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Our History

Among the circle of hospitality properties, businesses and sites served by a city or regional destination marketing organization (DMO), the convention center is typically its largest partner and the major source for generating sales and hotel room nights.

As natural sales collaborators, a handful of like-minded convention center and DMO sales professionals established the Association of Convention Marketing Executives in 1991 based on the leadership of Bill Just. Bill identified a gap in the meetings marketplace and conducted the association’s first official meeting at the Seattle Convention Center in June of that year. The association has grown steadily in its membership and its mission to foster closer cooperation between center and DMO sales professionals since that time.

In 2011, the association changed its name to Convention Sales Professional International to more accurately reflect it goals to encourage convention centers and DMO sales staffs to exchange ideas and learn from one another.

CSPI has reached a milestone in the conventions industry and has broadened its reach to include our headquarter hotel properties and future convention sales professionals. As we enter 2021, we look forward to celebrating 30 years of successful collaboration as we grow stronger than ever and look forward to leading the next generation of convention sales professionals in this exciting industry.

Achieving Success Together

Convention Sales Professionals International (CSPI), formerly the Association for Convention Sales and Marketing Executives (ACME), is dedicated to fostering a spirit of collaborative success between convention sales professionals and their convention sales counterparts at convention centers, hotels and regional destination marketing organizations (DMOs). CSPI brings together the headquarter hotel sales professionals, conventions centers and destination marketing organizations so that they can seamlessly serve their shared clients. Convention sales professionals at centers and DMOs play a leading and interdependent role in bringing conventions and the positive impact these large meetings have on the economic prosperity of a city or a region.

Nationwide, conventions and trade shows generate $80 billion a year and rank among the top 25 industries contributing to the nation’s Gross National Product, according to the American Society of Association Executives. If conventions are big business, they are also an intensely competitive business, pursued by cities and regions nationwide. The need for citywide convention sales and marketing professionals to be at the top of their game is critical as is their ability to work as a team to secure bookings.

Sharing a common destination and destiny

CSPI is the only association dedicated to the mutual and cooperative success of centers, DMO's and their citywide sales counterparts. CSPI advances this important goal through year-round programs and events that provide numerous opportunities for continuing education, member communications, knowledge exchange between members such as monthly member conference calls, professional networking and social interaction with center and DMO peers.

DMOs and convention centers share common geographic destinations whose attributes they promote as they pursue a successful destiny as convention sales partners. CSPI exists to support our members in achieving that destiny by working together to reach their organizational and career goals.

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