Featured Article
Industry Leaders Honored at CIC Gala
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October 31, 2013

In This Issue

Featured Article
CMP Events
APEX - Standards and Best Practices
Industry News
On The Move
The Hall of Leaders awards ceremony, kicking-off IMEX America 2013 and co-sponsored by MGM Resort’s Mandalay Bay, the IMEX Group, Freeman and other partners, honored industry pioneers whose intelligence, leadership, innovation and influence have changed the landscape of the profession. 

CIC Chief Executive Officer Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, and the 2013 chair of the CIC Board of Directors, Fran Rickenbach, kicked off the 18th annual induction ceremony with a surprise presentation of several of the 106 current members of the hall, who were on hand for the celebration.  

After a heartfelt thank you to all of the gala’s generous sponsors, the ceremony began with the presentation of the Pacesetter Award to two young professionals for their outstanding achievements early in their careers. Honored this year were: Robyn Mietklewicz, Director, Accounts & Global Meeting Management Services, Meeting Sites Resource, and Meghan Schilt, Events Manager, Apax Partners.  

"Our two recipients – while just beginning to hit their strides career-wise – have already made an impact on the market with an undeniable passion for their work and a commitment to the industry that has already set them apart," said event chair Teri Breining, CMP, CMM. 

The Master of Ceremonies, Glenn Thayer, then took the stage to introduce the five new game changers joining the prestigious Hall of Leaders:
•     Jorge Castex, Honorary President, COCAL, and Senior Advisor MCI Argentina: Nominated by the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO)
•     Eduardo Chaillo, CMP, CMM: Nominated by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)
•     Peggy Daidakis, Executive Director, Baltimore Convention Center: Nominated by the Baltimore Convention Center staff
•     Liz Erikson, Executive Director, Meetings & Incentives, Fairmont-Raffles-Swissotel: Nominated by Professional Convention     Management Association (PCMA)
•     Stephen Powell, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales, Intercontinental Hotels Group: Nominated by Meeting Professionals International (MPI)
The acceptance speeches reflected on the challenges the honorees faced during their careers, acknowledged those who helped them navigate and succeed along the way, and encouraged all in the room to mentor and take an interest in those who will become the new generation of industry leaders. 

"I am here today because people took an interest in me as I was advancing in my career. I love being around the next generation of managers and helping them learn from my experiences. I hope many of you, particularly my fellow female colleagues, will consider joining me by mentoring and encouraging the many talented young people, particularly the women, to consider this rewarding career in venue management," said honoree Peggy Daidakis. 

Guests later enjoyed a night of entertainment, complete with a live orchestra, a full cast of singers, dancers and music performances tailored especially for each honoree.  

At the end of the evening, it was announced that nominations for the 2014 Hall of Leaders are now open, email awards@conventionindustry.org for an application. For more photos of the event, please visit our Facebook page
CMP Events
CMP Board Travels to Birmingham for First-Ever Town Hall Meeting
During this fall's CMP Board meeting in Birmingham, Ala., Board members hosted the first-ever Town Hall. CMPs from all over Alabama, and as far away as Atlanta and Tennessee, joined board members to discuss the importance of the CMP designation, emerging trends in the industry, what keeps CMPs "up at night" and more.

Attendees told the board members that social media has changed the way that meeting professionals communicate with each other and with their attendees, but that it's important that we learn to measure the relevance of the social media usage before we can measure its value.

Attendees also asked CIC how to earn continuing education credits for their CMP recertification without having to add more travel to their busy schedules. CIC staff reminded attendees that there are many online courses and seminars that are available for credit. CIC also explained that being a member of an industry-related association, speaking at meetings and conferences on industry-related topics, and writing industry-related articles for publication are also great ways to accumulate CEs. Attendees also were told that to earn CEs a program or activity does not need to be reviewed by CIC first; CMPs simply must demonstrate on their applications how the subject of the activity relates to one of the 10 domains in the CMP Standards.

While the attendees all thought the Town Hall was a great way for CMPs to speak directly to board members and staff, it's hard to say who got the most out of the event. CMP Board Chair Melody Kebe, CMP, CGMP, said, "Nothing helps the board and staff develop and prioritize the CMP program's offerings more than hearing first-hand what is important to professionals in the field. The board intends to make this the first of many Town Halls."
Tropicana Casino
CIC Out in Full Force at IMEX America
CIC had a great showing at IMEX America on Oct. 15-17 in Las Vegas, from very engaged and productive CIC Council and Board meetings to a not-soon-to-be-forgotten CIC Hall of Leaders and Pacesetter Awards Gala, as well as our sponsorship of and exhibit presence at the well-attended IMEX-CIC Inspiration Center on the show floor.

The CIC Council heard from industry game changers Roger Tondeur, CEO of MCI Group; Dave Gabri, president and CEO of Associated Luxury Hotels International; and Reggie Aggarwal, founder and CEO of cVent. Roger lead a discussion on globalization from a meetings and association perspective. Dave shared ideas on delivering member value, and Reggie provided valuable insights on the current and future impact of technologies on the meetings and events industry.

The CIC Hall of Leaders Gala, which kicked off IMEX America 2013 on Sunday night, was well attended by industry power players in town to help honor our industry’s pioneers; both those who have demonstrated innovation and leadership over a lifetime and those who are doing so currently. The celebration, filled with the glitz and glamour befitting the honorees was truly a night to remember.   

This year, the first ever Policymaker’s Forum was held at IMEX America. Modeled after the very successful Politicians Forum at IMEX Frankfurt, I had the pleasure of helping to craft and introduce an industry panel on the value of meetings facilitated by Larry Luteran, Hilton Worldwide, with participants Deborah Sexton, PCMA; Paul Van Deventer, MPI; and Rod Cameron, Joint Meetings Industry Council. All panelists spoke to the importance of the meetings industry continuing to tell our story about the value meetings bring to communities, not only for the economic benefit of spending, jobs and taxes, but the critical business outcomes and societal benefits that occur when we meet face to face. 

Finally, CIC had a large presence in the IMEX-CIC Inspiration Center, which IMEX has continued to expand and improve since its inception. This year, a number of attendees stopped by CIC's booth to meet staff members and ask great questions about applying for the CMP and recertifying. We were joined in the booth by Roger Rickard, founder of Voices in Advocacy, with whom we have partnered for the Advocacy Hub program. He talked to attendees about the advantages of joining the effort to advance the importance of the meeting and convention industry. CIC staff also led four sessions at the Inspiration Center: "Power Players: Findings from the CMP Census" at the Center's Research Pod, "CMP-HC: A Certification for Healthcare Meeting Professionals" at one of the Center's Campfires, "High Speed Internet Access (HSIA): What You Need to Know When Free is Not an Option" and "APEX: Tools to Save You Time & Money." I am pleased to share that all sessions were well attended and CIC was elated to have the opportunity to share the wealth of programs and knowledge we have available for use by professionals in the industry.

Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, is the chief executive officer of the Convention Industry Council.

APEX - Standards and Best Practices
APEX Committee Steps into the Foreground
APEX is an initiative of the Convention Industry Council (CIC) that promotes the development and implementation of industry-wide accepted best practices to enhance efficiency throughout the meetings, conventions and exhibitions industry. Since its inception in 2007, the APEX Standards Committee has compiled close to 30 best-practice documents, but with constant changes in the industry, the committee strives to keep up with this evolving landscape by continually updating tools and documents to assist meetings professionals by providing time and cost savings, making it easier to communicate and share  data, streamline systems and processes, enhances professionalism, and deliver overall superior results. As such, the committee’s work is always in progress.

"We believe in the industry and the need for universal standards, and we must continue to be as relevant as possible each and every day," said MaryAnne Bobrow, CAE, CMP, CMM, CHE, president of Bobrow Associates Inc., an original member of the APEX committee and currently its immediate past chair. 

The committee’s 11 members meet face to face twice a year and conduct conference calls about once a quarter. They meet less formally at industry events, but constantly throughout the year to discuss, explore, review and analyze. The goal, according to Bobrow, is to address and add about two or three new topic areas every year, depending on changes in the market and the urgency to tackle them. 

That’s how and why one of the newest standards on bandwidth was created in the past year. It was becoming critical that meeting professionals know the precise questions to ask of their venue reps to guarantee the facility could handle the group’s Internet requirements, and it was apparent that many simply did not understand the basics.

So the APEX Committee went to work to develop documents on how to buy bandwidth, what meetings professionals needed to know and why it was usually not for free. It was the first time the committee decided to bring in outside subject-matter experts and create a work group. The result was a new section on "Bandwidth and Connectivity for Meetings and Events," including three documents and a Bandwidth Estimator tool allowing planners to plug in some basic parameters of an event to get a rough idea of their usage needs. Industry technology experts have praised the product.

The group also made headlines earlier this year when, in conjunction with the American Society for Testing and Materials International (ASTM), it published standard E2772 on sustainable accommodations, giving professionals in the meetings industry access to a complete suite of standards for sustainable meetings and events.

The committee members themselves represent a diverse cross-section of the meetings industry landscape, including all major product and professional categories, according to Charles Massey, CMP, founder and CEO of Synaxis Meetings & Events Inc. and current chair of the APEX committee. The committee breaks into groups of two that each focus on a specific topic. From there, if deemed appropriate, the teams go out and create subject-matter work groups comprised of industry specialists and experts. The groups study a topic, determine what is needed, and make presentations and recommendations to the committee. The committee will then evaluate and modify as necessary before presenting ideas to the CIC for approval.

Some hot topics discussed at last month’s meeting were: the definition of independent meeting planners vs. third-party planners, the issue of hotel room-block piracy and continuing to push a global view of all categories. 

Massey also said the committee is also trying to get its arms around social media. "We are developing a social media work group to determine what, if any, aspect of it would lend itself to relevant standards," he said. "We know how it’s being measured, so we need to figure out what our role should be in trying to benchmark that."

One of Massey’s goals in the coming year is to make the industry at large more aware of the APEX committee so that meetings professionals can take advantage of the committee’s work and use APEX as a valuable resource. Committee members receive no compensation for their work. They have to pay travel expenses out of their own pockets, so this is purely a volunteer endeavor.

So why do they do it?

"We believe giving back to the industry is so very important," Bobrow said. "When we see information out there that isn't quite right, we get energized, motivated and obsessed with correcting it and delivering the right information," Bobrow said. "There’s also something to be said for giving back to this industry. That gives us a good feeling – knowing that we are making a difference."
Industry News
Meetings Mean Business Coalition Announces Idea for a New Campaign
The Meetings Mean Business Coalition, comprised of a number of meetings and events industry organizations and hotel and destination partners – including CIC – met during IMEX America 2013 to discuss a new campaign to promote the value of the meetings industry to a broader audience and, hopefully, to also change some widely held perceptions about the profession. 

The coalition, which was initially established as a campaign in 2009 by the U.S. Travel Association, has grown to include other industry partners that have a vested interest in advocating for the importance of the meetings industry and would benefit from a cohesive, strategic message. Led by Nan Marchand Beauvois, senior director, national councils for the U.S. Travel Association, Meetings Mean Business has increasingly ramped up its efforts over the past year, culminating in a decision to hire the Washington, D.C.-based public relations firm APCO Worldwide to help craft and develop a messaging campaign for the global industry. Funded by organizational partners, the campaign is a long-term project that will seek to not only educate others about the profession, but one that will also focus on results.

Hoping to unveil more about the campaign at the Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA) Convening Leaders meeting in January of 2014, it is the expressed desire of the coalition partners to accurately represent and communicate the importance of the industry that contributes so much to the global economy.
Go the Distance at the 2014 ESPA Conference
The ESPA 2014 Annual Conference, themed "Going the Distance," will be held on January 10-12, 2014, at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, Mass. Conference sessions will offer attendees 13 hours of continuing education credits with topics that run the gamut from "The Global Side of Events: Understanding Cultural Difference" and a "Q&A with the Event Planners" to "Security Management: Case Study from Boston and Lessons Learned" and "App Storm: Event Apps & Solutions That Can Change Your Event Planning Universe." 

Kicking off the conference will be a special keynote speaker: Laura Schwartz, former White House director of events, professional speaker, author and television commentator. Her session, "Eat, Drink and Get Ready to Succeed," will share a series of tools that attendees can implement in their own careers and some of the networking secrets she learned while working in the White House. 

In addition to networking and educational opportunities, breakout and interactive sessions, optional off-site excursions and multiple general sessions, ESPA will also hold its Awards Luncheon and Annual Business Meeting during the conference, where the winners of the CSM of the Year Award, the recipient of the Executive Excellence Award and the Donald S. Freeman Jr. ESPA Conference Scholarship will be announced. 

For more information and to register, please visit www.espaonline.org.
On The Move
CMPs On the Move
Leslie Barber, CMP, is now a Program Manager for Meridican Incentive Consultants – Know More. Care More. Do More.

Kristie Chang, CMP, is now Director, Events & Account Management for Vicki Johnson & Associates, LLC. 

Brandon Sims, CMP, recently accepted a position as Senior Event Manager at the Colorado Convention Center in Downtown Denver.

Cheryl Sulock, CMP, CSEP, recently accepted the position of Director of Convention & Trade Show for the Florida Roofing, Sheet Metal, and Air Conditioning Contractors Association, after nearly six years as an Event Manager at the Orange County Convention Center.

Jonna Thoma, CMP, has joined AAAE – American Association of Airport Executives as Senior Manager, Meetings. 

Make an awesome career move? Let us help you celebrate! Send the details of your latest career triumph to cmptoday@conventionindustry.org. And while you're at it, be sure to log into www.conventionindustry.org and update your official CMP record.

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

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