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Idea File: How IMEX Puts Innovative Education in the Exhibit Hall
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CMP Today: July 10, 2012

In This Issue

Featured Article
Chair's Corner
CMP Program News
Research and Trends
CMP on the Road
On The Move

IMEX Campfire
The 10th anniversary edition of IMEX in Frankfurt, the worldwide exhibition for the meetings, events and incentive travel industry, closed in late May after one of the strongest weeks in its 10 year history.

In his closing remarks, IMEX Group Chairman, Ray Bloom, announced a 21% rise in the number of individual buyer appointments with exhibitors during the show. In total over 64,000 appointments took place between buyers and exhibitors over the three-day trade show. Bloom also confirmed that just under 4,000 hosted buyers attended the show from an overall total of nearly 9,000 visitors from around the world (and around 3500 companies exhibited at the show).

Central to its delivery of a large-scale, free of charge professional education program in Frankfurt was the IMEX-CIC Inspiration Centre, sponsored by Poland. The Convention Industry Council has worked closely with IMEX on a number of projects since the show’s inception but the development of the Inspiration Centre for 2012 was a particularly strong element and one that attracted a great deal of attention and traffic.

The concept combined a three-day programme of short seminars plus 30-45-minute campfires, which are small, informal group discussions facilitated by an expert, and six presentations by ‘industry innovators’. None of the sessions required booking and they covered a wide range of topics from social media, PR, green meetings, meetings performance planning, meeting design, trends research, sporting events and lobbying for political support to interview and resume writing techniques and wellbeing guidance. Sessions were also designed to appeal to planners, buyers and other professionals, with a special series of 15 minute ‘Lightning Learning Labs’ specifically aimed at the needs of exhibitors.

Feedback from various participants included this from Julie Peden, Director, Meetings and Events, MCI Toronto, Canada: "The ‘campfire’ concept is excellent with the small group format ensuring that everyone engages properly to get best value from the discussion."

Presentation Area in IMEX Inspiration Centre

CIC’s partnership with IMEX will continue with IMEX America, October 09 – 11, when the show’s LearningCurve Zone will again be sponsored by CIC and a similar range of educational events will take place during the Las Vegas show. However, in a move away from the Frankfurt model, IMEX America also offers attendees a whole day dedicated exclusively to professional education, and this happens the day before the exhibition opens – known as "Smart Monday" on October 8. The day’s education programme is open to all meetings industry professionals free of charge and incorporates seminars and presentations by many of CIC’s leading industry association members including MPI, Site, ASAE, PCMA, ISES and ICCA.

Says Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group: "IMEX America’s debut was a strong one last year and our aim for 2012 is to reach out to even more planners both here in the US and across the world to attend and meet the more than 2,000 exhibitors who are taking part. With our unique combination of co-located events, networking, business and education, the show offers a great deal of value and our feedback testifies to that. As many observed at the time, IMEX America succeeded in delivering a truly international marketplace on US soil and we fully intend to do the same again this October."

Inspiration Centre - Design Takeaways
  • Short drop-in workshops on the Inspiration Center on the show floor.
    • Make content convenient to the attendee's next business appointment.
  • Campfires - Informal, small groups facilitated by an expert. Typical topics include social media, cross-cultural tricks and tips, green meetings and events, food and beverage, PR.
    • Work with facilitators to design them as extended question and answer sessions - in bite-sized pieces
  • Lightning learning labs - High-speed education sessions with skills and advice for booth staff. Topics include marketing hints and tips, sales, booth design, influential behaviors, using social media to 'punch above your weight', sales conversion and more.
    • Build some content relevant to exhibitors that can increase their effectiveness
  • Experience it first-hand at IMEX America, October 09 – 11, Las Vegas, NV

Photo Credits: IMEX Group
PCMA Salary Survey Highlights the Value of the CMP
"Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report ranked the meeting, convention and event planner role as its pick for the No.1 best business job in 2012," said Michelle Russell, Convene magazine’s Editor in Chief. "Helping to give planners top billing was their strong job satisfaction scores — and that was confirmed by our Annual Salary Survey in which nearly 80 percent of respondents told us that they were satisfied with their career choice."

The findings indicate that the average salary of a professional that earned the CMP designation is $76,225, compared to $65,609 for those without the designation.

"The salary gap has widened between those who have earned their CMP and those that have not," said Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP and Convention Industry Council’s Chief Executive Officer. "The Convene results show that in 2011, the average salary of a meeting professional without the designation was $68,605 and this year it dropped to $65,609 while the salary for those with a CMP remained fairly steady from the previous year. The certification continues to prove its value in a competitive marketplace."

Conducted in March of 2012, 420 meeting professionals participated in the survey. The full results of the survey were published in the June issue of Convene and can be accessed at

Chair's Corner
Chair's Corner
Welcome you to the inaugural issue of the improved CMP Today! I hope you’re find this new format  easier to navigate and full of relevant content.

Less than a month ago, CMPs gathered at the second-highest attended CMP Conclave to expand their knowledge and expertise, build meaningful relationships and be inspired. I would like to again thank our generous hosts: Tampa Bay & Company and Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina. Appreciation and thanks also go to all of our sponsors who make the CMP Conclave possible.
Much of the success of this year’s Conclave is due to the hard work of a new committee that was formed this past year, the Conclave Education Program Committee. This committee was created to draw on the expertise, experience and inspiration of the CMP community, and to develop compelling content. Congratulations to the committee on raising the bar and creating exceptional education! Over the next few issues, we will be sharing more from this year's Conclave here in CMP Today to foster the learning and networking of our CMP community.

2012 Conclave Education Committee
Chair: Cathy Breden, CAE, CMP – International Association of Exhibitions and Events
MaryAnne Bobrow, CAE, CMP, CMM, CHE - Bobrow & Associates
Deanne Davis, CMP - The George Washington University
Melody Kebe, CMP, CGMP- Network Services Directorate, Defense Information Systems Agency
Sheila Mires, CMP - PCMA
Dr. Jan Roy, PhD, CMP - Kendall College
Gary Titunick, CMP - Johnson & Johnson
Karen Travelo, CMP - Harvard Law School

In the previous issue of CMP Today, I shared the CMP Board’s focus for 2012. At Conclave, we unveiled some exciting initiatives that are already underway or will appear in the coming months. You’ll find details on some of these projects in this issue and future issues to come. 
After reading CMP Today, we’d love to hear from you. If you have feedback, suggestions, or recommendations on topics, or are interested in writing an article, please let us know by emailing

Warmest Regards,

Karen Gonzales, CMP  

Karen Gonzales is the Chair of the CMP Board of Directors and Senior Vice President of Membership & Operations for Destination Marketing Association International
Plano CVB
Recertification...It's Easier Than You Think!
You have worked hard to earn your CMP certification and we want to make sure that you maintain your designation. The focus of recertification is to make sure that CMPs are keeping educated on industry trends and developments as well as being active within the industry. CMPs are required to recertify every five years by meeting the requirements established by the CMP Board of Directors. The process of recertification is one that should not be difficult for most people as we have witnessed that CMPs are some of the most dedicated professionals. 

To assist you with the recertification process, CIC has created a video highlighting important information about recertification and offering you with some helpful tips. The video and more information and FAQs on recertification can be found in the Recertification section of CIC website

Remember...Recertification, it’s easier than you think!


Turn Around or Turmoil? An Inside Look at the Recovery

By Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP

At this year's CMP Conclave, attendees got to hear from a distinguished industry panel on everything from fuel prices to the meeting rooms of the future. Moderated by Steven Hacker, CAE, FASE, President IAEE and 2012 CIC Board of Directors Chair, CMPs at the Conclave heard insider opinions and insights from Dave Nostrand, Vice President,Sales TheAmericas, Convention/Resort Hotels, Marriott International; Bill McMillan, Senior Director of Sales, Visit Charlotte and Susan Hennig, Sales Manager, Eastern USA, United Airlines.

Asked about the single development or change within their segment of the industry within the last five years, the overarching themes clearly centered on technology and economic issues and other challenges which forced a change in business practices.

McMillan shared that for Charlotte the sports market has increased from 10% to about 50% of their mix. This happened in large part because after 9-11 people stopped travelling by air, but they would load the family into the car to take kids to their sports competitions. They started to see this as an increasingly important market for them as youth sporting events were filling weekends that would normally go empty. This market has become "an economic development imperative for the city" and so has the need to look for other opportunities like this to hedge against declines in other markets.

Nostrand noted that the explosion of Internet has been a game changer not only in bookings for transient business but also group leads. Currently, sixty to seventy percent of all leads are coming over Internet. "The phones are quiet, considering that a planner can send 30-40 leads at once" rather than one by one over the phone or fax.

For the airlines, the unbundling of amenities has been the biggest change for the legacy airlines, according to Hennig. For Southwest and some of the other low cost airlines, it was their model. Now the legacy carriers have followed not only for cost savings but to "customize the experience" for flyers. Another factor has been the wild swings in fuel prices, and airlines have had to manage through these swings by right-sizing capacity, forming alliances to maximize partner airline flights, and transitioning to a more fuel-efficient fleet. Hennig noted that every one dollar increase in a barrel of oil equates to a $100 million cost to United on an annualized basis.

When asked to think ahead five years and share with "bankable" forecasts Hennig noted that all airlines are looking at alternate fuels and building more efficient planes. The 787 will be a game changer.

With the trend in convention center building expansion and new builds, the supply of meetings facilities is increasing, and some second tiers will be able to go after first tier business, according to McMillan.

Marriott's Nostrand sees that similar to improvements seen in guest room comfort and amenities, hotels, including Marriott, will be focusing on meeting rooms, how to improve them to keep up with technology but also improve the look, feel and ability to customize learning environments. And like the airlines, he sees greater customization of experience in sleeping rooms as consumers become accustomed to choosing among options and amenities.

The session provided a lot of great insights and sharing, but one thing all agreed that we won't see in the future is free Internet, (without negotiation) either in sleeping or meeting rooms, airlines or convention centers, much to the chagrin of the CMPs in the room. With most of us carrying two or three devices, bandwidth needs are increasing, costs to the providers will continue to increase, and from what we learned about customization of experience, the Luddites in the next room or airplane seat won't want to pay for it.

CMP Program News
New CMP Community Support Initiative Unveiled
The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program is expected to attract a much larger community of meeting professionals in more countries, due in large part to a multi-year initiative to globalize the certification. This initiative recently culminated in the introduction of the CMP International Standards and computer-based testing. With this expected uptick in international interest, the Convention Industry Council introduces the first CMP Regional Representatives initiative.

"Globalizing the CMP program will continue to be a major focus for CIC," said Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, Chief Executive Officer of CIC. "With professionals in 46 countries around the globe we are well on our way. To build on this we are opening new avenues for sharing information and building networks for CMP candidates through an initiative called the CMP Regional Representatives program."

The Regional Representatives are selected by the CMP Board of Directors based on their knowledge of both the CMP program and the professional environment of the region they represent. Regional Representatives will be available to offer information sessions and informal counseling on the CMP.

General inquiries for candidate information and resources, such as questions regarding CMP policies and procedures, application and examination processes and deadlines, should still be directed to the staff at CIC headquarters. "The Regional Representatives are not a replacement for the expertise and knowledge of the staff at CIC headquarters," noted Kotowski. "They’re regional volunteers -- information sources and advocates for the CMP when professional groups or candidates need information closer to home."

Representatives have been announced for South Africa, North America, South America and Asia Pacific. Candidates are encouraged to contact the representatives should they have in depth questions about the value of the CMP designation, locating continuing education and exam preparation, or connecting with others pursuing the certification.

The CMP Regional Representatives are:

Asia Pacific
Richard Rheindorf, CMP - MCI
South Africa
Chris Prieto, CMP - Emperors Palace

North America
Joanne Joham, CMM, CMP - ICCA
South America
Maria Jose Alvez, CMP - ICCA

CMP Census Announced
During the Convention Industry Council’s (CIC) annual CMP Conclave in Tampa, Fl. last weekend, Karen M. Gonzales, CMP, Chair of the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Board of Directors, unveiled a new landmark initiative to establish a detailed professional profile of CMPs.

"For the first time we’ll have comprehensive and accurate data on the CMP community," said Gonzales. "We may know there are 10,000 practicing CMPs in 46 countries around the world, but the 2012 CMP Census will look further into specific and critical areas. We’ll understand, more definitively, the purchasing power, interests and career challenges of CMP’s and how we can use that data to move the industry forward."

Much more than a survey to collect demographic data, the Census will uncover honest perceptions and profiles of meeting professionals. The findings affect many facets of the industry and will drive future education offerings, professional resources and industry standards as well as inform potential employers and business partners on the benefits of doing business with or hiring a CMP.

"This study will allow us to understand and articulate the diversity, significance and influence of the CMP, both inside and outside our professional spheres and our industry," said Gonzales.

Data gathering for the 2012 CMP Census begins this month and results will be released later in the fall this year.
Three Winners in our CMP Profile Drawing
Three lucky winners have been selected in our CMP Profile drawing. 
  • Ms. Michaela Morgan, CMP, The Westin Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Ms Jeong Yoon Chey, Shiheung South Korea
  • Ms. Theresa Pizzano, CMP, Institute for Supply Management
The winners will each receive a $50 American Express Gift Card!

If you weren't a winner this month you have another month we'll announce two more winners. To be entered into the drawing you must have a completed professional profile in the official CMP database. Read this article in the May 2012 issue of CMP Today for instructions on entering this information online.
Research and Trends
MPI Completes its Business Value of Meetings Toolkit
MPI and the MPI Foundation have announced the completion of their Business Value of Meetings (BVOM) research initiative. The result is a toolkit of measurement, analysis and reporting resources designed to help planners become more strategic within their organizations.

Meeting professionals already know that meetings drive business success, profitability and continuity. Now, the release of the BVOM toolkit aims to equip them to answer the simple, but often difficult-to-answer question posed by management, stakeholders and the media:  "Was it worth it?"
The toolkit offers planners a range of resources for measuring, understanding and communicating the effectiveness of meetings including articles, howto guides, webinars, workbooks, tutorials and videos. 

The BVOM Toolkit provides easy-to-use solutions to support planners in five key areas:  
  1. Understanding the importance of measurement 
  2. Gaining stakeholder buy-in  
  3. Defining meeting objectives and expectations 
  4. Devising meaningful ways to measure value 
  5. Analyzing and reporting BVOM data 
The Toolkit It can be accessed on the MPI website.

CMP on the Road
MPI World Education Congress - July 28-31
We'll see you at MPI's World Education Congress (WEC), July 28-31 in St. Louis, MO. MPI and Mexico Tourism invite all CMMs and CMPs to join them for breakfast on Monday, July 30 at this invitation-only event. See for details.
On The Move
Make an awesome career move? Let us help you celebrate!
Send the details of your latest career triumph to  And while you're at it, be sure to log into and update your official CMP record.

The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) is a
program of the Convention Industry Council

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