IACC Americas returned to the West Coast in an upbeat fashion for its 2014 Annual Conference, attracting 222 registered attendees—the most since 2008—which includes about 10 percent Millennials and approximately 45 first-time show-goers.

The March 19-21 conference is being held at the Los Angeles area’s Pacific Palms Resort, located in City of Industry.

“It’s an indication the association has reconnected with our members and they have great confidence about the future,” IACC CEO Mark Cooper commented to Meetings Focus regarding the strong turnout.

Part of the robust attendance, he said, was due to a forward-thinking move by the association to bring fresh attendees onboard in 2014, with IACC offering a substantially discounted registration fee for members wanting to bring along a “rising star” of their organization.

“We’re thrilled to be back on the West Coast after a 15-year break and to see the higher registration,” Cooper said. “West Coast hospitality really is second to none.”

Early highlights of the event included a rousing opening keynote by Cindy Novotny of Master Connection Associates, who urged attendees to reinvent themselves as well as rekindle their passion for the industry.

“You can’t leave this conference and return to the status quo,” she remarked. “Remember what got you into this business in the first place.”