Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. McNeill

Andy McNeill

CEO, American Meetings, Inc. (AMI)

Andy McNeill is CEO of American Meetings, Inc. (AMI), a world-wide leader in the event marketing and meeting management space. Mr. McNeill is a true veteran of the meetings and event industries, with more than 25 years of experience. His weekly blog is one of the industry's leading blogs, and was recently picked up to provide content to Meetingsnet and the Corporate Meetings Network. He is frequently interviewed for articles by journalist regarding industry trends. Developing meeting strategies is his expertise and his passion. He has assisted firms in the pharmaceutical, biotech, healthcare, consumer, sports marketing and investment banking sectors to name a few. After graduation from FSU with a degree in Marketing, Mr. McNeill began his career in the event marketing group at FSU Athletics. Soon after, he spent six years with NSG Corporation as the Senior Vice President leading the sales/marketing for the firm who produced events for 200,000+ attendees annually across the globe. Revenues exceeded 25 million annually. Mr. McNeill and the NSG team worked with the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta to produce portions of the Opening Ceremonies. Following NSG, he secured the role as COO at Fanizzi Associates, one of the nation's largest event pharmaceutical firms. There he managed the overall operations of the company who executed over 400 events annually for physicians and internal pharmaceutical clients. Revenues exceeded 40 million a year. In 2002, Mr. McNeill left Fanizzi Associates, and launched AMI with the vision of owning a premiere event marketing and meeting management firm. Since 2002, AMI has grown into a multi-million dollar organization producing hundreds of events annually. AMI has managed programs in 20+ industries for clients such as Novartis, Mars, Cleveland Clinic, J & J, Baxter, Pfizer and Office Depot. The completion of AMI's new state of the art, 5,000 square feet corporate facility, is a crowing accomplishment as AMI enters its decade anniversary in 2012.

Mr. McNeill can be contacted at 954-556-8864 or andy@americanmeetings.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.