Meetings & Conventions • mcmag.com 37 August 2014
By Lisa A. Grimaldi
• The International Association of Convention Bureaus is formed in 1914.
• In 1915, convention bureau executives from
18 cities attend the first official IACB
meeting, held in St. Louis. The group elects
officers and focuses on creating a code of
ethics for the solicitation of meetings.
• During the Great Depression, the number
and duration of association-sponsored
conventions decline. The focus of IACB
turns to helping member organizations
attract corporate and sales meetings, which
offer more reliable business during this time.
• Joe Turner is elected as the first paid
“secretary” (today’s role of CEO) of the
association, and a “central bureau” or
headquarters is established in Cincinnati.
• During World War II, the U.S. Office of
Defense Transportation places a ban on
conventions that stimulate travel due to a
nationwide dearth of available hotel rooms.
The ban ultimately is lifted in 1946.
• In 1948 the IACB releases its first delegate
survey, which reveals an average daily
This year, one of the meetings and travel industry’s key associations, Destination Marketing Association International, celebrates its centennial anniversary. The group was launched in 1914 as the
International Association of Convention Bureaus
with 14 member bureaus, all in North America. In
those simpler times, most of what would later be
known as destination marketing organizations were
The association survived and grew through years
of economic, political and social change, and today
DMAI includes more than 600 DMOs and 4,100 individual members in 15 countries. Following are highlights of the history of this venerable group and the
industry it serves.
Milestones in the history of
IACB met in New York City in 1942.