 events taking place between September and December beginning with a fundraiser at Affordable Meetings® National in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 7 and 8. HSMAI will match all contributions up to $25,000, with donations going to the American Red Cross, earmarked for 2005 Hurricane Relief. Information on individual donations will be available shortly.
· Extension of membership to all Gulf South HSMAI chapter members.
All members of the Gulf South chapter of HSMAI will automatically have their membership expiration dates extended by 90 days to ensure they continue to receive all member benefits and resources during this difficult time.
· Economic impact analysis at upcoming Industry Strategy Conference.
For the Sept. 15, 2005 HSMAI/NYU Industry Strategy Conference in New York, HSMAI has added to the agenda leading industry analysts to frame the hospitality, travel, and tourism industry impact and ripple effects of Hurricane Katrina. For more information on the conference, go to www.hsmai.org. HSMAI is an organization of sales and marketing professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry. With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry, and bringing together customers and members at 15 annual events, including HSMAI's Affordable Meetings®, HSMAI's Meeting Quest, shows and the HSMAI World Quest events. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising nearly 7,000 members worldwide, with 38 chapters in the Americas region.
For more information on HSMAI and its hurricane relief efforts, contact the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, www.hsmai.org