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 PHOENIX, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A record 3,200 Best Western members, staff, vendors and guests representing 49 countries will roll into Las Vegas Oct. 19 for the Annual Best Western International Convention. Key initiatives being addressed this year are a proposed new corporate identity and a package of new and innovative leisure marketing programs. In addition, members will have the chance to shop the 1993 Products Showcase -- the largest singly sponsored trade show in the industry.
 During the four-day event at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Best Western members will participate in district meetings, workshops and seminars and be treated to hundreds of vendor demonstrations, special exhibits, and presentations at the Products Showcase. Many noted guest speakers and chart-topping music groups also await convention goers. This year's main event, however, is the unveiling of a proposed new brand identity for the world's largest hotel chain.
 Brand Identity Program
 Best Western's brand identity program is a pivotal issue which will have a significant impact on the long-term future of Best Western. A two-year brand identity study recently completed by Best Western indicated that the chain should consider changing its current logo to present a more modern and quality image. The proposed new corporate logo along with extensive research findings will be unveiled to Best Westerners during a closed meeting on Oct. 21. A press conference following this member presentation will be held at the Las Vegas Hilton at 2 p.m.
 Best Western members will not vote on this recommendation while in Las Vegas. Rather, they will have an opportunity to examine the issue following convention and cast their ballots by mid-November. Any decision to adopt a new corporate image will be made at that time.
 The General Session
 The General Session, Wednesday, Oct. 20, is the official kick-off to the convention. The keynote speaker is former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, who received the nation's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for his service during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
 The General Session will also feature an address from Best Western's Chairman of the Board Troy Davis, and reports from President and Chief Executive Officer Ronald A. Evans and Senior Vice President-Worldwide Marketing William S. Watson. Watson's marketing report will include the unveiling of a series of innovative leisure marketing concepts in which Best Western members will be encouraged to participate.
 Seminars & Workshops
 Highlighting the seminar agenda is a presentation by a pioneer in the field of children's marketing. Dr. James U. McNeal will discuss how he has applied his theories of children's consumer behavior to the hotel industry during a seminar, "Marketing to Family Travelers," on Thursday, Oct. 21. Noted for his research on "kids as customers" which tracks the income savings and spending patterns of 4-12 year olds, McNeal has consulted with many major U.S. firms.
 Several other topical seminars and workshops will provide strategies for marketing to mature travelers, the meetings industry, and the government/military travel segment. Seminars covering product enhancement, equipment leasing, disaster and contingency planning, and design standards will also be offered.
 1993 Products Showcase
 Best Western's Products Showcase is the largest singly-sponsored trade show in the hospitality industry. This year's "high-tech" show, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, features 312 booths -- a new all-time Best Western convention record.
 The Products Showcase provides members an opportunity to view and purchase the latest in hospitality products and services. From vacuums to mattresses, post cards to popcorn poppers, about 265 vendors will be on hand this year to show their wares. In fact, many vendors are offering significantly reduced prices exclusively for Best Western members.
 Vignettes of guest rooms furnished solely by Canadian manufacturers will be located in the Canadian vendor-display areas. Vignettes of a Young Traveler Playroom and a Young Travelers Play Yard will be displayed as well. Booths staffed by Best Western headquarters personnel will also be located on the convention floor.
 World Renowned Chefs
 When members aren't fulfilling inventory needs, they may want to see what's cooking in the Food Service Court on the convention floor. Techniques in preparing sauces and gravies, desserts and baked goods, and entrees will be presented, respectively, by Executive Chef-CPC Corp. Michael Smith on Tuesday, Oct. 19; Executive Chef-Sara Lee Corp. Kurt Henriksen on Wednesday, Oct. 20; and Executive Chef-Nestles Brand USA Roberto Gerometta on Thursday, Oct. 21.
 There will be several ongoing demonstrations of HPSI-featured foodservice items such as continental breakfasts, dessert products, table-top settings, equipment and kitchen cleaning. These presentations will run continuously during trade show hours.
 Masco Collection of American Art
 A visit to Las Vegas wouldn't be complete without paying homage to some of the great American artists who captured the spirit of the American West in colorful oils and vibrant bronze. New to the Best Western convention this year is an exhibit of 19th Century Western Art from the Masco Collection of American Art. Highlights of the exhibit are bronzes by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, paintings by Albert Bierstadt and William Robinson Leigh, and Plains Indians artifacts. The collection is provided by the Masco Family of Companies, a broad group of popular names including American Bath, Artistic Brass, Beacon Hill, Drexel Heritage, and Baldwin Brass.
 "The Best of Times"
 "The Best of Times" Gala Finale Dinner and Show, on Friday, Oct. 22, will be a power-packed evening of fine dining and entertainment. Following cocktails and dinner, Best Westerners and their guests will be treated to the chart-topping sounds of The Four Tops ("Baby I Need Your Loving" and "Standing In The Shadows Of Love") and The Drifters ("Up On The Roof" and "Under the Boardwalk").
 In addition, the ever-popular Up With People ensemble will sing and dance their way through the Chairman's Welcoming Dinner on Tuesday, Oct. 19, and again during the General Session on Wednesday, Oct. 20.
 Coming Home to Las Vegas
 For years, the Best Western convention was traditionally held in this city of neon lights and lady luck. In fact, Las Vegas is the city that gave birth to the idea that became Best Western in 1946. But as the world of Best Western rapidly expanded, Las Vegas was no longer the center point of the Western U.S. chain's system. Since the early '80s, the convention site has alternated between various North American cities including Dallas, Montreal, Washington, Phoenix, Nashville, Tenn., Seattle, Kansas City, Orlando, Fla., Toronto and Las Vegas.
 Best Western International Inc. is the world's largest lodging chain with nearly 3,400 independently owned and operated hotels in 49 countries throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Israel, the Middle East and the South Pacific.
 -0- 10/14/93
 /CONTACT: Nancy Vaughan, Director-Corporate Communications, 602-957-5751/

CO: Best Western International Inc. ST: Arizona IN: LEI SU:

MF-EH -- LA019 -- 2241 10/14/93 12:34 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 14, 1993

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