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The Buzz from IMEX America
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October 2015

In This Issue

Featured Article
CMP Events
APEX - Standards and Best Practices
Research and Trends
CMPs in the News
CMP on the Road
On The Move

Simply put, IMEX America is on a roll. The fifth IMEX America, held October 13-15 in Las Vegas, Nevada, closed on a high note, with show organizers announcing another record-breaking performance from the show. A total of 3,100 companies representing 150 countries exhibited, while the IMEX hosted buyer program brought a record 3,000 buyers. All told, more than 10,500 industry professionals were in attendance, filling the Sands Expo Center with a constant hum of business, networking and professional education.

CMPs were recognized and highly visible. CIC’s participation continued to expand this year with an expanded booth, new education offerings on the show floor, and meetings that drew together some of the profession’s leading figures. It was great to see so many CMPs at our booth and share some CMP swag. CMP continuing education was plentiful at IMEX America, with more than 80 percent of education sessions qualified under the CMP Preferred Provider program.

The Hall of Leaders & Pacesetters Dazzled. At the center of CIC’s presence was the 20th Annual Hall of Leaders & Pacesetter Awards Celebration, the marquee awards program for the meetings convention and exhibitions industry. This year’s celebration was a bold reinvention of the awards gala model, transforming the event into a sleek pop-up nightclub that recognized the accomplishments of the award winners while channeling the energy of Las Vegas. 

This is not a show to miss. Everyone we talked to agreed, this is not a show to miss. IMEX Group served up another perfect blend of business, networking and education, and it was the place to be for anyone serious about the meetings and incentives business.  

Mark your calendar for the next IMEX America October 18-20, 2016. CIC will organize another CMP Hosted Buyer Group, so be on the lookout for your exclusive invitation.

CMP Certification Director Gayle Dahlman & CIC's Director of Programs and Services Kasey Connors relax during IMEX America.
CIC Dazzled at the Hall of Leaders & Pacesetter Awards Celebration
(l-r: CIC Board Chair David BuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA; HOL inductees Amy Spatrisano, CMP; Larry Luteran; Pacesetter Award Winners Kinga Socko; Rafael Hernandez, CEM; Kate Patay, CPCE; HOL inductees Craig Smith; Patricia Farias Barlow, CEM; Jane Schuldt, CIS, CITE; and CIC CEO Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP).

On the evening of Tuesday, October 13, 2015, the Convention Industry Council (CIC) set a new bar for awards events and lit up the night for more than 450 meetings and events professionals at the freshly revamped Hall of Leaders & Pacesetter Awards event, commemorating its 20th anniversary.

Debuting a brand new cocktail reception format during IMEX America 2015, the event honored industry pioneers whose intelligence, leadership, innovation and influence have changed the landscape of the profession, leaders who have guided us to where we are today, and recognized those whose recent accomplishments chart a course for where the industry is headed.

This year’s celebration was a departure from the formal black-tie dinner of years past, offering a fresh take on industry awards celebrations. A chic "pop up" night club was created in the Marquee Ballroom at the MGM Grand, providing an enchanting and magical backdrop for the electric evening. The night began with a VIP pre-awards reception, where hosts rolled out the red carpet granting attendees exclusive access into "Club CIC." Guests were provided LED wristbands that lit up along with the entertainment and sleek, white leather lounge seating, and they were treated to stage performers while they sipped cocktails and sampled exotic culinary treats. 

Building on that energy, the action-packed show began with CIC Chief Executive Officer Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, and the 2015 chair of the CIC Board of Directors, David DuBois, CMP, CAE, CTA, FASAE, welcoming attendees, including more than 15 past inductees who were in attendance, to the 20th annual Hall of Leaders Celebration. Ms. Kotowski then introduced the emcee for the evening, former director of events for the White House, author, speaker and commentator Laura Schwartz.

"The celebration was a truly special occasion that brought new excitement with the rebranded night club format, MGM Resorts Event Productions did a fabulous job capturing our vision for the way we wanted to reinvent the event, while still bestowing the appropriate honor to the legends of our industry. The response to the change has been overwhelming positive," said CIC CEO Karen Kotowski. 

After a heartfelt thank you to all of the generous sponsors, the celebration began with the presentation of the Pacesetter Award to three professionals for their outstanding recent achievements in their careers. Honored this year were: Rafael Hernández, CEM; Kate Patay, CPCE; and Kinga Socko.

Next up, five game changers joined the prestigious CIC Hall of Leaders: Patricia Farías Barlow, CEM; Larry Luteran; Jane E. Schuldt, CIS, CITE; Craig Smith; and Amy Spatrisano, CMP.

Throughout the night guests dined on a variety of cuisines featured from various restaurants at MGM Grand and table side bottle service as one would experience in any top Las Vegas nightclub. Dancers and specialty acts provided a hip backdrop for the highlight performance from the five-man vocal band MO5AIC who kept the energy high with their innovative vocal collaboration. 

"Our industry is ever-evolving and that means continuing to innovate on many levels. This event honors pioneers in our industry, and we wanted to offer a ground-breaking and fresh approach to showcase that," said CIC Chairman of the Board David DuBois. 

After dinner attendees were welcomed to continue the celebration into the after party, where an energetic DJ kept the fun going. The celebration culminated in an announcement that nominations for the 2016 Hall of Leaders were now open and available on the CIC website. This year’s celebration launched a new era of CIC awards celebrations, one CIC looks forward to producing for years to come. 

CMP Events
This is What the CMP Looks like at 30!
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Certified Meeting Professionals (CMP) Program, which CIC commemorated over a year-long celebration that culminated in the 2015 CMP Conclave, September 26-28 in Reno, Nevada. 

As we looked back over the past 30 years, we felt it was important to not only recognize the program's beginnings, but to also make connections between the program's pioneers and today's influential leaders. To fully understand the CMP story, we uneartherd some historic documents, spoke to members of the inaugural class of CMPs who still maintain their designations, honored three additional members of the inaugural class who were able to attend Conclave, and recognized the #CMP30 Influencers you voted as making the biggest difference in your personal and professional lives! 

If you haven't already, please take some time to read their stories (they are quick reads and very worth it) to gain a little insight into the history of the CMP Program and to see how far the designation has come in 30 years! Here's to the next 30. Congrats on your anniversary, CMPs!

This is the CMP at 30! 

 CMP Issue from M&C magazine
Inaugural Founder

Inaugural Founder 
Pam Lackland, CMP, and 
her granddaughter.

CMP Governance Commission Chair Joanne Joham, CMP (left) is joined onstage by inaugural founder Harvey Paul Davidson, CMP, CIC CEO Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, and inaugural founder Howard Feiertag, CMP, during the 2015 CMP Conclave.

Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, presents inaugural founder Barbara Connell, CMP, with an award of recognition.

Congratulations to the #CMP30 Influencers in attendance at this year's CMP Conclave! 
(l-r: Dr. Amanda Cecil, CMP; Joanne H. Joham, CMP; Janet Sperstad, CMP; Howard Feiertag, CMP; inaugural founder Harvey Paul Davidson, CMP; Carolyn Browning, CMP; Dr. Tyra Hilliard, CMP; LaTayna Stewart Greene, CMP; Lisa Mikita, CMP; Adrienne Six, CMP; CIC CEO Karen Kotowski, CMP; Mariela McIlwraith, CMP; and Aaron Wolowiec, CMP).

How to Recertify your CMP

Are you one of those people who have waited to the last few months of your five-year certification cycle to submit your recertification application? You are not alone. Each year, CIC receives the majority of recertification applications in November and December. To ensure that your recertification application review goes smoothly, CIC offers these following tips:

  1. All recertification applications must be submitted online through your online portal. If you have a CMP, you already have an account. Your username is the email address we have on file. If the email has changed, contact for help in updating your account. Please don’t create a new account because it won’t contain your certification information.

  2. You must list each SESSION you attended, not just the entire event. For instance, if you attended ABC’s annual event, you’ll need to report each continuing education session you attended and make sure the subject matter is aligned with one of the 10 domains in the CMP International Standards. For each entry, you’ll need to upload one scan that includes of two documents: proof that you attended the event (event registration confirmation, name badge) AND a session description provided by the hosting organization.

  3. If you attended an event that has been pre-approved through CIC’s new Preferred Provider Program, your attendance will have already been loaded into your account. For Preferred Provider Programs, you don’t need to list each session; just the amount of approved sessions you attended (these will be marked on the onsite program). Each time your attendance at a Preferred Provider Program has been uploaded into your account, you will receive an email from CIC requesting that you report your hours. If you don't receive this email, it is because the email you provided the host organization does not match your email in the CMP profile. And that’s ok, you’ll still get credit, you’ll just need to self-report your attendance following the steps outlined in #2 above.

There are six main reasons recertification applications are not approved. Please read the following to avoid these problems:

  1. The continuing education (CE) activity is a personal, not professional, development. Common examples of these sessions include: How to Minimize Stress in Your Life, How to Network, Dressing for Success, and Personal Branding Tips.

  2. The session does not align with one of the 10 domains in the CMP International Standards (CMP-IS). Make sure you are familiar with the knowledge and skills outlined in the CMP-IS before you submit your activity.

  3. The activity is not meeting-specific. Sessions that are often not accepted are courses related to general project management, marketing and financial management. If the session description you provide does not indicate that the course was meeting-specific, it will not be approved for credit.

  4. The activity took place outside your five-year certification cycle. All CMP CEs must take place in your certification cycle. Although you can still submit your recertification application when you are in lapsed status, your application can only include CEs that were attended during your five-year cycle.

  5. Not enough information was provided to align the activity with the CMP-IS. Titles of sessions often don’t provide enough information for CIC’s application reviewers to know whether the activity relates to the CMP-IS. This is why a session description is vital to include in your upload.

  6. The higher education degree is not industry-specific. Degrees in hospitality, meeting planning, and tourism will count for CMP credit. Degrees in communications, marketing or business will not count for credit.
Naylor Association Solutions
APEX - Standards and Best Practices
Green Your Meetings with Sustainable Planning: CVB/DMC Sustainability

Sustainable Planning – Don’ts and Dos
Look to the standards on: CVB/DMC Sustainability

Don’t overlook the requirements for CVBs and DMCs.

Do find and heed the section on destination professionals in the ASTM standard for Destinations (E2741-11). It covers third party site selection companies, destination management companies, chambers of commerce, convention and visitor bureaus, etc. The sustainability standards can be accessed here. If you read the standards, you’ll know what is expected, so you can strive to meet industry standards.  

CIC making it easier: If you want help with evaluating and selecting destinations and suppliers, just log into the SMPP® found at Use the CIC50 discount code to register.

If you have a question on the Don’ts and Dos according to the standards, send it through the Contact Us form at

Research and Trends
Social Tables' Trend Report: The 9 Ways Meetings Will Impact Hotels in 2016

Are you someone who wants to learn about the many ways
in which meetings will be impacting hotels in 2016?

Of course you are, because you’re a savvy professional who always want to be on top of their game. Lucky for you, we just produced a trend report with Meetings Mean Business and the Convention Industry Council called ‘The 9 Ways Meetings Will Impact Hotels in 2016? that will help you stay a step ahead of the competition.

Contributors to the report include the brightest leaders within the industry. Check out a sampling of their predictions below, then be sure to download the report to learn the why behind the predictions:
  • Infrastructure and Knowledge Capacity Will Play a Larger Role in Destination Selection by Chris Klauda, Director, Destination Research, STR
  • Meeting Planners Will Demand More of Meeting Sites by Karen Kotowski, CEO, The Convention Industry Council
  • Company Culture Will Be the Market Differentiator for Properties by David Peckinpaugh, President, Maritz, Co-Chair Meetings Mean Business
  • The Millennial Mindset Will Continue To Be The Primary Change Agent at Properties by Tammy Routh, Vice President of Global Sales, Marriott International
  • Beacon Technology Will Surge in Popularity at Properties by Corbin Ball, Founder, Corbin Ball & Associates
  • International Meeting Demand Will Fuel EMEA and APAC Market Growth by Jason Cohen, Director, Events, AccorHotels North America
  • Hotels Will Make Biggest Push To Date for Direct Online Booking of Small Group Business by Dan Berger, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Social Tables
  • Hotels Will Become Larger Stakeholders in the Development of Meetings at Their Properties by Megan Carlson, National Event Planning Manager, Hyatt Hotels, and Lisa Murphy, Director Global Sales, Hyatt Hotels
  • Hotels Will Become More Social By Tapping Into The Coworking Trend by Greg Oates, Senior Editor, Skift

CMPs in the News
CMPs Named to CSPI's 2016 Board of Directors
CIC member organization CSPI is the only industry organization dedicated to fostering collaborative sales partnerships between Convention Sales Professionals and their counterparts at Convention Centers and city and regional Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO’s). Its Nominating Committee, chaired by Eric Blanc, CMP, CSPI, 2014 Immediate Past President, met recently to review nominee applicants for the Board of Directors and is now pleased to announce its CSPI 2016 Board of Directors, many of whom are CMPs!

Russell R. Kice, CMP Stephen Jackson, CMP Dennis Galloway, CMP Debbi Foshee, CMP Kent Lensen, CMP, CTA

Russell R. Kice, CMP
Senior National Sales Manager
Pennsylvania Convention Center

First Vice President:
Angela Cameron Daniels
Director of Marketing, Sales & Event Services
Ocean Center, Daytona Beach FL

Immediate Past President:
Stacey Knoppel
Director of Sales & Marketing Baltimore Convention Center 

Member Directors:

Debbi Foshee, CMP
Director of Sales
Phoenix Convention Center & Venues

Rosa Mendoza-Friedheim, CASE, CDMP
Regional Director of Sales Mid-Atlantic
Ft. Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
Dennis Galloway, CMP
Sales Manager
Washington State Convention Center

Stephen Jackson, CMP
Senior National Sales Manager
Visit Raleigh

Dawn Eagleton
Citywide Sales Director Tourism Toronto

Kent Lensen, CMP, CTA
Director of Sales
Lansing Center

Industry Partner Member Director:
Robert Haas
Vice President Business Development & Data Intelligence
Professional Convention Management Association

Congratulations, CMPs! Click here to learn more about these outstanding CMPs.
CMPs Among PCMA's 20 in their Twenties List!
The Professional Convention Managers Association (PCMA) has recently named the winners of its 2016 class of 20 young professionals (defined as those who have not yet reached 30 years of age), who were already establishing themselves as emerging leaders in the meetings industry. And several professionals in this talented group of young professionals are CMPs.

"Our 20 in their twenties program continues to engage the brightest rising stars in our industry," said Deborah Sexton, PCMA President and CEO. "This class group views our industry through their own unique lens; our goal is to tap into their vision and insights and bring those to life in both PCMA’s face-to-face and digital channels."

These young professionals will be honored at PCMA's Convening Leaders in Vancouver, BC, January 10-13, 2016. For more information on the honor, go here

Here is the entire list of the inaugural class of "20 in Their Twenties" honorees: 
  • Kalee Barnhardt, CTA, Sales Manager, Experience Columbus
  • Jamie Bruce, CMP, Meeting Planner, Right Hand Events
  • Edward Byers, CHRP, CMP, Manager of Professional Development & Events, REALpac
  • Shannon DeSouza, MBET
  • Michael Doane, Marketing Manager, CadmiumCD
  • Bianca Ferrer, Creative Director & Producer, CoterieSpark
  • Jessica Fitting, Assistant Event Manager, Stanford Alumni Association
  • Sarah Gould-Stotts, CMP, Corporate Marketing Events Manager, Greystar Real Estate Partners
  • Juraj Holub, Marketing and Content Manager,
  • Irena Jelenova, Membership Development Executive, International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)
  • Noreen Leahy, Conference Planner, National Association of Attorneys General
  • Victoria Lee, Global Travel & Meeting Services, Senior Associate, Estee Lauder, Inc.
  • Alexander Plaxen, MTA, President, Alex Plaxen Media
  • Claire Repass, CMP, Manager, Communications. Social Tables
  • Lauren Santarone, CMP, Senior Meetings Manager, American Association for Cancer Research
  • Peter Simonelli, Event Services Coordinator, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
  • Jenny Stanfield, Director, Operations, Engagement Unlimited
  • Havovie Suraliwalla, Conference Coordinator, SeaCourses Cruises
  • Erin Sweeney, National Sales Associate, Global Experience Specialists (GES)
  • Julia Yong, Senior Sales Executive – Association, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau
Congratulations, again, to Jamie Bruce, CMP; Edward Byers, CMP; Sarah Gould-Stotts, CMP; Claire Repass, CMP; and Lauren Santarone, CMP! 
CMP on the Road
CMP Preferred Provider Program Makes Finding CEs Easy!
The Convention Industry Council’s CMP Preferred Provider Program launched in February 2015. Since the launch, we have added more than 90 Preferred Providers who offer quality continuing education for candidates and CMPs. 

CMP Preferred Providers are organizations that have formally registered with CIC and are committed to providing education that aligns with one of the 10 domains included in the CMP International Standards (CMP-IS). The CMP-IS domains are: Strategic Planning, Project Management, Risk Management, Financial Management, Human Resources, Stakeholder Management, Meeting or Event Design, Site Management, Marketing and Professionalism.

Preferred Provider education makes it easy to find and complete the educational requirements of the CMP program and have your attendance recorded in your portal record.

Claiming CE Hours

As part of the Preferred Provider Program, sponsoring organizations agree to upload the attendance roster of each of their pre-reviewed events. This usually is completed within two weeks after the event. If the email the attendee has provided to the Preferred Provider matches the email in their CIC account, their attendance will be recorded in portal record

After the roster is uploaded, attendees will receive notification from CIC that their attendance has been uploaded into their online profile. Once this email is received, attendees simply need to claim their CE hours. To claim CE hours, attendees log onto their portal account, scroll to the Add/Edit Continuing Education section and find the event. To edit the number of hours attended at the event, click edit and then add the number of hours attended for the entire event and click submit. 

Attendees do not report each session attended when claiming hours for a Preferred Provider Event. It’s easy! Find event, click edit, enter hours and submit.  

If the email address does not match the attendee’s portal account email address, the attendee will need to self-report their attendance by session and upload supporting documentation – proof of attendance and course description.  The attendee can also reach out to the Preferred Provider and ask if they can update their email address so that it matches their portal account and ask the Provider to upload the updated email address.

You can find a listing of educational opportunities on our website.
On The Move
CMPs On the Move
Tisha Aldredge, CMP, is now the Special Events Coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico. She was previously the Education and Events Coordinator for the Apartment Association of New Mexico.

Richard (Ric) Bramble, CMP, is now Meeting & Event Planner at SEMrush in Trevose, PA.

Laura Cox, CMP, has been promoted to Meeting Planner at the College Board. In her new role, she plans professional development for the College Board's western region.

Kristine Koonts, CMP, is now a producer with Vancouver-based BRANDLIVE. She was previously with the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Kevin M. McNally, CMP, is now Assistant Director of Events for Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago, IL.

Stephanie Menashe, CMP, is now the Assistant Vice President of Global Events at the Global Association of Risk Professionals in Jersey City, NJ. 

Greg Morris, CMP, is now the Meeting Planner at NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education based in Washington, D.C. He was previously the Event Planning Coordinator at the University of Virginia. 

Kristin Reinhart, CMP, is now the Complex Director of Catering & Events for the DoubleTree by Hilton Denver and DoubleTree by Hilton Denver-Stapleton North.

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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