Report from the Navigating International Meetings Summit

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Navigating Global Meetings Summit, meetings
The opening reception at ARIA Restaurant

Attendees at Prevue’s Navigating International Meetings Summit, held at the Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria in May, sampled the flavors of Texas and explored topics around duty of care over the two-day event.

A highlight of the Navigating International Meetings Summit was a joint presentation by Theresa Thomas of iJet and Kevin Iwamoto of Goldspring Consulting. Both are passionate about companies developing strong risk management plans and communicating them to stakeholders, and Iwamoto shared experiences from his days overseeing corporate travel and meetings at Hewlett-Packard. “Not enough of us fully understand what duty of care means and what specifically applies to meeting and event leaders as part of their onsite planning responsibilities,” he told the group—everything from developing policies to having fallback plans if internet access is lost. Thomas emphasized the difference between individual business travelers and meeting attendees, and how the latter are a more visible target, often traveling in large groups on buses or exploring the city wearing their name badges.

Attendees also heard from legal guru Tyra Hilliard with advice on how to navigate the areas of international meeting and incentive planning that pose the greatest legal risk, and American Express’ Kristel Nesrallah, who shared her company’s trends forecast for international hotel growth and development.

The host hotel, The Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria, rolled out the red carpet for the group of 30 meeting planners, along with sponsors from Tourism New Zealand, with an elegant opening night reception featuring a performance by Air New Zealand Maori Cultural Group and a selection of New Zealand wines. The convention services staff displayed their creativity around food and beverage, with many make-your-own options, a Tex Mex station showcasing locally inspired choices and a stunningly beautiful dessert wall with assorted tarts and flans. As amenities, attendees received leather carry-all bags from Stash, a Houston retailer featuring artisan leather goods handcrafted in Texas, as well as chic Blunt umbrellas, made in New Zealand.

Many thanks to Tourism New Zealand’s partners: Air New Zealand, Auckland Convention Venues and Events, Extra Mile Company, IDNX, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Hobbiton Movie Set, Auckland Convention Bureau, New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade, United Airlines and Blunt.





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