The Best Networking Event of the Year & Every Year (Pixs & Tidbits)

As I explained yesterday I am so behind, but this is the perfect time to read about the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau annual luncheon or “The Meet Up”, which is held the day before Thanksgiving. I am thrilled every year when I get my invitation to this very exclusive “hospitality” event. You really have to be in the biz to get invited, it’s not a press event per se, but since I work with so many of the people that are invited (ie am pitched by) I’m in heaven as I can hear all about the upcoming plans for the new year and either tuck that info away on my appointments calendar, or give it to you right here, right now. 
(Above Ryan Reigel, Valley Social Magazine, meeting up)
The big news at the Meet Up 2012 is the re-branding of the organization from the PCVB to PHLCVB. Still the same great organization whereas they attract international business to Philadelphia’s convention center, but certainly an injection of excitement and commitment comes along with the fresh, sexy logo. Whoever came up with it will certainly be awarded for it’s on point promotion of Philly, and innovation. PHL is a very recognizable acronym for Philly via the airport and other means of transportation.  What I love  about the design is the P and the L are not defined, and neither is this organizations mission. It’s infinite in what they are able to do. I like it a lot.
Above: The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) Marketing Team: Lucy MacNichol. Mary Connors, Ben Franklin, Khaila Edward, Marissa Feldman and Danielle Cohn, Vice President of Marketing & Communications for the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB)

Jack Ferguson, president and chief executive at the PHLCVB has ushered in a lot of great ideas since taking the reigns of the organization 2 years ago. Including changing the concept of the annual event. For years it was a sit down shin dig, but last year and continuing this year it’s a cocktail party, where lunch is served, but not in a formal fashion. Most people just sit down for the “program” part of the day towards the end. It’s the best kind of networking event I’ve ever been too. Everyone in the room has a chance to mingle with each other for about 2 hours before the program.

This year, there were very few speakers. Just three, and even though Ahmeenah Young, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority was in attendance her message came via video, as did Mayor Nutter. Only Jack Ferguson, spoke (see pix above), and it was brief. I think the message was all around the room, the buzz, the PHL monikor and the wonderful graphics created by Replica Creative.

Did you see the “modern renaissance” signage through out the
venue during the luncheon. It’s a new marketing effort by the agency is
centered on the idea of
encouraging its partners — including government agencies, nonprofit
organizations, corporations, colleges and universities — to help
promulgate its stories about Philadelphia as a “modern renaissance
city.” The agency is calling those open-source aspects of the effort
unusual, if not unique. (Footnote 1)

The Replica Creative Team: Larry Guiffa (He came up with the concept of my new business cards, as well as the cool lanyard I wear around my neck.)

Plus they created the step and repeat for my 5th Anniversary Party in September [that’s my trainer, Steve “HofFIT” Hoffman  from the Sporting Club that’s finally going to give me the body I want, but he has to yell at me to want it more – LOL).

Spotlight PR’s Irene Levy and son Adam. She reminded me that McGillin’s is the place to be to warm up if you get cold watching the Mummer’s Parade. It opens at at 10 a.m.  
There’s a fireplace, Mummers, Bowl Games & Hot Drinks

Phila Business Journal: Pat Awling and Abbie Siegel-Greenberg (My LTR Mike went to Drexel with her and was roommates after college. Plus Abbie is the founder of Career Wardrobe. I remember when she started it.)

Laura Burkhardt, what a year that gal has had. She started her own business, sold advertisements for PCC, represented many retail businesses connected people, she’s a rain maker. In the end she was lured back to Where Magazine where she had previously worked for 8 years here in Philadelphia. She’s as happy as ever, doing what she loves, connecting business with tourists. We are good friends, but if you’ve been reading me forever you know I used to read Where Magazine even before I was PCC. I wish it was offered on the news stand, but you have to get it at a hotel, or visitor center. They do have a quarterly magazine done with the Center City District which is distributed to businesses. It’s a good read on what’s going on. (BTW anyone want to advertise on PCC, write me. I have a healthy 5,000 readers daily, 10,000 twitter followers, 7,000 FB friends) Mickey Rowley and Richard Bonds are doing great things at Top of the Tower. It’s a great space to rent, wonderful views of the City, and skyline. This year they participated in SIPS, and it was packed. Definitely a gem spot. Judy Ellis-Taylor, Director/Sales & Marketing – Hyatt. Lots of fun events and dining opportunities coming up in 2013

For the Family: New Year’s Eve Countdown in Franklin Square: Franklin Square
is hosting a party that will have kids smiling into 2013. There will be
crafts, music and lots of fun in the historic park. Franklin Square is
in a great spot to watch the fireworks at Penn’s Landing, so prepare
yourself for the grand finale, the countdown to the “Square” Drop at 6
p.m. and views of the 6 p.m. fireworks at Penn’s Landing.
Footnote 2

Keish Bapp-Jordan, Mariska K. Bogle, doing lots of fun things you will read about in 2013, Karen A. Lewis Executive Director of Avenue of the Arts (Tells me to look for the North Broad St to come alive in 2013. New trees, lights and excitement), Toni Crawford Major, Greta Greenberger, City Hall Tour Director Rm 121 – go take the tour, you will learn something about the grand building and be amazed. (Did you know I was a volunteer tour guide there for about 10 yrs.)

Brent Martin, general manager of Four Seasons Resort (He spent 5 years at the Four Seasons Resort – Koh Samui, Thailand before coming to Philly), Christia Donohue, Director of Public Relations at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and David Lipson, president of Metro Corp. (I’ve never seen him without a smile on his face)

Rebecca Morley,Vice President at Devine + Partners and Kim Hallman, Account Supervisor at Devine + Partners – Expertise. Every Time. That’s our mantra. That’s our belief. That’s our promise.

Paul Steinke, GM at Reading Terminal Market Sarah Levitsky,  Marketing and Events Manager at Reading Terminal Market with Chatterblasters: Evan Urbania, Principal at ChatterBlast Media and Matt Ray, Co-Founder and Principal of ChatterBlast Media

Maura Peese and the adorable and funny Tim Adams – Field House
Phillies in the house: David Montgomery, Scott Palmer, Bonnie Clark and Bill Giles

Shelvia Williams, Logistics and Program Manager at Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, Cari Feiler Bender wants you to know: The
Delaware River Waterfront Corporation produces the annual SugarHouse
New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront, continuing the New Year’s
Eve tradition with twice the fireworks and twice the fun at 6 pm and
midnight on December 31.  Both free shows will be choreographed to
unique soundtracks and launched from barges in the middle of the
Delaware River with clear views from both Philadelphia and Camden, with
free viewing areas and broadcast soundtrack in each location.    Plus go skating at TIL MARCH 3!!   (Thank you SugarHouse – xo HughE)    

Laurel Perley, Center City District, Bruce Shannon (Thanks to you and Michelle for the hospitality last week.), Randyl Case Center City District, and Kristen Casalnuevo, Center City District
Most people mingled until show time near the end of the event. The food was delicious too. Forgot to say we were at Downtown Marriott.

Flower Show in 2013: The word is “Brilliant!” In 2013, the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show will
glow with the majestic beauty and creative genius of Great Britain, and
pay tribute to centuries of inspiring, influential culture – culminating
in the urbane design of 21st-century London.March 2 – 10. Jeff Liebreich, Stefanie Edwards and Dan Moise.

Robert Mendelson, Philadelphia Tribune, Charmine Murrell, Top of the Tower and Steven Scott Bradley, Steven Bradley, Chairman, African American Chamber of Commerce

The Girls of Delilah. Up top in the blue is my girl Angela. If I were straight she’d be richer. 1st row: Regine, Claire, Jesi, Melissa and Rosalia.

It’s like the meeting of the round table. I bet a lot of good conversation went on here with the likes of Councilwomen Blondell Reynolds Brown, Janie Blackwell and A Bruce Crawley.


Jim Werner, Director of Tourism Partnerships at Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and Mike Sheridan. Mike is now teaching at Temple University’s school of tourism. You’ll recall he was at GPTMC too (an where these two met & fell in love), which markets the City to tourism and has had a fantastic run with the “With Love” campaign. Nothing compares with how the message that moniker sends out to the world.  Check out Jim with the Polish Stringband on New Year’s Eve. He’s been marching with them for over a decade. Remember a few years back when he did the Where Magazine cover with The Bacon Brothers.

The Growth Properties People – A company offering comprehensive hotel management services

The Philadelphia Trolley Works People. Mike Kates and Bobby Andrews

Three Behind the Scenes Influencers: James Curato, president and CEO of the Visitors Center Corporation, Margaret Hughes, Deputy City Rep and Scott Mirkin, Executive Producer of the Philly 4th of July Jam, starring The Roots and guests, plus MADE IN AMERICA

then we headed to the after parties.


 First it’s downstairs to Circ at the Marriott

Jared Orth, Michele Lam, PhillyMag Marketing, Eric Caldarale, Mike Fanelle, Ashley Micori and Kevin Mazzucola, Executive Director at Auto Dealers CARing For Kids Foundation (Thanks to the Auto Show Peeps for donating a pair of tickets to the show for the Gilda’s Club auction in honor of my sister) The Auto Show is coming up 1/19/13, but you have to come to the black tie event, it is so much fun, and it’s for a good cause to boot.

Then I headed to Maggiano’ss for the after after party where I found John Golden, Dir of Comm for Valley Forge CVB, Mandee Kuenzle, Mary Linneman, Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine, Sarah Fuller, Acct Exec at Cort Event Furnishings, Sarah Gallacher, Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine and Jim Cohn, Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine. (And thanks to the person who wrote out these names, very easy to read.)


Footnote 1 Source
Footnote 2 Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Fun at uwishunu Source

**(PS I might write another blog entry before the year’s out, I have so much content still.)